CSA – Adoption Success Stories
Adoption is a beautiful, life transforming experience. It is a blessing for the child and parents and unfolds joys which know no bounds!
Each adoption story is special, memorable, full of hope and anticipation and a triumphant moment for the entire family! We are committed to our Vision ‘Every Child Matters!’ and are constantly working towards finding a loving and nurturing home for an orphaned child. Here are a few heart warming adoption stories:
‘Not related by Blood…yet our Own!’
This is Sakshi Neelakantan’s story who was adopted by Neelakantan P. & Sindhu Neelakantan when she was 6 months old from Odisha.
Does one need to be related by blood or marriage to another to give unconditional love and affection? We learnt that the answer to that question is a resounding- NO. And we are proud that our daughter, Sakshi taught us that. It had been the childhood desires of my husband, Neelakantan and I, to adopt a child when we grow up. Very soon after our engagement, we learnt that we had this common desire and it strengthened our bond.
Our son, Saket was born in May 2011 and when he completed 6 months, we decided to commence the process to adopt a baby girl, as we expected some administrative delay. We contacted a few organizations involved in adoption in Tamil Nadu. Almost all of them refused us point blank as we already had a biological child. A few asked us to leave our details, which they would, waitlist and asked us to contact after a few months. But they also asked us not to have any expectations of getting a child in the immediate future. Nevertheless, when we returned to them almost 14 months later, we had moved from 95 down to 250 in the waiting list, as childless couples were always placed above the rest.
Just as we were wondering whether we had to wait indefinitely for our daughter, we learnt from a common friend, that Mrs. Subhasri Sankar [Editors Note: Mr. Shankar & Subhasri’s adoption story featured in CSA’s Annual Report for 2012-13] had adopted a child from Odisha through CSA. It is relevant to point out here that some friends and relatives were initially skeptical about adopting from outside the state saying that the child’s features would be a giveaway and advised us against it. Mrs. Subhasri was however categorical and told us how her child had integrated in the family within a few weeks and we decided to go ahead. Without losing any time, we approached CSA. We were floored by their proactive and prompt response and suddenly, we found the whole process shifting to top-gear.
Words cannot express in adequate measure our gratitude for the support rendered by CSA, their staff, Ms. Lucy Mathews, Ms. Bharati Dasgupta and Mr. Anupam Subhadarshan who interacted with us and they virtually held our hand and took us through the entire process. Within a couple of weeks of contacting CSA, we found ourselves at the Shishu Bhavan of Bapuji Sevashram at Chandipur near Balasore. As its secretary, Mr. Gaurachandra Khamhari placed the nearly 7 months old Supreeti in our hands (we have since renamed her Sakshi), we realized that we were indeed holding our daughter. Saket was beaming with pride as he held his sister for the first time. Sakshi all the while was smiling and enjoying.
After finishing the preliminary documentation, we returned to our hotel room for the night. The next morning, we took her to a local hospital for medical examination. A housemother from the Shishu Bhavan accompanied us for the medical examinations. Sakshi was inconsolable from the moment the regular housemother of Shishu Bhavan was replaced midway by another housemother, Ms. Mamta, who usually took care of the bigger children in the Ashram. We were wondering how we will bring Sakshi all the way to Chennai if she was going to cry like this all the while.
But quite magically, all the crying stopped when Ms. Mamta handed Sakshi over to me for a brief while. Sakshi was comfortable with Neelakantan, Saket and I and surprisingly she refused to go back to Ms.Mamta. Mamta kept remarking for the rest of the day that Sakshi had identified her parents.
With all the medical examination and the foster agreement formalities completed, we took Sakshi back to the Shishu Bhavan from the Ashram’s office to bid farewell to those who had taken care of our daughter for all these months. There were tears all around. We felt sad for causing this pain and resolved to re-compensate all this by loving Sakshi more than all of them put together.
Now 6 months later, Sakshi has adjusted very well with all in our extended family. There are a lot of people who comment that she resembles Neelakantan and Saket a lot. Neelakantan calls it “Environmental Genetics” and propounds the theory that the child takes the features of her adoptive family!
‘My Sister…My Best Mate!’
Satish Kumar Viswanathan & Anita Balsubramanyam adopted Yukti (2.5 yrs) their 2nd daughter on 7th March 2014 from Maharashtra. They had adopted their 1st daughter Nidhi/Lovely (6 months) on 13th May 2010 from Odisha.
