||Last Updated: May 27th, 2019 - 13:51:51
A 21-month-old girl named Aliya has erased years of disappointments for Ronda and Gregg James of Weston with her adoption.
The Jameses pursued adoption after two years of trying to conceive and meeting with a fertility specialist. They spent many months considering whether adoption felt right for them.
"It's not an overnight transition," said Ronda James, 32. She said a lot of prayer led them to explore both domestic and international adoption programs before choosing domestic infant adoption through Catholic Charities.
"I guess we wanted to change diapers," James said. But over the course of three more years, their path was full of setbacks.
The Jameses were chosen by birth mothers six times before a young expectant mother in La Crosse decided she wanted them to raise her daughter. Then, after they bonded with the newborn baby while she was still in foster care, the mother changed her mind.
"I have had to make some awful phone calls," said Andrea Hoffman-Vosburgh, a Catholic Charities social worker who works with families in both Wausau and Stevens Point.
Ronda and Gregg were heartbroken until another change of heart led the birth mom to terminate her parental rights and Hoffman-Vosburgh explained that they would get their chance to adopt the baby after all.
When Aliya came home, Ronda said, "we just forgot about a lot of those heartbreaks."
Despite the dramatic change of events, Ronda said she thinks an open adoption is respectful of the birth parent and will benefit Aliya, who was named by her biological mother.
"It can't be hurtful to have another person to love a child," Ronda said.
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