Ron Reigns:

Welcome. And thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Doing what’s best for your kid and for yourself. Because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid. And that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I am the Executive Director, President and Co-Founder of Building Arizona Families’ adoption agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the Co-Host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife, who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

During the COVID pandemic… I think I always alternate between COVID 19 and coronavirus, because it seems that’s what everybody is doing-

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You want to make sure that you use both. People who refer to it as one can resonate with that, and you’re not leaving somebody out. So I go back and forth and I’m not sure why we all do that, but we’re doing that.

Ron Reigns:

The precedent’s been set, so let’s follow it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Let’s follow it. Let’s jump in. Be part of the crowd. All right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Birth mothers have a really big job to do when they are proceeding and making an adoption plan. We’ve talked about hospital plans in the past. A hospital plan is where a birth mother sits with her case worker and makes an outline of how she wants everything to go at the hospital.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s a detailed plan so that we know what our role is. We can explain to the adoptive parent case manager what their role is, and we can let the hospital social worker and the hospital staff know what their role is. So everybody understands whether birth mom wants to hold the baby after she delivers right away, who she wants to cut the cord, who she wants to be in the delivery room, who she wants to be her primary support person, if she winds up having a C-section, who’s going to be the one to go in with her. We lay this out, so that we all have an idea of where she’s going with it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It changes all the time: Our birth mom may go into the hospital and she may say, “Wait, I want to do it like this instead”, or “wait, wait, wait, I want to change this”. And that’s totally fine. It’s just a guideline and a starting place. But it’s a big deal, because in the hospital, that’s where a birth mom is the star, it’s her show… We want her to feel that. We want to feel that special, heroic feeling-

Ron Reigns:

that empowered…

Ron Reigns:

Right-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And unfortunately, this is now all changed due to coronavirus/ COVID-19. It has absolutely taken away a lot of that glory and heroicness that they get to experience in that moment.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Now it doesn’t take away from the adoption experience, per se, entirely. It does take away from that time-

Ron Reigns:

It takes away her control, correct?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Her control of deciding… And we’re going to go through the decision-making… It takes away a lot… It minimizes her choices. It minimizes her choices.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So what I thought we would do, Ron, is: We would step back and try to bring the positives into the situation that we’re in. Because right now, when we’re looking at a hospital plan and we’re looking at birth moms and how this is negatively affecting them… Life’s a roller coaster: When you go up, you come down, you go up, you come down… I know I’ve made the reference before, in the movie Parenthood with Steve Martin, the grandmother talks about how she likes the up and downs and she doesn’t just want to go on the merry-go-round. I always think of that, because it’s true. I too wouldn’t want to go on a merry-go-round. I’d rather, I don’t like roller coasters in actuality, but, in theory, I like roller coasters.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think there’s so much negativity with the coronavirus and COVID-19 and I agree with it. It’s killing people, it’s destroying our economy, people are not able to work… They’re at home… Kids are not able to go to school… There is a lot of negativity that is around it. It’s a really hard time. It’s unprecedented… We’re scared. We don’t know what’s going to happen next. We don’t know when the country’s going to open back up… What that’s going to look like. Are we going to be wearing masks the rest of our lives? We don’t know what’s going to go on.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I thought, “Okay, let’s try to find a light in this tunnel. Let’s let’s try to… And then, let’s talk about the choices that birth mothers still get to make in their hospital plan.” Even during COVID-19.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

One thing that I was thinking about is… Did you see the picture of Switzerland Matterhorn mountain? Which, by the way, is a rollercoaster at one of the big parks-

Ron Reigns:

At Disneyland.

Ron Reigns:

I hadn’t seen the picture until you sent it to me. And then I started seeing it after that. I’m like, “This is cool. That is very neat.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What was your first response when you saw the picture?

Ron Reigns:

It just felt good… Like we’re all coming together. Almost like after 9/11, we all said, “We’re a nation again.” Now this is saying: “We’re a world, people. Let’s get together and celebrate each other.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Absolutely. So the fact that they illuminated the mountain with the American flag for a few hours as a symbol of solidarity during the 4/17/2020… I thought it made us united, for a moment or for a few moments… There was cohesiveness.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And that positive… We all talk about: “We want world peace. We want this.” Well, for a moment, we have it. Hopefully we’ll get a lot more of those.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The fact that South Korea has committed to mailing us COVID-19 tests… I think that’s incredible, too.

Ron Reigns:

Amazing… The world coming together over this travesty that’s affecting pretty much every nation in the world, it seems like.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. China’s donating masks and protective gear. I have to say…

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When this first started, I went… I know we’re going to talk about parenting in another podcast… But I went online and I was actually reading blogs and statements from mothers in Italy that were quarantining, completely isolated with their kids, just like we’re doing here… And just because I thought, “Okay, this mama has walked it before me. I want to understand everything she did right, everything she felt she did wrong. So I can… She can help me without even knowing me-

Ron Reigns:

Leading by example.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. I thought that was really neat that, in society today, we can get on social media and we can have those experiences. As you stated, we are, as a nation and hopefully as a world, becoming more united.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I love it when we can use the word united in United States. That’s what it’s for. Because we’re united, we’re all together. I love that… I love that the people, that we have not recognized as heroes per se and shown due respect for these frontline workers, are now finally getting what they have deserved.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Nurses are finally being appreciated, whereas before they were looked at as just doctor’s assistants and they didn’t get their MD and so forth. I have a very, very close friend… She’s actually the godmother of my youngest son. She told me the other day she had to go into a local store and she was still in her scrubs from the hospital, because she had just gotten off of her shift.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And she said that there was a line, because they’re only allowing so many people to go into the store. She said that they allowed her to walk ahead and go into the store right away. And she said, “I felt so funny doing that.” And I told her, “no, no, no you deserve it.”

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

“I promise you, everybody standing in that line would not want you to wait. I promise you that they would probably be clapping for you if they didn’t want to feel silly and they wanted you to move on ahead.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think we are finally recognizing how important teachers are and there was a big Red for ED movement and people were not unitedly positive and supportive. I think now that may very well change. I know that when the kids get to go back to school, I will be sending gifts and putting bows on my children’s heads… They’ll be carrying in flowers for their teacher and everything else, because I don’t ever want them to not teach my children again.

Ron Reigns:

Right…. And take care of them for that matter.

Ron Reigns:

I saw a post on Facebook and it really brought this home, because it said, “finally we’re at a point in our society… Because of the coronavirus, where we are not celebrating the actors, celebrities, sports heroes and all this right now, we’re celebrating the teachers, the nurses, the doctors, the first responders in this coronavirus epidemic-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Grocery store clerks.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely… For crying out loud, the fast food employees who are still out there and doing their job and getting us food, even if it is fast food.

Ron Reigns:

We are thinking about the little people instead of these big, hotshot celebrities and movie moguls and stuff…

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Looked at as little people, they’ll be looked at as… Wherever you work, as hard as you work… What matters, what you put into it. It’s not the job per se or the degree that it took to get it. I think it’s your heart, mind and soul. I mean, “if that’s your goal, if that’s what you’re doing, then by all means, finally, this is a time where you can get your glory, because I tell you what…” I don’t know that I could be a grocery clerk right now. I think I’d be too scared. And that is me being candid. I really admire them.

Ron Reigns:

I was in Walmart with my brother-in-law and everybody gets to social distance except for the people at the… I was thinking this about the guy who was at the cash register and checking our food… He has to deal with every single person that goes through that line. And it’s less than six feet for him. He can’t do it from six feet, 12 feet away, he’s got to be right there. Every single person that passes him, he encounters. So he’s taking that risk and I appreciated it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

A funny story on that: Right before they issued the Stay-at-Home Order and we had a little bit of time, I did my last in-person grocery store run, I haven’t been to the grocery store since… I’m going through, and because we have so many kids, Adam is with me and we both have carts and I am throwing food in like… I’m not hoarding or totally stockpiling, but we do have six kids at home… And so there’s eight of us. So we go through it really fast and I’m reading on… Because I am a rule follower, I’m reading all the little signs that say, “maximum quantity, two of this, two of that”. I’m counting it. Apparently, I misunderstood that when they said two of the cleaning products that they… I thought they meant two of each kind-

Ron Reigns:

Right, you get two Pine-Sols and two dish soaps-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That’s what I thought. I had gone through and thought I was following the rules and-

Ron Reigns:

Rebel!

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The store manager came up, because I was doing the self-checkout, because I didn’t want the cashier touching everything.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I was still paranoid at that point… I’m doing the self-checkout and the store manager comes up behind me and he starts going through my cart, pulling out things and telling me that I was not allowed to… I felt violated! I was embarrassed… he’s going through and he’s pulling stuff out and telling me I can’t buy this, I can’t buy this. And I felt like jeeze-

Ron Reigns:

Just tiny, like this big, right?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. It was… So now I do- a

Ron Reigns:

Follow the rules? Oh, you do delivery? Even better! You probably don’t want to go back to that store, even after this is done.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Because it was a genuine mistake, but it was loud and there was people looking at me and I thought… I didn’t…

Ron Reigns:

Yeah, you weren’t doing it to… You thought you were following the rules. Right. I understand.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No… Then I was really afraid… This is even kind of off topic, but, because I was halfway through my order and then I looked over to my bags and I thought: “Oh no, because I had already had some of it”. Then I thought:”Well, if he goes through, he can start returning… it was a mess.”

Ron Reigns:

Yeah, but he obviously didn’t go through your bags that you had already paid or checked out-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I didn’t want to make a bigger scene and my husband’s over at the other cash register, giggling, because I’m busted, but it wasn’t intentional to be busted…

Ron Reigns:

You weren’t grabbing 7,000 rolls of Charmin and it wasn’t… Would that have meant that you get to get two things of Charmin and then two things of Scott or whatever the other brand are? [crosstalk 00:15:10]

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I knew that, but I thought… I didn’t realize that you couldn’t have two Fabulosos and a Windex. So it wasn’t-

Ron Reigns:

It’s one of each and that’s enough… Interesting, I hadn’t really given that much thought, but now I know.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Apparently, hadn’t either.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Let’s find the highlights in the changes in the hospital plan that a birth mother has to make: Sometimes when you sit down with a birth mom and you’re talking about a hospital plan, it’s another actualization moment for them…

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When they’re choosing an adoptive family, it becomes super real. They’re in the moment, they’re present… When they’re making a hospital plan, again, in the moment present, when they first speak to the adoptive family on the phone, in the moment present…

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

This is one of those big moments. This is a big… I don’t want to say hurdle, but it’s a big jump. Oftentimes, even if you prepare them and let them know, “Hey, we’re going to sit down and talk about it” and you start asking some of the questions, they think, “Wow, I hadn’t really thought about how I want that to go.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We spend a lot of time talking about different scenarios and different options, but now those have really, really slimmed down. From a birth mother’s perspective, I can see how it would look like a lot of lows, but you and I are going to point out the highs, so the positives would be this: In Arizona, and this is not across the United States, because I know every state has their own rules and regulations… In Arizona, a birth mother or a pregnant woman, who’s laboring and delivering, can have one support person in most cases.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

This isn’t a possibility for everybody, especially if a birth mother is showing symptoms of coronavirus… The limitations of visitors can be positive… If you look at it from this perspective… The birth mother, if she’s allowed to have one person, can have one person in with her that is positive about her adoption choice…

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

She doesn’t have negative feelings about adoption. Those people in her family, friends, expressing negativity, making her feel bad… They can’t show up… That’s a positive.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

If the hospital originally allowed three people in the room and she has a big family and wants her case worker in there and the adoptive mom, it would be hard to pick and choose. This way, there’s just one. So there’s just one choice… That’s a positive.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

In Arizona, due to the hospital’s occupancy and safety precautions, adoptive parents are not able to obtain nesting rooms. In normal situations and in most hospitals in Arizona, when we have an adoption situation, an adoptive family can have their own nesting room, which means they get their own room at the hospital and baby can go back and forth, if birth mom allows… From the adoptive family room to the birth mom’s room and they can all be staying at the hospital together, in separate rooms.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But, because that’s not an option right now, the birth mother doesn’t have to make the decision of whether or not she wants the baby to be in the room with the adoptive parents without offending them, without having them feel like she is giving up some of her time with the baby or robbing them of their time with the baby. And I think sometimes when you have less choices, life can seem less stressful.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. It’s definitely easier.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We love to go to The Cheesecake Factory. I love The Cheesecake Factory, but I have to say their menu is overwhelming, it’s like a book! Have you been there?

