Being a parent has changed our lives in more ways than one. Our little bundle of joy, our baby daughter has lit up our life ever since she became part of it on that memorable day
It was around the middle of 2012. in those days I was based out of Pune . One fine day, while at work, I was casually chatting to a colleague of mine, who mentioned in passing that one of her two daughter was adopted. That caught my attention, as we had also been planning to adopt a daughter for some time. Unfortunately for us, the adoption agencies we had contacted in and around Kolkata (my hometown) had informed us that we would have to wait for at least a couple of years.
I asked my colleague some further details. She was most helpful. She provided me the contact details of CSA & gave me Lucy's contact number, so that I could speak to her. We were very excited thinking of the prospect of becoming parents to a lovely little baby. At the same time, we had a lot of concerns & queries about the whole process of adoption, what were the different steps involved and so on.
As it turned out, we need not have worried at all. Lucy put me in touch with couple of agencies with whom I could liaise, and take things forward. The paperwork is very detailed so that there are no difficulties later on. We finshed the paperwork, and soon after that an officer from the agency came & visited our home at Kolkata. Within a few weeks of that we came to Latur & visited the agency.
Finally we saw our baby. It was the most wonderful thing possible when we held her in our arms for the first time. It took a couple of days more to finish legal formalities, but thereafter we brought her home for foster care. From that day on, she was our daughter (we did have to return twice in the next three months though for legal formalities.
Like I have mentioned before, adopting a baby was the best decision we could have taken. Our daughter has changed our lives in more ways than we could have imagined. She is the light of our lives, we cannot imagine a day without her.
A new born female baby was admitted in adoption agency from Odisha because of her mothers inability to keep the baby with her. By the time she was declared legally free for adoption the baby was 6 months old. Catalysts for Social Action (CSA) being associateed with the this adoption agency helped them to upgrade the living condition of the children in various ways. At the same time the family mentioned below approached and we refer them to this six months old.
Neelakantan P. and Sindhu Neelakantan from Chennai, Tamilanadu Adopted baby Sakshi from Orissa. They have expressed their experience and feelings in belwo wright up.
Does one need to be related by blood or marriage to another to give unconditional love and affection? We learnt that the answer to that question is a resounding- NO. And we are proud that our daughter, Sakshi taught us that. It had been the childhood desires of my husband, Neelakantan and I, to adopt a child when we grow up. Very soon after our engagement we learnt that we had this common desire and it strengthened our bond.
Our son, Saket was born in May 2011 and when he completed 6 months, we decided to commence the process to adopt a baby girl, as we expected some administrative delay. We contacted a few organizations involved in adoption in Tamil Nadu. Almost all of them refused us point blank as we already had a biological child. A few asked us to leave our details, which they would, waitlist and asked us to contact after a few months. But they also asked us not to have any expectations of getting a child in the immediate future. Nevertheless, when we returned to them almost 14 months later, we had moved from 95 down to 250 in the waiting list, as the childless couples were always placed above the others.
Just as we were wondering whether we had to wait indefinitely for our daughter, we learnt from a common friend, that Mrs. Subhasri Sankar had adopted a child from Odisha through CSA. It is relevant to point out here that some friends and relatives were initially skeptical about adopting from outside the state saying that the child’s features would be a giveaway and advised us against it. Mrs. Subhasri was however categorical and told us how her child had integrated in the family within a few weeks and we decided to go ahead. Without losing any time, we approached CSA. We were floored by their proactive and prompt response and suddenly, we found the whole process shifting to top-gear.
