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A Love-Filled Adoption

Susan Allen
Saranac NY USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 12 No. 3, May-June 1995, p. 92

We provide articles from our publications from previous years for reference for our Leaders and members. Readers are cautioned to remember that research and medical information change over time.

In September 1991, I met my daughter Christine's birth mother, a wonderful, energetic, happy person who in the face of many problems kept a positive outlook and thought only of the child she was carrying. She was pretty, intelligent and wanted me to adopt her, as yet unborn, child. What an incredible answer to prayer!

The baby was not due until December. How could I wait that long? There were so many things to do to prepare for the baby's coming. We had adopted-six-week-old twins twelve years earlier, and they, too, needed to prepare for a new addition to our family. Things were going smoothly, and the time was going by quickly.

Then on Thanksgiving Day, as we prepared to go to Grandma's house, a friend who's active in La Leche League called. As we chatted all I could think of was "What is she calling me for? She is as busy as I am getting dinner ready." Finally, she asked "Have you thought of breastfeeding the new baby?" Yes, I had thought of it but had gone no further.

Two days later she gave me THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING. I was so excited I bought a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) so the baby could be fed from my breast whether or not I was able to produce milk. To prepare my breasts, I started to massage and hand pump. I did this only at night, before I went to bed. While I massaged, I thanked God for the baby He was giving me and asked that I would be able to breastfeed. I started producing a few drops of milk right off.

After a while, I stopped pumping but kept up the massage. Christine was born in January 1992. She stayed with her birth mother for one week, during which time we also got to meet her birth father.

When Christine's birth parents brought her to us it was one of the happiest days of my life, as well as one of the saddest. I had been given the most wonderful gift that anyone could give, but the two very special people giving her up were hurting deeply. Even as I write this I have tears in my eyes because of the love that I have for this couple because of what they did for me and my family.

I started breastfeeding with the SNS immediately. Christine helped by wanting to nurse often and for long periods of time. After a week of breastfeeding my nipples became sore, and I fed her with a bottle. But after each feeding she spit up (as she had done with her birth mother), so I went back to breastfeeding. I gave her the exact same formula in the supplementer as was in the bottle, yet she never spit up after nursing at the breast. I called friends for advice, and the soreness went away.

Nursing Christine was a wonderful, love-filled time. I wished that I had been able to breastfeed the twins. My baby was totally dependent on me. We were inseparable and did everything together. The SNS was sometimes awkward but presented no problems that couldn't be overcome. My breasts did enlarge, and I produced milk. I continued to use the SNS until Christine stopped nursing when she was sixteen months old, and I was ready to stop also. She is a healthy, happy, loving child. Would I do it again? Right now I would love to wear that little bottle around my neck and hold a tiny baby in my arms.

I am thankful to La Leche League and especially my friend who introduced me to breastfeeding. The bonding and the love that I felt with my adoptive daughter as she nursed is indescribable.

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