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A Phone Call Throws A Couple’s 9-Year Fertility Struggle Into Disarray

A Phone Call Throws A Couple’s 9-Year Fertility Struggle Into Disarray

Dennis and Carita Chen knew all about fertility struggles. After counting on the birds and the bees, doctor’s appointments and treatments, and some alternative approaches, motivation for family can fizzle out. That’s why the Chens considered adoption. Of course, their whole plan was thrown into chaos when they received an interesting phone call from a friend.

California residents Dennis and Carita Chen desperately tried to have a biological child for nine taxing years. Nearly a decade of negative pregnancy tests wore the aspiring parents down. They needed to try something new.

The duo eventually decided they couldn’t take any more disappointment, finally looking in to the adoption in 2012. They figured this would be an arduous process, possibly taking years to complete, but the Chens knew raising a child would be worth the wait.

The Mining Journal

While thinking about a foreign adoption, however, a friend set them up with an attorney who was looking specifically for an Asian couple to adopt a baby who was just about due. The Chens could hardly believe their luck — the timing was perfect!

The Austin Stone / YouTube

A child on the way, Dennis and Carita felt a burst of life. It was finally happening! Until the baby’s birth mother changed her mind at the last second, wishing for a member of her own family to adopt the baby. The Chens were crushed.

Center for Health Journalism

Devoted Christians, the Chens prayed that God would gift them with a baby when the time was right. They figured a family just wasn’t in the cards for them at the moment. But would it ever be?

The Austin Stone / YouTube

While starting a family felt hopeless, shortly after their most recent letdown, a hospital social worker called the Chens. The worker posed a question that left the duo with their jaws on the floor.

Hertfordshire County Council / YouTube

The social worker asked if they were still interested in adopting the baby. It turned out the birth mother’s plan of having one of her relatives adopt the baby fell through. The Chens were flabbergasted.

The Austin Stone / YouTube

They needed someone to pinch them. The couple immediately flew from Austin, Texas, to Fresno, California, for their child-to-be. Anticipation was eating at them. Were finally going to be parents?

“No trip I’ve ever taken, regardless of distance, has felt longer than this one,” Dennis wrote on the couple’s blog. From Fresno, Dennis and Carita zoomed right over to Madera Community Hospital, where they would finally get to meet their little bundle of joy.

The Austin Stone / YouTube

The time was 9:30 pm, and they were closer than ever to meeting their baby. Though the Chens were beyond ready to take on the challenge of raising a child, they were still terrified. It was all so nerve-wracking, but they were simultaneously at peace.

The Austin Stone / YouTube

The couple felt such positive energy radiating from all of the hospital’s staff; they felt welcome. “The peace and joy that we’re feeling is absolute evidence of hundreds of people… that are praying for us tonight,” Carita said.

Madera Community Hospital

As they walked the halls of Madera Community Hospital, a nurse guided them to their future, asking them if they were excited to meet their… boy

The Austin Stone / YouTube

“Yes, our son! We are excited beyond words. There is a child – a boy – somewhere in this hospital who needs a family and parents to love and protect him,” Dennis wrote of the blissful day on their blog.

The Chen X Family Blog – WordPress.com

“We are determined to be his parents,” the post continued. After nine painful years of consistent letdowns, the Chens were finally met with a miracle. It all felt unreal to them.

The Austin Stone / YouTube

And it wasn’t long before said miracle emotionally hit the two of them like a ton of bricks. “I [found] myself weeping uncontrollably at the intensity of seeing my son for the first time.” Dennis wrote.

The Austin Stone / YouTube

“At some point in those tears, I notice Carita clinging to my arm, hand over her mouth, crying along with me,” he continued in the post. They were flooded with an array of blissful emotions. They came there empty handed, and they’d be leaving with a beautiful son.

The Austin Stone / YouTube

The nurse happily handed the Chens their sweet baby boy. Dennis and Carita looked at each other, each of them spewing happy tears like a garden fountain, simultaneously stating that his name would be Jacob.

The Chen X Family Blog – WordPress.com

The Austin Stone, “a New Testament church existing for the supremacy of the name and purpose of Jesus Christ,” as stated on its YouTube page, even made an inspiring short film documenting Dennis and Carita’s journey retrieving their new son from the hospital.

The Chen X Family Blog – WordPress.com

“All those prayers and all those waiting was for him, for Jacob, for our son,” Dennis wrote. The feeling was euphoric, and Dennis and Carita Chen forever thanked Him for him. Check out Carita and little four-year-old Jacob!

