Growing A Family Through Adoption | VideoJessica Roose | 5/11/2012
Seven-month-old baby Christopher is the light of his parents` eyes.
"If you ordered a child from a vending machine you wouldn`t have gotten a better child than Christopher," said Terry Dunnigan.
Terry and Julia Dunnigan adopted Christopher in October, after struggling to have a child on their own.
"It was very, very stressful on both of us and we got to a point where we said enough is enough. God has a plan," Julia said.
So they turned to Catholic Charities, an adoption agency in the state, to start their process of becoming parents to their little bundle of joy.
"They go through and check and make sure the home is going to be safe for a child. Then you wait, and you wait, and you wait, and you wait, and you wait," Terry said.
While the adoptive couple is waiting for placement, the birth mother receives counseling and looks at profiles of prospective parents.
"After that process they`re able to meet that couple and actually form some sort of a relationship with them. So they have an ongoing relationship with their child," said Kristal Huntley-Egemo with Catholic Charities.
The Dunnigan`s say they`ve kept in contact with Christopher`s birth mom and even have plans to meet with her this weekend.
Huntley-Egemo says more and more adoptions are becoming semi-open. "Studies have shown that a child knowing who their birth parents are and being able to identify with what they look like and who they are, has really helped them with their future self esteem."
"I have to say it was one of the most unselfish acts I`ve ever seen in my life, for a mother to give up her child, for the love of the child. It was amazing," Terry said.
Now they`re pouring all their love into their little boy and considering going through the process once again.
There will be a dinner theatre, "Getting Sara Married," on Saturday, May 19 at Spirit of Life Church in Mandan with all proceeds benefiting Catholic Charities.
Tickets are available online at www.CatholicCharitiesND.org or by calling 1-800-450-4457.