Our Heart Baby – By Jainee Gandhi…

Friend: But how will you bond, if she is not yours?

Me: What??? She will be mine.

Friend: ya but she won’t be from your tummy…

My Mister (let’s call him V) comes to the rescue.

V: The way your husband bonded with your child 🙂

I know you are wondering what this dialogue is about… She is a very good friend, and her intentions were not bad…

We adopted a baby girl, 2 months back…

Below is our story, learning’s and unlearning’s, some teachings, some ranting and most importantly a thought straight from our heart.

V & I have a boy (Aarav), he is six years old and the thought of adoption was always on our minds. We can very well go through the regular pregnancy and have another biological baby but no doctor can guarantee a girl. And I for sure cannot risk the chance of another boy in the house (wink emoticon). 

When Aarav turned 3, we applied for adoption… got a call, submitted few papers but withdrew our application in 3 months. The question was not adoption or not, we were wondering if we wanted a second one in such hectic lives of ours where I was juggling with setting up my own venture. 

And months went by and turned to year’s… on Aaravs 5th birthday, we had to give ourselves an ultimatum – whether we wanted a second kid or not. So we decided to take a rational decision and… we spoke to Aarav. He said he wanted a baby in the house and this time we were sure we wanted one too.

So I started checking with friends who have adopted babies… talking to people who have an elder one and the younger is adopted. 

Now I hate the term ADOPTED… What is Adopted??? The word has a negative energy surrounding it. 

Aarav’s school has this concept of Tummy Baby & Heart Baby, which for us is so beautiful to explain Aarav, all his younger friends and cousins. 

I will be very honest… we had all sorts of thoughts whether to go ahead or not and our parents had also expressed their concerns. My major concerns were what if am not able to love Aarav and her well, or what if the society is partial towards Aarav and doesn’t treat her well… 

V was very sure, he said nothing like this will happen. But well, men cannot think and overthink and stress like we do 🙂 

With a leap of faith that everything will be fine, we just went ahead and filed for the adoption.

Adoption is not a difficult process, but it surely is lengthy. As a friend rightly put it… it’s “the paper pregnancy”. 

There is a national website www.cara.nic.in (Central Adoption Resource Authority).

• To start the process of Adoption, you need to register on CARA and give your preferences of adoption homes.

 

• The adoption home you registered with will call you for a meeting / interview and if they find you genuine, will give you a list of papers to prepare and will also come and do a detailed home visit and study. The home study report is critical as it’s essentially your background check.

• Once that this done, the list of papers needs to be submitted in 4 sets. It is advisable if you submit the papers in the same order that is asked – it makes it easier for the lawyer and adoption home to sort things out and saves you time. There is a lot of paperwork and don’t get bothered by it… if you just make a list and divide the work, it takes just a few days to get everything in order.

• Now is the most difficult time, you have to wait until the adoption home finds a baby for you.

• Post that they call you to see the baby. Now many people feel that a couple of babies are in the room and go shopping for which one you like. Well, it’s not like that. At least, the place where we adopted from is very popular for matching the baby, so they got her in the meeting room and the moment we saw her, we knew she is ours.

• Once we give a go ahead, we have to go and meet the baby every day for bonding, so that she starts recognising us, gets familiar with us and the transition becomes a little smooth. 

• During this period, the adoption home files for foster care, and once the application clears, we can take the baby home 🙂

• 2 months into foster care, and then the adoption application that was filed comes up for hearing. This could take anywhere between 15 days and 6 months depending on court’s backlog. It’s the famous Indian Judiciary – so we just bear and live with it… and pray you are lucky that your turn comes soon.

• We just met our judge, last week and filed for official adoption. As a security, the rule is to make an LIC deposit in the child’s name, to secure child’s future. We will be doing it this week.

So that was our process, but it has changed quite a bit from 1st August 2015 – so please do visit CARA website for the latest rules.  

Anyways, in our life, once our baby was home, all our fears just vanished. The way she holds our hand, the way she throws tantrums to get Aarav’s attention, the way she cuddles up and sleeps… Lots of things.

Its just been 2 months, and we often wonder how are we so lucky to have her in our life. My in-laws, parents, siblings, friends, our neighbours, everyone we are associated with, simply adore her.

Few Learning’s along the way: 

– Aarav is small to understand the depth and difference between him and her, but if we are open to him and explain him like an adult, he can comprehend. We have been telling Aarav even before we filed for adoption that we are getting a heart baby home. 

– External society will say 1000 things to your face or behind your back… the best thing is to SMILE at their ignorance & IGNORE THEM.

– Husband and wife have to be on the same page and have the same thought process of why they are adopting.

– If you already have a biological child, it’s very important to keep him / her in the loop and make them feel part of the process.

– If you think adoption is a social service or if you are helping a child then please DO NOT ADOPT… give clothes, money, your weekly time to some NGO…. Adoption is NOT for social service… it is and has to be for you…

Our baby is 9 months today and we have named her Chahel. It’s amazing the way Aarav and Chahel bond… he has to kiss her good night before sleeping and kiss her good morning before going to school… and kiss her while playing… and lift her if she is crying… and sing a lullaby when she is cranky… and… and…

We cannot thank god enough for her. I think a child adopts you in so many ways than one can imagine. 

This story is to inspire people to get babies home, a report says that there are on an average 100 babies and just 8 parents. 

– Written by Jainee Gandhi on 28 August 2015

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Janki says:

    I must have read and re-read this story a gazillion times… But it always makes me emotional. I am so blessed to have friends like you V & J.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. vdgandhi says:

      Thanks so much… You are an inspiration by yourself… Feelings mutual for having you, krish and rudra in our lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sonal says:

    super jainee and vaibhav..you both have alwaz been an out of box thinking couple…courageous and positive outlook towards the most difficult situation..kudos to both of you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. vdgandhi says:

      Thanks so much…

      Like

  3. Dishita Vakharia says:

    Jainee, this is really inspiring. Thanks for sharing your story. If possible, I would like to meet your daughter and son:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hemangi Oza says:

    Vaibhav n Jainee…I have no words to say….for ur thoughts action truly…amazing….keep writing n motivating us!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. vdgandhi says:

      Thank you so much hema for the appreciation… You are a motivator in your self…

      Like

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