National Adoption Awareness Month – An Update on Pauline
November marks the start of National Adoption Awareness Month. Children’s Home & Aid believes that all vulnerable children, whatever their ages or circumstances, deserve safe, loving homes and the chance to love, to learn, to heal, to dream and to make their way in the world. Below is a story update from an earlier post about an adopted daughter and mother recently brought together.
Pauline is an elementary school teacher. She is very active in theater where she loves to dance, sing and act. She says she always imagined sharing moments like these with her child. Over a year ago, she told us “I feel very strongly that this is the right time for me to be a parent.” Just a few months ago, she adopted her daughter through Children’s Home & Aid.
Pauline tells us the adoption process with Children’s Home & Aid was very informative, and she even became a better teacher after taking the classes and working with her caseworker. “It gave me better insight to what some of my students may be going through.”
“I always had it in the back of my mind that one day I would adopt. Then as I got older the reality was becoming clearer that physically I would not be able to have children of my own,” Pauline says. She tells us she took comfort in knowing she’s worked with hundreds of children through school, dance and theater. Once Pauline’s best friend moved in with her and she had an eleven-year-old and a brand-new infant, Pauline says she fully knew she wanted to have her own child in her life. “This was all I needed to give me the confidence that this is what I wanted.”
The call from Pauline’s caseworker with news of her daughter came at a very difficult time in her life. “I had just lost my mother, my position at work was just changed, not by choice, and I just moved in with my father to help him out. I had already renewed my adoption license once and it was coming due a second time. I decided I wasn’t going to renew it. I was feeling lost and sad.”
Then one afternoon, an administrator came into Pauline’s classroom and told her there was an urgent call waiting for her, which turned out to be from her caseworker. With all the recent changes in Pauline’s life, she says she forgot to tell her caseworker she was now at a different school, so she had to track her down. “It was a shocking miracle! She told me that a baby girl had been born and the mother wanted to meet me that afternoon. An overwhelming joy came over me with a sense of caution. I wasn’t sure if this was for real,” Pauline says.
When speaking of her daughter, Pauline could not be more overjoyed. “Oh my gosh, she is just perfect! She has so many facial expressions that just make me laugh.” Pauline tells us her daughter smiles constantly and is very inquisitive. “She has brightened my life and my father’s so much. We sing songs for everything… changing diapers, bath time, washing hands, and we dance all the time. She truly has saved me. I believe my mother had something to do with this. In fact, I have named her after my mother.”
When asked about advice for someone who may be considering fostering or adopting a child, Pauline says patience is key. “It’s a lot of work and it is a long process without knowing what the outcome will be, but it is so worth it. Things happen the way that they should, and you may not know why at this time, but just be patient. Once I started the program at Children’s Home & Aid, I kept running into people that would share their stories with me and it just encouraged me to continue. I’m so glad that I did!”
Although Pauline has only been with her newly adopted daughter for a short amount of time, she has a great deal of wonderful advice to parents as well:
“I believe one of the most important things about being a parent is being consistent, having age-appropriate expectations and setting clear boundaries. As a teacher, I have been involved in children’s lives for a long time and I have seen what they desire the most: an involved parent.
I want to be the parent whose child knows that spending time with them is more precious than anything else on this earth. I realize the biggest gift my parents gave me was unconditional love. My parents were always there for me and would do anything they could for me. That is the kind of parent I want to be.”
Pauline is grateful for the guidance and assistance she received from Children’s Home & Aid in becoming a mom. If you would like to learn more about the adoption services at Children’s Home & Aid, please visit: https://www.childrenshomeandaid.org/adoption-services/