Words cannot express in adequate measure our gratitude, for the support rendered by CSA, their staff, Ms. Lucy Mathews, Ms. Bharti Dasgupta and Mr. Anupam Subhadarshan who interacted with us and they virtually held our hand and took us through the entire process. Within a couple of weeks of contacting CSA, we found ourselves at the Sishu Bhavan of Bapuji Sevashram at Chandipur near Balasore. As its secretary, Mr. Gaurachandra Khamhari placed the nearly 7 months old Supreeti in our hands (we have since renamed her Sakshi), we realized that we were indeed holding our daughter. Saket was beaming with pride as he held his sister for the first time. Sakshi all the while was smiling and enjoying. After finishing the preliminary documentation, we returned to our hotel room for the night. The next morning, we took her to a local hospital for medical examination. A housemother from the Sishu Bhavan accompanied us for the medical examinations. Sakshi was inconsolable from the moment the regular housemother of Sishu Bhavan was replaced midway by another housemother, Ms. Mamta, who usually took care of the bigger children in the Ashram. We were wondering how we will bring Sakshi all the way to Chennai if she was going to cry like this all the while.
But quite magically, all the crying stopped when Ms. Mamta handed Sakshi over to me for a brief while. Sakshi was comfortable with Neelakantan, Saket and I and surprisingly she refused to go back to Ms.Mamta. Mamta kept remarking for the rest of the day that Sakshi had identified her parents.
With all the medical examination and the foster agreement formalities completed, we took Sakshi back to the Sishu Bhavan from the Ashram’s office for bidding goodbye to those who had taken care of our daughter, for us all these months. There were tears all around. We felt sad for causing this pain and resolved to recompense all this by loving Sakshi more than all of them put together.
Now 6 months later, Sakshi has adjusted very well with all in our extended family. There are a lot of people who comment that she resembles Neelakantan and Saket a lot. Neelakantan calls it “Environmental Genetics” and propounds the theory that the child takes the features of her adoptive family.
Adoption is a beautiful, life transforming experience. It is a blessing for the child and parents and unfolds joys which know no bounds! Each adoption story is special, memorable, full of hope and anticipation and a triumphant moment for the entire family! We are committed to our Vision 'Every Child Matters!' and are constantly working towards finding a loving and nurturing home for every orphaned child. Presenting successful adoption case facilitated by CSA. Rajesh Duraiswamy and Subhashini adopted 4 months old female baby Netra.
We got in touch with Catalysts for Social Action and when we learnt of the goals and motives of CSA, we were convinced that this was the right beginning for our adoption process.
Soon after our registration at CSA, we were referred to an adoption agency in the deeper pockets of Maharashtra. By then, we had learnt of CSA’s ground-level support and involvement with certain identified adoption centres so as to assist in its infrastructure building and day-to-day running. We were also aware of CSA’s strategic vision to enable adoptive families in the cities to adopt a child from adoption centres away from the cities that had children to place on adoption – this was such a brilliant concept and we like so many other parents, were delighted to pursue this option. CSA had already intimated us that the paper-work for the registration with the specified agency would need to be done to the satisfaction of that agency. We were also keen of providing complete documents. It is in such instances that CSA proved to be of able assistance – Lucy Matthews of CSA was always, always available to answer our queries. Through our adoption process, we have turned to Lucy several times, for clarity or for an assurance and without ever stepping out the framework in which CSA operates, Lucy has responded to us unfailingly. As most adoptive parents reading this would understand, our most frequent question was when we would be ever called to ‘meet’ the baby. Lucy would sense our impatience and understand how agonising it is to wait for a child, without a definite timeframe.
CSA earns fullest marks for being sensitive to the emotions of a parent, without overstretching itself with false assurances on matters beyond its reach. It was only much later, in our interactions with the adoption agency that we learnt of how regularly CSA had followed up on our registration. It is easy now – with our little girl by our side – to reduce the year or so that went from registration to the actual arrival of our baby into 4 short words - ‘a long, uncertain wait’ but we know how emotional that journey can be. Letting our mind roll back only a few months ago, we understand the state of parents who are overwhelmed by their expectations of their child’s arrival, who have put several decisions in life on hold for this life-changing moment but are practically clueless on All our doubts and questions vanished on that fine day, when we finally received the call to meet our baby. Again, CSA helped us immensely, advising us on what to expect. It is through CSA that we spoke to other families who have adopted from the same agency and benefited from their generous help and valuable inputs. The actual visit which involved meeting the child and its caretakers, reviewing the medical file and also meeting a doctor for a physical examination of the child was simple and uncomplicated – however, our interaction with CSA and other adoptive parents who had also adopted with CSA’s assistance gave us great comfort and foresight on one of the most important days of our life. Completing justifying our reliance on CSA to guide us to the right agency, we were gratified to find that the agency we visited was well-managed and well-administered and we have only positive feedback on our experience with them.
