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.
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