June 13, 2013

A Lund Adoption Story

Posted in Adoption tagged , , , , at 3:42 pm by Lund

“For us it was never about the process because we were so well taken care of with Lund; it was about the result.  It was about their lives.  My boys were dealt a pretty rough hand from the start and I saw this as my chance to give them an opportunity at a really good life.  People ask me why would I adopt and I just ask them, “Why wouldn’t I?”  Without Lund my life would be very different, my wife’s life would be very different, my family’s life would be very different.  The realities of now far exceed what might have been.”

overcome

Mike is the adoptive father of two boys, now aged 9 and 7.  He and his wife adopted their sons through Lund as infants.  It wasn’t a straight forward procedure but as he repeatedly says, they were all in from the start and committed to doing whatever needed to be done to bring their boys home to a forever family.

They found Lund initially through a colleague who had himself adopted through Lund.   “It was frightening and exciting at the same time,” says Mike as he begins to tell the story.  “We didn’t know how many questions we had until we started asking them.  But Lund held our hands and steered us through.”

Mike and his wife, Susan, had already begun the process with Lund when the opportunity for a private adoption, outside of Lund, arose.  They talked with Wanda Audette, Lund’s Director of Adoption, who advised them to do what felt right.  They kept Lund informed about what was happening as they moved forward in this adoption and in the background Wanda counseled and supported them.  While driving to pick up the baby from the hospital in North Carolina, the birth mother’s social worker called and told them that she had changed her mind.  They were devastated and after first telling their families, the second call they made was to Wanda. They told her that this wouldn’t deter them, they still wanted to adopt.

A few months later, Wanda called and said that they had been selected to be the family for twins – a boy and a girl.  About two hours later, Mike received a call saying that his office was being closed and that he would be without a job. Not wanting to deplete their savings and cause problems for their older children, they had to turn down that opportunity. Lund fully supported their decision. “But things happen for a reason,” says Mike, “I just needed to get back to sustainable employment and then we were ready again.  In the meantime we visited Lund several times and we became more and more enamored with the organization as we learned about all the other things that it did.”

Soon another call came. There was a baby boy in Baltimore.  “Wanda held our hands all the way through and again encouraged us to do what we felt was right.  We jumped on it and drove down to Baltimore, not knowing what to expect,’ says Mike.   “Wanda kept in communication with us and reassured us at every turn.  72 hours later, we had James.”

Mike spent some time at home with the baby and in about 7 or 8 months, they were ready to adopt again.  They went through the whole process again and after another 8 months they received a call, again from Baltimore, saying that there was another baby boy waiting to join their family.  They packed up James, now 17 months old, and drove down to Maryland.  It was July and desperately hot.  They found themselves in the middle of an extremely destitute neighborhood surrounded by boarded up tenements and trash lying in the streets.  They were a long way from their home in Vermont.  They met the birth mother at an agency that was very different from Lund, “It was very businesslike, very corporate.  With Lund it was more familial.”

Their second adoption was more complicated.  They were dealing with three different states, things got hung up and the expected 72 hour turnaround stretched to 8 days.  Mike, Susan and James were cooped up in a one room efficiency waiting for their new baby, Henry, to come home to them.  Mike was working, Susan was nervous to leave the hotel and James was busting out of the walls of that one room, during the hottest part of the summer.  They called Wanda at least twice a day for reassurance.  It was a stressful situation and all they could do was wait.  After 9 days they got the call that they could go and pick up baby Henry.  It was 6pm.  They drove home to Vermont straight away and when they arrived, James was so happy to be home that he ran around the house for an hour and a half.  Their family was there, it was a happy scene.  Nobody cared that it was 4am.

“James plays sports – baseball, football, hockey. He is half a head taller than kids a year older than him.  But he’s so gentle and sensitive. Henry is 50lbs soaking wet and not interested in sports at all.  He couldn’t be a happier kid” says Mike smiling, as he talks about his sons.  “I couldn’t love them more.  I think about those little guys every minute. They know they’re adopted.  It hasn’t caused any problems yet and we’ll handle it as best we can if it does.  I’m in it for the long haul and I know Lund is too.  When I’m 130 and my sons are wiping oatmeal off my chin, I know Lund will be there.”

“You know what? They say that there are no angels on earth but I think that there are some and that they just hide their wings well.  I think that Wanda is one of those people.”

You can support Lund’s many programs, including adoption, by making a donation.

Thank you.

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