We like to think that all of the clients we have the privilege of serving at Catholic Charities of Dallas are a miracle. But, one client in particular that we would like to share with you holds a special place in our hearts and reminds us all that miracles really do happen.
In our Maternity and Adoption program through our Professional Counseling and Children’s Services Division, one of our caseworkers, Elizabeth Lindner, received a phone call from a social worker at Arlington Memorial Hospital stating that there was a woman who wanted to place her child for adoption. The social worker informed Elizabeth that the baby was born on March 18, 2010 and was currently in the NICU. Elizabeth headed to the hospital right away to speak with the birthmother, which on arrival told her that adoption was the right thing for her and her baby, who she had named Justin. The birthmother’s husband recently lost his job and she knew her financial situation was not good, so decided adoption was best in order to give Justin the proper care necessary and felt it would give a loving couple the chance to have a family.
Elizabeth knew Catholic Charities of Dallas’ Maternity and Adoption program knows there is a family for every baby. Every child deserves a loving home and parents who will support them. The only thing Elizabeth knew at the time was that the baby was in the NICU and extremely sick. After the birthmother signed a release of information allowing the hospital staff to inform her of baby Justin’s condition she finally learned everything. Justin was born six weeks premature. He has a cleft palate, dysmorphic hands and feet, a recessed chin, and lowered ears. Justin also had an infection in the blood, lungs, and heart at the time of birth. Elizabeth’s heart went out to Justin after hearing of his serious condition which only fueled her fire to find him a loving family no matter what his odds were.
Elizabeth met with Program Director, Cindy Newton, and they decided they would present him to all waiting families at the upcoming Adoptive Family Support Group meeting. On March 24, 2010 Elizabeth received a call from Arlington Memorial stating that Justin was being transferred to Cook’s Children’s in Fort Worth to better take care of his needs. While awaiting an adoptive family for Justin, our Transitional Care mom, Diane went to visit Justin almost every day and called to get updates on his condition.
The day came for Elizabeth and Cindy to present Justin to the waiting families and so they put together packets of information for the families which explained Justin’s medical condition, it gave pictures of him and it also included a journal of notes from Diane from every day she visited. The families were given the packets and told to contact Elizabeth if they were open to adopting Justin.
Elizabeth arrived at work on the Monday after the long Easter weekend to find that THREE families were interested in Justin! Two families were interested but hesitant and wanted more information while Martin and Rayni Scott felt that immediately this was the right choice for them. After hearing of Martin and Rayni’s readiness to adopt, the other two families decided to step aside and Justin was placed with the Scott’s on April 5, 2010. Martin and Rayni named the baby boy Elbert “Bertie” Rayburn Lokeni Scott, and soon this miracle baby touched the lives of so many.
The happy new parents, Martin and Rayni, constantly keep the program’s staff updated on Bertie’s condition and wrote Elizabeth recently to boast as proud parents explaining, “Bertie’s doing great! He gained a bit more weight: 5 lbs. 13 oz….Can’t believe these mommy skills that are kicking in and Martin is the pro-diaper changer! We’re both pretty good with the physical therapy and we’re still newbie parents for sure, but at least Bertie tolerates us. While we’d love to have Bertie home soon, we don’t want to push the Doc’s until they feel Bertie is strong enough….That’s fine, just whatever is best for Bertie.”
“What makes Catholic Charities Maternity and Adoption Program Services unique is that we will provide services to all birthmothers. We believe in finding the loving adoptive couple who will open their arms and hearts to all babies regardless of their needs.” said Barbara Tenbroek, Division Director of Professional Counseling and Children’s Services.
Everyone at Catholic Charities’ Maternity and Adoption program has fallen in love with Bertie. The entire Catholic Charities staff prays for him and his family and knows that he will grow up in a great home with parents who will support him in anything he does. As Elizabeth explained, “this story affirms to those who work in this program that the gift of adoption is wonderful and there is a home with loving parents waiting for every child who comes our way.”