Ron Reigns:

I have not been to The Cheesecake Factory. Heard good things!

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Why haven’t you been to The Cheesecake Factory?

Ron Reigns:

Just never have… Not a fan of the cheesecake-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I’m not either.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But their food is really good.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. We will do that-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Minus the cheesecake.

Ron Reigns:

But I agree with you: When you have… whether it’s shampoo… you have six choices, it’s like, “okay, I can handle that decision”… When you go in there and you see , you’ve got 7,000 different things… has conditioner and shampoo and this has that… And this is for soft hair and that’s too much.

Ron Reigns:

So if you limit that, bring that down a little bit… It does make things much easier. It makes life easier.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

A thousand percent, which is why when … a good point to bring up is… when we have birth mothers choose adoptive families, I always say the ideal number is three to five, because some agencies will flood them with 20 and we could do that, but I don’t think that that’s… It’s overwhelming. It’s too much.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So look at three to five. If you don’t like any of them, then we’ll bring in some more. But rather than go through all of them… You could be going through hundreds of these… And I think it would just be confusing and stressful.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Maybe this will eliminate some of that stress. If a birth mother is exhibiting any coronavirus symptoms, she will most likely be tested right at the hospital.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

This is awesome, because then she doesn’t have to go through the process of going to the testing site, making the appointment prior, having to wait there, having to go through all… It’s a one stop shop.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I thought that was a positive… Doctors and nurses are normally very, very, very kind, very compassionate. But I think right now everybody is going the extra mile, especially understanding that this is not the norm in an adoption situation and a birth mother does not have the people surrounding her that she normally would. I think getting that extra love, care and support from the nursing staff and the doctors is a positive.

Ron Reigns:

I think so, too. Do you have any specific stories? Because you deal with this on a daily basis for…in some things… have you heard any particular stories that you’re like:”Wow, that is neat!”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes. We had a mom that we believed, or the hospital believed, had symptoms and they tested her and I thought they were rapid testing. It’s almost like a pregnancy test, but no, it takes 24 hours at least, sometimes even longer.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So she didn’t get to hold the baby right away or even see the baby, because she was quarantined until her test came back.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They kept coming in and checking on her. And I think at one point they took her phone and took a picture with her phone… Of the baby… So that she could see and they let her know how the baby was doing and kept giving her updates more frequently than normal. I think that was really kind-

Ron Reigns:

That’s very kind.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Goodness. And she tested negative, so that was positive…

Ron Reigns:

It was positive that she was negative. Right. Got it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Positive that she is negative. There you go. So there’s an example.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Also, I think that we all should be grateful that we live in a time where many of us have cell phones that have great cameras on them. We can video chat like we’re doing, and all of our birth mothers are supplied with a smartphone… They can take pictures of their baby and still show family and friends the baby and they still get to show them what a great job they did: Carrying this baby, giving birth to this baby and that’s a big deal… That’s a really big deal.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think, yes, it’s a little thing, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. And that’s a way.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So in those five things, I hope that we can, again, find more positives in this time of negativity. I love the whole analogy of lemon and lemonade.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Lemons are sour, but we add water, ice and sugar and it tastes amazing. I mean, we crave it… I crave it… I think it’s great.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

If we can stay united, if we can stay in this positivity, when we’re surrounded by so much negativity and so many terrifying things and so many unknowns, I think that we’ll be able to be stronger together. Does that make sense?

Ron Reigns:

It absolutely does.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I hope that this too shall pass and life will return to normal and people will heal and become healthy again. And we, like I said, we’ll fight this pandemic together.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth other Matters in Adoption.

Ron Reigns:

If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption, Building Arizona Families is a local Arizona adoption agency and available 24/7 by phone or text at (623) 695-4112, that’s 6-2-3-6-9-5-4-1-1-2.

Ron Reigns:

We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan or just get you more information. You can also find out more information about Building Arizona Families on their website at azpregnancyhelp.com.

Ron Reigns:

Thanks also go out to Grapes for allowing us to use their song, I Don’t Know is our theme song. Birth Mother Matters in Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me.

Ron Reigns:

Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us, we’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website at birthmothermatterspodcast.com.

Ron Reigns:

Tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I’m Ron Reigns.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome. And thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry, me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid, and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the executive director, president and co-founder of Building Arizona Families Adoption Agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation, and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development, and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption, and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now, I work for my wife, who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

All right, let’s do this, podcast 70, parenting during the coronavirus pandemic, sheltering in place, some of us are calling it staying home, some of us are calling it quarantining. This is dedicated to all those parents, adoptive parents, non-adoptive parents, we are all, unitedly, experiencing changes. There’s blessings in it. We get spend more time with our kids. There’s a myriad of emotions. Social media is flooded with all kinds of comments, suggestions, complaints, and everything in between. Some of it’s funny, some of it, as a parent… We both are parents, I have a blended family, and so in total we have seven, six of them living in home. And the ages that our kids are, are I think every age has its challenges, but we have now an almost nine-year-old. An 11-year-old, a 13-year-old, a 15-yea-old, two 17-year-olds, and then my 23-year-old doesn’t live at home.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

She’s on her own, and doing amazing. So with our almost nine-year-old, 11-year-old, 13-year-old, 15-year-old, and two 17-year-olds, us being quarantined as a family of eight is something for reality TV.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And then with your son, he’s on his own, like my oldest is-

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… and is he quarantined right now?

Ron Reigns:

Yes, he’s no longer working, because he works at a mall. So that’s all been shut down, and he is living with his girlfriend and her parents, but they’re all pretty much quarantined. She’s still going to work, however, and she works for, not a retirement home, but where they take care of the elderly.

Ron Reigns:

So every day she goes into work, she’s got to get her temperature done and they keep a sharp eye on any symptoms and things like that. Because, boy, that could be just tragic. And I think John’s being very responsible, because he’s like, “She’s in a position where she could do a lot of damage if I make a mistake.” So he’s very fastidious about self-quarantine.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

From home, does he stand at the front door with a hose and a bottle of bleach and just-

Ron Reigns:

Do a Silkwood shower?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… spray her.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely, every single day. But-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Are her –

Ron Reigns:

… yes-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… white now?

Ron Reigns:

… he’s being very responsible, like all of us.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My 23-year-old, she is working from home now. She has transitioned to commuting at home, and she doesn’t have the best immune system and she’s tiny. And so I’m thrilled that she’s at home. Now her roommate does still go into work, but he works more in a recreational vehicle rental. So it’s like RVs and the big, what are the big, the big things, not dune buggies. I forget fancy, but you ride them out in the sand. And that’s considered an essential business.

Ron Reigns:

Hey, why not, right?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So he is not flooded with lots of people, but he’s doing his part and he’s going to work. And-

Ron Reigns:

No.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… because I can be an overbearing parent, they have gotten a list of what I would really appreciate (don’t even try it). Meaning, let’s not go to the store, let’s have it delivered. Because if he goes and he brings it home, then my daughter can get it too. So I unfortunately am going to come across as one of those parents that is just overbearing, which is probably true. We all have flaws, that’s probably mine. One of them.

Ron Reigns:

It’s not the worst one to have, for sure.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right? So I have always believed that parenting is the hardest, most challenging, and most underrated job. It’s the best job in the world, but it doesn’t come without bad days, hurt feelings, oftentimes, regrets over decisions that you’ve made as a parent. Like, “I should have handled it this way.” Or, “Maybe if I had done or education on the forefront, they wouldn’t have made this choice.” And going into this pandemic, this time of absolute, I don’t want to say chaos, because it’s not chaos, but it’s so unprecedented. We’ve never experienced it in our lifetimes. We’ve never been in this type of situation.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Schools are closed, so kids are at home. They’re not able to go to their friends’ houses or the mall or the movies. And with us having four teenagers at home, almost five teenagers at home, our kids are social, and this is tough, because four of our kids play sports, and they’re unable to play sports right now. And so that’s an issue for them, and I’m sure hundreds of thousands of millions of other kids are experiencing the same thing.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But I think as parents to step back for a moment and say, “Okay, it’s not just us as adults that are experiencing this crisis, this pandemic, this change in our everyday lives. Our kids are too. And when we’re stressed, they can feel it and we’re stressing them out.”

Ron Reigns:

It’s contagious.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Oh, absolutely. And I think that they do hear the news and they’re on social media, and we’ll be at the dinner table, and one of my kids will pipe up about something that they saw on the news. And I’m thinking, “You’re watching the news.”

Ron Reigns:

What 10-year-old watches news?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I watched Little House on the Prairie and Dukes of Hazard, why are you watching this? And so they hear about, even just, if they overhear you talking on the phone about losing a love one or a loved one being sick, or how their grandparents are doing, and the job situation. And they hear all these statistics, and I think that teenagers, today, are very different from teenagers that you and I were, in our age. And they seem to be, I think, more on top of it than I know I was. They understand what the word furlough meant, and my daughter was furloughed. She was working at a Harkins movie theater, and she came home and said, “Okay, mom, here’s the paperwork. They told me the CARES Act and unemployment, and…” And I said, “Well, honey, you’re part-time. You’re not going to qualify.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And she said, “No, no, no. They said CARES Act and try.” So she applied, and, of course, she got denied, because she was part-time. But she loved going to work. She loved it. She is a junior in high school, and she’s looking at this, like, “I’m running out of time. This is my time to have fun, before I graduate high school.” And I think of those poor seniors this year, that didn’t get to do prom, although they’re doing the promella.

Ron Reigns:

What’s a promella?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So this summer, I don’t know all the details on it, but the kids that didn’t get to go to prom, they’re hosting it, I guess, I don’t know if it’s statewide or certain… I don’t know Coachella where all the big stars go.

Ron Reigns:

Oh yes.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They’re calling it promella.

Ron Reigns:

Okay, got it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And they get to go and have this massive prom. And I said, “Well, I don’t know that that would be fun, anyway, because it’d be so many people, you wouldn’t see people from your high school.” And she said, “Yeah. Okay.” And so both the kids were like, “Are we get to go to promella?” “No.” That’s what senior year’s for. So senior year, because now they do like the junior/senior prom, where I think senior prom will be just fine.

Ron Reigns:

Really? See, we had junior/senior prom, too.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We didn’t. We had homecoming, and then we had like a ball, like a winter ball, I don’t remember what it’s called, and then prom.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. We had junior/senior prom, so we got to go two years, lucky us.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, no.

Ron Reigns:

I only went one, but-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

See.

Ron Reigns:

… we were allowed to.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Uncle Ron only got to go to one prom, there, I’ll use that on my two kids.

Ron Reigns:

But I went when I was a junior, not a senior. I wasn’t a popular kid.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Okay, see, backwards.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. Yeah. I did it backwards, like most things in my life.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I wasn’t going to go there, Ron. So for parents, I think there’s like three big… I’m going to come at this from both a professional standpoint and from a personal standpoint, because it’s much easier to not practice what you preach. It’s easy to say and not do. So you and I have agreed from day one, we are going to be honest and open and candid. And so I’m going to just do that as a parent, because we all make mistakes. We all wish we could have done something different.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So working from home with six kids is definitely a challenge. It’s definitely a challenge. I think a lot of people understand that people are telecommuting, and they are kinder and making allowances for that. Of course, when we’re on the phone, as we’re answering it, we’re snapping to let everybody know, stop talking, stop the dogs from barking. Inevitably, the minute the phone rings, the doorbell rings, or the children, the minute you pick up the phone and you’re talking to somebody, they have the most important thing to tell you. Or if you go in the bedroom and shut the door, they knock, because then they all of a sudden realize that they forgot something, so then they’re knocking on the door. It’s almost like a magnet.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Working from a home has its own challenges, but now, we have children, a lot of us working from home telecommuting have children. And not only are we working from home and navigating that and reestablishing rules and guidelines and expectations, we’re now faced with their schoolwork. So we’re now their teacher.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And this is a funny story. And I won’t win mother of the year for this one. My youngest son is almost nine, he’s eight, and he is absolutely obsessed with Fortnite, on the Xbox. I mean, that is what he lives and dies for is Fortnite. And, obviously, one of the moms on the website that I read, it says, “Don’t worry about screen time.” So I thought, okay, I’ll relax a little bit and not worry about the hours that he’s on it. And then I started thinking, he really is on that a lot. And he has his own little laptop, and I’m checking with his teacher making sure that he’s doing the assignments, and he’s telling me, “Yep, mom, I got it. I got it. I got it. I did it all.” And then he’s back on Fortnite. And I’m thinking, “Wow, he’s really fast on school work, but okay.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And so then on Thursday, I text his teacher and I said, “I just want to double check, he’s totally up to date right? We’re not missing any assignments.” Because with my older kids, I can go online and their teachers will list them. Well, this is not like it this with him, because they have to make up this work, create it. And she said, “Oh no, no, he’s missing a little bit.” And so she sent me these two packets and I thought, oh, we weren’t as on top of it, as I felt we were.