The Chen Family

While the Chens’ adoption story contained a few surprises, they were stunned to learn of some of the wild adoption stories happening all over the country. A few years after they brought Jacob home, they learned about Katie Page.

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Katie Page of Parker, Colorado, was delighted to gift little baby Grayson with a home when she adopted him in May 2017. The divorced, single mother was elated to finally have a child, but little did she know, this was just the beginning.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

It wasn’t long before Katie received a call about a baby, named Hannah, who was in desperate need for a foster home. Without hesitation, she took little Hannah in. Though Grayson and Hannah were just babies, Katie noticed something about their facial features.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

“There were features on the babies that were very similar. They both have a chin dimple and the other feature is one that only a mama would see because it’s covered by their diaper!” the new mom told People in January 2019.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

And when Katie started telling people about these physical similarities, they rolled their eyes. See, Katie had an inkling that her two kids were biologically related. But what were the odds of that?

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

Considering the babies had different last names, the adoption agency never considered this as a possibility. “Everybody thought I was crazy,” Katie admitted. But the mom had a sense.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

“I think everyone thought it was a far stretch because I didn’t have that much to go on but my intuition was telling me there was more to the story,” she explained.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

“We kept it pretty quiet until there was more information to support the theory,” Katie stated. Eventually, a DNA test confirmed Grayson and Hannah did, in fact, share the same biological mother. Katie officially adopted Hannah in 2018.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

“They were meant to find each other, that’s pretty clear. I think God intended that from the beginning. If they weren’t related, Hannah would not have stayed with our family. She would have been placed with other relatives. It was a great thing,” Katie said.

Katie Page

“If they weren’t related, Hannah would not have stayed with our family. She would have been placed with other relatives. It was a great thing,” she continued. But the story wasn’t over just yet.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

When 2020 arrived, Katie discovered that Grayson and Hannah had yet another biological sibling patiently waiting to be adopted. With her big heart, Katie embarked on a mission to adopt one-year-old Jackson and reunite the three siblings.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

Katie disclosed to GMA that her kids’ biological mother “gave false information again and he [Jackson] was going to go with another foster family, until the caseworker stepped in.” She wasn’t going to let that happen.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

All Katie wanted to do was reunite the siblings who were sadly separated by their birth mother. “When Jackson came along I just felt the best I could give him are his family and siblings that he identifies and feels connected to,” Katie explained.

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Amazingly, Katie officially adopted Jackson on June 25th, adding the final piece of love to her family puzzle. She even held an adoption ceremony for Jackson over video teleconference, with over 30 friends and family members joyfully present for the event.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

And though Katie’s little family was finally complete, the story didn’t end there. It turned out that Grayson, Hannah, and Jackson had even more siblings out in the world waiting to meet them.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

Kaci and Dustin Whitney attended Jackson’s virtual adoption ceremony, who happened to be the adopted parents of Taylor and EadyGrace, AKA Grayson, Hannah, and Jackson’s older sisters.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

And in June 2020, all the kids got to meet up during a gleeful beach trip in Florida. “THIS was a dream my heart desired long before I knew these girls existed,” Katie warmly wrote on Instagram.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

“I cried and mourned the day I adopted Grayson with the heavy weight on my heart that all I would be able to tell him was that he was abandoned just hours after birth and that I knew really nothing else about his family,” she wrote. She continued.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

“Today, THIS is Us. Three sisters and a brother now sit beside and will grow up with him,” she wrote. Warmth, love, and complete happiness flowed out of Katie’s words.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

“He has more love and family members that love him than I ever dreamed possible,” she continued. It seemed as though Katie had a gift, one that allowed her to build a family from scratch and reunite children that belonged together.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

It’s as if Katie Page was a fairy godmother of sorts, gifting former foster children with both a loving mother and a circle of loving siblings. And while her adoption story is one of magical fantasies, others end in disaster.

@woodandgraceblog / Instagram

YouTuber Myka Stauffer and her husband, James Stauffer, produce videos that share lifestyle and parenting tips, as well as their own family dynamic. These kinds of content creators, called “family vloggers,” are criticized for exploiting their children for views and cash.

@mykastauffer / Instagram

But Myka and James, who are now parents to four biological children, received a wave of scrutiny after a certain incident had people questioning their motives. The story began in July 2016, when Myka uploaded a video to her channel titled “BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!! || BABY #4.”

@mykastauffer / Instagram

On Myka’s channel, the couple disclosed they were looking to adopt their fourth child. Myka explained that “the United States and Africa were parts where our hearts were originally interested in,” regarding where to adopt from.

