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

stands for decibels

December 23rd, 2010
8:18 am

Here’s hoping that the next fifty or so birthdays you celebrate with Carly (whether she happens to be near or far–hopefully more of the former than the latter) are similarly festive, Cynthia.

stands for decibels

December 23rd, 2010
8:19 am

And a Merry Christmas to you and yours. Almost forgot!

Fed-Up

December 23rd, 2010
9:06 am

Out of wedlock pregnancies have played a large part in the degradation of our society. Enough already. The studies have been done and it is fact that children from single parent households are not nearly as well adjusted as children reared in traditional nuclear family households.

TnGelding

December 23rd, 2010
9:29 am

What qualifies now as a nuclear family is radioactive dysfunction. But mothers are mothers and babies are babies. God bless them all. And each and every one of us during this special season.

Owl

December 23rd, 2010
9:33 am

Enjoy this time CT. This child will take you places you would never imagined. I too, underwent an awaking with the gift of children and the Clinton Ominibus bill of 1993. Alternative minimum taxes and responsibility for someones future other than yours will upgrade your outlook on life.

TnGelding

December 23rd, 2010
9:45 am

I always said a welfare mother was a mother first and we needed to do everything we could to see that she was a successful one.

Billyboy

December 23rd, 2010
9:53 am

Carly is very blessed child. Only God could understand adoption more. May more be adoptive into His family.

paleo-neo-Carlinist a/k/a Joe the Plutocrat

December 23rd, 2010
10:06 am

Fed-up, and what do your “studies” say about children raised with intolerance; rooted in delusional myths? oh, and please define “traditional household” and “nuclear family? (here’s a hint: you’re delusional if you lend any weight to the MYTH that such things exist). do you mean “traditions” such as alcoholism, marital infidelity, child abuse, mental illiness, etc.? OR, do you mean the “tradition” of having some undocumented servant raise your kids until they’re old enough to be warehoused in some highfalutin prep school? My sister (a senior executive with a Fortune 100 company) raised two sons as a ’single mom’. Both graduted from a prestigious midwestern university, with honors. One is finishing his MBA at a prominent eastern university, the other is a commodities trader with one of the largest brokerages in the world (he lives in Europe). OH, and I am a single parent and my child is doing just fine in her “non-traditonal” envrionment.

paleo-neo-Carlinist a/k/a Joe the Plutocrat

December 23rd, 2010
10:08 am

CT, Carly et al – Merry Christmas!

jlo

December 23rd, 2010
10:10 am

Happy Birthday Carly!!! Ms. Tucker take pictures and hold on to every memory because they do grow up so fast. You are blessed just for having courage to adopt.

Now to all, especially Peadawg, let Christ be apart of your Christmas. Let it be filled with joy, peace and much love. And, take my word, all the dump things done by both the dems and the repubs will be washed away. Stop anguishing over the dump things and enjoy the small wonders that HE has given. Blessed Holidays to all!!

ck hall

December 23rd, 2010
10:28 am

Have a happy celebratiion!

ken

December 23rd, 2010
10:36 am

Merry Christmas

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
10:41 am

atp

December 23rd, 2010
10:46 am

never agree with anything you say, but i have to say, i admire you for taking on a child and raising her. Cynthia, I wish you and your daughter the best, happiness, prosperity and health.

God bless you and Carly and Merry Christmas!!

Cynthia=HUSSY

December 23rd, 2010
10:48 am

They let hussies adopt now?

John Galt

December 23rd, 2010
10:49 am

I agreed with CT yesterday, and her post today is not offensive.

I am so confused right now……….

Gm

December 23rd, 2010
10:49 am

Merry Christmas to all, and especially to President Obama for the work he has done for middle class Americans and made 2 million Americans Christmas a little better.
Thank you sir, you are the best American President ever, thanks for caring ””

atp

December 23rd, 2010
10:51 am

and for once, can we appreciate a column in a newspaper for not being political and just being a celebration of life and family (however one defines it). this type of column is not the forum for political or moral attacks. A beautiful child was rescued by a woman with courage. We conservatives do not agree with pretty much everything Cynthia says about us, but this is not the place for pitiful revenge comments.

