By Patty Montagno
My mom is pretty,
My mom is sweet.
My mom’s the best mom
That you will ever meet.
The dictionary defines adoption as a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person’s biological or legal parent or parents.
Two Sachse residents know the term well as they selflessly have adopted and brought those children into their beautiful and loving homes. Cyndi Mitchell and Donna King are two of those moms.
Cyndi Mitchell is a community activist and an account executive for TRP International, Inc.
“Well, we didn’t actually decide to adopt,” she said. “Our kids were finally at the age where we finally didn’t have to find a sitter or pay for daycare and so we were celebrating this stage in our life and maybe building a pool.”
Mitchell said all of a sudden there was a precious little boy that needed a family and they were asked to take him.
“My husband and I actually struggled with the decision a lot,” she said. “I was sure this was not supposed to be my blessing, but I felt that this was meant for a sweet dear friend and her husband as they did not have any children and had so much more to offer the little boy. But his adult siblings were not in agreement with the other couple adopting him and I was in love with that adorable child that had already been through so much. This was God’s decision, not ours.”
Mitchell explained that when you are not related to the child you are adopting, you have a lengthy process through the county to make sure you are a good solution.
“We had to go through counseling and classes to adopt him,” she said. “We had to secure an attorney for both us and the child and we had a few more hurdles due to the fact that his biological father had passed away and his biological mother was not in a good place or easily available.”
Mitchell called on her dear friends for guidance and support
“I spoke to Mayor Mike Felix, Police Chief Richard Benedict and our friend-attorney Greg Mitchell who advised us through the process as well,” she said. “All wrote letters on our behalf.”
Mitchell said because she was over 40 years at the time a complete physical exam was required to make sure she will live long enough to care for the minor child.
Mitchell said that physical saved her husband’s life because a tumor in his colon was detected that required immediate surgery.
“There were some adjustments, like our home is only three bedrooms because I couldn’t have any more children when we built this house,” she said. “Lucky for us the little guy never had a bedroom anyway and he was just happy to have food and a pair of shoes. My darling children Devon and Shelby were forever changed by this little guy. There is so much I could say but I just want to stress that Jake is our blessing as much, if not more, as we are his.”
Mitchell said the greatest feeling is what God does to the heart of the adoptive parents.
“At first you grieve for him and with him because you wonder what is going on in his little mind,” she said. “You spend all of your time wanting him to feel your love then one day you realize that you love this child so much because you have carried him in your heart even though you didn’t carry him in your belly.
The greatest feeling is hearing him tell me daily ‘I love you mom, you’re the best’ even though I know that I am not.”
Donna King is a stay at home mom and community supporter.
I received a gift on that faithful day
Of which I know I could never repay,
Just as God came down to say
He just gave one of his Angels away
Poem by a family friend.
King said her family moved to Sachse about 12 years ago
“The day we closed on our new home, our oldest son Cameron left for college and daughter Chelsea started high school,” she said. “Cullen had been commuting to the area for 13 years and had many colleagues in the area. I had a bit of an identity crisis, I guess.”
King said she prayed for God to lead her to His service in their new town.
“We prayed together for a new direction, attended a reunion dinner at our former church in Grand Prairie and visited with some friends who were foster parents for newborn babies,” she said. “The light bulb went off in my head. The next day, I was making phone calls and searching the Internet for information. We found a wonderful Christian adoption agency that needed a new foster family. Cullen and I knew this was the answer we were looking for. We worked for almost a year with all the training and paperwork and licensing. When that first baby was born and needed our services, it felt like Christmas morning.”
The Kings have fostered 10 children. Their adoptive daughter, Alyssa was number six.
“The babies that we fostered were usually already matched with a family,” she said. “There would be court issues or paperwork that needed to be signed by the birth parents. The agency would put the baby in foster care if there was a chance that the adoption would not happen. We would allow the family to come to our home and visit their baby and begin the bonding process as soon as we were allowed.”
King said that part of the process was always an exciting time and a beautiful experience.
“Usually the process would take about a month or two,” she said. “In Alyssa’s case, there were several circumstances that would cause the process to take over a year.”
Because of the circumstances, the agency did not match her with a family right away.
“We knew this upfront and allowed ourselves to bond just as any new parent bonds with their newborn,” she said. “I think we always knew we wanted to adopt her. She was part of our family. When she was two months old, we began the official process.”
King is a happy stay at home mom and home schools Alyssa.
“We are part of a local home school group called Selah,” she said. “Being part of this group gives us so many opportunities to learn and share talents. Within the group there are book clubs, math club, weekly physical education, support groups, co-ops and so much more.
King said although she did not choose to home school her older children she was pleased with the decision to home school Alyssa after the adoption.
“We decided very early with Alyssa that we wanted to adopt her,” she said. “It felt like a gift from God. An unexpected blessing.”