Ron Reigns:

Right, so there goes Fortnite.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. Bye-bye Fortnite, until all the packets are complete. The first night that we had the packets, we don’t let him get on fortnight until nine o’clock in the morning, because he’ll wake up and want to be on it at 6:00. He slept next to it on the floor, like his pillow and his blanket, because he has a little TV in his room with his fortnite. He literally slept next to the TV and the little entertainment center. I guess he just wanted to be close to it, I don’t know.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So, yes, so I took the advice and it didn’t really work out so well. So now, obviously, his teacher and I have set up like a protocol, so I’ll know exactly what he’s doing without… Because, again, I’m working full time. So I’m working and I’m trying to make sure that all six of the kids are doing their work and thinking that… he’s telling me, “Oh, I got it. I got it.” And I’m thinking, oh, good boy. Yay. Good.

Ron Reigns:

Right. So proud.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s much easier that than, now, I’ll be sitting in my chair at the computer working, and I’ll turn around and there he is with his laptop going, “Mom, how do I do this?” And I’m thinking, oh wow. Okay. And math is different than it was when you and I were little. And you don’t-

Ron Reigns:

Definitely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So then I’m calling one of his siblings, because I want to make sure that it’s the exact process, and I’m not teaching them the old school way, and it’s… Yeah, so siblings have been amazing. They are my saving grace right now, because I don’t like homework. I like projects. I mean,

Ron Reigns:

Okay. That makes sense.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… I love projects. I kind of love them too much. I almost take over. And this is funny, my oldest daughter, again, I’m going to look like this, ah, evil mom, but whatever. When my oldest daughter was younger, she got to pick somebody that she wanted to do a board about and do the history, and I was really into the crocodile Hunter, at that time. I was watching all of his shows. And I said, “I’ll help you if you choose the Crocodile Hunter.” And she said, “I have to choose the Crocodile Hunter?” I said, “Yes, if you want me to really help you with it. Otherwise, you can do it on your own.” So then she said, “Okay, I’ll do the Crocodile Hunter.” Then I was like, “This is my board. Back off.”

Ron Reigns:

Back off.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And then I think I even had the nerve to say, “What did we get? When she got graded on it. We did get an A, by the way.

Ron Reigns:

We. Good job.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Anyway. So I think that we’re all learning together. I’m making mistakes. I thought I was more on top of my youngest son’s work than I was. And now, like I said, we have set up, and what I’ve learned is there’s a foolproof plan. Now, instead of him doing all of his work on the computer, I’m printing off the packets. And that way I can check the packets, because there was no way for me to really check to see if he did this on the assignment. And so this is much easier for me, and I think him, so I can just go through the packets every week and make sure they’re completed. And then check his mind time. I just time it 20 minutes on this math site and 20 minutes on that English site, and read for 20 minutes and it’s good, so live and learn.

Ron Reigns:

Well, it is a transition and you’re adapting and that’s the important thing. I mean, when you see, okay, there is a problem. I mean, it takes more time and for you as a parent to go, “Okay,” like you said before, “I’m not just a parent right now. I’m also a teacher in a lot of ways.” And so it’s not easy. Good for you for making those changes that you’ve needed to make. And, of course, nobody could have started this whole quarantine thing and be 100% on the ball, with every single thing in line, we all have to learn, so good for you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. And I thought by sharing that story, I mean, it would let other moms and dads know like, it’s okay to say, “I screwed this up.” I thought I was more on top of it than I was. And the teacher and I together figured out a way that he could be more successful, because the packets that he has to have done by Monday night are a couple inches thick, they’re big. Some of them are just, you read a page and they, you answer some questions, it’s not… He’ll be fine, we’ll get through it together. But I think it’s important to let parents know, just do the best you can. We’re all going to get through this together somehow, some way. And go teachers, really go teachers. Because I need them back, Ron. I need them back.

Ron Reigns:

Please.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Well I think, some ways to survive, if you’re working from home with your kids there, is be realistic. Maybe set expectations on the front end, and that’s what I’m trying to do. So during the hours of 9:00 to 5:00, that is our work time, if you need something, obviously, we’re here for you and we’ll help you, but you may have to wait. I may not be able to drop what I’m doing at that moment and jump in and help you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The other thing that I have found is I have done on the “emergency drill” type, which is, what you do is, you say, “Okay, when the phone rings, what are you supposed to do? You’re not supposed to yell. You’re not supposed to decide to make the dogs run up and down the stairs,” which they were doing at six o’clock this morning. “You’re not supposed to argue with your sister. We’re supposed to be quiet when there’s a phone call or there is an important Skype meeting. That’s not the time to express yourself, that’s for later.”

Ron Reigns:

Okay. Very good.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

“If I have the door shut and I say, ‘I’m going to be in the bedroom, I’m on an important phone, or I’ve got to complete this,’ as much as I love each and every drawing you make me, that’s not the time that you bang on the door until I open it so we can talk about it.” I love those. I do, and I save all of their artwork. I have bins and bins, Ron, of everything. And I cherish them. But as much as I want to look at it at that moment, sometimes it makes me feel like I’m a bad parent, when I say, “Can we just wait a little bit?” And it’s not me rejecting, because I feel like I’m rejecting them and I’m pushing them away. I’m not, I’m just postponing. I’m postponing. I’m not pushing them away.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The other thing is, is that I do use incentives as well, Fortnite time, screen time. Sometimes the kids will want to make a cake, and so they’ll make a cake. I’ve also, with my three oldest, once a week, each one of them is now responsible for making dinner for everybody.

Ron Reigns:

Very good.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So I figure I’m teaching them how to cook, at the same time, I’m giving them a responsibility, and then I’m also taking something out of my to-do list and handing it to them. And they’re very creative and they’ve done a great job so far, I mean, they’re making these elaborate meals. I’d be happy with hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. As long as I don’t have to cook it, I’m happy. I’m good. I’d be happy with cereal. But they’re doing really well.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We have a designated area for our “home office,” but if somebody didn’t, I would designate it. Maybe part of the kitchen table or if you have a desk area and that’s your stuff. Our kids would start to come over to my desk and grab a pen and grab this and grab that. And it’s not a free for all. That’s my office space. You wouldn’t walk into my office at our actual location and just start pulling pens off. That’s not okay to do.

Ron Reigns:

It’s not appropriate.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No. The other thing is, is I work 9:00 to 5:00, but I will often find myself, if I have a kid that’s having a hard day or there’s something going on, I will make sure that I just work after they go to bed.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So the times I’m working are crazy. I mean, I’ll be sending on emails at midnight and really trying to catch up, because again, I don’t want to be that parent that’s constantly harping on them. Because they’re having a hard time too, this isn’t easy for anybody. Check off lists, I’m one of those people where I love lists. I will put something on a list just to check it off, because then I feel like I’m accomplishing more.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And planning ahead, working on the weekends, and giving myself a little bit of slack. I still feel really guilty about my son’s work, but at the same time, he’s only in third grade. Hopefully, this will be something he forgets.

Ron Reigns:

He could do it again. I’m just kidding.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. Let’s not do it again.

Ron Reigns:

Do third grade again, okay. Fair enough.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We’ve got all these kids that are so active and we’re in Arizona, so we have a pool, and I’m thinking, “Okay, come on, warm up, warm up.” And it’s warm here, it’s going to be in the 90s. Well, my almost nine year old was like, “Yes,” and is jumping in the pool and I’m thinking it’s freezing. He doesn’t care. So I will take my laptop out there and sit there while he’s in the pool, because he thinks it’s fun. So pool time is another incentive. I don’t think it’d be an incentive to go in that freezing pool, but, apparently, at eight-

Ron Reigns:

Kids are more resilient when it comes to that, certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. With teenagers, I think we can increase our expectations in general and have them help clean. I know you and I talked about this earlier. And part of my hesitation with having teenagers clean is the complaining and the arguing and the negotiating and the, “Well, I did that last time. Why can’t she do it?” And when you have the essential Brady Bunch, which is what we do, three girls and three boys, you get all kinds. You get all kinds of that.

Ron Reigns:

While it should be easy, you think, oh, I’ve got this huge staff that can-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s an army.

Ron Reigns:

… clean everything. But when they’re teenagers, they don’t want to do it. So it’s tooth and nail just to get them to clean the bathroom after they’ve peed on the seat or whatever.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. Right. And when you have two teenage boys and two teenage girls, yes, it can be a challenge. I think allowing them to manage their own schoolwork. I know that we have allowed some of our kids, who are self-motivated and responsible, to allocate which time they want to do their homework. They don’t have to do it first thing in the morning. Whereas, I have two other ones that they don’t get to choose the time, they start at nine o’clock and that has to be done, and now one of them is my almost nine year old, prior to anything else-

Ron Reigns:

Anything.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… that has to come first. The other thing is-

Ron Reigns:

Different children are different, so that’s how that’s got to be. Because some children react very well to a structured, “Okay, 9:00 AM, I’ve got to do my homework. I’ve got to do this.” Where others are like, “You know what? I work better, if I can do it later in the afternoon. I can get a couple of things that I want to do done. And then I will go and do it.” But if they’re not disciplined enough to go do it, then you’ve got to set up structure, certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yep. And catch it on the front end, unlike I did. Another thing that I have just about started, actually, we’re starting this week, is, there are things that teenagers can do to help our business, so they can put labels on envelopes. They can help burn DVDs that we have created for some agency materials. And they’re going to start helping with that, because I think they need to feel like they’re contributing. And I need them to feel like they’re contributing.

Ron Reigns:

Right. Like a sense of accomplishment always helps. Yeah, these are all good ideas. Thank you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Another thing that we did for social distancing and quarantining is, my daughter really, really is struggling, the one that works, she’s really having a hard time. Some of our kids are fine and their home bodies anyway. But my 17-year-old is really having a tough time, just staying at home. And so, one of her best friends lives about five houses down. What we have allowed her to do is she goes down the street with a mask on, and she sits on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street, and they’ll talk for an hour to two hours back and forth, and just be able to physically see each other. And it makes her……

Ron Reigns:

If it working for her, that’s great.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. She says, “Mom, really a mask.” And I said, “Yes, because if she sneezes and the wind blows, just wear the mask.”

