Domestic adoption has created many families all over the United States. It's something that takes tremendous courage and love from the birth family, the adoptive parents, and the child.
Some potential adoptive parents worry about failed placements in domestic adoption. However, others leap into it with open arms, hearts, and hope. Debbie and Philip Schmidt of Ohio did just that when they adopted their son, Andrew.
Born two months premature and weighing only two and half pounds, Andrew faced numerous challenges. The tubes and respirator that Andrew was hooked up to didn't phase Debbie or Philip for a second. While acknowledging the challenges that often arise due to premature births, Debbie recalled saying, “I don't care, he's perfect!”
Both Debbie and Philip visited Andrew in the hospital every single day for Andrew's long, four month stay. They praised the neonatal doctors and the nursing staff at the hospital for their encouragement, support, and care of Andrew. They were very upfront about the possible risks, including brain damage and learning disabilities.
Andrew did have some complications, including hernias and lung problems, which required hospital stays. However, today Andrew is a healthy and thriving nineteen year old who has just finished his freshmen year of college!
Sometimes parents worry about how or when to talk to their children about adoption. This was not the case for Debbie and Philip. They have always been open with Andrew about his adoption. In fact, Andrew has two siblings that he'd love to meet one day.
Debbie fondly talked about fun childhood memories with Andrew, including family trips and cooking together. She laughed about the big messes they made in the kitchen and warmly said, “But you know what? It didn't matter, because we were having so much fun!”
As Debbie recalled some of their favorite memories of his childhood, one thing is crystal clear: she is extremely proud of and thankful for Andrew.
“We are so blessed. He is such an outstanding young man,” she said.
A loving couple and a wonderful son bought together through the miracle of adoption. Outstanding, indeed!