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Riding the adoption rollercoaster

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Riding the adoption rollercoaster

Tricia LaRocca Morris holds her newly adopted daughter, June Caroline. Morris, working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, helped tend to sick newborn babies everyday while attempting to adopt. “We are just so grateful for our little girl, June Caroline, that it's hard to fathom that someone else is grateful for us. I think that's part of what makes a successful adoption so special. It is the answer to so many people's prayers,” Morris said.

Tricia LaRocca Morris holds her newly adopted daughter, June Caroline. Morris, working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, helped tend to sick newborn babies everyday while attempting to adopt. “We are just so grateful for our little girl, June Caroline, that it's hard to fathom that someone else is grateful for us. I think that's part of what makes a successful adoption so special. It is the answer to so many people's prayers,” Morris said.

Courtesy of Tricia LaRocca Morris

Tricia LaRocca Morris holds her newly adopted daughter, June Caroline. Morris, working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, helped tend to sick newborn babies everyday while attempting to adopt. “We are just so grateful for our little girl, June Caroline, that it's hard to fathom that someone else is grateful for us. I think that's part of what makes a successful adoption so special. It is the answer to so many people's prayers,” Morris said.

Courtesy of Tricia LaRocca Morris

Courtesy of Tricia LaRocca Morris

Tricia LaRocca Morris holds her newly adopted daughter, June Caroline. Morris, working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, helped tend to sick newborn babies everyday while attempting to adopt. “We are just so grateful for our little girl, June Caroline, that it's hard to fathom that someone else is grateful for us. I think that's part of what makes a successful adoption so special. It is the answer to so many people's prayers,” Morris said.

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Working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse in Ann Arbor, MI after graduating in 2002, alumna Tricia LaRocca Morris achieved her goal of creating her own family by adopting her first baby June Caroline.

“My husband David and I knew we wanted a family before we were even engaged. We were unsuccessful getting pregnant on our own, so we saw a fertility specialist and went through an unsuccessful round of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in May of 2017,” Morris said. “We had talked about adoption before IVF, but afterward, we knew it was something we wanted to pursue. I do not know what it was, but I just felt like that would be the way we would build our family.”

Morris began looking into adoption in October of 2017. She visited Catholic Social Services, Morning Star Adoptions, Adoptions Associates and Forever Families and sat in informational meetings at each adoption agency.

I feel like picking an agency is like picking a religion in a lot of ways. They have different missions, different requirements and different beliefs. Ultimately, they will be the ones to find you your family. It was definitely scary to choose one,” Morris said. “We learned a lot about the [adoption] process from each agency and we also saw which agency’s ethics and principles aligned with ours. We decided on Forever Families in November of 2017.”

I feel like picking an agency is like picking a religion in a lot of ways. They have different missions, different requirements and different beliefs. Ultimately, they will be the ones to find you your family.”

— Tricia LaRocca Morris

After deciding on an adoption agency, Morris and her husband began the adoption process. She announced her plans to adopt on Facebook and asked her friends and family to share the information. She was put in touch with a young woman, a great-niece of one of her former coworkers who was expecting a child in February and was also considering adoption.  

“This young woman verbalized choosing us to be the parents of her baby, so we had to rush through the process to get everything complete before February,” Morris said. “We actually traveled from Michigan to Missouri and spent a few days with the baby before the birth mother changed her mind. It was very traumatic and devastating, and to be honest, we were not sure whether we could get back into the adoption game after that. But, we were set on our goal to have a family.”

Even though her first attempt at adoption was unsuccessful, Morris decided to wait for another opportunity until she was placed with June Caroline.

“The second I met June, I knew I was supposed to be her mother. June was placed with us right at birth Sept. 2. I was actually in the delivery room and got to cut the cord,” Morris said.

The legal proceedings for June Caroline’s adoption are still in progress because of her Native American heritage.

“Our agency has to check with any potential tribe to make sure [June’s parents] are not unknowingly members of the tribe before placement can be completed. If they are, the tribe has to [approve] the adoption. They could potentially choose that they want the baby to be placed with a family in that tribe,” Morris said. “So, at almost two months, we still do not have an official placement because some of the tribes are very slow at responding.”

As difficult as it is, this is absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me. The best things do not come easy.”

— Tricia LaRocca Morris

The most difficult part about adopting for Morris is the anxiety that she feels through every step of the process.

“[We feared] that we [would] never get a match, or that the birth parents [would] change their mind. [We still fear] that somehow a tribe will come forward,” Morris said. “And all at the same time, loving this little human so much, you really have to put all of that anxiety aside and live in the moment and open your heart and not be afraid of getting hurt.”

Despite the difficulties of the adoption, Morris believes she has grown stronger through the process.

“You never know how much you can go through until you are forced to go through it. I think I also have become a lot more sensitive to different ways of life in general,” Morris said. “Growing up in a traditional family was great, but I think my eyes have been open to all of the different families that are created through love, and not just blood.”

Morris advises that if someone has an interest in adopting, they must be prepared to give up control and go with the flow.

“As somewhat of a control freak, you have to allow someone completely in your life before you can be considered. Once you’re chosen, you still are not in control, but apparently that’s basically what parenthood is all about anyways,” Morris said. “[Just] to go for it. As difficult as it is, this is absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me. The best things do not come easy.”

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About the Writer
Sarah Lashly, COPY COACH

Grade:  11

Years on Staff:  3

If you were a fictional character, who would you be?  Garfield

Does the toilet paper go over or under on the roll?  I just throw it on and roll with it.

How many alarms do you set in the morning to get up on time?  Just one, but I hit snooze twice.

Favorite Quote:  "I'm not superstitious, but...I am a little-stitious." -Michael Scott

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