Happy birthday, Carly Robbins Tucker!

It’s my daughter’s second birthday, and I have a party (four toddler guests! OMG!) to prepare for, so I’m signing off. I wish you the merriest of Christmases, and I hope you keep the spirit of the season — peace, joy, love, mercy, generosity — in mind as you comment here. Herewith, the story of my daughter’s arrival:

WASHINGTON — Two years ago today, my mother and I were stuck in a dingy motel suite in downtown New Orleans, eating take-out dinners and canned goods. Though we longed to be at home, she and I agreed it was one of the best Christmas seasons either of us had ever celebrated.
We were in the Crescent City to pick up my newborn daughter, who popped into the world a few weeks early. Her arrival sparked one of those classic misadventures as I set out by car, after midnight, for New Orleans — a comedy of errors involving a flat tire on a frigid night, a wee hours rescue by an old friend (thanks, Jim!) and hours of pacing at Hartsfield-Jackson airport before I could procure a flight.
The high (or low) drama all proved worthwhile. My daughter had arrived at a perfectly healthy, if tiny, five pounds and 15 ounces, with a set of lungs in no need of repair. Her smushed little face reminded me of an old cartoon character, “Atom Ant.” I thought she was beautiful.
My adoption story had begun a little more than a year earlier, after a decade of dawdling had finally forced me to make a decision: Do you want to forego the opportunity to rear a child, to know the peculiar joys that only motherhood can bring? Can you do this alone? Are you ready for the challenges, the sacrifices, the upsets? Are you too old for this?
I called my mother and asked her to have her prayer circle pray for me as I searched for an answer. She said: “Do it!” I said: “Don’t you want to pray about it first?” She said: “I will. Do it!” My mom only had one grandchild then, and she clearly wanted more.
My next phone call was to friends at Families First, a premier Atlanta social services agency. Founded in 1890 to run an orphanage for homeless girls, the charitable organization has provided a range of services to families since then, including home studies for adoptive families. I was sure its experts would bring me to my senses. Instead, I met nothing but enthusiastic support.
I needed it to navigate the adoption landscape, which has changed for the better since the old days of scandal, secrecy and sealed records. Not only have more lenient sexual mores eroded the sense of shame about out-of-wedlock pregnancies, but American culture has also expanded its definition of “family.” Adoption has become a legitimate route to parenthood for older couples, gay couples and singles, as well as traditional couples who want to exercise that option.
Young pregnant women who are seeking stable homes for their birth children have more options, as well. According to Chuck Johnson, spokesman for the National Council for Adoption, most domestic adoptions these days are at least “semi-open” — meaning the birth mother and adoptive parents have exchanged some identifying information.
As I started the process, social workers advised me to put together a short but photo-laden scrapbook to introduce myself to young birth mothers. I did, and I used various agencies and contacts to circulate my self-portrait. By late August, a private agency called to say a birth mother wanted to talk to me over the phone.
I bonded with K., a friendly and appealing but impoverished 20-year-old who already had a toddler. I flew to New Orleans to accompany her on a visit to the midwife, where I heard the baby’s heart beat on the ultra-sound. I was in love.
There were a few hurdles after that — the private agency proved less-than-forthright, the birth father proved uncooperative — that I cleared with the help of an able adoption attorney. Still, a low-grade anxiety accompanied me for months: Will the baby be healthy? What if the birth mother changes her mind?
There were phone conversations that I spent reassuring K. — who was getting grief from several family members and friends — that she was making a courageous and loving decision. She cried. I fretted.
But everything worked out well. The day after my daughter was born, a nurse at University Hospital put a tiny bundle in my arms and said, “Here’s your baby doll.” Today is my daughter’s second birthday, but I’m the one who received the awesome gift.

135 comments Add your comment


December 22nd, 2010
1:01 pm

My first thought was that I never heard you were pregnant, but then I read the story. Have fun at the party.


December 22nd, 2010
1:09 pm

Merry CHRISTmas to everyone on here as well.

I wish you the merriest of Christmases, and I hope you keep the spirit of the season — peace, joy, love, mercy, generosity” – and the one who this CHRISTmas holiday is about.


December 22nd, 2010
1:25 pm

Congrats on two years of motherhood, Ms. Tucker. Wishing you and your daughter happy holidays.

You realize of course, she’s entering into her terrible twos.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 22nd, 2010
1:26 pm

Best wishes, Carly. My baby returned from a seven-month deployment in the Arabian Sea this week, so we are celebrating alongside you, Ms. Tucker.

Ann Webb Deupree

December 22nd, 2010
1:32 pm

Hi Cynthia,
I just caught up with you on-line and was thrilled to learn about your new writing position in D.C., and especially about your little girl. You followed a courageous path to adopt her and I’m delighted to know you’re a happy family. Happy Holidays.
Ann (Webb) Deupree
(We met in Atlanta; I now live in Durham NC)

Keep up the good fight!

December 22nd, 2010
1:44 pm

Congrats on your daughter’s birthday and for your willingness to adopt.

