When most people hear the word adoption, the first thought is for the well- being of the child (as it should be), but what is the next thought??? Well, with the Adoptions From The Heart agency, there is no second thought. Somehow this agency manages to help and offer support to all the people involved with the baby, the birth mother, and the adoptive parents, all at the same time.

On November 1, 2010, I took myself to the hospital because I was in labor. Although I had had no prenatal care the whole pregnancy, and not one person in my life knew that I was pregnant. I had done this due to the fact I had just finished the trial for the man who tried to kill me (literally). I feared for myself and my unborn child. So, when I got to the hospital of course they were not thrilled about me not having prenatal care or even a doctor in the area. But all I kept saying to the triage nurse who was checking me in was “please I don’t care what happens to me, but please protect my baby, please don’t let him hurt my baby, because I was scared. So, by the time I got done explaining why I was saying that, she checked me into the hospital under an alias.

So almost immediately after getting into a delivery room, a very pleasant lady, who turned out to be the social worker, for the hospital came into my room. The triage nurse had called her to come to talk to me. So once again, I told her what I had just gone through and how I wasn’t emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, and or financially capable of raising a child, and that’s not even taking into account that I still feared for my own life and anyone who was close to me. (My attacker’s family had vowed to get revenge). So this young lady told me basically I had 2 options, 1) The state would step in and take custody while they investigated everything and then later work on getting the baby reunified with me or 2) She knew a wonderful agency that handled adoptions, and then the baby would be taken care by the best parents possible and I could in turn work on getting my life on track. (I struggle with the disease of addiction). I immediately said call the agency, so she left to go make the phone calls. It seemed like only minutes later when a representative from the agency walked in, she introduced herself and started explaining how everything would go.

Much to my surprise, she handed me 3 binders with profiles of 3 families waiting to adopt and explained I could choose which family I wanted my child to go with. I was quickly able to remove one (because they already had a child and the other 2 were waiting for their first child) from the pile and then I went back and forth and back and forth between the other 2 couples because every time I flipped through I noticed something new that I liked. And suddenly, I realized the open couple had a dog, his name was Buster and the other couple did not have a pet. Well, I grew up around dogs so knowing my child has a dog warms my heart. My decision was made!!!!!

Then I informed Penny (agency director) that unless she wanted to watch the birth she better get to going. She left to go take care of the necessary paperwork and notify the new parents. And true to my word, “sweetie” was born, within an hour of Miss Penny leaving, a beautiful baby boy. I then sent pictures to Penny who couldn’t believe that I had given birth already.

Penny was aware that I had gone through the pregnancy alone and that I had no one to come be with me in the hospital, so she made extra time to come visit me. While visiting she informed me that Raj and Amy were doing everything they could to get to the hospital before I was discharged because they wanted to meet me and thank me. I chose not to name the baby, I felt that was a job for his new parents, so Penny and I called him “sweetie”.

Amy and Raj chose to name him Nathaniel and his name fits him very well. They did make it to the hospital before I was discharged and the minute, I set eyes on them I knew I had made the right decision and they would be amazing parents, (which they are). The greatest gift for me was being able to put my “sweetie’ into his mom’s arms for the first time. When I did this and looked at the 3 of them together and immediately knew they were meant to be a family. What I did not realize at the time was how much Amy and Raj would come to mean to me.

I can honestly say if it was not for the agency, Amy and Raj I would not be the person I am today, and I would not be where I am in life 9 1⁄2 years later. Please allow me to explain that statement. I knew that adoption agencies took great care in placing babies, but The Adoption from the Heart agency cares just as much about the welfare of the birth mother as they do the welfare of the babies. Which has had a great impact on my life.

I suffer from the disease of addiction, along with PTSD and depression, due to this my 5 children were living with their father, my ex-husband. (whom I had had no contact within over 8 years) I have periods in my life that were good, but they didn’t last long, due to the disease of addiction. The agency over the years has helped me with my bills, groceries, and even a bus pass to help me get to and from work. But Amy and Raj were the 2 people who allowed me to have peace of mind that “sweetie” was in a good home with loving parents. They sent so many pictures and letters in the first year to ensure that “sweetie” was doing well. This reassurance allowed me to really try to turn my life around.

Over the years and our time at the annual picnic, Amy, Raj, and I continued to communicate and build our relationship. And although I continued to struggle with the disease of addiction, they never gave up on me. Through all my abusive relationships and all my struggles, they have always had a listening ear, words of encouragement, and always prayed for me. There were times when I honestly believed that they were the only 2 people who believed in me. And I know that they have always prayed for me.

I could go on forever with all the wonderful things they have done for me, the cards, unexpected pictures, emails, text messages, making the effort to remember the things I have told them about my life and ever reminding me that I was in their prayers. Well, I am here to tell you that prayer works. When they came into my life I was living in a one-room studio apartment, working a 3rd shift job that was getting me nowhere, living in active addiction, had no contact with my children, and was in an abusive relationship with no hope for the future. And now I am living clean and sober, live in a wonderful 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment, I work at a well-established upscale restaurant, I am working on my bachelor’s degree in business administration, have a wonderful loving caring man in my life and have had contact with 4 out of my 5 children. My oldest daughter is happily married and has blessed me with 2 adorable grandchildren. I am going to visit my daughter and her family in Virginia this fall. (talk about coming a long way from no contact).

I can honestly say that my life is completely different than 10 years ago, all because 2 wonderful people gave my “sweetie” an amazing home and because they continued to pray for me, never passed judgment, gave nothing but 100 percent unconditional love and support to me. So I thank the agency from the bottom of my heart for putting Amy and Raj into my life, you saved my life by doing so. I mean that literally because if I had continued on the path I was going I most likely would be dead by now. God bless!

Diane and Nathaniel