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

Mike R

December 23rd, 2010
1:05 pm

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
12:55 pm

You seem to be a very angry person, cheer up dude!!

midtownguy

December 23rd, 2010
1:06 pm

I thought we were discussing Cynthia’s baby girl’s birthday. Oh well.

Happy Birthday, Carly. And all the best to you in the new year in your own version of the “Modern Family.” And the repeal of DADT was the best gift anyone ever gave my retired Marine partner. We are having a very Merry Christmas at our house.

Kamchak get a job already!

December 23rd, 2010
1:08 pm

December 23rd, 2010
12:35 pm

“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.”

Only a freaking fool would think that in 2 years that an able bodied man can’t find a single job- anything to do rather than while away on unemployment. And you Kamchump would be that fool.

It never ceases to amaze me that people that can’t speak a lick of English can travel 3,000 miles or more from Honduras to get a job here and support not only themselves but a family back home. And then there are people like Kamchump talking about native born Americans that say that in 2 years that can’t find something- anything to do.

One can only assume Kamchump is one of those fools who got “outsourced” by Jose from Honduras and who now spends his days whining on the AJC blogs. Its rather pathetic. Sad too.

They are the greatest gift

December 23rd, 2010
1:09 pm

Dear Ms. Tucker,
Merry Christmas to you and a happy birthday to your daughter. My wife and I (we are also “older”) adopted two newborns and they are the greatest thing ever invented/imagined. I hope you have a Happy New Year’s, too and that your family has a great 2011.

Kamchak get a job already!

December 23rd, 2010
1:11 pm

Mike R,

kamchump is a bitter old man. Spends all day every day whining about politics on the AJC blogs. One can only surmise he’s ticked that his social security or disability check isn’t as big as he wants it to be.

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

December 23rd, 2010
1:13 pm

Many Democrats are sure to keep telling themselves, as President Obama has, that “the outcome was a good one.” That conviction should comfort them as they continue to deal with the consequences arising from the intensity of the electorate’s rejection. The Pyrrhic victory Democrats secured for themselves in March 2010 may prove not to have been a victory at all but rather an ever-roiling, ongoing, and recurring act of political and ideological self-destruction.

And they haven’t learned yet.

Keep up the good fight!

December 23rd, 2010
1:16 pm

Whiner…or perhaps you missed the real lessons because of your blind ignorance to reality. Dont worry, 2012 is coming. Wait till you see what happens then.

Mike R

December 23rd, 2010
1:16 pm

Common Sense isn’t very Common

December 23rd, 2010
1:05 pm

You’ve got me all wrong. I know that people need unemployment when they get laid off. I know without that unemployment check people could be put in horrible positions. My whole point was only that 2 years of unemployment seems like a bit much. Sorry I even brought it up. I’m saying the system now could be tweaked and I think work much better than the current system in place. The argument is that if you extend unemployment does that promote people to not look for jobs as hard as they could be looking. Any I do believe that I could find a job that paid $300/week within a year. If that’s not the case than things are worse than I thought which could be possible. Have a good holiday and I enjoy your point of view.

Obama voter

December 23rd, 2010
1:17 pm

When Obama gonna put gas in my car or pay my mortgage? Still waiting……

keep up the better fight

December 23rd, 2010
1:21 pm

Keep up,

Did I just read that? Just wait till 2012? Serious? The community organizer just got thrashed in the last election and you’re saying just wait till 2012? U kidding? You may have a point though. If the community organizer can make enough people dependent on govt to where he has them under his thumb then sure enough maybe he will win re-election. We’re at 45% of the people not paying any taxes at all so maybe if he can get it to where 51% pay no taxes and are raping the 49% that do then yes- maybe he would in fact get re-elected. You and your fellow gumbent cheese cohorts can only hope.

Start treat results- the verdict is in

December 23rd, 2010
1:25 pm

Obama gives up US security while Russia gives up nothing. Just more of the community organizer at work to destroy the US.

I’ve oft wondered- Is this man trying to destroy the country because he hates it? Or is he not even intentionally trying to destroy the country but is doing so out of sheer incompetence? THAT is the question of the day.

Kamchak get a job already

December 23rd, 2010
1:27 pm

Where did Kamchump run off into? Did she run back into her little rat hole section 8 housing to hide from me?

Kamchak get a job already

December 23rd, 2010
1:28 pm

Been fun blasting the welfare mooching liberals out there. C-ya wouldn’t wanna be ya. I’ll be back to torment all you parasitic leeches again. Unitl then have a Merry Christmas. Ooops, sorry if that’s not politically correct.

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
1:30 pm

Did [he] run back into her little rat hole section 8 housing to hide from me?

No.

Another episode of one word answers to simple[ton's] question.

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 23rd, 2010
1:31 pm

Mike R@1:16 pm

I’m sorry I sounded so harsh before.

That comes from reading what some of the others are saying about the unemployed LOL.

If the unemployment roles were trimmed to get rid of the true slackers. (minimum wage earners w/o a family, living at home and not really looking for a job) then the TRUE unemployment rate would go down (not getting unemployment you aren’t counted as unemployed).

But the truth is that a large number of middleclass jobs have been offshored(not just outsourced) and the US gov’t has done nothing to stop this. Add to that the number of H1b visa holders still in the US with more to come. (not just in IT but across most industries (even Dentists are allowed in on this visa)) and the US is not protecting US jobs in ANY way.

