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Once there were two women who never knew each other.

One you do not remember, the other you call Mother.

Two different lives shaped to make your one.

One became your guiding star; the other became your sun.

The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.

The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name.

One gave you a talent; the other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears.

One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.

One sought for you a home that she could not provide,

The other prayed for a child - and her hopes were not denied.

And now you ask me through your tears,

The age-old question unanswered through the years:

Heredity or environment - which are you a product of?

Neither my darling.

Just two different kinds of love.

- Author Unknown

How Adoption Became My Life's Work
by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
(Certified Open Adoption Practitioner)

I remember when we decided to adopt. My personality was and is "I've made the decision so let's do it - NOW!" In my life, if I wanted something, I could pick up the phone and call in an order, sign a check or ask my secretary to have it on my desk by noon. So here I sat with this overwhelming desire to be a mother and all this love to share with a child asking, "How do I complete this 'task' of parenthood by my deadline?"

The first week I drove myself crazy spending hours per day researching the process of adoption. The door was often slammed shut because we were too old; my husband was 40 and I was 30! Agencies turned us down because we were overweight, not married long enough, because I owned my own business and wouldn’t be a “stay at home Mom.” Sometimes it was; our income wasn’t high enough, we were not the right religion, we lived in the wrong county and the list went on. Nothing seemed to work. I had never had so many rejections in one week. I decided that if conventional methods wouldn’t help me adopt, I would network and do it myself. Through my persistence, I found and contacted sources that led me to other sources until I found my precious son.

Click here to read the rest of Mardie's story

Mardie Caldwell with her daughter and adopted son

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