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
10:56 am

They let hussies adopt now?

Yep.

And she lets douchebaggy asshats like you post on her site.

Mike R

December 23rd, 2010
11:02 am

I didn’t know Democrats were allowed to say Merry Christmas, thought it had to be Happy Holidays… Do Democrats acknowledge the birth of Jesus?? I thought no??

Mike R

December 23rd, 2010
11:05 am

Gm

December 23rd, 2010
10:49 am

GM- You think Obama is the best president ever because of the extension for unemployment benefits?? Wow, that’s not a very good reason to think a President is the best ever, typical Dem idealogy though, if a President is handing over money to me for absolutely doing nothing I say he is the best ever!!! Ha Ha thats a joke!!

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
11:16 am

I didn’t know Democrats were allowed to say Merry Christmas

It’s painfully obvious there is a lot that you don’t know.

Keep up the good fight!

December 23rd, 2010
11:16 am

Mikey R…there are any number of Dems and non-republicans who believe in Christ and in the celebration of Christmas. Of course, you do realize there is no proof that Christ was born on 12.25 and that the date was picked to “compete” with a pagan holiday.

Let’s also be clear that there are other holidays during this season for other religions. So why is it that you demand that only your “Christmas” in all its commercial glory and distortion of the Santa Claus myth be celebrated and that some cannot recognize Happy Hollidays as a way of incorporating others. In a capitalistic world, certainly merchants can decide that Happy Holidays is inclusive of all.

The wonder of our system is that you are free to celebrate as you wish but you are not free to have government impose your beliefs on others. You may not like what would be imposed.

Van Jones

December 23rd, 2010
11:20 am

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 23rd, 2010
11:27 am

Kamchak@10:56 am

They let hussies adopt now?

Yep.

And she lets douchebaggy asshats like you post on her site.
——————————–

Kam

stop that.

do you know how much it hurts to laugh so hard and snort (outbound) HOT coffee through your nose LMAO

ResourceDiva

December 23rd, 2010
11:31 am

Thank you for taking the initiative (and time) to write this piece. I’m a single, 39 YO woman who is considering adoption, but I’m not sure how to get the process started. You’ve provided me with valuable information. I appreciate your honesty (as always) and your thoughtfulness with this particular piece. I’m going to talk to the Lord about this important, life-changing decision and go from there.

Enjoy your little one’s birthday and the continuous joy that comes with giving the world a new citizen armed with love, kindness, integrity, and values. May God continue to bless your (improved definition of) family. Have a great and safe holiday season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
11:35 am

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

December 23rd, 2010
11:38 am

Tucker is raising her child to be a democratic-voting liberal tree hugger. If she were a true great American, she would raise her child to be a GOP-voting conservative war mongerer and tax avoiding crusader for christian values at the expense of muslim values. I think this IS the forum for pitiful revenge comments that can even the score and make the hair-style challenged Pulltizer Prize winner cry like a little baby girlie mon.

Hey Cynthia: the late sixties called. They want the Janis Ian look back.

bwa (insert sneering emoticon here)

Rob

December 23rd, 2010
11:42 am

My wife and I are finishing up the home study portion of the adoption process, so it looks like 2011 will be the year we finally have children. Great story, CT. I hope I handle the obvious stress and pressure.
Merry Christmas, and I look forward to vehemently disagreeing with you in the coming year.

Toccoa Reader

December 23rd, 2010
11:45 am

Thanks for sharing such a nice story. Enjoy the birthday party! Merry Christmas!

Gm

December 23rd, 2010
11:48 am

Mike R : I understand Un Americans like you dont understand that a lot of people who are on unemployment have worked for years and lost their jobs at no fault of their own.
Obama has done more for this country in 2 years than Bush, Clinton combined. This is why I say your party is the party of satan, history will tell the truth.

Mike R

December 23rd, 2010
12:01 pm

Gm

December 23rd, 2010
11:48 am

Please be specific, what has Obama done?