Here we share an excerpt from a blog spot where Nidhi (the older sibling), all of 4.5 years, expresses her feelings towards her younger sister Yukti who is now a part of her family…
Blog link: http://fromnidhiwithlove.blogspot.in/2014/05/introducing-yukti.html
‘A Story of Hope & Triumph!’
Lydia and Isabel, aged 9 and 6 are siblings and were adopted in 2010 by Mr. José Joseph P and Sarah P. Jose from Nanded, Maharashtra. At that time, Lydia was 5 and Isabel was 2 & half years old.
Isabel had a challenge with her knees and hence, was unable to walk. It was difficult to find a family willing to adopt these girls since Isabel was a special needs child and Lydia was getting older. CSA decided that adoption chances for the siblings would substantially improve if corrective surgery could make Isabel walk. We therefore, got an orthopedic surgery done for Isabel in 2009 and she started walking unassisted thereafter.
Mr. José and Sarah had already adopted 2 boys (José elder brother’s sons) since they had passed away in an accident. The family also had their own biological son – Isaiah aged 3 in 2010 & they were looking to adopt a girl or two at that time. When CSA informed Sarah about these little girls, they readily agreed to welcome Lydia and Isabel into their family.
Today, the family is a complete family in every sense and the younger siblings – Lydia, Isaiah and Isabel get along superbly. Lydia and Isabel – theirs is truly a story of Hope and Triumph!
A Star Called Tuki!
Ananya Sengupta and Shantanu Datta are journalists and they adopted baby Shahana when she was 9 months old from in the month of January 2013. Here’s their story in their words –
It’s exactly two months since we met Tuki (Shahana). Statistically speaking, that’s a movement of over 1,100 km from Buldhana, Maharashtra, to Vaishali, on the east of Delhi.
But statistics, if you ask me, has never been a good narrator. It cannot, for instance, tell you the sleepless nights, steaming debates over cups after cups of tea and anxiety pangs at unexplained moments that we underwent while going through the process of finalising a name for Tuki. That one was easy. Since my sister’s brat of a boy is called Tintin at home, he chose the name for his cousin: Tuktuk. Ergo, Tuki.
But the ‘real’ name, the one she would answer to during roll calls in school, college and other institutions, the one that would be etched on her visiting card when the little one starts work? That, dear reader, was the toughest choice for the wife, Ananya, and me. Never had we been through such a difficult phase as during that first month or so.
The decision to adopt, for instance, was just as tough, as was the call on when to draw the line at visiting and revisiting doctors. Where do you draw the line and say, ‘okay, that’s enough’? Not an easy call to take, neither is the bid to convince family members about sanity in the decision to adopt any easier. Yes, being extremely liberal, both our mothers (both our fathers have passed away) were accommodating at the thought when we first popped the idea of adoption but it would be a lie to say they gave the go-ahead immediately. The reluctant nod, each time we sat down and discussed, would always come with an endline: “Shouldn’t you check with the doctor a final time?”
No mom, and mom-in-law; we did not need to. And it helped that both Ananya and I have siblings, and their respective spouses, who understood precisely that and egged us on. It never hurts to have strength in your team, after all!
We were also lucky in that Ananya had a colleague at work who had adopted not long before we took the call, and we had young adoptive parents in our residential complex as well. But both couples had adopted from Delhi, and their trials and tribulations were as different as chalk is from cheese: while it was a breeze for the former, the couple in our neighbourhood had to struggle for over two years, filling up forms and waiting blindly for their turns in multiple orphanages, both in Delhi and outside.
So what to do? Should it be Delhi? Or should we check other places as well? If the latter, which place? Kolkata, where our families come from? Or maybe Bangalore or some such place in South India, where societies are more liberal than in North India and adoption has been shorn of its taboo tag, so to speak, for years now?
A call in time, to reword the phrase, saves nine. Ananya got in touch with Mrs. Bharati Dasgupta. Buldhana we were told, would be the place where we might get lucky a little early. The reason’s simple: the waitlist there is shorter than metro cities. Buldhana, where? Frankly, I had little knowledge of a place like that even existed on the map. “Near Aurangabad in Maharashtra,” the wife said.
But it was to take a few months for the call to come, and by the time we actually did our tickets and landed at Aurangabad, it was late January this year.
Visiting the trust’s place for specially-abled children was an eye opener, at least for me. You could either leave with eyes moistened or your energies reinvigorated at the sight of the children who want nothing more than a hug, a pat, a few words and cuddling.
