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Adoption Miracles

Ron Reigns:

Welcome, and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into adoption issues from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and yourself because if you can’t take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of that kid, and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

And I know my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion. Give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I am the executive director, president, and co-founder of Building Arizona Families adoption agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation, and the creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption, and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife, an adoption attorney, and I can combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Ron Reigns:

Let’s focus on the miracle of adoption and the miracles within adoption. According to dictionary.com, the definition of a miracle is an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause; such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God; a wonder; a marvel; an excellent or surpassing example of some quality.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Working in the adoption world for almost 16 years and living in it for 47, I have seen miracles that I may not believe if I didn’t have the documentation or see it for myself. Sometimes miracles may not be miraculous for a person not involved in the miracle. Still, sometimes something so unique happens it’s just too life-changing to forget. I’m going to share some stories of real people. Still, I will change any identifying information to respect their privacy. I want to ensure they can maintain their privacy and not be out there.

Ron Reigns:

Outed, as it were. Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. One of the first ones that were a miracle, I mean a miracle, we had a couple that came to us, and they were about four and a half months pregnant with twins. The birth mother had to have her ovaries removed in her early 20s. I think she was now 23 or 24. She had both ovaries removed, and therefore she could not get pregnant.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Fast forward a couple of years, and she has a lot of stomach issues. Her stomach’s getting bigger, and it’s getting hard, and she does not understand what’s happening. So they take her in for an ultrasound and say, “You’re pregnant with fraternal twins.” There are two sacks-

Ron Reigns:

Wow.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

which means two eggs.

Ron Reigns:

Without ovaries.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Without ovaries. As we know, eggs are in the ovaries. So she not only gets pregnant, but she gets pregnant with two eggs. She’s got two babies, two sacks.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When the ultrasound tech scanned her, she said she and her boyfriend were blown away. She said, “That’s impossible.” As the lady scanned her, she said, “That’s impossible because I had my ovaries removed.” The ultrasound tech says, “Well, there’s baby A, and there’s baby B.” What they surmised must have happened, and I don’t know how this works; I’m not a doctor, but maybe some of the eggs were floating around somehow in her, and they both happened to connect simultaneously.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Anyway, she gave birth to fraternal twins. Because they had not believed they could get pregnant, they had established their lives and their future and what that would look like and decided they didn’t want children. They were going to move on with their life plan, so they became an incredible blessing for an adoptive family. But the fact that these babies were created like this, again, I wouldn’t believe it had I not seen the medical records.

Ron Reigns:

Right. It is-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I would’ve said, oh-

Ron Reigns:

An absolute example of a miracle, especially by the definition I just read. Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. The fact that fraternal twins, two of them at the same time, it’s just I’ve heard story after story of birth control failures. I had one woman who had her tubes tied, and they untied. She was the 1%. If you don’t get it cauterized, I guess there’s that 1% chance, and she was the 1%.

Ron Reigns:

Wow.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But this, this was a miracle. Every birth in my mind is a miracle, but this was astounding. In my opinion, those babies will go and do something great, Pulitzer Prize winners. They will help create world peace and find a cure for the common cold. They’re going to do something unique because they’re supposed to be here.

Ron Reigns:

Well, that brings up something interesting. Have you kept in touch with this adoptive family and the birth mother? Have you-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The birth mother, no. She has since faded away. The last time I saw them… I’m not even sure they’re still in the state because they lived in Arizona. I bumped into them at voting-

Ron Reigns:

At the polls.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. But no, that was a while ago. No, I haven’t seen them since.

Ron Reigns:

How old would these kids be now?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I would say between seven and 10.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. Now, by what you said just a little bit ago, that is a lot of pressure, too, “Wow, I better make something special of my life, or boy, I’ve let some people down, like Kelly.” If you’re listening, no pressure, but we expect big things.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Isn’t that amazing, though? What a miracle.

