Buzz Baby is a column about life with babies from the perspective of a first-time mother.
As Katherine Garcia walked into the acupuncture clinic, she checked her watch. She was on her lunch break from her title-company job and needed to make this session a quick one. Katherine and her husband, Mike, were trying to have a child. Acupuncture was just one of many methods people had recommended.
“We did IVF,” said Katherine. “We did it with the ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) where you pay $2,000 more [which helps the chances]. I did no gluten, no dairy for a year, no sugar. We did herbs. We did everything. Nothing worked.”
As time ticked by and the pregnancy tests kept coming up negative, Katherine began to consider adoption. She had only one problem. Her husband. “[Mike’s] mindset was that if a pregnancy was meant to happen, it would,” said Katherine.
One night, Mike, a customer-relationship manager, stayed up late and watched a television show about an adopted boy. The next morning, he told Katherine that he had had a change of heart.
“My prayers had been answered,” said Katherine. After looking into about 10 local agencies, they attended an orientation at DePelchin Children’s Center. “I drove by the building every morning on my way to work,” said Katherine. “I always wondered about it.”
At DePelchin, all of the adoptions are domestic adoptions, and every child available for adoption is in CPS (Child Protective Services) custody, says spokeswoman Analisa Warren. In the classroom, the instructor discussed adoption and also becoming a foster parent. The Garcias leaned into listen. They knew nothing about fostering. They took notes on their legal pads.
After a home study and training, the Garcias welcomed a baby boy of six months to their home. He had lived with another foster mother from the day he was born. The Garcias fostered him with the hopes of formally adopting him once the court’s lengthy legal process concluded. They named him Gunner.
“Gunner came ‘legally free’ to our home,” said Katherine, “meaning his [birth] parents’ rights were already terminated.”
After about six months, when Gunner was 1, Mike and Katherine were finally able to formally adopt him. Now, he is 7 years old.
Their second foster child, Jag (now 2) arrived under different circumstances. “Jag did not come legally free,” said Katherine. “He was legal risk. They told us right away, ‘He might go back.’ The father was fighting for Jag.”
The judge required Jag’s birth father to follow court orders such as successfully passing a home study, drug testing and counseling. The Garcias could do nothing but wait and love on the newborn.
“We had him for [almost a year and a half]”, said Katherine. “We were praying we would be able to adopt him. Then, on my actual birthday [Dec. 4], I got a call that the dad had relinquished his rights.” Jag became Jag Garcia and was formally adopted on July 27 this year.
Another Buzz couple, Renee and Ryan Clary, also struggled with infertility and say they felt called by God to adopt. After multiple failed attempts at in vitro fertilization (IVF), the couple decided to get on a waiting list for a baby. They contacted an agency, AIM (Alternatives in Motion), to start the process.
After an application process and paperwork, they were approved for a home study. The agency conducted the study. Months later, on a mundane Monday evening, while Renee sat at home, her agency’s phone number popped on the screen. On the other end of the line, the words she heard were, “Your son was born an hour ago, and he is waiting to meet you.”
Renee and Ryan rushed to the north Houston hospital to hold their newborn son. “I remember his big cheeks,” said Renee. They took pictures and made phone calls to loved ones, but after meeting him, they had to wait. “The most difficult part was waiting 48 hours after his birth for TPR (termination of parental rights),” said Renee. “We had fallen in love with him, but knew the birth parents had 48 hours to change their minds and parent him. He was still their baby, but we had fallen in love.”
The couple had a hard time processing what Charlie’s biological parents’ were going through.
“We had a feeling of sadness for his birth parents,” said Renee. “A couple that were strangers to us had just trusted the life of their precious child to us. Their greatest pain and sacrifice was our greatest joy. It is hard to wrap your head around that when you are on the receiving end.” The birth parents did not change their minds and, several days later, Charlie came home with the Clarys. A few months later, his formal adoption took place.
Want more buzz like this? Sign up for our Morning Buzz emails.
To leave a comment, please log in or create an account with The Buzz Magazines, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Or you may post as a guest.