A 10-minute autorickshaw ride later, we were at the trust’s main centre for children. And the wait began.
We had chosen the name — Tuktuk, shortened to Tuki — but would she choose us?
After I waited 15 or 20-odd minutes in the front room, Ananya came with two nurses. And a child. Tuki, was it? She was wearing a yellow dress, powdered, the hair (cropped short) brushed back, and looking here, there and everywhere with eyes as big and wondrous as you will ever see. “Go to baba,” Ananya said, in Bangla. And on she came.
“Both of us knew at precisely that moment that we were hers and she ours — that we had not taken even one false step, as Tuki held Shantanu’s fingers, gave out a short yawn and lay her head on his shoulders,” Ananya told me later.
On that day, January 21 of 2013, she was exactly nine months and 15 days. Just over two months since, Tuki has changed my life beyond imagination. A news junkie who rarely returned before midnight, I now get home by 7 pm on average days and play with my daughter. Sometimes, as I stand on the balcony showing her the cars zooming by and life beckoning her, and as her two grandmoms busy themselves around the house making her dinner, I wish I was a believer. I want desperately to wish, and believe, that both Shahana’s grandfathers are looking at her from some quarter, wishing that she outgrows her mamma and babba.
And yes, Shahana is the name!
A Sibling for Life!
Mr. Shankar and Subasri are from Chennai who adopted baby Pushpita from Odisha. They share their story with us –
We are thankful to CSA. Its only because of CSA that we have adopted a 2 year old girl in May 2012 as our own. CSA’s representative Mr. Pritikanta Panda was of great help in helping us identifying the adoption agency, doing a translator’s job, helping with vehicle bookings etc.
We are from Chennai & married since November 2007 and even as we took our wedding vows, we decided we’ll have one biological & one adopted child. Close to a year after wedding, God blessed us with a boy and as he turned 2, we started visiting & enquring with all CARA listed agencies in our state of Tamil Nadu regarding adoptions. Almost all agencies told us that they hardly had kids who were available for adoption and there was a huge waiting list of childless couples in queue.
More than a year passed, and we had tried to contact a few agencies in Maharashtra and elsewhere on our own, but nothing materialized. We also wanted our adopted daughter to grow up alongside our son, but our dream seemed far fetched. We had set a deadline of November 2012, beyond which we decided to call it quits.
Luckily, in March 2012, we met another couple from Chennai Mr. Rammohan Thyagarajan who adopted a girl from Odisha with the assistance of CSA. I first contacted Mrs. Bharati Das Gupta, who quickly introduced me to Mr. Pritikanda Panda in Odisha, who in turn sent me a checklist of all required documents. Suddenly, our hopes went soaring, and before we realized, we were put in touch with an adoption institute in Odisha who shared the photograph of our potential 2 year old daughter. Nithilan (our son) was 3 by then and we thought a sister a year younger to him will be a good addition. Once all the paperwork was in order, we went down to the children’s home, saw our daughter, and took possession of her under foster carer and were back in Chennai by May 2012. CSA has been wonderful; our heartfelt thanks to everyone specially to Mr. Pritikanda Panda.
Pushpita (our daughter) has been enrolled to kindergarden school. Today, my kids are just like any other siblings – they play with each other, are adamant, fight and cause havoc but we are not complaining!
CSA – Children in CCIs Success Stories
We work with childcare institutions day in and day out and it is a joy to see children benefitting from various programs run at the institution and to see them getting empowered slowly but surely. Each child is unique, beautiful and their successes, however, small are our buidling blocks and spur us on to continue to strive towards holistics childcare with a heart!
We present a few success stories here….
On Their Way to Self-Reliance!
CSA has been working with the Observation Home for Boys and Girls in Mumbai and Pune for sometime now. Most of the children come to the Observation homes following issues related to conflicts with the law. As a result, many are depressed, suffer from other clinical disorders and harbor destructive thoughts towards themselves and others around.
These boys and girls fall in the 12 to 18 years age group. At the Observation homes, they are provided with basic amenities, food and shelter. Many are school drop outs but some basic education is provided, however, after turning 18, what’s in store for them? How will they become independent members of society capable of supporting themselves for the future? How will they turn self-reliant?