Ron Reigns:

It is incredible.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, just an absolute miracle.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Another favorite story of mine, and this one touches me because it’s one of those they say, “Oh, all the stars aligned, and it just happened.” We had a family that, unfortunately, had had a disruption. They were a younger couple. Financially, they were struggling after they had had the disruption. They were like any other adoptive family, just crushed, just devastated, had gone all the way to the end, and were struggling. They said, “We don’t know that emotionally we can go through another pregnancy like this. We’ve already struggled with fertility and so forth.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Ironically, again, a miracle happens. We have Safe Haven laws in Arizona. Safe Haven laws allow you to take a newborn to a designated haven location, leave the baby with a Safe Haven provider, and walk away anonymously. There are no repercussions or anything else. As an agency, we are on a rotating list of providers that get calls when there’s a haven baby to go pick up the baby.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s December. I won’t say what year, but it’s December. We get the phone call, so I drive to pick up the baby. It’s beautiful and healthy. She was tiny. She was in the five-pound range, a baby girl, a newborn. When you get the call, you have to go right then sometimes, if they’re discharging, and pick her up.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I picked her up and talked with our match coordinator and adoptive parent case manager supervisor. They went through the family list to determine which family was interested in this baby. As we go through the list, we’re getting medical records because they did the entire check on the baby at the hospital to ensure it was healthy and okay; I had said, So close to Christmas. This baby’s just beautiful; I said, “Since she doesn’t have a name, I’m going to call her Noel,” because it was close to Christmas.

Ron Reigns:

Indeed, the holiday. Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The case manager for the adoptive family said, “What did you say?” I said, “I’m going to name her Noel,” just temporarily, not officially. She goes, “That’s what the nurse named her.” I said, “What?” She said, “That’s what the nurse named her.” I thought, “Okay. All right.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So we had her, and the adoptive family, the one that had this disruption, was so excited that they could come out within the next 24 hours and pick up their baby girl. Just darling. She was beautiful and healthy. I got to see her about seven or eight months afterward when we flew to the state where she resides. I have to say; it brought tears to my eyes that they kept Noel as her middle name. I thought that was an incredible story.

Ron Reigns:

That is touching. Thank you. Thanks for sharing that with everybody.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. The next one is not about a newborn. When we started the agency, we were doing international and domestic adoptions, including the newborn program. We had a family that came to us and said, “Hey, we found two boys in another state, and we would like to adopt them.” I said, “Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah, we don’t have that type of a program.” They said, “No, this is what we want to do.” I said, “Okay, we don’t do that.”

Ron Reigns:

Do that.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. He said, “Well, figure it out.” I remember thinking, “Okay.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So Angie, the other founder, and I put our heads together and thought, “Well, I guess it’s doable. Let’s look into this.” So we looked into it. We contacted the case worker in the other state who had the two. They were set on these two boys. The caseworker approved their home study. They got the required classes. They flew out to the state, met the children, fell in love with them, and came back, looked at us, and said, “Okay, let’s get going.” That was the beginning of our interstate family forever program.

Ron Reigns:

Wow, so-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It wasn’t something that we said, “Okay, we’re going to start this.” It was something we were told we were going to start. Since then, many, many, many children have come home from other states through this program because of this one persistent adoptive father who-

Ron Reigns:

Who just said, “You’re doing this. Figure it out. You’re doing it. You’re going to help me to get… You’re going to facilitate this.” And now it’s become a program. That’s fantastic.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Boys came home, and it worked. Yeah. I think it’s a miracle because this wasn’t something on our radar.

Ron Reigns:

Right. It wasn’t.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Our agency was very new. I couldn’t even say it fell in our lap. I would say it was dropped in our lap and told us to do something with it. There was some reason. Because of him, so many children have exited the foster care system and gone into forever families because of what he did.

Ron Reigns:

That is a miracle.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes.

Ron Reigns:

It’s not having twins without ovaries, but it is a miracle because it has changed so many lives for the better. Good job for you guys, Because I often think we look at situations like that and say, “It’s not our forte. We’re not going to continue with that. You’re on your own. Good luck.” Instead, you almost took it as a challenge and made it something incredible for other families. Good job.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And other children.