Ron Reigns:

Please, for me, come on. Well, I got to say another thing that’s a blessing in this time of the Coronavirus is that it is 2020. And can you imagine 1987, and all of a sudden your teenage life has been cut off completely, all you have is a rotary phone on the wall. I mean, they’ve got FaceTime, they’ve got Zoom, they’ve got computers, they’ve got video games that they can play together, even with not being in the same room. I mean, thank God for all of this stuff to help them get through this, because I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like when I was in high school.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No. So many companies were offering free, like the educational programs that they can go on. I know Cox has said for low income families that can’t afford the internet, they’re allowing it for children that are under the age of 17. So many people in the community are allowing… Disney is bringing out movies sooner on the Disney channel. So I think that everyone’s trying to help. And I think that that’s us being united and coming together, and I think that’s great.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But just acknowledging for teenagers that this is anxiety… Anxiety’s normal and it’s normal to grieve that you’re not with your friends every day, and you’re missing your teachers, and you’re missing just being away from the house. You’re missing being able to go to Circle K and get snacks, and that kind of stuff.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And as adults, if we’re having a hard time, I think stepping back and recognizing that they’re having a hard time is important. And I have to remind myself of that too, because I’m thinking, okay, well, my husband and I are running business and we’ve got all these kids, and we’re dealing with all these situations and they’re just as important. And their lives are just as important to them as our lives are as important to us. And it’s really funny when you read online some of the parents and the comments that they’re making, about how frustrated they’re with the kids, because I have to say, I’m there at times. I get it. I get it. I’m laughing with you, not at you, because I can relate, and I understand. And don’t look back at this and judge yourself, because it’s a hard time. It’s a hard time.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And lastly, one thing that’s really important is, April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month. There was a county called Tift County Council on Child Abuse, and they’re working to raise awareness during COVID and the shelter in place orders. In the midst of this outbreak of COVID-19, many families find themselves facing many of the risk factors for child abuse and neglect, parental stress, economic instability, food insecurity, lack of adequate childcare and lack of normal routines. And so, really just be cognizant of what’s going on and don’t let yourself get stressed about things that you don’t don’t need to stress about.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And hopefully, a lot of people in the social work field, and I can say this from being in the social work field, are concerned that having families and children isolated and not getting a break, and not getting a time out from each other, that there will be increased rates of abuse and neglect.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And prior to the pandemic outbreaking, children would go to school and teachers and other people could see what was going on. And if there was a problem, and, unfortunately, because there’s no other eyes on some children that may be at risk, it’s a concern. I think that we really have to make sure that parents are equipped to navigate these uncharted waters. I know that there was a study done a long time ago, where when parents would pick up their kids from school, they would hand the parents a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And they had found that during this time that child abuse rates dropped, in that particular study. Because when we’re hungry and we’re rushed and maybe our blood sugar’s a little bit low, we’re not always at our best. And maybe that’s when we’re more prone to making choices we wouldn’t normally make.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And so I think that it’s important to, as a parent, take care of yourself. And it’s like the airplane analogy, you can’t put the oxygen mask on your child first, you have to put it on yourself first, and then you can help your child, because you’re no help to your child if you’re passed out. So it’s important to really make sure, as a parent, that you’re doing your self-care, and you are the best that you can be, because that’s how you can be the best parent. What is some advice that you would give, Ron?

Ron Reigns:

Well, obviously my son, 26 years old, and he is out of the house, so we don’t have to deal with the family thing. But I do find that with me and Lisa, honestly, we’ve been self-quarantined for a few years now, because this is just how we live. We work from the house, and we have for a long time. So this isn’t too abnormal, but I do know that we have our own spaces. She has an office. I have my own office that I’m talking to you from right now, and that’s been incredible.

Ron Reigns:

So to try and help other families, I was thinking, like you’ve got seven kids plus two adults, and if you can make one space, a room where people can get away from everybody else and be alone and use that. And say, “Okay, you guys got to take shifts, obviously.” But if there’s a place that you can go and whether it’s read or play video games and just be away from everybody for an hour at a time, then maybe that will help to alleviate some of that stress, as long as you can keep them from fighting over it.

Ron Reigns:

If you have a schedule that says, “Okay, Aiden’s got the room this hour. Logan’s got it this hour,” and just go through everybody, and maybe that would help. I don’t really have great advice, but I do know that our separation, our areas that we can go, has helped us to… We just thrive. I mean, and then we enjoy our time together more, because we’re not forced to constantly be on each other’s backs.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think that’s really good advice. I think that’s really good advice. So we are going to get through this with our listeners, Ron, we’re going to get through this time. And hopefully, at the next recording, we will have flattened the Coronavirus curve-

Ron Reigns:

Very good.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… and everybody will be on the mend. So let’s hope for that.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption, Building Arizona Families, is a local Arizona adoption agency and available to 24/7 by phone or text, at (623) 695-4112 that’s (623) 695-4112. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan, or just get you more information. You can also find out more information about Building Arizona Families on their website at azpregnancyhowhelp.com.

Ron Reigns:

Thanks, also, go out to Grapes for allowing us to use their song, I Dunno, as our theme song. Birth Mother Matters in Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us, we’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website at birthmothermatterspodcast.com. Tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption, for Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I’m Ron Reigns.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome, and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption, with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid, and for yourself. Because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I am the executive director, president, and co-founder of Building Arizona Families adoption agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation, and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in Family Studies and Human Development, and a master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption, and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife, who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We had talked about this last week, about doing a whole blog thing on this, on the coronavirus and on-

Ron Reigns:

COVID 19 and abortion, right?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. And I think that because I, yeah..

Ron Reigns:

You know, it blows me away that people are taking this coronavirus and trying to make it about abortion and totally using this pandemic in the United States to push their agenda. And I know in a weird way, we’re kind of doing the same thing, but we’re kind of responding to what’s going on in the news, because they are using this. And we’re trying to say, no, let’s focus on-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Well, what we’re doing is prioritizing the coronavirus and the materials and medical equipment that is necessary to the frontline healthcare workers.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And you know, every ventilator that is hoarded by planned parenthood is taking away a potential life, two actually.

Ron Reigns:

I was going to ask you, so you said nearly a million babies are aborted every year. Is that worldwide? Because I thought it was around 600,000 in the United States. Am I incorrect on that? And it’s been steadily going down since like the 90s.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Actually, according to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly one million women choose to end their pregnancy in the United States. And one quarter of American women will use abortion services by 45 years of age. So according to the Guttmacher Institute, around 70,000 people seek abortion care in the US every month.

Ron Reigns:

I saw something online. Well, because I was doing research too.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Well. There are very, there are huge discrepancies in numbers on-

Ron Reigns:

Because of who reports and who doesn’t.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Because of who reports. That’s correct. If you look at the state data from the Center of Health Statistics for that particular state, they will differ admittedly from the Guttmacher Institute. The Guttmacher Institute appears to have a higher number. So again, there is some flexibility in these numbers. Now I also want to preface in this podcast that this research that was pulled, was pulled on Sunday of this week. That being said, the COVID numbers are going to be very different. They’re going to be much higher than we are reporting now, because again, we are prerecording this due to the social distancing regulations. So that being said, please take that into consideration. We’re going to examine and really dive into some of the states, like Texas, Ohio, Alabama. I think that Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas are all states that are trying to restrict abortions, prohibit non-essential medical procedures during this coronavirus health crisis. And the debate in this category is that abortion is and should be included a non-essential procedure.

Ron Reigns:

Right. And the other side is saying, no, this is absolutely essential.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Plastic surgery, obviously, would be a non-essential.

Ron Reigns:

Exactly. That’s elective. You’re choosing to, it’s not something that you need to live or function, right?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Not life or death matter.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes. In Alabama, Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma state lawmakers have issued orders to limit access to abortions in the month of April. But again, as we go into these states and we talk about some of them, we are finding that this is turning into a court battle and both sides are trying to state, obviously, yes, this is an essential service, this is not an essential service. So, that’s where it is boiling down to. The reason that this is important to really dive into is because in looking at these cases, the rulings ultimately could impact the upcoming case regarding overturning Roe v. Wade or not. And so this is kind of maybe foreshadowing a little bit of what’s to come in the future. You know, the rulings that are being put in place now, will have some effect.

Ron Reigns:

On future rulings, certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. So, the Alabama Center for Health Statistics reports that 6,063 abortions took place in their state in 2017, which averages out to approximately 505 abortions a month. And again, this is, as of this past Sunday, Alabama has experienced an unfortunate 93 deaths resulting from COVID-19.

Ron Reigns:

So that means more than five times the lives lost to COVID-19 have been taken due to abortions.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That is correct, because COVID-19 has been in existence, what I believe in Alabama for at least a month, is that correct? Since it started back in March.

Ron Reigns:

At least. Even if we’ve said it’s been two months in Alabama, so say they lost 186, would that be, I believe that would be 186. It’s still twice as many in one month that, well, actually you would, if you would want to compare apples to apples. So you would say two months in Alabama.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Actually, you know what, it’d be the other way. It would be, if we’re saying that COVID has existed for two months, it would actually be-

Ron Reigns:

Only 90. You’re right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’d be half of 93.

Ron Reigns:

And so almost 10 times the amount of lives lost to abortions as opposed to COVID-19.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That is correct.

Ron Reigns:

Wow. Yep. Okay. I undid my math. All right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

All right. So CBS reports that a judge rules Alabama cannot prohibit abortion during the coronavirus crisis. A federal judge said on Sunday, ruled that Alabama cannot ban abortions as part of the state’s response to coronavirus. US District Judge Myron Thompson issued a preliminary injunction sought by clinics to prevent the state from forbidding abortions, as part of a ban on elective medical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thompson said that abortion providers can decide whether a procedure can wait. “Based on the current record, the defendant’s efforts to combat COVID-19, do not outweigh the lasting harm imposed by the denial of an individual’s right to terminate her pregnancy, by undue burden or increase on a patient’s imposed by a delayed procedure, or by the cloud of unwarranted prosecution against providers.” Thompson wrote in an opinion.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. I want to look at that more closely, that quote. Okay, I’m going to reread that because I found that interesting or at least part of it, I’ll reread. “Based on the current record, the defendant’s efforts to combat COVID-19, do not outweigh the lasting harm imposed by the denial of an individual’s right to terminate her pregnancy.” So, let me sum that up. He’s essentially saying that your efforts to save lives from COVID-19, don’t outweigh the importance of taking lives, due to abortion. Is, am I summing that up correctly? That sounds like what he’s saying and it’s ludicrous to me.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That’s how I read it. So basically they’re saying that regardless of the risk factors of COVID-19, it is still more important for a woman’s right to choose.

Ron Reigns:

To take a life. Okay. So, he wants to take as many lives as possible, is what it sounds like to me.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Wow.

Ron Reigns:

I might be-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That’s your opinion.

Ron Reigns:

Kind of editorializing a little bit, but that’s exactly what it sounds like to me.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. And that, and your response, I think is probably very much felt by others. You know, it elicits a strong response, because it’s a strong statement. And for families that are losing loved ones, and can’t be with them in the end, to COVID-19. That statement has got a sting, for adoptive families that are trying and trying and trying to have a baby. And right now fertility treatments are considered elective procedures. And so a lot of that is being postponed and delayed. And yet we’re waiting, we’re having to wait to create lives. But in Alabama, this judge is saying that we don’t have to wait to end up, which is hard to hear. And that’s a tough statement. And I’m, I sympathize with each and every person that reads this, that has lost a loved one, to COVID-19. Because that is, there’s no words. Let’s just go there. There’s no words. The Iowa’s Center for Health Statistics reports that 3,269 abortions took place in their state in 2017, which averages out to approximately 272 abortions a month. To date, Iowa has experienced an unfortunate 41 deaths resulting from COVID-19.

Ron Reigns:

And once again, I mean, at the bare minimum, we’re talking about five times as many lives lost to abortion as to COVID-19, in essentially the same amount of time. We’re going to go ahead and say one month for one for what we’ve been dealing with with COVID-19.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s just unbelievable. And I hope and pray that the numbers of COVID-19 don’t increase.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The deaths that have already happened are tragic. And I hope that the numbers stop, and we don’t keep experiencing that. And part of this podcast I feel, and I hope it’s okay, Ron, that I’m speaking for both of us, is that by eliminating doing procedures, at least during the COVID-19 crisis, those medical supplies, the masks, the ventilators, everything that they’re using can be transferred to the frontline workers and saving more people.

Ron Reigns:

Right. Instead of taking it away from those efforts. Certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Agreed. All right, Kentucky. The Kentucky Department of Health Statistics reports that 3,201 abortions took place in their state in 2017, which averages out to approximately 267 abortions a month. To date, Iowa has experienced an unfortunate 97 deaths resulting from COVID-19. Sorry. To date, Kentucky has experienced an unfortunate 97 deaths from COVID-19, which-

Ron Reigns:

And again, neither of these numbers, both of these numbers represent lives. You know. [crosstalk 00:13:00] that’s the hard part.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Both of these numbers are deaths. And that’s a really important point to understand, they’re both deaths.

