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!
Becoming a mother has been one of the most beautiful moments of my life. Thanks to the amazing initiative called CSA and the team they have put together on March 20th 2013 I became the “Amma” of 2 beautiful girls (twins) – Juhi and Maahi. As I watch them playing happily surrounded by family and friends – I am amazed at their journey and mine.
In January 2012 when I announced my intention to adopt a girl child – my decision was met with a lot of skepticism. As a prospective single parent I met with my share of discouragement from social workers and adoption agencies. After a year of struggling to make sense of the adoption process a well wisher finally connected me to CSA. From that point onwards DadasahebSargar and Lucy Mathew of CSA have been my guiding angels. It was not just that they connected me to the right agency in MP – it was that they guided me thro every step of the process and did so with empathy. Thanks to them the process of finding and bringing home my daughters have been more pleasure than pain.
The twins are a happy bunch – they are loved and adored by the extended family. They are attending summer school and loving every bit of it. The three of us are in the exciting phase of exploring new places, new tastes, new games and each other. It’s just been a month since they walked into my home and heart but it feels as if they have always been here an integral part of our lives.
Not very long ago, older children did not find homes with families in India. Most Indian
parents wanted a small baby less than 2 years old. And so, many children went abroad to
Yogesh and Supriya Bochare adopted 6 year old Aarushi from an Adoption Agency in Jalna,
Maharashtra – a sign of the changing times and, mind sets. The Bochare had registered for
a 6 month old child 2 years ago and were still waiting for some kind of lead from the agency
when Yogesh sent an email inquiry to CSA. Yogesh writes: “Within 2 days we got call from
CSA informing us of the availability of an older child in one of their partner-agencies. We
were jubilant and also, apprehensive; we had never thought of an older child-certainly not a
6-year old! By that age, a child has an independent mind and we were afraid about issues of
Nevertheless, we decided to follow through. The day we first met her, we liked her! But we knew we had to
think it through; ours could not be a decision made in haste. We had been married since 2001 and had, without
success, tried every possible way of starting our family. Here was the opportunity!! Should we let it go? Debate
and discussion followed and we concluded that what we were looking at, was not a Job, nor an office, nor was it
the fulfillment of a duty; here was a child who could, so easily, become ours! The conclusion was unanimous – and
so, 6 years old “Aarushi” came home to us.
Our life has changed dramatically since her arrival; from a happy couple, we are now, happy responsible parents.
Of course we have to adapt to her ways to an extent but we are enjoying every moment. Thanks to CSA! We are
Finding a home/family, though a very important milestone in the rehabilitation of an abandoned child, is nevertheless, only the beginning of a process- one that calls for care and guidance in bringing up the child. Invariably confronted with the question of ‘identity of the child’, how the fact of adoption is to be shared, handling adolescence, and most importantly, the search for roots, aparents seek opportunities to share experiences, exchange views and receive expert guidance from professionals.
Catalysts for Social Action being the channel for a family for every child, we realize that only the child reaching to the family is not enough; post-adoption issues need to be addressed particularly since many Indian Aparents are still inclined to be secretive about the fact of adoption.
Adoption Awareness Week is celebrated internationally during the week 14th Nov. to 21st Nov. Using the opportunity, we organized an AParents’ Get-together in Bangalore. For us, Bangalore is a unique choice of location since 52 children from rural Odisha and Maharashtra, have found homes in Bangalore. Also, Vathsalya Charitable Trust-one of the best Adoption agencies and our “Friend-in-need” agreed to join hands with us in this initiative. Mary Paul from Vathsalya Charitable Trust and Brajesh Mishra, CSA Managing Committee member and an adoptive aparent himself, moderated the day’s discussions.
The highlight of the day was the presence of the adopted children who had also, been invited. Those happy faces reflected the transition from orphanage life to family life. For us, that was the key motivator! And of course, the parents were delighted!
Rajat spoke about his desire to adopt ever since we were dating. His reasoning was simple - "If educated, financially stable people like us from the society do not adopt, who else will?" Though it took a while for me to understand the depth in his thoughts, I eventually did. And with that, our hearts and mind stood united on our decision to adopt.
As a first step, we spoke to parents who adopted among our family and friends. The biggest hurdle (read most time consuming part) in the adoption process, we were told, was the wait for a healthy child, especially in the most sought after < 1 year infant category (which was our preference). It so turned out that in big cities, the queue of parents wanting to adopt was long (waiting list ran in hundreds!) whereas orphanages in these cities had few to no children to offer for adoption, probably due to increased awareness levels about aborting unwanted children. So the demand supply ratio was quite skewed indeed! We were given to understand that we would need to wait anywhere between 2 to 5 years - an information we gathered by making calls/visiting orphanages in the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, and Kolkata where our family and friends were located.
Aggressive net surfing made us stumble across 'Catalysts for Social Action'. Through the CSA website, we were amazed to know that there are lots of children waiting to be adopted - all that adoptive parents need to do is be open to the idea of adopting from orphanages in smaller towns and rural areas, that's about it! With renewed hope in our hearts, we made a call to Ms. Lucy Mathews, the Program Coordinator in CSA. Within a day, Lucy promptly gave us the lead to Vihaan, a 7 month baby boy who met our preferences. And within a week of our call to Lucy, we met Vihaan for the first time! It sounds unbelievable but it is true - it took less than 4 months to bring Vihaan home from the time we initiated our paperwork to adopt! And this was only possible because of CSA bridging the vital gap between us in Bangalore (Karnataka) and Vihaan in Nanded (Maharashtra) over a simple STD call!
Vihaan has been with us for 5 months now. He is an extremely active, cheerful and friendly child with absolutely no stranger anxiety whatsoever. We are learning a lot of things from him these days, like living in the moment, making do with whatever is available, the joy one spreads by staying cheerful all the time and so much more. We are truly blessed to have Vihaan in our lives.
Team CSA, yours is the hand of God! Thank you is too small a word to be used in this context. I sincerely hope and pray you continue the amazing work and bring joy to many many more families.
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