Mike R

December 23rd, 2010
12:07 pm

What is Un American about working hard for what you have? My point is that many friends I know take unemployemnt simply because they don’t want to look for work. I’m not saying unemployment is not very important to have, but it is designed to help someone for the short term, not to be depended on for the long term. The current length of unemployment promotes people to not look hard for a job. The reality is you can find a job that pays you $300 a week anywhere. Try Mcdonalds or Wal-Mart. Making $300 a week is not hard to do. But, most would rather take the unemployment because it’s the easy way out. Do you think that you can’t find a job making $300 a week? If so, your are simply wrong.

Mike R

December 23rd, 2010
12:11 pm

Keep up the good fight!

December 23rd, 2010
11:16 am

I’m no religious fanatic, believe me! I actually think Christmas is more for children. My point was that I’m tired of left wing crazies forcing anything religious to be taken from society. I think by far the majority of Americans don’t mind a Christmas tree, but recently a local bank in my part of town was forced to take down a tree because it wasn’t politically correct. That to me is absurd.

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
12:14 pm

Do you think that you can’t find a job making $300 a week? If so, your are simply wrong.

Really?

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that many are turned down for these types of jobs for being over qualified.

Fang1944

December 23rd, 2010
12:16 pm

Peadawg
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.
————–
Christmas is not the time to spread the hate, and some one who posts as much gibberish as you should be able to spell “gibberish.”

Mike R

December 23rd, 2010
12:16 pm

Gm

December 23rd, 2010
11:48 am

“Pary of Satan”

I just noticed you said that. Wow, you must be a true left wing nut job. And I thought the Republican base were the crazy religious fanatics?? You seem to be very confused and your comments are way off base. Your comments are irrelevant now that you have claimed Republicans to be devil worshippers, I hadn’t heard that one before but nothing suprises me coming from a left wing nutcase, good luck with your $300 a week. I would start looking for a job if I were you.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

December 23rd, 2010
12:23 pm

A smug and beaming Obama declared at the signing ceremony for the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on Wednesday that people will look back and wonder why homosexuality in the military was a “source of controversy in the first place.” But people are more likely to look back and wonder why such an arrogant president who enjoyed total control over Washington for two years had to wait until a lame-duck session after his party got pulverized at the polls to pass the repeal.

That just shows the repeal is an elitist, not populist, victory, one which a future Edward Gibbon will mark down as yet another illustration of an insular political class’s delusion and decadence at a time of terrorism. This elite has long wanted to tear down the military and turn it into a laboratory of political correctness, and Obama has smuggled this gift to his friends through the backdoor of a lame-duck session.-Nuemayr, AmSpec

That’s what I’m sayin…

Mike R

December 23rd, 2010
12:24 pm

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
12:14 pm

I agree, it may not be easy to just walk out the door and find a job. But, over the course of a year I think I could find one. My whole point is that unemployment being extended to 99 months is ludicrous. I would bet the house I could find a job making $300 over the course of an entire year. Do you not think that you could?

TnGelding

December 23rd, 2010
12:32 pm

It’s simple, Pelosi and Reid, plus the need for 60 votes in the Senate. Ticks you off that the lame duck session accomplished more than most do in 2 years, doesn’t it?.

But have a Merry Christmas, anyway!

Keep up the good fight!

December 23rd, 2010
12:34 pm

My point was that I’m tired of left wing crazies forcing anything religious to be taken from society. I think by far the majority of Americans don’t mind a Christmas tree, but recently a local bank in my part of town was forced to take down a tree because it wasn’t politically correct.

Mike…its a shame you think protecting the Constitution is crazy or that religious matters should be decided by a “majority” and that you consider a “Christmas” tree to be the required symbol. In fact, I doubt your claim that an evergreen tree decorated with lights is considered a religious expression. However, if you want to mix in a manger scene or religious symbols, it is possible.