Ron Reigns:

And in a weird way, they both represent the lives of humans that are most vulnerable. On the one end, the COVID-19 seems to be more lethal obviously to the older adults, who are less self-sufficient and then abortions ] we’re talking about the very, most vulnerable in our society.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, absolutely. So, Ohio. The Ohio Center for Health Statistics reports that 20,893 abortions took place in their state in 2017, which averages out to 1,741 abortions a month. To date, Ohio has experienced an unfortunate 253 deaths resulting from COVID-19. We’re seeing a lot of the same statistics, how many times, in terms of how many deaths in a ratio to, from abortions to COVID-19. And ironically, if you break it down, it’s kind of within the same number, five times ten, six times, seven times the amount.

Ron Reigns:

It’s essentially dwarfed, the deaths by COVID-19 are dwarfed by how many abortions are performed in that given state, in a month.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But if these states are still practicing, and we take all of the masks and all of the ventilators and all of the medical supplies that are necessary, and we give them to the frontline. How many of these deaths wouldn’t have occurred?

Ron Reigns:

Right. On both ends.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

On both ends. So let’s jump down to Texas. So Texas is in the middle of a super controversial situation right now. So the Texas Center for Health Statistics reports that 53,277 abortions took place in their state in 2017, which averages out to approximately 4,440 abortions a month. To date, Texas has experienced an unfortunate 271 deaths resulting from COVID-19. Abortion providers in Texas led by Planned Parenthood, which is the nation’s largest abortion provider, led abortion providers in Texas filed against suit against the state of Texas’ decision to restrict abortions under these circumstances. Their claim was upheld in the federal court, and permission for abortions was restored. Unfortunately, and I’m saying, unfortunately, because I’m reading the article, this state appealed the decision and the appeals court reversed the decision and restored the restriction. And there’s a pending hearing on the 13th. So obviously, when I’m saying unfortunate, I’m actually meaning fortunate.

Ron Reigns:

Right. You’re quoting somebody else who thinks it’s unfortunate.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right? I’m quoting somebody. So that being said, there was a order issued and it is on the Texas Tribune. The ruling stated that the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will allow medical abortions, which involve a patient ingesting pills, to proceed in Texas during the coronavirus outbreak. The latest development in a weeks long legal dispute over state officials attempt to ban the procedure in nearly all circumstances as it combats the pandemic. A previous ruling from the New Orleans based appeals court lets patients near the legal gestational limit receive abortions as well. Hundreds of abortions in Texas have been canceled since state officials bar the procedure except when a women’s health is at risk, as the novel coronavirus spreads. The prohibition is meant to preserve personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves, that is in short supply nationwide and to free up bed space as hospitals prepare for a possible surge in COVID-19 patients. I think that this is the lesser of two evils. At least they’re not allowing abortions, medical abortions. They’re just allowing the medicinal abortions.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I still would prefer that not occur as well, but at least we are not looking at the medical procedures in the state of Texas.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So that is-

Ron Reigns:

Kind of a 50/50. It’s half good, half bad.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes, it is. And Planned Parenthood is the abortion global giant. Reportedly, being the nation’s largest provider, they performed 346,000 abortions in 2018, which is a 4% increase over 2017.

Ron Reigns:

Which the trend had been going down. Am I wrong?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It has. It’s fluctuated so much. So in, and again, we’re going with the Guttmacher Institutes right now. We’re going, we, when we went before I went with the lower numbers, which were reported from the state health departments, because I wanted to, I don’t want numbers inflated. I want the most accurate numbers that we can come across.

Ron Reigns:

Certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

However, because we are looking at the overall us numbers and these are only the ones that are reported. Again, these are not reflective of every abortion that has been performed, or has been done. But in 2000, 1,310,000 abortions took place. In 2008, it was 1,210,000. In 2017, it was 862,320.

Ron Reigns:

So the trend is overall down.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Well, yes, the lowest abortion rate ever was observed in 2017. But remember, the 346,000 was only the abortions done by Planned Parenthood.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. All right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That’s not the abortions overall in the United States. That’s solely just Planned Parenthood’s part.

Ron Reigns:

By Planned Parenthood.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

In going further into some of the other articles that have been displayed all over social media, as we’re talking about Planned Parenthood. If you look at the, Pennsylvania allows Planned Parenthood to perform abortions, despite elective surgery ban. That’s crazy. I want to read this because I can’t, I’m still trying to understand where the other side is coming from. I, again, I try to keep an open mind and really try, even if I disagree, I still want to understand.

Ron Reigns:

Right. Definitely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I can tell you, I don’t like mushrooms. But if somebody makes something and it has mushrooms, and I can tell you if it’s good or not, it doesn’t mean I like it, but I can tell you if it’s good or not. So that’s kind of my analogy. All right. So Planned Parenthood clinics in Pennsylvania have eliminated all services, except for abortion in the wake of a statewide ban on elective surgeries meant to preserve scarce medical resources amid the coronavirus pandemic. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf issued a directive, ordering the shutdown of all businesses that are not life-sustaining on March 20th, and a guidance from the state government prohibits elected procedures performed by healthcare services and hospitals. Despite these directives, Planned Parenthood Keystone, which serves Central and Eastern Pennsylvania, announced it would remain open for abortion services only, while shutting down its other operations.

Ron Reigns:

To me, that’s unbelievable because they’re talking about lifesaving. Hey, it’s the same thing. It’s the same argument that keeps going in my head that’s saying we’re trying to save lives from coronavirus, but the only procedures that they continue to do are meant to literally stop lives from even occurring.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. And what’s crazy is the order that was issued, on March 20th, came after the state’s health secretary urged doctors and patients to consider postponing noncritical surgeries. The state’s largest abortion provider has ignored the directive, and has continued to proceed with abortions even as it stopped providing routine exams and other services.

Ron Reigns:

Right. So you can’t do pap smears. You can’t do health checks on women, which are literally, I mean, sometimes they are essential in my opinion. But-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Oh, not even in your opinion. Hands down. Across the board, they are absolutely essential. They are lifesaving. Yes.

Ron Reigns:

And the only thing that you have to hold onto is we have to continue these abortions.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. So, in this same article, it was fascinating because it said “The paradox is just striking. Here we’re making an exception for life sustaining procedures, and yet an exception to that is this one medical procedure that’s life ending.” Tom Brejcha, President and Chief Legal Counsel for the Thomas More Society told the Washington Free Beacon.

Ron Reigns:

I’m with him.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Absolutely. I don’t, I almost don’t have words and that’s rare.

Ron Reigns:

Right. I know. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I don’t. I hope that those that are not educated in what abortion is, and are siding themselves as pro-choice or pro-life, are really researching and educating themselves and understanding what we’re talking about. We’re talking about babies. People are dying from COVID-19 because there’s not enough medical supplies. We’re risking the lives of healthcare workers. There was just something on the news this morning that one of the frontline workers, CPS removed her child because of the risk of her child contracting the virus. And she’s putting herself and her family in danger. And we’re worried about whether or not a woman can choose to terminate a pregnancy. When there are other options. With COVID there’s no other options. And that’s the point that I want to keep striking that that’s important.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So, Secretary Azar released a press release, and…

Ron Reigns:

It was powerful.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It was powerful. And all of these releases, we are going to be uploading to our new website, and I hope that people will go and view them and really read them.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

He states “Unfortunately, there is one clear outlier, the abortion industry, including the largest abortion chain of the nation, Planned Parenthood. In acts of the manifest, fearmongering, and self interest, they are exploiting the anxiety of women and couples by continuing to promote abortion in communities across the country. Planned Parenthood is responsible for nearly 346,000 abortions in the last reporting year, including both surgical and medical procedures carried out in many locations all the way to 24 weeks of pregnancy. By ceasing both surgical and chemical abortions now, Planned Parenthood will free up much needed medical equipment, and decrease the demands now placed on ERs due to complications from both medical and surgical abortion. This will protect women who will without doubt need follow up care, including infection treatment, and transfusions from the nation’s emergency centers and hospitals. So while we race in a hectic race to, while we are in a hectic race to save lives, Planned Parenthood, and other powers in the abortion industry remain insistent on taking lives of innocent unborn children. While surgery centers postpone elective and diagnostic procedures, abortion centers are churning out surgical and chemical abortions, putting women, especially the poor, at risk. Their continued operation deplete sorely needed personal protective equipment and leads to further complications that will further overwhelm already overextended emergency rooms.”

Ron Reigns:

Yeah.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And this is written from the honorable Alex Azar, Secretary Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC. And it was released on March 24th, 2020.

Ron Reigns:

It’s very good. Again, like you said, speechless. It just leaves me thinking, wow, this is someone who believes what he’s saying. And it’s amazing, very powerful.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And to have the courage and the strength to stand up and say it.

Ron Reigns:

On a national level. Good for him.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And it’s not that we are, as a podcast picking or pointing a finger at Planned Parenthood, but their name comes up because they’re the nation’s largest provider.

Ron Reigns:

Right. I found it interesting that he called it a chain. It made me think of like a franchise McDonald’s or, and in a weird way, it really is.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And that’s crushing. I hope at the end of the day, and at the end of this podcast, that our listeners really understand the need for this medical equipment to go to the first responders, to go to the emergency rooms, to go to the frontline workers that are risking their own lives, trying to save others. I think that if we, as a society, stand behind and share his message, we’ll get it out there. And we can hopefully make an impact, even if it just changes one person’s life that has COVID, and one more person gets a ventilator. And nobody has to make a choice as to which patient gets to live and which patient gets to die. Then this matters and we’ve made a difference.

Ron Reigns:

Remember, there are alternatives to abortion, and if you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption, we are a local Arizona adoption agency. We are available 24/7 by phone or text at (623) 695-4112 that’s (623) 695-4112. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan or give you more information. Be educated about your unplanned pregnancy choice and alternatives to abortion in Arizona. Your baby is counting on you. With adoption, you’re never alone. Choose life #YouBeforeMe. Visit youbeforeme.life. We want to thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters and Adoption, and invite you to visit our website at birthmothermatterspodcast.com. Thanks to Grapes for letting us use their song I Don’t Know as our theme song. We’ll see you next time on Birth Mother Matters and Adoption. For Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I am Ron Reigns, and we will see you then.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome, and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 1:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

Speaker 2:

I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 3:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 4:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the executive director, president and co-founder of Building Arizona Families adoption agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife, who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

One Topic that is pretty prevalent it right now in the media, in the news, talking with people, I think even around the dinner table is how COVID-19 coronavirus is impacting abortions.

Ron Reigns:

It’s on both sides. Everybody’s using this as a political football.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Correct. I wonder if this is a precursor to the upcoming election, that is, we’re getting closer and closer in the middle of the virus outbreak when you’re supposed to be under a state home order. Did you see on the news, I think it was in Wisconsin or Minnesota, where there were lines for the preliminaries of people lined up to vote?

Ron Reigns:

I didn’t see it, but I did hear that people were showing up to vote and that it was kind of surprising because you know, you’re getting into a crowd all of a sudden

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right? And some of those people weren’t wearing masks. And I’m thinking, I wonder in that state, if there’s going to be an influx of cases following. So that will be an interesting thing to see. Hopefully not, hopefully it’ll be fine.

Ron Reigns:

Definitely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So hopefully everybody listening is staying safe, staying home, staying healthy and following the orders of the state you’re residing in and obviously of the president. So, today I really want to discuss, and I want to make this a two part series, because there’s so much to delve into that I don’t want to be restricted by just having to get this into one podcast. I think that every time, Ron, you and I speak about abortions and how they’re being impacted and how the perception of this new law or an introduction of this new law is, is coming into play. I think that you and I are very, very vested in what we’re talking about. And I think we’re very animated and really want to express our feelings so that partners can really get the perspective that we’re trying to portray. And we hopefully are portraying.

Ron Reigns:

I hope so. I hope it’s getting across.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I hope so too. So some of these headlines are absolutely blowing me away.

Ron Reigns:

I mean, it’s easy to tell when you read these headlines, which perspective the writer is coming from.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

100%. So the one that, we’re going to go over a few, but the one that really grabbed me and I have to say, I read it probably, no lie, 10 times. Then I grabbed a couple of my kids and I even read it to them because I was so shell shocked. Newsmax had a headline that states, Planned Parenthood gets aborted by COVID 19.

Ron Reigns:

It’s powerful. That’s quite an attention grabbing headline for sure.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And what’s so interesting to me is the factual basis behind it.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I almost have no words. It’s one of those headlines that it’s enough. You don’t even need to have a story.