With a view to helping these boys and girls stand on their own feet, CSA in Mumbai commenced a Basic Tailoring unit with the help of Jan Shikshan Sanstha in the month of December 2012 for some of the female inmates. They learned how to take measurements, cut fabric and basic stitching techniques in 3 months. Thereafter, all the girls were admitted to an advance level of Dress making course. They have now stitched their own outfits and also stitched bags for younger school going kids from the same home. On observing their dedication and level of improvement, CSA decided to start a Hand Embroidery course too.
CSA in Pune too commenced Basic and Advanced Tailoring courses for inmates of Observation Home for Girls. Overall, the girls are devoted and passionate towards these courses and display a great level of creativity in whatever task they take up. Needless to state, their confidence levels have risen, their smiles have deepened – giving them a renewed identity and purpose of life…..and now, it can be truly said of them – they are on their way to self-reliance!
‘Progressively Transforming Young Lives’
CSA had set up Tailoring units at the Observation Homes for girls in Mumbai and Pune towards the later part of 2012 with an aim to help the girls hone a set of skills that would help them stand on their own feet in the long run.
We are proud to state that many girls have and continue to benefit from these Tailoring courses and now confidently stitch different kinds of outfits such as frocks, skirts, salwar suits, cotton bags etc. Besides, they have also made several embroidered items such as embroidered handkerchiefs as a result of the Hand Embroidery courses that they completed.
Indeed, this is a new lease of life for them and our staff are witness to the progressive & steady transformation the lives of these young women have taken!
Total no.of Girls trained in 2013-14
Mumbai Observation Home – Girls
Pune Observation Home – Girls
Total of 273 girls have benefited from various modules of the Tailoring courses conducted at Observations Homes in Mumbai and Pune and many more continue to avail of these opportunities!
P.S: Faces have been blurred to protect identity of children at the Observation Homes in Mumbai and Pune
An Identity that is my own!
In the 16 years of my life, I have often faced questions about my identity. Who are you? …Your parents…? Where did you come from? Questions to which, I had no answers. I simply did not know. I remember that at age 5, I was on a railway platform when a cop confronted me with the same set of questions. I told him my name – I am Shivaji; he asked me where I had come from? ‘Amaravati in Maharashtra’, I said. That was all I knew.Since then I have remained enrolled in an institution for care and protection. No one ever visited me; I don’t know who has given me my surname.
Initially, the questions would disturb me – even make me angry. When I was 13 yrs old I moved into the Boys Observation Home in Pune, Maharashtra. That was a nice place; importantly, there were many others like me – with no identity. We lived together as one, big family; I mingled with my classmates, made friends, found supervisors who could guide me. It was here that I came across CSA. I was in the 8th standard and CSA had arranged coaching classes for us. CSA also organised several education and fun events that got all of us together. Sometimes, even boys from other institutions joined us.
With help available, I found myself doing better in school. My performance had improved; I was more attentive; above all, I was now interested in my life.
Last year I completed high school and I did well scoring first-class grades. More importantly, I took the semi-English option i.e. clearing all the papers in 2 languages – my mother tongue (Marathi) and English. In the Home, I was the first one to do so and suddenly, I was a hero! I began to be called ‘Shivaji the Topper’!!! Now, it seems like I have an identity – my very own. My achievements will, I realise, speak for me. I have enrolled for first year Diploma course of Mechanical Engineering and yesterday, I received my first engineering-instruments’ kit from CSA. Soon I will be ‘Shivaji the Engineer! And that will be my identity’!!
On the way to self-sufficiency
Ajit Talware was an inmate of the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Udyog Kendra in Pune (PJNUK). He comes from a disrupted family. Ajit’s father died when he was just 4 years old. His only memory of his father is that of an alcoholic, always drunk and creating trouble at home. Ajit’s mother too was ill, suffering from some unknown disease which could never be diagnosed nor treated; the family simply could not afford it. She passed away within 3 years of his father’s death when Ajit was just 7 years old. Some kind soul took him to Boy’s Observation Home where Ajit stayed up to the age of 15; he was then, moved to the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Udyog Kendra (PJNUK). Ajit did not give up. He completed his schooling and passed the SSC exams as an external student. He enrolled in college and wanted to do a BCA after the 12th std. His approach to life is ever positive; he knows that he can make a success of his life and is determined to do so.
CSA supported Ajit all the way with his education, his personal needs, work exposure in an office, even his sustenance when he had to leave the institute. Ajit now, has a job and earns Rs. 6000/month. CSA continues to support him with his computer education. He had a dream to become a computer professional; at CSA we want him to get there and will handhold him all the way.