The Virginia Catholic Conference expressed alarm at the bill’s passage, warning that removing the conscience protections could threaten the work of the state’s Catholic adoption and foster care agencies by allowing the state to deny them licenses, grants, or contracts.
For many people, the draw of the Super Bowl isn’t the game itself, but the commercials. Each year, companies pay millions of dollars to have their ads featured during the big game, in the hope of getting attention from the hundreds of millions of people watching. This year, there was one ad in particular that has gotten people talking: the story of Paralympic champion Jessica Long.
Toyota, which sponsors the Paralympic Games, titled the ad “Upstream.” Interspersed between shots of Long swimming through images of her life was audio from an adoption specialist who calls with what she frames as bad news for Long’s mother.
Last Friday, January 22, was the most painful day of my life. I lost the most incredible man I ever knew: my Dad. I tried to articulate some of my thoughts on social media:
Today is the most painful day of my life, yet like my Dad always said: “Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again I say rejoice.” So, I rejoice that this morning at 6:23am, Heaven gained a beautiful soul who loved Jesus and people (especially his family) with his whole heart. Henry Bomberger was a man who embodied what it means to be a man of God. Today, a man who exemplified what it means to be pro-life—a father who adopted and loved thirteen children (in addition to three biological children)—met the Father to the fatherless.
In just over three years, Maxine and Jake Young have gone from having no children to having nine. After suffering two miscarriages and facing a polycystic ovarian syndrome diagnosis, the couple decided to pursue adoption through foster care. From there everything changed — quickly.
“We didn’t plan to have this large of a family,” Maxine told PEOPLE (the TV Show!). “But it just seems like these babies are meant to be.”
Maxine said she had always wanted to foster and adopt, and she and Jake discussed the idea even before they got married and suffered miscarriages. In July of 2017, the couple welcomed three siblings from foster care into their home and family.
Maxine and Jake Young thought they may never have children.
After Maxine was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and miscarried two babies, the Pennsylvania couple decided to become foster parents and pursue adoption, The Epoch Times reports.
That was in 2017.
Today, the Youngs are parents to nine children: four adopted and five biological including quadruplets who were born in July. Though the Youngs’ lives are chaotic, they said they feel very blessed by all their children.
“We didn’t plan to have this large of a family,” Maxine told People magazine recently. “But it just seems like these babies are meant to be.”
The diocese encourages counseling for those distressed or confused by their sexual identity, and it expects that its counselors “hold a correct Christian anthropology of the human person and understand and adhere to Catholic teaching.”
(Save The Storks) When it comes to unplanned pregnancy, the most common choices for U.S. women are abortion or parenting.
But there is athird option, one that is often left out of the conversation when discussing reproductive rights– adoption. In fact, less than 4 percentof unplanned pregnancies result in adoption.
The bottom line? According to a piece from Olga Khazan inThe Atlantic, historically“among American women for whom carrying a child to term would be safe, adoption is a remarkably unpopular course of action.”
Each year, millions of families hope to adopt a baby in the United States. According to the Adoption Network, just 135,000 children are adopted each year, while an estimated one to two million families are waiting to adopt. But there are numerous obstacles in the way when it comes to building a family through adoption. The United States Child Welfare Information Gateway estimates that families will pay between $20,000 and $45,000 for a domestic adoption, with international adoptions costing even more. It can take years to complete the process, including legal requirements like a home study, and matching with a mother considering adoption.
David and Melanie Colclough met as children. After reconnecting later in life, they fell in love, got married, and began their dream of starting a family. But tragedy struck, and at 36 weeks, they lost their baby boy Gabriel due to a placental abruption. Devastated but committed to being parents, the couple began an adoption journey that led them to their new role as parents to six children.
“After I lost Gabriel, there were times that I considered suicide because it felt like my heart had been ripped from my body and I didn’t know how I was gonna keep moving on without my heart,” Melanie told The Today Show.
A teenage birth mom’s video message to her newborn son, whom she was placing for adoption, has gone viral years after her story first became public knowledge. Hannah Mongie, 19 at the time, shared her pro-life message to the world in a separate video that detailed why she chose life and how she was conflicted on whether or not to choose adoption.
Since that time, Mongie has been invited to talk shows, including The TODAY Show with Megan Kelly, where she and her son along with his adoptive parents, Brad and Emily Marsh, shared their beautiful story. By filming her message to her son, Mongie shared with the world all of the emotions that birth mothers go through when placing a child for adoption.
Celebrity hairstylist Justin Anderson, alum of the reality TV show “Very Cavallari” with Kristen Cavallari, recently opened up during a podcast about placing his son with an adoptive family in an open adoption when he was in college. Anderson, now 40, and his high school sweetheart Debbie, became pregnant during Anderson’s freshman year of college.
On the December 15th episode of the “Scissoring Isn’t A Thing” podcast, Anderson recalled, “When I went to college, she came to visit me one time… and she got pregnant. I come from one of those families that, obviously, the religious stuff, and her the same thing, so there’s no talk of abortion and all that kind of stuff — we’re going to have the baby.
