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It was never a question whether or not adoption was the right decision for my baby and I, it was: would I find the right parents to adopt my child? At the beginning, things were much of a blur, and I don’t remember exactly when I began working with The Cradle. What I remember most is the day I met my first prospective family. Many people have since asked me how I initially chose Karma and Dimitri. Sometimes I think people expect me to go into a long tale of horrid meetings with other prospective parents, juggling back and forth between which family to meet first, and agonizing over “What if’s.”

The reality of my choice came down to two things. Upon reading their ‘Dear Birthmother’ letter I sat back and thought, “Wow, they are so much in love with one another!” Second was a picture, simple enough, but one that caught my heart. It was a picture of their cat sitting next to a simple vase full of real tulips in front of their fireplace. To me, it was an exquisite photograph of their life in full reality. I had poured over letters and pictures circulating around family, friends, and vacation spots. That photo spoke volumes on their character and heart.

I remember vividly the day I met the first family. My family and I had sat down to review Karna and Dimitri’s information before we set off to meet them. As we were about to leave, I said to my mom, “I’ll know right away if they are the right parents for the baby if they bring cookies.” This small gesture would show me an initial nurturing characteristic I felt immensely important in my decision to choose this couple as parents for my child. And sure enough, when I walked into the room to meet Karna and Dimitri for the first time, there sat a basket of homemade chocolate chip cookies.

I gave birth to Clea on Thanksgiving, 2000. I placed Clea a few days later, and over two and a half years later, I am still giving thanks. Karna and Dimitri have been the ideal parents for Clea. They have taught her the meaning of life, love, and the sharing of her heart. About a year ago, Karna, Dimitri, Clea, and I got together. They informed me Dimitri had been offered a job in Greece and they would be leaving for about three years. I went home that night rejoicing in the opportunity for our daughter to learn about her adoptive parent’s culture and experience a new and beautiful country..

Many people ask me if it was hard to place Clea up for adoption. My answer is always no. I am never sad or mad at myself. I am never bitter toward her new family. Not only has Clea gained an amazing life, but I have gained a new family. I could not ask for a more perfect path for my daughter. Clea is loved more than she may ever realize and for years to come I will relish in the tremendous opportunity her and I were given. And I’ll always give thanks.

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