Ron Reigns:

It’s like, okay, I understand exactly what the perspective and where this story is coming from, just from the headline. Certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. And the author of this could have very well turned it into the paper and said, here you go.

Ron Reigns:

Done, thanks.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Here’s my article.

Ron Reigns:

Here’s my six word article.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But it’s all encompassing. So what was one that really grabbed you?

Ron Reigns:

It just fascinated me the different perspectives. You can obviously tell what the person’s heart is telling them to write. For instance, the coronavirus becomes an excuse to restrict abortions from the New York Times. I think that just, again, says everything that the author of the article is trying to say, just in the headline. You don’t need to go further to go, what’s this guy’s point of view? And it’s kind of shocking on both sides to some degree. Like I said, it’s become a real political football.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It has. And it’s astounding to me that you would take two completely sensitive subjects and, in my opinion, both pandemics.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And you’re putting them in the same category and yet using them to play off of each other. And it’s so twisted in so many levels when you’re trying to offset one by the other.

Ron Reigns:

It makes me think of, and I don’t remember who said it, it could have been Rama Manuel, but it was something along the lines of, never let a good crisis go to waste. In other words, use that to your political advantage and to get your politics past and I find it kind of icky, that’s my personal opinion. Because when I think of COVID 19 or abortion, for that matter, I think, okay, let’s get this problem solved and not try and use it to get other things done, and that’s what it seems to be they’re doing.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I totally agree with you. I think when we agendize one thing and creep in another, I absolutely agree with you. I think that in this circumstance, and we’ve stated this over and over again, I’m pro-life, you’re pro-life.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So we are coming at it from that stance. I think it’s always fair to remind our listeners that, yes, openly we are pro-life. So understanding that, that is the perspective we are coming from. However, I think we’re both able to step back and at least explore and try to understand the other side, even if we do disagree with it.

Ron Reigns:

I totally agree. I love hearing a good debate from both sides, a respectful, not just shouting match, but two people who actually are actively listening to each other and their differences.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And they’re educated in in the topic.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Life News had a headline that I think is paramount. And I think it’s one that anytime a topic regarding abortion and COVID 19 are brought together should be remembered. And there’s was coronavirus and abortion both are pandemics that kill people. That is a fact.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely. I don’t think there’s even a question about it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But what you stated was true. When the Los Angeles Times stated that Republicans exploit coronavirus to restrict abortions. That’s not the case at all. We’re not agendizing as a Republican to exploit anything.

Ron Reigns:

Right. We’re looking at the headlines.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes, yes, absolutely. I think that Forbes’ statement, their headline of states using COVID 19 to ban abortion increases everybody’s risks and hardships in a crisis. I have to say that this, although is an attention grabber, is incorrect.

Ron Reigns:

It’s the opposite of the actual truth.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right.

Ron Reigns:

Because abortions are hurting babies when they’re being, they’re killing babies when they’re being performed. So [crosstalk 00:09:00] stopping that actually is saving lives.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Correct. It’s doing the exact opposite. Agreed. And then in podcast number two, we’re going to talk a lot about Texas because a lot has happened in Texas, but The Hill had a headline that said Texas women forced to travel 20 times farther for abortion under coronavirus ban. So now we’re talking about the length of travel. I guess, right now, in everybody’s world across United States, the coronavirus is impacting, affecting, killing people. It’s a huge, huge change. I mean two months ago, I would’ve never in a million years believed that we would be where we are today.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You and I are respecting the social distancing and doing this through Zoom, because we are trying to practice what we preach. So, I think that the fact that we’re worrying about accessibility to abortions is so far down the list right now of what we as a country should be focusing on.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The unemployment rate right now is at an all time high. People are waiting on their stimulus checks. They’re waiting on unemployment benefits. People are being impacted left and right. Again, we believe that pregnancy and the birth of a baby is a blessing. And now we’re reading a headline that women are or forced to travel to further to receive an abortion. It’s just not-

Ron Reigns:

Oh, no, it’s more inconvenient to go out and kill your baby.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. So, looking at facts, just hardcore facts. President Trump, for insured coronavirus relief funds, can’t go to abortions. I commend him for that.

Ron Reigns:

And this is part of the hide law, right?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes. So any healthcare funding that does not have the hide protections could potentially be used to fund abortion. President Trump ensured the coronavirus virus bill passed with high protection and tax so that money can be used to combat the pandemic of the coronavirus and not fund abortion. We need to prioritize saving lives, not destroying them. Each year, nearly 1 million women choose to end a pregnancy in the United States. And about one quarter of American women will use abortion services by 45 years of age. We’ve stated this statistic before, and it’s still mind blowing. Even though every time I see it and I think about it, it really does blow my mind. It’s so, I don’t want to use the word common, but I don’t know what other word to substitute that with.

Ron Reigns:

Accepted, maybe. I mean, it’s just so normalized. Like it’s no big deal and-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Maybe desensitized.

Ron Reigns:

Right. Yeah, there you go. Like when you go out in public, do you ever look at a group of four women and go, one of them, statistically speaking, has had an abortion.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Because I research this now, maybe. I have four daughters and I can’t imagine.

Ron Reigns:

Any one of them.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That happening, any of them doing that. That would be beyond devastating. And having four girls, that statistic hits me really hard, because I hope and pray that that never happens. Hopefully it won’t. I mean, it’s something that we’re very loud about in our household.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. Very vocal.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And it’s something that we have instilled in our children since they were infants. Approximately 70,000 people seek abortion care in the U.S. every month. That’s 70,000 babies.

Ron Reigns:

That’s the size of a small town. Very small town, but small town. You know?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. It is a size of a small town.

Ron Reigns:

And that’s every month you said?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, every month. These numbers, the reason that we’re reviewing them is because we want to show our listeners how critical it is for the United States, citizens, and anybody who understands abortion, and the three choices, parenting, adoption, abortion, understands the impact of abortion. We’ve said before, how many doctors, how many Pulitzer Prize winners, how many people that turned out like Gandhi, have we aborted?

Ron Reigns:

Right. World leaders, people who impact life and society and the world. Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And so it’s absolutely, mind-boggling.

Ron Reigns:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other reproductive health professional organization issued an unequivocal statement on March 18th, 2020, that they do not support COVID 19 responses that cancel or delay abortion procedures. On Monday, the 6th of March, representatives of over 30,000 physicians who practice according to The Hippocratic Oath and American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians, Christian Medical and Dental Associations and the Catholic Medical Association and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons released a statement to end elective abortions during the coronavirus emergency.

Ron Reigns:

So you’ve got, again, both sides using this coronavirus to try and push their agenda one way or another. Although, and I guess it comes back to what you believe as a person, if you think that abortion is a right that should not be infringed or you shouldn’t have to go twice the distance to get to an abortion clinic or whatever, you’re going to side on that side of it. But I think more importantly, right now we should focus on the COVID 19 and say, you know what, let’s stop the abortions for now. That is not what is vital to the American society. We’ll pick that back up later. We need to deal with the COVID 19 right now. Right. But again, that pushes my side of the agenda to, so I’m not trying to be a hypocrite here.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No, I completely agree with what you’re saying and thank you for in depth reading the statement that was released.

Ron Reigns:

Well, thank you for researching it. I appreciate it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Lets… Yeah, absolutely. All right, so taking a step back, let’s look strictly at the numbers [crosstalk 00:16:19] of the COVID 19 global pandemic. Now, I want to preface this, stating this, the numbers that we’re giving were actually researched two days ago. So, obviously they are higher. Secondly, I want to state that I am in no way minimizing the impact, the effect or any aspect of COVID 19. I am absolutely personally terrified of COVID 19. I think that the president is doing everything right, and I think that he is really doing the best that he can with the knowledge that he has. I think that this is a very scary time for not just United States, but the entire world. But because we are discussing abortions, I do want to do a compare and contrast with numbers so that people can see our concern regarding abortion.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. Very good.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

To date, the approximate global deaths attributed or resulting from COVID 19 is 114,215. To date, the approximate U.S. deaths attributed to, or resulting from COVID 19, is 22,071. Now, if we go back to what we stated earlier, around 70,000 people seek abortion care every month.

Ron Reigns:

Every single month. So, over three times as many deaths caused by abortion in the same amount of time essentially, as have been caused in the United States by COVID 19.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That’s correct.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So that being said, I think that we 100% agree, recognize, support that COVID 19 is 100% a pandemic.

Ron Reigns:

Without doubt.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When we get a hold of COVID 19 and we re-secure our health and, hats off to all of the frontline healthcare, and everybody becomes safe again, at that point, my hope and prayer, is that we will then look at another pandemic, which is abortion. There are two other very viable options. With the coronavirus COVID 19, there’s not another option. You can’t say, oh, no, I’d rather have the flu. No, thank you. No, thank you.

Ron Reigns:

It would be nice, but we can’t do that.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s not like the common cold, the flu or the coronavirus. You don’t have three options.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When you have an unplanned pregnancy, you can choose to parent, you can choose to place that child for adoption, or you can choose abortion. So you don’t get a choice.

Ron Reigns:

Even with that, there’s other options. People have family members that are able to, and I guess that would be kind of an adoption situation as well. But there are other options that are very viable to just ending and terminating this life. The little one’s life, as we said, fetus means little one, and that’s what you’re doing. You’re ending their potential future.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When you are faced with an unplanned pregnancy, again, remember, you have three options and that’s why we as a society right now should be focusing on COVID 19. We really should because there are not three options. And I think that in order of priority, I absolutely get it because everybody who is choosing to have an abortion can choose to make another choice. With COVID 19, again, there’s no other choice, you can’t say, oh, no, no, no, I’m going for the common cold, or I’m going for the flu. I’m going for this, or I’m going for that. You don’t get that option.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And there’s so much unknown. And so I think that it’s really important that we step back and really, really look at abortions and what they really are and what they entail and how they impact the healthcare community.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And we are actually seeing that more and more. We’re going to talk about that in the second episode about how they are impacting right now, the healthcare and the depletion of vital medical supplies that are needed and how states are trying to combat that and intervene. So to close this podcast, I would really like for people to step back for those that are pro-choice, for those that do believe in the right to choose an abortion, to really contemplate to what degree. If you have somebody who is needing a ventilator and a nurse to wear a clean mask, a to have clean gloves and clean gown, and it is imperative that they have those to keep, not only themselves safe, but to keep their patients safe and depleting those supplies, because somebody else wants to choose to terminate the life of a baby is unfathomable to me.

Ron Reigns:

Does it kind of seem to you that not only is it making this worse, it’s doubling the impact, because not only could you lose a life from the COVID 19, you are absolutely going to lose a life due to the abortion. So now you’re doubling your costs.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Presuming the abortion is successful.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So hopefully our listeners are going to take away from this, how important it is to understand and be educated in what you believe and what you preach. And I think that hopefully everybody is going to continue to follow the rules and regulations as issued by the government and the state you live in and stay home, stay safe and be healthy.

Ron Reigns:

This is from a letter that was penned by a group of pro-life organizations, including the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians, Christian Medical and Dental Associations, the Catholic Medical Association, and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Now, I’m directly quoting from this letter. It says, in a recent joint statement, ACOG with several other traditionally pro-abortion medical organizations made the preposterous claim that abortion is an essential component of comprehensive healthcare for women, even though elective abortion treats no disease process. Furthermore, over 85% of practicing obstetricians and gynecologists do not perform elective abortions. If elective abortion were an essential component of women’s healthcare, it would be a part of every obstetric and gynecologic practice. Currently, across the United States, services that do not constitute essential healthcare for women, including routine pap, smears, mammograms, and pelvic exams are being postponed in order to reduce everyone’s risk of exposure to COVID 19 and to conserve scarce medical resources.

