This story begins with when me and my husband got married in 2014. We were excited to just be together and to start a family. Things didn’t go quite as planned after finding out I had unexplained infertility. We had suffered a miscarriage and were still unable to get pregnant so we decided to see a fertility specialist. We traveled often two hours each way to the clinic, spending thousands on treatments. After 3 IUI’s that were all unsuccessful, my doctor thought it was best to start the process for IVF. We paid our deductible and the medicines were ordered. My doctor advised that I take a pregnancy test before starting the injections and to my surprise I was already pregnant. Unfortunately, that pregnancy ended in another miscarriage and I had completely given up hope on ever being a parent. I started birth control and decided that it must have been God’s plan for me to move on.
Fast forward a few months. We moved to Chicago to start fresh and get away from the stress of “baby-making”. We just wanted a new environment with fun things to do to take our minds off of everything we had been through.
Shortly after the move, I got a call saying that my sister was in prison and my niece (who was 2 at the time) needed someone to stay with. Of course I said to bring her over. This was supposed to be a temporary situation but weeks turned into months and we grew a strong attachment to Azzy. The other family member asked us if we wanted to continue to take care of Azzy since she has been making a good transition with us and we couldn’t say yes fast enough. It has now been 2 and a half years. We truly believe it was God’s plan. That we didn’t need to physically create a child in order to be parents.
Currently, we have guardianship but with my sister’s release date from prison approaching, we want to move forward with adoption.
My sister was charged with Aggravated Battery against a child with Bodily Harm, a felony. This incident took place with another child so she did not loose parental rights of my niece. This means she still has rights to my niece when she gets out and can fight me for custody, which she has given the message to family members that is her plan.
Our plan is to hire an adoption attorney to move forward. My husband, Danny, works as a carpenter and has had a few lay-offs this year due to the recent pandemic, making it difficult to save money for the adoption. I am a full time cosmetology student with only a few months left but I am having to pay tuition out of pocket. Azzy is not in foster care so we do not receive any kind of state assistance nor do we want the state involved, especially after how poorly the case was handled with the other child who was abused.
We are asking you guys, our friends and family, to please help us be able to keep Azzy. She has made so much progress since being here. When we first got her, she wouldn’t even speak for weeks. She was delayed and had just learned to walk after her 2nd birthday. Her being pulled from our home would cause her a great amount of anguish. She is only 3 weeks from her 5th birthday and would not be understand why her life is being ripped apart, especially since she hasn’t had contact with my sister during these years.
Adoption in the US is very expensive and we have been told we need 4,000$ - 4,500$ to BEGIN the progress to retain the lawyer and have the initial petitions filed for relinquishing parental rights.
Thank you guys so much, any amount helps greatly.
- Megan Smith
- Nathalie Ortiz
- Alexandria Kostansek
- Kirsten Nelson
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