We are so proud to introduce Super Mom, Gina: A once adopted child who has an adopted daughter and a biological son.
'My name is Gina Maya Iyer and I am an adopted child. I also am a mother of a beautiful adopted baby girl.
My story is a wonderful story and is the reason I have adopted as well. I was born on the 19th of April 1972 in Dallas Texas USA. My birth mother was an 18 year old , Caucasian woman with beautiful blond hair. My birth father was a handsome African American man. I have never seen them or spoken to them but this is how my file described them.
I was given up for adoption, the day I was born. I was placed in a loving and caring foster home when I was 9 months. My foster parents , Ginger and Fred Beamis were my family for 4 years. I had four foster siblings who I still keep in touch with. I loved them beyond belief but I always knew that I was not there to stay.
Since I was a bi racial child it was difficult to place me. My foster mother worked in a day care center. One day a beautiful young Indian woman walked into the center looking for a job her name was, Jayashree Chatterjee.
Little did we know that this day would be the day that I found a mother and she found a daughter. My parents Jayashree and Kallol Chatterjee adopted me when I was 4½ years old. My brother Rohit was born 1 year later and so in a year I had a new mother, father and a new baby brother.
When I was nine years old, my parents got divorced and Rohit and I moved to India with my mother. In a short time, my mother married a wonderful man named Arun Thiagarajan.
By the time I was 11 years old my mother had another son Shiva and after ten months she had another son Nikhil. So by the time I was 12, I had an enormous family . I grew up with the love of so many people. Not only did I gain a family, I gained a country as well. Nobody looking at me would ever guess that I am not Indian. God has been so good to me that I really felt the need to do the same for another little girl. And that brings me to My Daughter Tara.
My husband Ram and I got married on the 11th of October 1997 . My husband and I had decided even before we got married that one of our children would be adopted. Ram knew that this was very important to me and was so supportive. We approached a few agencies in Bombay but were not very happy with their response so, we decided that we would adopt from Bangalore. We gave in our home study in February 2000 and by April they had a baby for us to come and see.
This news could not have come at a better time since Ram had just lost his mother it provided some sort of distraction for him. I left for Bangalore immediately.
My husband and I went to see her the very next day. She was so beautiful, small fragile and so perfect in every way. I held her and she fell asleep in my arms. I think she knew that she was the one I had waited for all my life. Our adoption procedure started right away and in a few months everything was done. Tara had now officially become ours.
Tara is the very joy of our lives. We sometimes sit and wonder what we did without her for so many years. Tara has made us look at ourselves a little more differently. We now have something so precious to live for. Thank you Tara, you are the reason that your Father and I live each day. We love you my beautiful baby girl and thank god everyday for you. Without you there could be no 'us'.
Our Tara is now 14 years old . She is now a beautiful, confident, independent strong young lady. She surprises everyday. She looks exactly like her Daddy and is a fantastic baker and sugar artist. I like to pride myself that she takes after me and my passion for baking. She is now in 9th grade and loves school and all her friends. She says she does not like the boys yet..... But I think she does! We love her endlessly .
We also have a beautiful biological son. He is an extremely gifted little boy who is bright and friendly. His name is Raghav .... He is 12 years old he is home-schooled as he has a weak immune system and is now developing his own comic strip. Tara is his everything .... She is his big sister, his partner in crime his caretaker and his big Didi. We never felt a need to tell him she was adopted as Tara had already told him....
' Raghav you are just a tummy baby..... I am a heart baby!' There were many tears and Raghav cried and screamed. 'I am just an ordinary tummy baby.... I want to be a heart baby!' So that was that...
People often ask us how the other people in my life felt about Tara being adopted...... And my answer is 'I don't know it was the easiest thing I ever did. Very organic very smooth very natural!'.. My in laws welcomed Ms Tara into their life as if they had waited their whole life for her to come! ' My eldest brother in law .....their Perriappa looked at her in her cradle and said, 'Hello Tara ... I am your perriappa and you and I are going to be best friends!' They love her like they love Raghav endlessly and full heartedly. She has the best Uncles and aunts and is a spoiled princess by them. She is the apple of her grandfather's eye. So, I guess all I am trying to say is that .....adoption works! It makes families complete. Spread the love the best way you know how.... We did!
Here are my 5 Tips to remember before you start the adoption process or after you have adopted.
1. Be prepared to play the waiting game. Just because you have filled the forms and done your home study, do not think that this is going to happen over night. My feeling is God has a plan and your baby is on the way.... Don't rush it.
2. Please be honest while filling out the forms. Mainly about your property and financial status. Do not for one moment think because you are not wealthy, you will not be able to adopt. The reason they ask you about your finances is because they want to be sure that your child will be provided for now and after you are gone.
3. Once your child comes home please be ready to answer all sorts of questions. People are curious. You don't have to answer. But in my opinion, it is something so wonderful. So, why not talk about it!
4. Celebrate your children's differences if you see them along the way. Do not mould them to be like you. Celebrate them in every way.
5. Finally and most importantly please tell your children they are adopted. They must know. It is a part of who they are. I can promise you that if you have raised them with love and only love they will love you forever. You are her parents and nothing can change that.