My Adoption Success Story

By Hannah Lahmeyer, PH Patient
This article was featured in the summer 2010 edition of
Pathlight.

Hannah, Joe and AnnaliseAt 1:30 p.m. on our first Christmas as a married couple, my husband Joe and I received a phone call. Our daughter was about to enter the world. After getting the okay from her birth mother, we drove to the hospital. A short 30 minutes after we heard her birth mother was in labor, I found myself in the operating room, watching my daughter’s birth via C-section. I am pleased to say that I am now the proud mother of a 6-month-old baby girl. We named her Annalise Andrea, which means “favored warrior.”

While Christmas day was a whirlwind, our adoption story began much earlier than that afternoon in December 2009. I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension as a child, and because women with PH are advised against pregnancy, I grew up knowing I would never give birth to a child of my own. Soon after our wedding, Joe and I decided we wanted to become foster parents. Five months into the process, we met a woman through church who runs a crisis pregnancy center. The woman told us of a client at the pregnancy center who was looking for someone to adopt her baby. She also told us that the pregnancy was very high risk, as the mother was involved in drugs and prostitution. We decided that if the child made it through the pregnancy, we would adopt.

We had our foster care paperwork transferred to an adoption agency. Fortunately, in my case my pulmonary hypertension did not negatively affect this process. The only additional step that I was required to take was securing a letter from my PH doctor stating that I would be physically capable of taking care of a child. The drawbacks of adoption are the expense and the length of the process, which can take two years or more.

Despite these challenges, I strongly recommend young PHers consider adoption as one option for starting a family. Although she looks nothing like me or Joe, there’s no doubt in our minds that Annalise is our daughter.

 

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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.