Saving a Life with Adoption Services
From the time Amanda took her first breath, she was fighting for her life. Her mother had not received any pre-natal care. Instead, she had used cocaine during her pregnancy and smoked a pack of cigarettes every two days. Diagnosed with an intellectual disability and possible schizophrenia, her mother may not have known she was pregnant.
Amanda was born at home on a cold concrete floor; shivering and alone, she went into respiratory distress and hypothermia. Her maternal grandmother discovered the baby and immediately called the rescue squad. In addition to the respiratory distress and hypothermia, doctors diagnosed Amanda with an intraventrical hemorrhage, diaphragmatic paralysis, cellulitis, and intrauterine drug exposure. Because of her disabilities, the birth mother could not parent Amanda and she did not know the identity of the birth father.
The family felt that adoption would give Amanda the best possible future. After a hospital stay of 2 weeks, Amanda was placed with a foster family. She thrived as she began laughing and interacting with her foster parents. With her health improving, the Children’s Home Society of Virginia went to work on finding a permanent home for Amanda. However, because of her fragile state, Adoption Services social workers needed to find a family open to her risk factors. Doctors could not guarantee Amanda would not face learning disabilities or developmental delays, but they had no trouble finding a loving family. Robert and Josie gave Amanda her second home. When they met Amanda for the first time, they fell instantly in love. One look into her eyes, and they knew that this was their child.
Amanda continues to flourish. Thanks to the commitment of Adoption Services social workers and the loving care of her foster family and adoptive family, Amanda has a bright and promising future: one filled with love, support, and endless opportunity.
From 2016 to 2017, Rappahannock United Way funded programs will help 85 birth parents, foster families and adoptive families receive training and support needed to ensure that babies have a stable family and healthy beginning to life.