Ron Reigns:

And other children.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The next one is a story of a birth mother. This birth mother was with us for most of her pregnancy and did not have any family support. They were very anti-adoption. They wanted her to keep the child. She knew that Child Protective Services was going to get involved. They had been involved with some other children, and she wanted to place this baby with the adoptive family she chose.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

She was very torn because her family was very against this. As a mother, you know what is best for your baby, yet you don’t want to disappoint your mother. This internal struggle was hard for her. She was dead set on her adoption plan.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

About two weeks before she gave birth, she left the state and went to another state. When I explained to her that to do the adoption without having to get all kinds of attorneys involved, and it gets messy when this kind of thing happens, we have to have her in Arizona sign paperwork. In other words, you have to go through a whole interstate compact placement. There’s a lot of paperwork. A lot of people get involved.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I was hoping that she would come back to Arizona before she delivered. She said, “No, I can’t.” I said, “Okay.” She said, “Tell the family I got this.” I thought, “Okay.” I watched something that I had never seen.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What this woman did was she had the baby in another state. She had the adoptive family fly into the state she was in, and we also flew out a case worker because we had to have somebody present. They rented a minivan. She left the hospital with the baby. She drove all five of them, six of them with the baby, in a minivan back to Arizona. She cares for the baby the entire time she is in the minivan. She’s holding the baby and talking to the baby. They’d pull over to a rest stop. We don’t recommend breastfeeding because it’s bonding. She’s breastfeeding the baby.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The adoptive family asks the caseworker, “Is this going to happen?” She seems pretty attached. She’s a good mom with this baby. We never guarantee anything, so we’re saying, “We don’t know what’s going to happen.” They get closer to our office, which has now been 72 hours since the baby was born. She has the baby in her care and custody. When they get to our office, she says, “Okay, I’m ready to sign the paperwork.” She signs the paperwork, kisses the baby, hands the baby to the adoptive family, and goes home.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When I asked her afterward, I said, “Why did you leave the state and do this?” She said, “I knew that adoption was the best choice for my child. I knew that. I knew my family would never accept me or forgive me if I placed my baby for adoption. So I had to tell them that the baby didn’t make it, so my baby could have the life I wanted my baby to have.”

Ron Reigns:

That is powerful—such a heartbreaking situation. As you said, we always want to see that supportive family. Still, it’s incredible for her to be determined to make this happen. Like you say, breastfeeding over from the other state to here is quite a story. Thank you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes. That one I will never forget as long as I live. That one was the most determined woman I have seen. I hope one day somebody makes a movie about her because that was She was solid. She was solid in her plan, and nothing was going to stop her, and yet-

Ron Reigns:

I know how you handle challenges. Why don’t you make this movie? You could be a director now, not just the director of Building Arizona Families.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I’ll leave that up to you. That’s you, your forte. Your forte is the movies, so that’s all you. It’d be a good story.

Ron Reigns:

Oh, no.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’d be a good story for a movie, really would.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely. Wow, that’s powerful. Thank you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes. I’m not going to go into my whole reunification story. Still, I’m going to end with this story because, in my mind, it was a miracle that this happened. The part that was a miracle was how I found information about my birth mother.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When I decided to Like I said, I’ve talked about this in bits and pieces in the past; when I decided it was time to search for her, I let my adoptive family know that I would start searching. They gave me the name of the adoption attorney. I reached out to him first and said, “Hey, I’m interested in my file. Can I have it, please?”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

He said, “I wasn’t really an adoption attorney per se. I was an attorney, but adoptions really weren’t my specialty. I was colleagues with the doctor that was the family practitioner that also delivered you.” How weird is that? “So he called me and said, ‘Hey, I have a 16-year-old who’s going to deliver any minute. Do you have a family that may be interested in adopting?’”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So I asked him, asking, “May I have those records?” He said, “You know what, I burned them.” I said, “Excuse me?” He said, “In a bonfire. I took my files because I’m no longer practicing ” By now, he’s older, and he’s no longer practicing, so I guess the old school is to burn them rather than shred them. Anyway, so they were burned. I thought, “Oh, okay.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I asked him for all the information he remembered, which was next to
Nothing. She was 16, and her mother wanted her to do the adoption, and she came in very late in her pregnancy. I thought, “Okay.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I then went through I sent the letter off in the petition to try to open up my file with the court. What was interesting about that is the attorney that facilitated the adoption had a daughter that lived in Arizona, where I live. Ironically, he was coming out to see her in two weeks.

