The Decision to Adopt
Kathy and Rick Miller already had four birth children between the ages of nine and 16, when they decided to add a sibling group of two to their family. "We enjoy children a lot," said Kathy, who has a degree in Child and Youth Care. "We have lots of parenting experience, and we felt we had a lot to offer as a family." She and Rick, who is a teacher, wanted more children, but felt that it was better "to expand our family by adding children who genuinely needed a home, rather than biologically."
The Decision to Adopt
Trauma and Brain Development
The brain develops from the inside out. A newborn’s brain has about 100 billion cells. At birth, the primitive brain, called the brainstem, is sufficiently developed to insure that vital functions can be maintained independently for a short period. Baby can breathe, the heart beats, the body temperature self-regulates, reflexes are operating. This is nature’s way of insuring that survival has a chance.
When Cathy* adopted her fist child, Julie, in May, '92, the colicky one-month old was a fussy, demanding child who'd spent her first month of life in a lively caring home in Georgia. "Julie has always been an expressive child," said Cathy, "she has never had a problem making her desires, and wishes, and emotional needs known."
Both of *Melissa Berry’s children want information on their birth families, but at this time, only one, Kaiya, aged 11, has. Nine year old Brooke has to cope with the knowledge that, unlike her sister’s birth mom, hers is not ready or is unable to make contact with her. Brooke came home at 11 days old. Though her adoption allowed for an open arrangement and her birthmom indicated she would be interested in written communication, it has not happened. The Berrys have sent information via the Ministry but have not had any response.
At one point we actually referred to it as 90 months of failure. But it was through the pain of years of infertility that we finally opened up to the option of adoption. It always seemed like having to settle for second best-runner up-the silver medal. If only we knew then what we know now, we would have started the adoption process so much earlier.