JF&CS News Winter 2011

At 2:00 a.m. in June 2009, Nick and Maureen Benes straggled out of their car after a grueling 26-hour drive from Boston to Ft. Lauderdale. Even though it was the middle of the night, they were excited as they walked through the hospital doors. They were going to meet their son Ian for the first time.

"I remember the first time he opened his eyes and looked at us. We fell in love. He was so beautiful. It was really special," said Maureen.

This happy moment was made possible by a generous grant from the JF&CS Lindelil Fund. Since 2005, the Lindelil Fund has provided financial assistance for growing families that wish to adopt a hard-to-place child.

Ian, only five days old, was in the NICU going through withdrawal from serious prenatal drug exposure. "It started off rough. He was in a lot of pain. It was hard in the hospital. But ever since that time he has felt so good. He's been happy," said Maureen.

Nick, a PhD candidate in Mathematics at Boston University, and Maureen, a PhD candidate in English Literature at Boston College, moved from Texas to Boston four years ago to pursue their degrees. In 2007, they were ready to start raising a family. After struggling to conceive, they began researching adoption agencies online and quickly discovered JF&CS Adoption Resources.

"We chose Adoption Resources because we felt the most comfortable with them from an ethical standpoint. We liked how the birth parents were treated. They try to take care of everyone in the process," said Maureen.

"They are exactly the kind of family that the Lindelil fund was created to help. The most important thing was for this baby to have the perfect family regardless of their ability to fund the adoption. They were excited and ready for the challenges that this baby might bring. It was an honor to help this family grow," said Betsy Hochberg, director of JF&CS Adoption Resources.

This spring the new family will launch a website, Twenty Birds, that will offer a wide variety of handmade goods that celebrate adoption. Maureen and Nick have decided to support other families who are adopting hard-to-place children by donating twenty-five percent of the profits to the Lindelil Fund. The remaining funds will go toward their second adoption that is "in the works." In the meantime, Maureen blogs about adoption, parenthood, career, childhood, (in)fertility, and spirituality at http://twentybirds.com/blog.

Maureen is looking forward to this fall, when Nick, who is in the Naval Reserve, will return from his fourteen-month deployment to Afghanistan. Once again the family will be together to enjoy their active, cheerful son. Maureen added, "I expected having a baby to be hard but he's really happy-go-lucky and easy to take care of. He's sunny!"

For more information, call 781-647-JFCS (5327) or email your questions via our contact us page.