As a mother of two boys via adoption, I am leery about adoption stories, which usually relate perfect couples adopting perfect babies, or Hollywood couples adopting trophy babies.

None of these stories seem to see the joys and problems of parenting children, nor that many children placed for adoption are imperfect or are scarred from pre adoption problems, the very reasons that they were placed for adoption in the first place. This is especially true for many US babies/children, who have been abused in utero by drugs or removed from a terrible home environment.

I date back to the “Good old days”, when the main problem was what we now recognize as “fetal alcohol syndrome“. But twenty plus years ago, a worse problem arose: Crack babies.

Yet although Cocaine/crank does cause miscarriage and premature birth, some doctors suspect much of the hyperactivity is due to other causes, such as malnutrition, cigarettes, alcohol, other illicit drugs, or all of the above.

So today’s mother’s day story is that of a crack baby who was adopted many years ago. His parents took him even though doctors painted dire prophacies that he would be retarded, and took care of him through the drug withdrawal and the other problems from his birth mother’s addiction:

Pawley won’t forget those first nights looking down in the crib and seeing D.D. crying and squirming, curled up tightly in a fetal position.

Or the hours she massaged his body to relax his muscles and uncurl him.

Or the nights she and her husband, Dale, didn’t sleep because D.D. didn’t sleep.

“We’d hold D.D. all night, hold him on our chests so he could hear our heartbeats,”…. teaching.”We started him with words and listening to classical music. We showed him colors – Legos, blocks, anything that would stimulate him. Everything but television.

“By the time D.D. started kindergarten, he could already read,” she said. “He still had a sleep disorder and some motor-skill problems, but academically he was excelling.”

And the result?

D.D. said.

“She was willing to sacrifice so much for me.

“I know I’ve gotten my perseverance and resolve from her. She taught me you only lose if you quit and give up, and that’s something I would never do.

“She’s my rock, and I love her.”

With that, the kid who came into this world a crack baby with two strikes against him gave his mother a hug and kiss before walking off to receive his degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Leaving his mom standing there with tears in her eyes…


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her web page is Finest kind Clinic and Fishmarket 

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