Ron Reigns:

Dr. Christina Francis recently exposed ACOG’s transformation into a politicized pro-abortion organization in the Wall Street Journal. ACOG spinning elective abortion into essential healthcare is more of the same. Continuing to perform elective abortions during a pandemic is medically irresponsible. Elective abortion is neither essential, nor urgent, but it does consume critical resources, such as masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment and unnecessarily exposes patients and physicians to pathogens. Elective abortion, both and drug induced, also generates more patients to be seen in already overburdened emergency rooms. Most abortion providers instruct women to go to an emergency room if they have any concerning symptoms after the abortion. Approximately 5% of women who undergo medical abortions will require evaluation in an emergency room, most commonly for hemorrhage. Surgical abortions can also result in hemorrhage. Emergency room personnel who are already struggling to meet the demands of the COVID 19 pandemic will further be strained to provide care for these women. This letter goes on to call for all elective abortions to be suspended in accordance with the CDC recommendations pertaining to elective procedures and office for visits.

Ron Reigns:

Thanks for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. Tune in next time, and we’ll continue our discussion of COVID 19 and its impact on adoption, especially when it comes to abortion. If you’re pregnant and considering adoption in Arizona, Building Arizona Families is a licensed, full service, nonprofit Arizona adoption agency. They believe in adoption after care services and have a program on site to provide continued support through the Donna K. Evans Foundation. You can contact them at (623) 695-4112 anytime of the day. And you can find Building Arizona Families online at azpregnancyhelp.com. We also have a new website for this podcast at birthmothermatterspodcast.com. Remember to rate and review us wherever you’re listening to this podcast. And as always for Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I’m Ron Reigns, and we’ll see you next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome. And thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid, and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the Executive Director, President, and co-founder of Building Arizona Families Adoption Agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation, and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption, and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Ron Reigns:

Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In human, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild, such as some cases of the common cold, and others that can be lethal such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Symptoms in other species vary. In chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs, they cause diarrhea. There are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections. OSHA’s website states that according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in confirmed human infections in China and a growing number of other countries, including the United States. Infected patients have also spread the virus to healthcare workers.

Ron Reigns:

According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 is now a pandemic, meaning a global outbreak of disease. On March 13th, 2020, the President of the United States declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency. The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading in the community in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means that people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. The WHO states on their website, that coronavirus disease, COVID-19, is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. The best way to prevent and slow down the transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes, and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.

Ron Reigns:

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. So it is important that you also practice respiratory etiquette. For example, by coughing into a flexed elbow. At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19, however, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. The WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available.

Ron Reigns:

So the main question is how will COVID-19 impact domestic adoptions? Today on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption, we’re going to jump right into these questions. Please understand that we’re solely speaking on behalf of Building Arizona Families Adoption Agency and AZ Pregnancy Help located here in Arizona. We can’t speak for how other agencies are handling adoptions or what their state regulations and guidelines are concerning COVID-19.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Another question that we’ve been getting is, are birth mothers, are they still calling? Are they still coming into the program? And the answer is absolutely.

Ron Reigns:

How about the other angle of the triad? How about the adopting parents? Is that still an influx, or has that kind of thinned out a little bit in the last month?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No, it really hasn’t thinned out. I think when an adoptive family or a husband and a wife decide that they want to be parents, they’re not going to let even a pandemic stand in the way.

Ron Reigns:

Right. Do you think that might be impacted in the future months?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Well, I hope not because there are women who can’t parent these babies, and we need to make sure that they have families to go to. So I hope that’s not the case.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I don’t foresee that being the case, but I didn’t foresee the pandemic-

Ron Reigns:

Any of this,

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Turning into what it is. So that was something, and I think the big picture with adoptive families and the concern about the changes and because they may be coming from out of state, a lot of the families are staying at Airbnbs rather than at hotels, which I think is a great idea because, again, it’s less exposure, and you can shelter in place there. They’re not able to get a nesting room anymore at the hospital, so they’re not able to have that bonding time with the baby, and that’s really hard because that was something that I thought was so special and so beautiful when a birth mother has her baby in the hospital and an adoptive family can be right there and be that support in person, and they can wrap their arms around her and hug her and let her know how much they love her and how appreciative they are for helping them build this amazing family. And that’s not able to happen right now.

Ron Reigns:

So it’ll be very nice when that comes back.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think that is what I’m going to look forward to the most.

Ron Reigns:

I bet.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Is the adoptive families being able to have that connection. I also think it’s really important for birth mothers to be able to see their baby with the adoptive family in the hospital. I think that that creates a beautiful vision for the future for them. It becomes a memory that they can look back on and think, “Wow, okay, my baby was just fine in her arms, and my baby’s going to be loved and well taken care of. And I don’t have to worry anymore, and I don’t have to second guess myself.” And now we’ve had to change that because the hospitals just aren’t allowing it. And I completely understand why.

Ron Reigns:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Again, they’re trying to minimize exposure, and I think that those healthcare workers are just absolute Godsends.

Ron Reigns:

They’ve been amazing for the entire country on all ends. So yeah, absolutely hats off to all of them.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes. And so again, we are obviously in 100% compliance with whatever they want us to do. Some hospitals have a little bit more of a lenient policy, whereas other ones are taking more of a stricter approach. And so we are just going with whatever they’re asking us to do. But again, this is short term. This isn’t going to be forever. And it’s working, it’s working just fine. We’ve been placing a lot of babies this past quarter, and I think we may even have hit record numbers.

Ron Reigns:

Really. That’s fantastic.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Then it is fantastic because these babies are going into beautiful, loving, adoptive homes. And anytime an adoption is successful, everybody wins.

Ron Reigns:

Right. All three ends.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And I love that. I hope that this coronavirus does not negatively impact society and long term economically. I hope that that doesn’t become a barrier for adoptive families. I hope that we can continue to come together and make this okay again. Because again even as I’m talking to you, I still can’t believe where we are.

Ron Reigns:

Our entire world has changed. And I don’t know… I know some of it will come back, but I know some of it won’t. I’ve heard people say, okay, maybe this is the end of shaking hands. And that makes sense. But it’s kind of like, I love shaking hands. I think it’s a respectful thing. So it’s going to be a strange new world. I still do it on the few occasions that I’ve talked to people that weren’t family or whatever. And I instinctively stick my hand out and then I pull it right back. It’s like, oh, geez, and that may never come back.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Really?

Ron Reigns:

That’s what I’ve heard. So who knows.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I have to say the first time I think I saw that up close was when my adoptive father, my father, when he came over to the house and he was leaving. This was at the very beginning of this. And my husband went to go and hug him. And my dad put up both hands and said, not right now. And I remember thinking, wow, this is where we are. And he was so smart in doing that. I mean, he’s in his mid-seventies and-

Ron Reigns:

He’s in that range. That’s the people that are most impacted by this, certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And so I remember thinking, oh my gosh, I hope this goes away and fast. But you’re right. It could definitely change things. Now, I don’t like shaking hands, to be honest. There’s disclosure, so I’m okay if that doesn’t come back.

Ron Reigns:

Fair enough. Depending on the circumstance, I feel it is a thing of respect, so that’s a personal thing on my end.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It is a respectful thing, I think, much more so between men than with women.

Ron Reigns:

I think that’s probably true. And then I think a lot more women are huggers, and that might not come back, at least maybe in families, but not so much with acquaintances and friends.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Wow. I hadn’t thought about that either. Yeah. I don’t know. I know the latest recommendation is, if I read this correctly, that everyone is supposed to cover their mouths and noses now, even if they’re not sick. Is that what you’ve read as well?

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. If you’re going out in public, to have some kind of face covering is better than having none, and it will help to keep you from spreading it to somebody else if you unknowingly have it or from a little bit getting it. It’s obviously not foolproof, but they’re recommending it. And I know at the beginning they were kind of like, nah, it’s no big deal, no masks, you don’t need that. And now they’re kind of going back on that, saying, well, maybe.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. And I think, just like I had stated with us as an agency, everyone is trying to do the best they can. They’re trying to keep everybody as safe as possible. And I know that we had a situation recently where one of the newborns was in the NICU, and the baby was sick. And when the baby was discharged from the hospital, the hospital said, absolutely no contact other than with the adoptive mother and father. At that point, the birth mother hadn’t gotten to see the baby since she was discharged from the hospital, and that was really heartbreaking. But the rainbow at the end of this story is that I talked with the adoptive family, and they’re actually going to come back to Arizona after the pandemic is over and do a special visit.

Ron Reigns:

And spend tie with her. Oh, that’s nice.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Because there is, again, one of my jobs is to make sure that everybody is as safe as possible and that means that I have to make some really hard decisions. And when you look at it and you think, can you allow it this one time, or can we just make an exception? No, because it could be that one time that permanently alters somebody’s life. What I have asked adoptive families, and we’re asking our birth moms, is we’re doing everything we can to keep everybody as safe as possible. We may not like the decisions that are being made. We may not like the circumstances that we’re in. We may not like the decisions that are being made outside of our scope. But at the same time, everybody is making these and implementing these changes for the sake of safety to keep this as quarantined as possible.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So I’m looking at everything and I’m thinking, I hope that this is going to not drag on for a long time. And I’m hoping that people start recovering and everybody can put this behind them. And I don’t know. Our international program with Haiti, obviously the pandemic is going to halt some travel. So that is unfortunately being affected. Our other program, which is called our Interstate Forever Families, where we help Arizona families adopt out of the other states’ foster care systems, I don’t have any data on how that’s going to be impacted as well. But on a bright side, have you seen the news about how the pandemic is affecting abortions?

Ron Reigns:

Actually, I was going to ask you about that because I know there’s been debate. And many state governments have said any non-essential surgeries are being halted, but there’s debate on whether abortion is essential or non-essential. So what have you heard beyond that?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

There have been states that are restricting abortion.

Ron Reigns:

Yay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They have, yeah. All right, Mississippi, Texas, and Ohio moved on the 25th to limit abortion as part of the coronavirus response.

Ron Reigns:

That is great news in my opinion.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Well, they did, yes. And then I know that there were some judges that came back and stated that they… Basically, there was a lot of banter back and forth as to whether or not they could do that. So I think that it’s still underway as to whether or not that’s going to be solidified or not. I’m hoping that more states will join that theology. I’m excited that babies are going to be saved because as we horrifically lose people to this virus, maybe we’re saving lives of others.

Ron Reigns:

On the younger ones, certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And so again, maybe that’s a silver lining.

Ron Reigns:

Some lemonade.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. Some lemonade. Federal judges in Alabama, Ohio, and Texas have blocked orders banning non-essential medical procedures from limiting abortion access during the coronavirus outbreaks, a win for abortion rights activists as a fight over abortion rights intersects with worsening pandemic. Days after Texas Attorney General Paxton ordered a ban on nearly all abortions in the state during the coronavirus pandemic, Planned Parenthood filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court attempting to overturn the order. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight reproductive health clinics in Texas claims that Paxton’s order is unconstitutional and in violation of Roe v. Wade and demands an immediate temporary restraining order to keep the doors of Texas abortion clinics open.

Ron Reigns:

So both sides are fighting this tooth and nail right now.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They are. Texas is currently the only state to explicitly attempt to ban the procedure during the coronavirus pandemic. Last week Ohio Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Fulkerson sent letters to several abortion clinics in the state accusing them of being in violation of the order. But the clinics’ lawyers quickly responded assuring Fulkerson’s office that they were in compliance with the order and were taking all necessary precautions. Abortion clinics in Ohio remain open, appointments have not been canceled, and so far the clinics are not being penalized. So there’s a lot of, I guess, a lot of banter going back and forth in defining what’s essential and medically necessary and what’s not essential and how things are being classified. Again, I wonder what, if any, long-term effect will come of this, because it’s sounds like we weren’t as a nation medically ready to deal with a pandemic of this size.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think we’ve been so busy focusing on abortions and lots of these smaller pieces rather than looking globally at the big picture. So maybe now people can see that when we are pouring ourselves into trying to give somebody the right to choose, we should have been pouring ourselves into looking towards the future and making sure we as a nation had enough hospital beds and ventilators and masks and things like that. I don’t know. What have you heard in terms of the future? What estimates have you read about?

Ron Reigns:

I’ve heard so many different things. And honestly, I don’t even think the experts know because they’re not getting as much information as they need to make their diagnoses. So I don’t think that… We obviously can’t stay quarantined indefinitely. There’s got to be some light at the end of the tunnel, or people are just going to go nuts and say, I can’t take it anymore, I’m getting out. And so I think the government and the scientists and the epidemiologists and everybody else really needs to focus on getting an answer to the public and saying, okay, this is what we’re shooting for, this is why, and this is why you need to stay inside for this amount of time. But I don’t think anybody has any really concrete answers at this point. And I know they’re trying, but I think the public is going to start getting restless.