Two and a half years after first saving a toddler from an abusive home, an Arizona police officer and his family adopted the little girl. Lieutenant Brian Zach was a patrol officer in Kingman, Arizona, at the time. He responded to a residence check in March 2018, where he found a toddler who was living in abusive home.
Zach told Good Morning America that during the check, he and the little girl, Kaila, “colored [and] snacked … she held my hand and she was just this cute little thing.” Detectives soon arrived at the scene and took Kaila to the hospital for her injuries.
More than 100,000 adoptions take place in the United States every year. In 2015, about half of those were adoptions through foster care. Whether through a private organization or through foster care, adoption is a gift that helps love and families grow. Here are five of our favorite adoption stories from 2020.
1. “I’m your dad forever”
Robert Carter and kids. Photo via Facebook.
Former foster child Robert Carter entered the foster care program when he was 12 years old, and was unable to see his siblings for years. Once he was emancipated, he was awarded custody of his younger brother and sister, but the experience in the foster care system, away from them, left its mark.
When Ashley McKendrick had to take off work for two weeks after a coworker tested positive for the coronavirus, she decided to put her free time to good use.
The 23-year-old Gilbert, Arizona woman began making hats for premature babies, remembering how she herself had been born prematurely, the Arizona Republic reports.
Ashley, who has physical and mental disabilities, has made 100 hats so far, and she plans to continue her mission through March, according to the report. Her family said she also taught her siblings to make the hats so that they could help her.
In a two-part Facebook post for Humans of New York, a woman shared her story of teenage pregnancy and open adoption, and how placing her son with another family brought her both pain and healing.
“I found out I was pregnant the day before my senior year, and my parents took me to an adoption lawyer so that we could learn about the process,” explained Missy. “She showed us a box full of folders and pictures from families hoping to adopt. I spent months looking through family profiles — but nothing felt right. I don’t even know what I was looking for.
An Ohio man officially became a father of five after finalizing adoption of two girls and three boys at the end of October. WBALTV reports that single foster dad Robert Carter adopted siblings Marionna, Makayla, Robert, Giovanni, and Kiontae in order to keep the children together as a family.
For Carter, the decision to foster and adopt came in part from his personal experience. At age 12, Carter entered the foster care system and was separated from some of his younger siblings for years. After being emancipated, Carter was reunited with a younger sister and brother by gaining custody and being appointed guardian.
A couple in Tennessee has welcomed their second child through embryo adoption, and they broke a record in doing so. Baby Molly Everette spent an astounding 28 years as a frozen embryo, left-over from her biological parents’ IVF process.
Molly was born to her adoptive parents, Tina and Ben Gibson, on October 26, 2020, and holds the record as the longest-frozen embryo to ever be born, according to the University of Tennessee Preston Medical Library. This is not the first child the Gibsons welcomed through embryo adoption; Molly’s full biological sister Emma Wren was adopted by the Gibsons in 2017 after being frozen for more than 24 years.
According to AmericanAdoptions.com, about 40% of American adults have considered adopting a child, though many will never follow through. Myths and other challenges surrounding adoption often intimidate people, but knowing the truth and gaining understanding can open hearts and minds to witness the hope and love that adoption brings.
Myth #1: Adoption is only for those facing infertility.
Truth: One of the biggest myths surrounding adoption is that it’s only for couples who are struggling with infertility. While many people who are unable to have biological children choose to adopt, there are many others who adopt regardless of their fertility.
A 17-year old Kentucky girl finally has a forever home, thanks to a loving foster mother who decided to adopt her. After 3,739 days in foster care, which included placements with 24 different families, Akyra Holstein was adopted by foster mom Katie Holstein in an emotional ceremony that took place over Zoom.
Katie always knew she wanted to be a mom, so she decided to become a foster parent in 2017. At first, she thought she would only take in young children. “I was scared, nervous, or just hesitant about taking in teenagers because you do hear a lot of horror stories,” she told PEOPLE Magazine.
The call to foster and adopt had been on Tabitha Goldsmith’s heart for over a decade when that dream finally became a reality. She and her husband Andy were parents to three boys, Elijah, Emery (who has Down syndrome), and Easton, and had just learned they were pregnant with their fourth son when they took in their first foster child. From there, their desire to foster grew.
Their first foster child was able to be reunited with her birth mother, and after giving birth to their fourth son Ezra, the Goldsmiths trusted that God had more plans for them to foster. It was two years later that Andy initiated the conversation to reopen their foster care license.
In October of 2019, Nick and Adelynn Stanton were excited to announce they were pregnant with their fourth child. Then in December, they learned the doctors had concerns about the baby’s heart. I January, they were told their baby girl had Down syndrome. Their reaction isn’t one society is used to seeing — it was one of “relief and joy.”
“Down Syndrome. Handicapped. Special needs. None of those terms will ever define our precious girl,” Adelynn wrote on Facebook on January 3, 2020. “Though we received the news today of her extra special chromosome, our sweet Piper Joy is so much more than a diagnosis.