What is the answer, who the hell knows anymore. But after 7 years of empty promises about the tax cuts creating jobs I know for a fact that isn’t the answer.

I have never disagreed with giving a tax cut for a business that truly creates jobs. It can go to 0% for those companies. But most of the others that benefit from tax cuts truly do not invest that money in US businesses. They invest in companies that have offshored and will continue to do so under the existing US trade laws.

And trading on the stock market is not an investment in a company (as many people think). The only time that money goes to the company is at an IPO or if the company sells stock that it owns and reinvests that amount in the company.

Demand will not go up in this country until jobs are created. Without demand companies cannot or will not hire and who can blame them.

Gm

December 23rd, 2010
1:39 pm

Mike R
A true American gentlemen, have a great Holiday and God Bless.

Gm

December 23rd, 2010
1:48 pm

Start treat results- the verdict is in: When will hicks like you learn America dont live in the world along. That cowboy mentality is why 5,000 Americans died in Ny 4500 American toops are dead.
The problem is with you supid idiots, you dont understand class, grace, this man is loved around the world except for you hooded klansman, who can not understand their is more to Africans Americans then playing basketball, football.
That idiot who was in office, destroyed this country image around the world and bigots hicks like you who never been out of your trailor is why America has a lot of work to do.

ronald

December 23rd, 2010
1:53 pm

“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”

It is amazing that so many people stay employed for 98 and a half weeks and then amazingly they find a job to support themselves once the gov’t checks stop rolling in.

ronald

December 23rd, 2010
2:06 pm

“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”

It is amazing that so many people stay UNemployed for 98 and a half weeks and then amazingly they find a job to support themselves once the gov’t checks stop rolling in.

JimW

December 23rd, 2010
2:10 pm

I wish you and your daughter Carly a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Birthday and a joyous New Year.

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
2:14 pm

It is amazing that so many people stay UNemployed for 98 and a half weeks and then amazingly they find a job to support themselves once the gov’t checks stop rolling in.

And you, of course, have statistics to back up the claim of “many.”

The Snark

December 23rd, 2010
2:16 pm

Happy Birthday to Carly and Merry Christmas to you and yours, Cynthia. The Snark pauses in his work this afternoon (the only one in the government office building!) to thank you for all your fine work this year. The fact that you did it while caring for a toddler raises you considerably in the Snark’s esteem. Somewhere in the next world, Ralph McGill is smiling.

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

December 23rd, 2010
2:34 pm

Whiner…or perhaps you missed the real lessons because of your blind ignorance to reality.

Keep UpChuk the Food Fight!- You may want to ask yourself what happened to your 1.3 Trillion Dollar Pork Festival and how you got left with some symbolic crumbs left in your hands.

Again.

Long as yer happy!, eh?

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

December 23rd, 2010
2:40 pm

Only to an ate up communist loving liberal does an arms treaty amount to a rat’s ass.

Only to a immoral cultural wasteland dweller would loading the armed forces up with sodomites create a feeling of satisfaction and excitement, ew.

Other than that, watcha got?

Zilch.

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

December 23rd, 2010
2:44 pm

obozo wrecked the dummycrat party for generations to come and now he parades around in victory over meaningless folly, hahahahaha, oh yeah, and I forgot, at 2:40, obozo also extended the Bush tax cuts that you libs shrieked and moaned about for 8 solid years.

And now you’re happy?

yeesh

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
2:55 pm

And now you’re happy?

No.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 23rd, 2010
3:18 pm

Not elated but happier than most of the past 10 years about the political situation…Of course, Whiner, the Dems have majority in the Senate and the Presidency and a good portion of House. The Republicans cannot pass a thing by themselves. Ya got your reality star and you have to try to undo what was done if you dont like it, a lot different than just stopping it. Those tax cuts are extended for 2 years so it will be a campaign issue…and most Americans were against them so now that does not bode well for your side.

But maybe you can get the witch to run again with the snowbillie. I always love the comedy.

Chris Matthews

December 23rd, 2010
3:27 pm

Never agree with you on anything but great story and wonderful thing you have done! Merry Christmas!

TruthBe

December 23rd, 2010
3:36 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARLY. May GOD bless you. JESUS CHRIST is LORD thy GOD, Merry Christmas to all.

TruthBe

December 23rd, 2010
3:38 pm

Shame on you Keeping up the good fight, this story had NOTHING to do with politics. You need to be QUIET NOW.

TruthBe

December 23rd, 2010
3:41 pm

Gm, F_ _K you.

Cutty

December 23rd, 2010
3:44 pm

The family values set can’t even show any decorum or class at Christmas. Sheesh

Kamchak

December 23rd, 2010
3:47 pm

Shame on you Keeping up the good fight, this story had NOTHING to do with politics. You need to be QUIET NOW.

When you start calling out others for doing the same thing, you will begin to have a point.

But until then, how about a nice big cup of STFU.

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

December 23rd, 2010
5:31 pm

Self-serving if ever. Stick to the news or take the day off. jeeze.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 23rd, 2010
5:48 pm

Uh oh….I must have upset someone by posting something they dont agree with…Of course, the 3:41 shows their real concern. I guess they are upset by the real truth.