Love Trust Special Needs Home in Buldana district, Maharashtra state of India was started by CSA in collaboration with the Love Trust institute in 2009 with a special focus on providing care to children with special needs. During the regular course of working on adoption projects, CSA identified the need of a Special Home for mentally and physically challenged children languishing in regular adoption agencies. Providing quality care and treatment to such children was the need of the hour. The Love Trust institute readily responded & provided us with the Infrastructure and thus, Love Trust Special Needs Home was instituted. CSA spear heads expenses related to providing all necessary facilities to take care of these children. We have appointed caretakers specially trained to look after these children along with a Physiotherapist with a hope to improve their health conditions and through physiotherapy, improve their ability to carry out their day to day tasks; and also, someday to help facilitate their movement into a lovely family. Little did we know that this Diwali, our efforts would bear fruit! Nehal came to the home around 3 years go with extensive physical and mental impairment and she would tilt her head to one side often. With the help of the physic exercises & special care provided by caretakers, her overall health showed a remarkable degree of improvement. Sometime this year, we were successful in finding adoptive parents in the US & very soon Nehal, who is 4 years old now, will be united with a wonderful family and can look forward to a quality life and better healthcare facilities! This is indeed heartwarming & encouraging for the team at Love Trust home. 3 more children are in the process of being adopted by NRI parents & CSA hopes to continue the good work and have many more special needs children find loving and nurturing families!
Mr. Shankar and Subasri are from Chennai who adopted baby Pushpita from Odisha. They share their story with us -
We are thankful to CSA. Its only because of CSA that we have adopted a 2 year old girl in May 2012 as our own. CSA's representative Mr. Pritikanta Panda was of great help in helping us identifying the adoption agency, doing a translator's job, helping with vehicle bookings etc.
We are from Chennai & married since November 2007 and even as we took our wedding vows, we decided we'll have one biological & one adopted child. Close to a year after wedding, God blessed us with a boy and as he turned 2, we started visiting & enquring with all CARA listed agencies in our state of Tamil Nadu regarding adoptions. Almost all agencies told us that they hardly had kids who were available for adoption and there was a huge waiting list of childless couples in queue.
More than a year passed, and we had tried to contact a few agencies in Maharashtra and elsewhere on our own, but nothing materialized. We also wanted our adopted daughter to grow up alongside our son, but our dream seemed far fetched. We had set a deadline of November 2012, beyond which we decided to call it quits.
Luckily, in March 2012, we met another couple from Chennai Mr. Rammohan Thyagarajan who adopted a girl from Odisha with the assistance of CSA. I first contacted Mrs. Bharati Das Gupta, who quickly introduced me to Mr. Pritikanda Panda in Odisha, who in turn sent me a checklist of all required documents. Suddenly, our hopes went soaring, and before we realized, we were put in touch with an adoption institute in Odisha who shared the photograph of our potential 2 year old daughter. Nithilan (our son) was 3 by then and we thought a sister a year younger to him will be a good addition. Once all the paperwork was in order, we went down to the children's home, saw our daughter, and took possession of her under foster carer and were back in Chennai by May 2012. CSA has been wonderful; our heartfelt thanks to everyone specially to Mr. Pritikanda Panda.
Pushpita (our daughter) has been enrolled to kindergarden school. Today, my kids are just like any other siblings - they play with each other, are adamant, fight and cause havoc but we are not complaining!
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