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 22nd, 2010
1:45 pm

CT – wonderful story. All the best this Christmas.

Remember to wrap up some empty boxes cause a 2 yo loves to tear paper LOL


December 22nd, 2010
1:50 pm

Congrats on your daughter’s birthday. Tomorrow is my daughter’s 16th birthday, so I have a party to prepare for as well. How I wish it was for toddlers.


December 22nd, 2010
2:09 pm

“and for your willingness to adopt.” – Judging by some of the columns she’s written…I think it has to do w/ Cynthia not being able to find a guy to put up w/ her liberal jiberish.

David Granger

December 22nd, 2010
2:10 pm

Merry Christmas to you and your daughter, Cynthia. Enjoy her, because she’ll grow up way too quickly. Hope that 2011 will be the best year ever for the both of you.


December 22nd, 2010
2:15 pm

Incredible as it may sound, some people here will make fun of you and/or critize you for adopting. Pay no attention to them. You have done a wonderful thing and I can only wish so many more would do what you have done. Have a merry Christmas!!!

Herman Cain

December 22nd, 2010
2:23 pm

Congrats Cynthia. Now will you be raising the child as a conservative? Just kidding. Merry Christmas.

Kamchak's gerbil

December 22nd, 2010
2:43 pm

My daughter’s name is Carly – hope your Carly has a happy b-day.

granny godzilla

December 22nd, 2010
2:47 pm


2 year olds are a gas! It’s when they hit 12 that things get tricky.

Happy Birthday Carly…no throwing cake at your mama, ya’ hear!

It’s our first Christmas with our new grandson and 2 new granddaughters
and yes, we are truly and deeply blessed.

I know it’s corny, but wouldn’t it be great if we really could keep Christmas all year long?

May you all have a wonderful Christmas…..


December 22nd, 2010
2:53 pm

Two going on sixteen. They grow up so quickly. Enjoy.

markie mark

December 22nd, 2010
2:54 pm

Merry Christmas, CT…thanks for enduring us vile conservatives on your blog this year….

markie mark

December 22nd, 2010
3:03 pm

and Granny, you’re killing me….this is the first Christmas in 7 years of no grandkids in the house….isnt it funny how divorce is generational?…I didnt get the divorce but I sure am paying some of the bills….

markie mark

December 22nd, 2010
3:04 pm

by the way,CT….some two year olds will try to climb the Christmas tree….(just ask my Mom….CRASH)

Keep up the good fight!

December 22nd, 2010
3:10 pm

Pea…are you that childish that you have to attack Ms. Tucker on a personal basis no matter what? Aren’t you one of the first to whine about “attacks” on the Palin family? Really do learn some boundaries in life, think before you post and realize that even though many do not share your opinions they are still your fellow citizens, neighbors and countrymen.

You owe Ms. Tucker an apology.

Doug Flach

December 22nd, 2010
3:11 pm

CT-congrats on daughter, but it wouldnt be a real article from you w/o the mention of race. So, how many of those 4 toddlers coming to your party are white??

Selective Amnesia

December 22nd, 2010
3:14 pm

Happy Birthday?

Selective Amnesia

December 22nd, 2010
3:15 pm

Not sure why my previous post was eaten but here goes again: Happy Birthday little Carly, happy holidays everyone.

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 22nd, 2010
3:23 pm

Pea? Brain? Puppy?

2:09 pm
“and for your willingness to adopt.” – Judging by some of the columns she’s written…I think it has to do w/ Cynthia not being able to find a guy to put up w/ her liberal jiberish.

CT and I happen to be around the same age. She is just starting on motherhood a little later than normal.

You on the other hand should never have children until you grow up. Which if this post is any indication will be when Hell freezes over.

See and since you have said in the past you are married. I didn’t say one thing about your wife’s intelligence or lack thereof.

Now be a good boy and go back and repair a few more PCs

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 22nd, 2010
3:27 pm

markie mark@3:03 pm

and Granny, you’re killing me….this is the first Christmas in 7 years of no grandkids in the house….isnt it funny how divorce is generational?…I didnt get the divorce but I sure am paying some of the bills….

keep your head up (and hand of the scotch lol) I too will be missing the grands this among other things. But have hopes that in the new year things will get better.

Here’s to each of our hopes. Cheers


December 22nd, 2010
4:01 pm

” Aren’t you one of the first to whine about “attacks” on the Palin family?” – No. If your a Presidential nominee/VP whatever…all’s fair. It goes with the territory.

“You on the other hand should never have children until you grow up” – I know that already.

Mary Elizabeth

December 22nd, 2010
4:03 pm

Dear Cynthia,
What a heart warming story for you to share with readers. I know that Carly will be a beautiful woman one day with a mother whose heart is so full of love for her. And your mother’s strength and
wisdom is palpable through your words.

I am delighted to see that the negativity that is sometimes shown to you on your blog has not created walls, whereby you could not share your heart in such an intimate way. Thank you for the gift of your touching story. I wish Carly a very happy 2nd birthday party, and I wish you and yours a very joyous Christmas.