Myka Stauffer / YouTube

The Stauffers had every intention of letting their devoted subscribers in on the entirety of the adoption process. No, really; Myka uploaded a total of 27 videos to her channel regarding the ins and outs of their “adoption journey.”

@mykastauffer / Instagram

They documented everything from fundraising efforts to learning the confusing international adoption laws. And while the Stauffers initially had their hearts set on the US or Africa, they wound up adopting a little boy from China. Named Huxley, this sweet little boy had special needs.

@mykastauffer / Instagram

See, the adoption agency informed the Stauffers that Huxley sadly had a brain tumor and “brain damage.” But when little Huxley finally arrived in the United States, Myka and James were met with some disquieting surprises.

Myka Stauffer / YouTube

It turned out that the adoption agency seemingly forgot to notify the Stauffers that Huxley had endured a stroke in utero, had autism, and a sensory processing disorder. Huxley’s list of special needs nearly tripled, and Myka and James panicked.

@mykastauffer / Instagram

But despite the inner turmoil the couple faced, Myka spoke to the press as if everything was perfect. In a September 2019 Parade article, Myka described the international adoption process as “beautiful and special.”

@mykastauffer / Instagram

“Is there hardships and hiccups that you may not have faced being in the U.S.? Totally. However, you’re giving that child a future that would have never been possible,” Myka continued. For years after the couple officially got their special boy, Myka uploaded YouTube videos dedicated to him.

Myka Stauffer / YouTube

The video titled “5 Things I Didn’t EXPECT About Our China ADOPTION! International ADOPTION,” was sponsored by baby laundry detergent brand Dreft. Brands like Good American, Fabletics and Ibotta, sponsored some of Myka’s other videos. They were making a lot of money off videos featuring Huxley.

@mykastauffer / Instagram

With loads of sponsors, comes loads of cash, and though not every video featuring Huxley was monetized, they all garnered crazy amounts of views. The video titled “Huxley’s EMOTIONAL Adoption VIDEO!! GOTCHA DAY China Adoption” amassed 5.5 million views. With the help of Huxley, they built their brand.

Myka Stauffer / YouTube

It wasn’t long before the super dedicated fans, who couldn’t wait to see the newest adventures of Huxley and his new American family, were quick to notice the sudden halt of Instagram posts and YouTube videos featuring the little one. In May 2020, they found out why.

@mykastauffer / Instagram

Myka uploaded a video to her channel featuring the couple looking pretty gosh darn sad. “For us, it’s been really hard hearing from the medical professionals, a lot of their feedback, and things that have been upsetting. We’ve never wanted to be in this position,” James began.

Myka Stauffer / YouTube

“I think what Jim is trying to say is that after multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit and that (with) his medical needs, he needed more,” Myka explained, clearly heartbroken.

@mykastauffer / Instagram

“There’s not an ounce of our body that doesn’t love Huxley with all of our being,” Myka clarified. “Do I feel like a failure as a mom? Like, 500%,” she later said. When she explained that Huxley was living with a “new mommy” in a “forever home,” people lost their minds.

Myka Stauffer / YouTube

The Stauffers admitting to “rehoming” Huxley, as if he were a puppy they had an unfortunate allergy to, created a social media firestorm. The years-long bonds Huxley formed with his three siblings and somewhat-shoddy parents were sadly broken.

@mykastauffer / Instagram

“What kind of person adopts a toddler into a family with other kids for YEARS, uses his likeness & story for profit and then quietly gets rid of him like a puppy because his special needs are ‘too hard’??” Chondra Echert Sanchez wrote on Twitter.

@mykastauffer / Instagram

While others were more sympathetic, most comments were similar to Chondra’s. Writer and editor Sophie Ross always kept track of Huxley’s journey, even staying in contact with people close to him. At the end of May, she notified her worried Twitter followers that he was “in a GREAT foster home.”

@soph_ross / Instagram

“So apparently this foster family *is* in the process of officially adopting him, which is amazing news. It sounds like Huxley found a safe and loving permanent home and won’t be bouncing around or displaced again after this,” Sophie continued on Twitter.

@soph_ross / Instagram

The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office opened a case investigating the Stauffers after receiving a plethora of requests for a welfare check on Huxley. The Delaware County police closed the case once they met with Huxley’s “prospective adoptive parents.”

Delaware County, OHIO, Sheriff’s Office / Facebook

Deputy Susanna Leonard relayed that Huxley “seemed very active and showed no signs of any abuse from what I could visually see.” “When we walked into the office, [Huxley’s] adoptive mother was singing a song to him as he was sitting on her lap smiling,” she continued.

