Bindu had dreamed of being a mother for as long as she can remember, and though she said she hasn’t found that special person to start a family with, she knew she was ready to be a mother and start a family on her own.
“Even though I wanted to get married and have a family, things didn’t happen that way. I worked really hard at school and as a physician. As I got older I still wanted to have children, and to me it wasn’t necessary that it be a birth child,” Bindu said. “I realized I was getting older and giving birth may have been a problem. Adoption had always been near the top on the radar, even when I was younger, it was always something that interested me; providing a family for a child through adoption.”
In 2008 Bindu began the adoption process by signing up for Adoption STAR’s International Adoption program though Nepal and spent over one year filling out paper work and waiting for a placement. Bindu said one of the biggest reasons she wanted to adopt from Nepal was that the Nepalese culture is very similar to her Indian heritage. She had also been to Nepal and felt connected to the country and people.
In late 2009 the Nepalese government re-opened their international adoption program, getting Bindu’s hopes up that she could soon receive a placement. However, in August of 2010 Nepalese adoptions were again suspended in the US. One of the major reasons was that the US and Nepalese governments could not confirm that the children who were considered orphans had actually been relinquished by both parents.
“I was heartbroken to say the least. Even now, if things were to change, I would love to go (to Nepal) and adopt a child,” Bindu said about the second suspension. “It took a little time to get over that, and then I switched to domestic adoption.”
Bindu said moving to Adoption STAR’s domestic adoption program was an easy decision because most countries do not allow single women to adopt internationally.
Once she switched from the international adoption program to the domestic program Bindu says she was profiled several times but wasn’t chosen. In June she went to India for a visit, and when she returned she received a call from Adoption STAR that one of the expecting mothers who had originally declined her profile had changed her mind and chosen her. This expectant mom was working with Kirsh and Kirsh, an Indiana adoption specific law firm who frequently works with Adoption STAR.
“I just about hit the floor. I was very excited; very happy,” Bindu said about hearing the news.
After speaking with the expecting mother several times, Bindu went and visited her and her grandparents in October. Because there was such a long time period between the beginning of the adoption plan in June, and the expected due date in December, Bindu thought it was best for everyone to meet in person to begin a relationship and get to know one another.
“I got to meet her grandparents and her four-year-old-daughter, and meet Vikram in her belly. It was nice to see where they were coming from and for them to put a face to the person they had only seen in books and heard on the phone.”
“(Vikram) was born at 9:14 am and I started crying. I got to hold him for the first time, and it was such an amazing feeling. His birth mother was great about the whole thing and wanted me to start bonding right away. She got to spend time with him as well.”
While Bindu and her parents were in Indianapolis, she says she formed a strong bond with Vikram’s birth mother that she hopes will grow through open adoption. She said the two have been texting back and forth and sending photos of Vikram, including a Christmas update.
Bindu said she was aware of open adoption before beginning her adoption journey but learned much more through her orientation and her own research. She knew that open adoption was something she wanted if at all possible.
“Identity is important to a child growing up. Even as an Indian-American growing up at a time where there wasn’t a lot of Indian-Americans, identity was important to me, and I hope open adoption will foster that in Vikram,” Bindu said.
Though Bindu has been dreaming of being a mother for many years, she says the reality of being a mother is better then she could have ever expected.
“I expected to have to take care of a child and teach him. You always think you’re going to love a child no matter what, but when you see your child in front of you, you can never imagine it,” Bindu said.
Bindu is taking some time off work to bond with her son but she will eventually be returning to work at the hospital and she said that she is very lucky her parents have offered to help with the day-to-day care of Vikram.
One thing she is looking forward to is watching Vikram grow and being a part of his life. “(He’s) growing up so fast, and I don’t want to miss a single moment of it,” Bindu said. “I really want to see what he turns out to be. I think he’s going to be a really good person.”
One piece of advice that Bindu has for anyone thinking about growing their family through adoption is to do a lot of research and looking into all of your options.
“(It’s important to) really look at what adoption is,” Bindu said. Be patient because it’s a process. Be open minded and open hearted to all possibilities.”
Though Bindu first imagined her adoption journey would take her to Nepal, the journey took a turn and she found her son through domestic adoption. It is hard to change paths and to tweak one’s vision for what they planned for, but with hope, support, education and flexibility, Bindu reached her dream of motherhood.
Congratulations Bindu and Vikram!
If you are interested in growing your family through adoption, please visit the adoptive parent section of the Adoption STAR website. You can also contact us toll-free at 1-866-691-3300 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photos are credited to Michelle Pinage, Waltham, MA.