Miracle Babies: the loving story of adoption
|Chris and Julie Colt enjoy their miracle babies at their home in Price.|
Born and raised in Denver, Colo., Julie and Chris Colt just assumed that someday they would have children. They were married while attending college and had moved to Lincoln, Neb. where they were both in graduate school. For eight years they tried to have children. "We went through about every imaginable form of medical procedure that we could afford. They realize now that some of the methods may have been cheaper alternatives."
The emotional stress was hard on them. When adoption became an option, they didn't know they were ready, but they began to study the process. They had met a young woman at their church and she knew of the Colts' struggle with trying to have a baby. Julie knew the young women was pregnant, still in high school, and was considering placing the baby for adoption. In the meantime Chris took a job as a habitat manager with the Division of Wildlife Resources in Price.
Julie struggled with the decision but one day she just called the young lady and the miracle began. The pregnant teenager said she had been waiting for the call and knew that this was Julie and Chris' baby. "She had been aware of this feeling for a long time and had even discussed it with her boyfriend," explained Julie.
They had only been in Price one week before they made the call and they almost immediately turned around and drove back to Nebraska thinking the baby would be born any day. They waited three weeks but finally baby Sarah was born. "We were there for the first cry and within five minutes the baby was placed in my arms and I knew it was my baby," recalls Julie, tears of joy swelling in her blue eyes. The teenager was very strong and excited about having the Colts' baby. A couple months before Sarah was born her birth mother called Julie on a cell phone from the doctor's office and let Julie hear the heartbeat. Several different times she called Julie and held the phone up to her tummy and let Julie say hi to the baby.
Sarah knows she is adopted, although her dad admits that she may not know for sure what that means. "We have tried to instill with Sarah that there are three ways children come into families, one is through marriage, another by adoption and the other is birth, and they are all equal," he explained.
Adoption is not new to the family. Julie's brother has four adopted children.
When the Colts decided they wanted another child the process began again. This time they used a process known as invitro fertilization. Through a series of shots they were convinced that it would work, even though they realized there was only a 30 percent success rate. "It was an emotional, expensive and painful process," says Julie, explaining that they were crushed and devastated when it failed. But they had already applied for another adoption by the time they heard the news that the attempt to get pregnant failed. They were told this sad news Dec. 15 and the following week, Dec. 22 they found out they were chosen by a birth mother and they would be getting a little boy.
It was their first real Christmas for Sarah and the news was an incredible present for them. The birth mother had selected them and "We met her face to face along with her mother," explained Julie.
Like the first meeting, this one too, was difficult and special at the same time, "There are so many unknowns and it was awkward," said Chris, adding, "But we could feel the amount of love for this young girl and knew she was making the ultimate sacrifice of giving up her most prized possession."
Chris says that Quinn from LDS Family Services was there and just when the conversation needed help he would ask a question and it turned out to be a wonderful meeting.
Another four weeks passed until the baby was born. "We were called to the hospital, but we could tell this birth mother wasn't as committed and sure that she was doing the right thing. "We could tell she was struggling with the decision." Under Utah law, a birth mother can sign the adoption papers once the baby is 24 hours old and once the papers are signed the baby can be placed. Final adoption is not legalized for six months pending visitations by family services. It is during this time period that the process of bonding and attachment take place.
But Julie admits that she knew it was going to work. "I knew in both cases that these babies were ours," she says. At one point Chris sat on the bed with the birth mother and held her, which broke the ice and she passed the baby to the Colts. During the process Quinn Nelson, LDS Family Services practitioner was extremely helpful asking questions and continuing keeping the conversation going.
"It was an act of total selflessness," explained Chris.
She was a high school girl, sobbing and emotional and at the same time knew that this was the right thing to do for the baby.
Little Sam will be two years old in January.
The Colts feel it was an incredible blessing to get both babies right from the hospital. Sam was only two days old and Sarah was two minutes old.
November was recently recognized as National Adoption month
Originally the purpose of the awareness was to dispel myths about adoption and focus on the normalcy of adoptive family life, as well as to call attention to the need for homes for hundreds of thousands of waiting children. But the awareness month is also about celebration and gratitude and hope. It has become a popular time to recognize the two factors in our society. There are many young girls who get pregnant before they are able to or willing to care for their babies and there are many couples who are able to and sincerely wanting to raise a child but cannot give birth for a variety of medical reasons.
In Southeast Utah, Carbon and Emery counties there were 109 births to women who were not married in 2002, upslightly from the previous year. Of these, 48 were to teens age 15 to 19 years old, while 41 were born to women between 20 and 24 years.
Approximately 1.7 percent of the babies born out-of-wedlock are placed. Adoption can benefit all parties involved, but most importantly, the child, according to LDS Family Services, an organization that acts as advocate to provide education and support to individuals and families involved in the adoption process monitor and promote positive adoption legislation, inform the community of benefits of adoption and assistance available.
LDS Family Services is one of a couple well-known agencies that young single expectant mothers in Utah turn to in a time of crisis. They offer their services free of charge to unwed mothers regardless of religious affiliation. The young woman's family, the birth father and his parents are also welcome.
"We answer questions and talk with them about the options they have, whether they're looking at getting married, single-parenting, or placing their baby for adoption," explained Quinn Nelson, a practitioner working at LDS Family Services in Price.
Nelson is joined in the Southeast Utah district with Glenn Farr, and together the practitioners cover the areas from Vernal to Moab and all of Carbon and Emery counties.
Although adoption is stressed as the most viable alternative, practitioners who counsel with the young women and their families realize it may not be the right answer in every case.
"We create a safe place for them to come and tell us what they want to have happen. If they change their minds, it's okay. Many are young women and men who are unprepared to be parents and just trying to decide 'what now?'
After a birth mother has placed her baby for adoption, LDS Family Services continues to help her be comfortable with her decision by offering follow-up counseling after the adoption takes place. Single mothers who decide on adoption are given the option of selecting the family they want their child to go. The selection process involves reviewing family photographs, reading letters written by the couple to the prospective birth mothers, and learning of their background.
National adoption month is just that, a time to reflect and realize there are agencies whose goal is to provide a safe place for the mother to come and talk. There are places where couples wishing to adopt a baby, can get assistance in the process, and best of all, there are people working hard to always place the child as a top priority.