Delaware County, OHIO, Sheriff’s Office / Facebook

Once having well over 700,000 subscribers, Myka Stauffer’s channel has 692,000 subscribers as of August 2020. While we can only hope the Stauffers live a happy life with their biological children, Kova, Jaka, Radley and Onyx, we also hope they’ve learned lessons regarding child exploitation and the cost of making life-altering decisions.

@mykastauffer / Instagram

Though adoption is a huge decision that responsible parents-to-be put a ton of effort and research into, Myka and James aren’t the only educated adoptive parents who were met with surprises. Especially when adopting a child from overseas, there’s often a great deal that’s kept hush hush.

@mykastauffer / Instagram

In 1997, Ron and Natalie Trecroce made the decision to adopt a child. The Canadian couple found themselves in Arad, Romania where they hoped to find the perfect addition for their family. When they saw this one-year-old girl, they knew she was the one!

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Her name was Rodica Lavinia Farcas, and she was living in an orphanage where she had been left by her mother who couldn’t care for her. She was also in shockingly poor health—that much was evident to Ron and Natalie as soon as they met her.

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The sweet little girl was malnourished, which had caused a host of other issues. She was suffering from rickets, and her bones were weak thanks to a severe lack of vitamin D and other nutrients. Still, there was more the couple had yet to discover…

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In the 1990s, the records of children in Romania were notoriously difficult to obtain. So, Ron and Natalie were in a bit of a bind when it came to getting ahold of everything they would need in the future for Rodica.

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Due to the difficulty of obtaining her records, Ron and Natalie were at a bit of a loss when it came to understanding their new daughter’s life up to that point. This was especially true when it came to her family history…

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As Ron and Natalie continued to search for more information about their new baby girl, they eventually came upon a shocking discovery: Rodica wasn’t an only child. In fact, she had an older sister! Only, they weren’t sure where this sister was…

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For unknown reasons, the sisters had been placed in separate orphanages. This made locating Rodica’s older sister far more difficult. Still, Ron and Natalie knew they had to try. Following an exhaustive search, they discovered where Rodica’s sister was being cared for. Not only that, but they learned her name was Gianina Farcas!

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Gianina was born in 1995, making her a year older than Rodica. Once Ron and Natalie discovered where she was living, they made a serious decision: they were going to adopt her as well, and reunite her with her younger sister. Finally, they made it so. But that wasn’t all…

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After Ron and Natalie arrived back in Canada, the surprises just kept coming. As it turned out, Rodica and Gianina weren’t the only two children in their family. They were simply two of eight!

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Unfortunately, Ron and Natalie were unable to track down any of the other siblings. Not long after they were brought home, Gianina and Rodica were renamed Sophie and Danielle, respectively.

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Ron and Natalie decided to keep the girls’ birth names as their middle names so they could retain a piece of where they came from. It was a small gesture, but it was important for their baby girls to not lose their identities.

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The tumultuous start to Sophie and Danielle’s lives was not unusual in 1990s Romania. The country was then under the control of a dictator named Nicolae Ceauşescu, who forbade any form of contraception whatsoever. This resulted in countless cases similar to that of Sophie and Danielle.

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Many of the parents in Romania at the time were forced to give up children who they could no longer care for. The luckiest ones would end up being adopted by other families who could support them—just like Sophie and Danielle.

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A good bit of footage exists of these two girls; six years after they were adopted, a documentary filmmaker showed interest in telling their story. With Ron and Natalie’s approval, the girls’ journey from Arad to Canada was made into a film.

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Years later, Sophie actually edited the full documentary into a short film, which she uploaded to YouTube. That allowed the film to reach more people, including a number of people with similar backgrounds to Sophie and Danielle.

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For her part, Danielle says that she hopes to return to her home country, hopefully sometime in 2018. “I would love to go back to explore the country!” she said.

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Both sisters would, understandably, love to learn more about their biological parents and siblings. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, as poor documentation will make it very difficult to locate them.

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Sophie, now 22, is studying to be a photographer, and Danielle, 21, is also in college. They live close by, and often think about how far they’ve come. Not everyone was as lucky as they were!

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Had Ron and Natalie Trecroce never gone to Romania, they might have never located Sophie, and the sisters wouldn’t have reunited. Luckily, they did, and the rest is history!

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The post A Phone Call Throws A Couple’s 9-Year Fertility Struggle Into Disarray appeared first on Eternally Sunny.

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