In the case of Chase Bank ordering the removal of a tree at a branch in Texas, there was no government involvement and therefore no 1st amendment issue. The company had a policy that only company-supplied decorations could be used. The tree was not companied supplied and the corporate offices required that corporate policy be followed. While it suits you and Fox to distort the truth to serve your purposes, I have heard many Foxies and wingers tell us about how government should not interfere in private enterprise. This corporation decided that rather risk that all of its many many branches may deviate and thereby create a situation whereby something offensive was used as decoration, it required its own branch to remove the tree. You can argue with a corporation determining its own standardized policy, but frankly, its rather silly to claim that somehow if merchants and others do not participate in the way you determine appropriate, that the Dems are responsible. There are any number of churches and other businesses that may decide a tree is appropriate. I’m sure your children have not been deprived by the act of a private corporation to decide how it wants to address the holiday season. They could have in fact chose to do nothing at all. That’s how freedom works.

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
12:35 pm

I would bet the house I could find a job making $300 over the course of an entire year.

Then you are more ignorant than I originally supposed as there are hundreds, if not thousands of people that have been unemployed for two years or more and would be more than willing, nay happy to make more than unemplyment.

But it is obvious with your implied reference to a supposed “war on Christmas,” the implication that the unemployed are too lazy to work, and the patently absurd notion that a bank can be pressured by “political correctness,” you are nothing more than a tool that can only parrot talk-radio bullet points.

Peadawg

December 23rd, 2010
12:37 pm

“and some one who posts as much gibberish as you should be able to spell “gibberish.”” – Thanks for the spell check mom.

Gm

December 23rd, 2010
12:46 pm

Mike R: Whats has Obama done? My friend this is what happends when you watch fake news(Fox)
Russia treaty, dont ask dont tell, tax cut for middle class, 911 health bill, please get away from Fox and read all the bills this great President has passed.
So every body that is getting unemployement do not want to take a job?
this is whats wrong with you Rep you stero every one whos is getting help.
Obama wants to help children who are sick, feed the poor, Rep wanted to block unemployment, 911 fire fighters bill, lets see which party cares about people?
and which party does not, how can you people sleep at night?

Mike R

December 23rd, 2010
12:48 pm

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
12:35 pm

The name calling really is pathetic. I completely agree that unemployment is vital for the people who truly need it. If you don’t think that it is widly abused though than your very naive…

kjg

December 23rd, 2010
12:54 pm

be thankful, at least this year, that the government will not come to your home to seize and redistribute your child’s gifts. : -)

Mike R

December 23rd, 2010
12:54 pm

Gm

December 23rd, 2010
12:46 pm

I don’t watch network news. I apologize to you, you took me the wrong way completley. I know it’s been tough for many thousands of people. I care about the sick, the poor, more than you know… I didn’t mean for this to become so serious, I wish you luck and hope you have a nice holiday season. Good luck!!

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
12:55 pm

The name calling really is pathetic.

You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that I actually care what you think.

BOB

December 23rd, 2010
1:04 pm

GM – russia treaty: no real debate, gave away the farm without a need to. 9-11 bill repubs had to scream about the added pork for other projects to be removed first. middle class tax cut- when did that happen? (gw cuts ). dadt – disregarded the input from the enlisted and nco troops and just publicized the remarks of the kiss-a$$ generals looking for another star.

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 23rd, 2010
1:05 pm

Mike R@12:24 pm

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
12:14 pm

I agree, it may not be easy to just walk out the door and find a job. But, over the course of a year I think I could find one. My whole point is that unemployment being extended to 99 months is ludicrous. I would bet the house I could find a job making $300 over the course of an entire year. Do you not think that you could?

——————————-

And you would be betting the house. $330 I think is the MAXIMUM UI benefit in Ga. I don’t know what the exact calculation is determine the benefit, but if you were making $60,000 a year the house you LIVE in may be above what $330 a week will pay for.

Even if you were to work to FULL time minimum wage jobs (and using all your energy doing them) you still may not make ends meet.

When I was between contracts (IT) I took minimum wages along with whatever UI paid, but it DOES NOT pay all the bills. Plus many minimum wage jobs are below 30 hours per week (CAN”T give the benefits to those slackers) so no health insurance etc.

Jobs are few and far between. Ga just announced that unemployment was over 10% at the end of Nov. Do you read anything besides the blogs?

If you and your family can survive on $330 a week good for you. If you have not been layed off a middleclass job then shutup about how many of your slacker friends love the extensions of UI benefits. Go talk to them about their ways.