Ron Reigns:

Hmm.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. He said, “May I take you to dinner?” I thought, okay, kind of weird-

Ron Reigns:

Why not? Sure.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But sure. Then my adoptive mother disclosed, which I had not known, that she had been sending Christmas cards and pictures to him every year, so he watched me grow up. He wanted to come out and meet me, and he did. I was hoping that he would surprise me with some more information, but that wasn’t the case.

Ron Reigns:

Unfortunately. Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. It was a nice dinner with him and his daughter. It was nice. She was older than I was, and it was lovely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I’m proceeding with the court. I get the first paperwork back from them, and I have to fill out another form and send it back. When I called to check on it, I was talking to the court clerk. I said, “Do you know?” She said, “To be able to open your file, because it was a closed adoption, your mother would’ve had to come in and sign a release, and that’s the only way we can do this.”

Ron Reigns:

Pursue this. Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I remember thinking, “I doubt that that happened.” Do you know what I mean? I doubt it. She was 16. I’m sure she just moved on with her life.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I waited maybe two more weeks, and then I couldn’t wait any longer. I called back and said, “Can you check for me? I sent the paperwork back in. Is it approved?” She said, “We had 20 requests today, and you were one of seven that had a signature on the file so that we can open up your file.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I remember thinking, “I don’t win at anything. I don’t win at the lottery. I don’t win on scratcher tickets. I don’t win at games. I never win, never, but I won this time.”

Ron Reigns:

The one that mattered. A scratcher ticket or even the lottery can be life-changing, but this is amazing.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. My mother had gone down. You can get your file when I think in that state, I don’t know. You have to be, I think, 18 or 21. And my mother had gone down when I looked at the date. I think I was 22 and a half, something like that.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

She had written on the paper, “I have never stopped looking for you. You have two brothers. Please contact me.” If you picture a court paper, a formal court paper, well, she decided that she was just going to write a note all over the court paper. She wrote this note on the court paper saying this, which was terrific. Do you know what I mean?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That was just a miracle because I didn’t think I would’ve even been on her mind at that point. In her mind, it was a miracle because she reached out to here’s a blast from the past, Unsolved Mysteries, and sent them a letter asking if they could help find me. She did all this and then waited.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Then when I received my original birth certificate, it took, I think, about two or three weeks, even with the help of a private investigator, that I found her before he did because she’d been married multiple times, and so the names kept changing. On the birth certificate was her maiden name.

Ron Reigns:

Wow.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That’s kind of my miracle.

Ron Reigns:

Speaking of your story and miracles brings me back to your previous story about your interstate program and how it was created. For instance, you even going into adoption, it’s probably not a field you would have, other than your adoption story, as well as, and not more critical, but just as important, the Donna K. Evans Foundation would not have been started. I think, to so many people, Building Arizona Families, and the Donna K. Evans Foundation have been a miracle in their lives. Just the tiny seeds that grow into something huge years later affect so many people. I want to commend you, your organization, and all your organizations because it is fantastic, and you are changing lives.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. Suppose you’re listening and dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption. In that case, Building Arizona Families is a local Arizona adoption agency available 24/7 by phone or text at 623-695-4112. That’s 623-695-4112. We can make an immediate appointment with you to start creating an Arizona adoption plan or get you more information. You can also find more information about Building Arizona Families on their website at azpregnancyhelp.com.

Ron Reigns:

Thanks also to Grapes for allowing us to use their song I Dunno as our theme song. Birth Mother Matters in Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us. We’d appreciate it. We also now have a website at birthmothermatterspodcast.com. Tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. For Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I’m Ron Reigns.

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