December 22nd, 2010
4:14 pm

“You owe Ms. Tucker an apology.” – when Tucker apologizes for the countless childish attacks on Republicans, sure.

Keep up the good fight!

December 22nd, 2010
4:19 pm

Pea…put on your man pants today and not the childs diaper. The tit for tat about “childish attacks on Republicans” is just silly.

False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR)

December 22nd, 2010
4:20 pm

Merry Christmas to to all! Thanks so much for sharing your heartwarming story of adoption Cynthia. You are indeed a special and blessed woman to have chosen to raise and love one of God’s little angels.

Boehner stole Beck's act. Boo Hoo WORKS!!!

December 22nd, 2010
4:22 pm

Cynthia could be raising a future president. It wouldn’t surprise me at all. There will be birthers then too, for ignorance is for the ages. But I’m sure there will be enough fine Americans around to overcome the dangerous mobthink of the Tea Party.


December 22nd, 2010
4:29 pm

Pea…put on your man pants today and not the childs diaper.

You’re asking waaaaaaaaaaaaay. too much from peapup. He hasn’t graduated to Pull-Ups® yet.


December 22nd, 2010
5:03 pm

Many blessings to you and your daughter! I am an older single mom of twin girls who will be three in January. They are the joys of my life!

Enjoy And cherish every moment! Surround yourself with family and friends who are supportive.


December 22nd, 2010
5:27 pm

Happy Birthday Carly! And special blessings to K., who made a decision with wisdom beyond her years.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

December 22nd, 2010
5:55 pm

Poor Peadawg.

He has issues with his own mother. It was a difficult whelping, and he was the runt of the litter.

It left deep psychological scars. As you can see, he’s not even house-trained yet.


December 22nd, 2010
6:13 pm

Kudos for being an adoptive parent. May you continue to bring each other great joy for all eternity. There will be times over the next 20 years you will question the wisdom of your decision though, but it will all work out for the good of mankind.


December 22nd, 2010
6:33 pm

Cynthia, wonderful story. You have shared parts of it with us previously. There is a book here if you are so inclined. If it happens, I hereby reserve my signed copy.

While you and I usually disagree on politics and government we have always agreed on the things that matter. And the story of your daughter matters.

Happy birthday to your Carly.


December 22nd, 2010
6:38 pm

Peadawg – to say I am disappointed would be an understatement. What you said is a disgrace to every true Conservative on the planet.

Cynthia Tucker, by adopting this child, did something wonderful for the human species.

Can you say the same?

Hootinanny Yum Yum

December 22nd, 2010
6:43 pm

DADT, 9/11 First Responders and START


Party of NO HoHoHo…

Merry Christmas Libs!!!

Shadowy Cabal of Free Speech

December 22nd, 2010
7:13 pm

Bravo Cynthia !!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !!

The new Congress is coming soon.

ObaMao had a nice little press conference this afternoon. Hawaii will be nice on Christmas Eve.

Good will to all.

C U in Jan.


December 22nd, 2010
7:36 pm

Can’t understand why anyone old attack someone who out of the goodness of their hearts adopts a child hopefully giving that child a great life. I have an adopted child and 4 of my own that I raised on my own for almost 6 years and the adopted one is loved as much as the others She is also giving me a grandson anyway now. Congrats ct. Happy birthday Carly


December 22nd, 2010
7:38 pm

barking frog

December 22nd, 2010
8:04 pm

Maybe abortion would go away on its own if every baby
was guaranteed a happy home. CAT you make us all
proud of our humanity. Happy birthday to Carly and
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both.


December 22nd, 2010
8:34 pm

Congrats CT, Hope you have an excellent Christmas!

Death of the Dollar

December 22nd, 2010
8:37 pm

You have fulfilled the biological imperative, by proxy, how very modern American of you! Congratulations.


December 22nd, 2010
8:42 pm

CT- I have read your column for years but until today have never been inspired to comment. You are an Awesome Lady!!! Happy birthday to Carly and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both.

Jim Bob

December 22nd, 2010
9:27 pm

Cynthia – Is there a baby daddy in the picture?


December 22nd, 2010
10:09 pm

I have a baby girl three years old, had her when I was 43 years old. She’s the love of my life. I know the love you are feeling. I’m so happy for you. Enjoy her and have a Merry Christmas.

Dave from GT

December 23rd, 2010
7:49 am

Doesn’t it warm your heart ? …… that the kid is already in debt for over $ 70,000 and growing ????/

Now that is hope and change !

Of course there is a father…… but who ?


December 23rd, 2010
7:59 am

Cynthia – your political viewpoints are all wrong….but I admire your decision to adopt and to give a child a much better life and future than that child may have had if it was raised up not being wanted and loved. Enjoy your little one and may God bless you and give you all the wisdom, patience, persistence, and grace you will need to be the best mother that you can be.

Call it like it is

December 23rd, 2010
8:08 am

‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.’”

“……That’s what Christmas is all about, Merry Christmas to you and your Cynthia and that goes for the rest of you guys too.