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Adoption a conflict of emotions for Grain Valley couple
The McCain family: Shelley, Marli, Jamie, and Mason. Shannon Lineberry THE POINTE
It was by simple chance, perhaps divine providence, that Marli Claire became a member of the McCain family. Without the agony of a previous failed adoption attempt, the joy brought by her addition to the family may have never happened.
Like many couples unable to conceive on their own, Jamie and Shelley McCain of Grain Valley made the decision to adopt. Their first child, son Mason, came to them through a relatively painless adoption process 8 years ago.
But Marli’s adoption process was marked with overwhelming sadness and disappointment.
There are two avenues that potential parents in Missouri may take when considering adoption; either through a private agency or through Missouri’s Department of Family Services (DFS). The McCains became foster parents 3 years ago. Foster parents are given special preference through DFS when the child has been in their care between 9 and 15 months.
The McCains first tried adopting through a private agency in Blue Springs. After three separate attempts to adopt in which the mother changed her mind, they thought they had finally found happiness when a teen mother chose them to adopt her baby girl. The McCains, who had already prepared a room for the baby and were ready for the homecoming, received news just 24 hours before the final papers were signed, that the mother had changed her mind. They were devastated.
While waiting to see what would happen with that adoption process, the McCains received a call from a friend asking them to foster an infant with hydrocephalus, a condition commonly known as “water on the brain” which was a complication from the mother’s drug abuse.
“She said that she just felt like we should have her,” Shelley McCain said.
As it turned out, it was a chance call that changed the lives of everyone involved. Even as they lost the opportunity to adopt one child, Marli Claire became a fixture in the McCain household and, after many months in their care, preference was given to the McCains for adoption by DFS.
“At first, the birth mother did not want to give her up. But when we met her and she saw how well Marli was doing, she signed over her rights,” Shelley McCain said.
This time, it seemed that the McCains had finally received the little girl they had always wanted.
“She’s 100% girl.” Shelley McCain beamed. “She loves Barbies and baby dolls.”
The good news continued at Marli’s last checkup. She has been cleared of any issues related to her hydrocephalus, and is thriving with her new family. Big brother Mason enjoys his new sister, and family life is just about normal for the McCains., the heartache far behind them now.
By Shannon Lineberry The Pointe Staff