Ron Reigns:

I mean, you can only Netflix and chill for so long before just saying, I got to get out, I need to do something. Right? So I don’t know. I’m hoping that we get answers on when a vaccine might become available. They’re saying not for 12 to 18 months on that part of it. Will the summer come and the rise in temperature start to kind of quell this a little bit, at least bring it down? Is there going to be a second wave? There’s so many questions that nobody seems to… Every estimate I’ve seen or every graph prediction kind of stops at August. And it’s like, well, what happens beyond August? I haven’t seen anything on that. And I just don’t think they know, unfortunately, but I think they need to really hunker down and find answers to help all of us.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. Well, for today, what we’re telling adoptive families is, please don’t fly in an airplane. If at all possible, please try to drive if you can. We’re actually not allowing newborns to go on airplanes without permission from a pediatrician. Because again, that’s just too much exposure. So a lot of our families are driving in, and then they’ll be driving home, which is not ideal. I get it with a newborn, but it’s safer. We are Skyping and Zooming with adoptive families. Whereas we used to do a lot more face-to-face contact when they would come into the state and meet with us. And we used to do hospital tours and sit with them in the waiting room if the birth mother didn’t want them in the delivery room. And again, we’re not able to do any of that because they’re not even allowed to be at the hospital.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And so it’s changed in so many aspects. It’s changed for the birth moms, and it’s changed for the adoptive families, and it’s changed for us, but we can get to through this together. We’ve just got to keep the faith and have hope and promise and know that it’ll be okay in the end. And I think if we all keep a really positive outlook, I think hopefully good things will follow.

Ron Reigns:

Just a reminder, you can send or drop off donations, whether it’s financial or non-perishable food items, to our food pantry to help our birth mothers who are struggling, especially during this time at 8433 North Black Canyon Highway, Suite 152, in Phoenix, Arizona, 85021. Visit Building Arizona Families website@azpregnancyhelp.com. We also have a new website for this podcast at birthmothermatterspodcast.com. Make sure you rate and review us wherever you’re listening to this podcast. We really appreciate it. And join us next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. For Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I am Ron Reigns, and we will see you then.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome, and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Don’t have an abortion. Give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the Executive Director, President and Co-Founder of Building Arizona Families Adoption Agency, the Donna K. Evans foundation and Creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

I’m Ron reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I worked for my wife, who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Ron Reigns:

Corona viruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In human Corona viruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild, such as some cases of the common cold and others that can be lethal such as SARS, MERS and COVID-19. Symptoms in other species vary. In chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs, they cause diarrhea. There are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human Corona virus infections. OSHA’s website states that according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese authorities identified the new Corona virus, which has resulted in confirmed human infections in China and a growing number of other countries, including the United States. Infected patients have also spread the virus to healthcare workers.

Ron Reigns:

According to the world health organization. COVID 19 is now a pandemic meaning a global outbreak of disease. On March 13th, 2020, the President of the United States declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency. The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading in the community in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means that people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. The WHO states on their website that coronavirus disease COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered Corona virus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. The best way to prevent and slow down the transmission is to be well-informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.

Ron Reigns:

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. So it is important that you also practice respiratory etiquette, for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow. At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. The WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available. So the main question is how will COVID-19 impact domestic adoptions. Today on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption, we’re going to jump right into these questions. Please understand that we’re solely speaking on behalf of Building Arizona families Adoption Agency and AZ Pregnancy Help located here in Arizona. We can’t speak for how other agencies are handling adoptions or what their state regulations and guidelines are concerning COVID-19.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So because of the stay at home order or sheltering in place, Ron, this is the first time that we have done a podcast where we are not in the same room.

Ron Reigns:

Yes it is. And it’s been a while since we actually recorded. Thankfully we had some in the bank and we could just kind of plug those in. But yeah, so this is the first time we’re doing a podcast since the coronavirus outbreak.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It is, and it’s a new experience for us, so I hope our listeners will kind of wade through the waters with us in terms of sound and quality. I know that we both have a lot to say about this and how it’s impacting our lives and adoptions and I guess the whole nation, the whole world really.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We’ve made it clear over and over again, we’re in Arizona and we are just going to be talking about the specifics of Building Arizona Families. We can’t attest or answer to what other agencies are doing or the protocols that they have because they know that the governors are stipulating certain things in certain states.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And in Arizona, obviously Doug Ducey has made his list and I’m actually going to upload that document, the order that he has issued, to our new website. So that way anybody who is not from Arizona and is going to be coming to Arizona to do an adoption, can read through the order just so they understand what’s what’s going on and what our laws and restrictions are.

Ron Reigns:

Okay, and so that does bring up a question. As far as people that are doing interstate adoptions with Arizona and building Arizona families, how does that affect… Because are they able to travel from state to state, for instance?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

For right now? Yes, that is not… That hasn’t been an issue. So let’s go back to the, let’s go back to the start and let’s address all of these because these are really important tasks and concerns. We’re getting lot phone calls from families in our program. We are an essential business, so we are still open. Just a quick background of how we are running things. Our workers are obviously at some point out in the field. The ones that don’t have to be in the field are working from home. We are having our office sanitized every day by a cleaning crew that comes in. We are keeping everybody as far apart as possible. When our workers don’t need to be at the office, again, they are not, they are working from home. That way they can shelter in place and keep everybody as separated as possible.

Ron Reigns:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They’re… We’re also, unfortunately not able to attend doctor’s appointments with our birth mothers any longer. The doctor’s offices are not allowing a support person to go back. And again, they’re just trying to minimize exposure and they want everybody to stay apart and stay safe.

Ron Reigns:

Certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So that being said, it’s really impacted how we case manage. We have found some, some really good tools that we’re using, and we’re going to talk about all of that. We have been able to provide the same level of support, but just through a different means. This has really impacted so many lives. And I know that it started back in January, but I guess I just wasn’t up on the news. I’m so busy in the world of adoption that to me, it felt like COVID came out of the middle of nowhere.

Ron Reigns:

When did you start really noticing it? Just the beginning of March?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes. Unfortunately I would love to say that I had been tracking it and following it, but again, I… We have been so busy with so many babies being born and so many birth mothers coming into the program and my focus has always been my family and adoption. And so I wasn’t tracking the potential of what this could occur. Not that it would have changed anything. I wouldn’t go back and do anything differently. I think I would have just liked more of a heads up.

Ron Reigns:

Be a little more prepared for what was coming. I don’t think anybody really was though. I mean, we saw it from another country and they were saying, oh, it’s bad there, but it can’t really hit home until it literally hits home. You know? I mean, it doesn’t, it doesn’t sink in until whoa. This is starting to spread and fast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Absolutely. And I think what’s so frightening to me is it seems like it’s almost this, this silent… I mean, it’s obviously you can’t see it coming. And if you read one website they’re recommending this, wash your hands, it can live on cardboard for a day and then another website will say four days and then… It’s so it’s yeah. Everything is just, it’s a lot of the unknown and I guess that’s the scary part. Right. How long is this going to last? How many people are we going to lose? Is it going to come into our homes? Is it going to ever go away? Those are things that just go through my mind and I’m sure go through everyone’s mind.

Ron Reigns:

And you watch how it’s affecting the economy and people’s lives in that way as well. And people are suffering in so many different ways from this. So yeah, this is our Great Depression and World War II kind of rolled into one.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right.

Ron Reigns:

This will change our lives.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think it will. And I think it will for a long, long time in some aspects. I wonder if in some ways maybe the silver lining will be that it makes us all slow down just a little bit. Maybe it’ll help our country come together more and solidify.

Ron Reigns:

That would be nice.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It will be a move towards world peace. Who knows, who knows what positive things will come at the end of this?

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I guess I’m really trying to find the lemonade at this point.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Because there’s a lot of lemons, there really is. And it… We, meaning the Building Arizona Families domestic team, a lot of us have children and they’ve closed the schools down now. So our children are being not really homeschooled because it’s kind of an online school, but yet you’re still a teacher per se. And so then you’re wearing another hat, but yet you’re still working full time. And I’ll be working at my computer. And my eight year old is standing over me with his laptop asking me how to Zoom actually. And that was how I learned how to Zoom, Ron, that just clicked.

Ron Reigns:

Which is how we’re doing our podcast this time. Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That is, yes. He’s been zooming with his teacher and his classmates.

Ron Reigns:

So you should have hd him teach you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I should have. So he has been Zooming. So I’m trying to help him log in. And I’m working at the same time and I’m thinking, this is our new reality for now.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And it feels like it just changed overnight.

Ron Reigns:

It’s just unprecedented for all of us.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Has it impacted you, your life a lot?

Ron Reigns:

In a weird way, it hasn’t because as you know, Lisa and I kind of live in a more rural area and we don’t get out much. We usually don’t even go grocery shopping for a couple of weeks at a time anyway. So we’re trying to even slim that down, but we’ve been working from our homes for years now. And so, no, it hasn’t impacted us as much as it has others. And that’s just kind of a blessing for us, but still we see it going on all around us. And I’m trying to keep people from coming to our house,

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Absolutely.

Ron Reigns:

Whether it’s family members or anybody else, it’s like, you know what, stay at home. If you need to bring us something, leave it outside the door, we’ll leave it out there for a couple of hours and kind of sanitize it when we get to it. And, but by and large, we have been minimally impacted ourselves. Fortunately.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What a blessing.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah, it really is.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We have been impacted more than not, again, six of our children, out of seven, live at home. And so all six of them are at home. They’re all going to school and all of their activities have been cut. All their athletics have been cut. They can’t see their friends. They can’t go out and they’re really struggling.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Four of them are teenagers and this is one of their worst nightmares.

Ron Reigns:

Oh absolutely. I can’t even imagine being a teenager in this time with all these immediate changes that are so drastic and it’s like, stay in your house, don’t hang out with your friends. Don’t go and do anything. And yeah, that’s got to be horrible for them.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, definitely.

Ron Reigns:

And for you, as a matter of fact.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I’m some levels at some points during the day. Yes.

Ron Reigns:

Here’s a brief timeline on what’s happening here in Arizona so that you can understand how Building Arizona Families is handling this pandemic. On March 11th, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. March 12th, Arizona, governor Doug Ducey declared a public health emergency and gave staff officials more leeway and tools to deal with the Corona virus outbreak. On March 15th, Governor Ducey and the Arizona superintendent of public instruction, Kathy Hoffman, announced all Arizona schools will remain closed through March 27th. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that no gatherings of 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks to slow the spread of Corona virus. On March 21st, all non-essential or elective surgeries, including dental surgeries that use personal protective equipment or ventilators should not be performed at any licensed health care facility or by any licensed healthcare provider in the state of Arizona.

Ron Reigns:

Also, the state is delaying the requirements to renew driver’s license and driver’s permits that have an expiration date between March 1st, 2020 and September 1st, 2020 by six months from the expiration date. And on March 30th, governor Ducey mandated a stay at home order that went into effect on Tuesday, March 31st at 5:00 PM, and will last through April 30th. According to the order, Arizonans should limit time away from home, except for essential activities. Essential activities are broadly defined to include working in essential jobs and exercising outside.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So I think that when we look at adoptions and we look at how we are structuring this, we definitely wanted to make sure that we adhere to all of the state regulations and our licensing regulations as well. So we are absolutely keeping in tow with both. And so what we’re doing our protocols, and we have sent out letters to the adoptive families that we’re working with when a family is matching with us, we’re letting them know the changes and these are not permanent changes. They’re just as long as this pandemic continues. And then when we get the all clear, we will transition back to the more face-to-face intensive case management approach.

Ron Reigns:

Right. Now, what do you do as far as transferring money to these girls when they need it? How does that work?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So the way that it’s working now is we are having a lot of our birth mothers sign up for different avenues for direct deposit because if we ever get to a point where we’re not allowed to go out… Now we do, we are able to deliver their weekly funds. We are able to do that at this point. And so right now it’s not an issue, but in preparation, if that ever becomes a point to where we can’t physically get to them, because there are barriers or something, we are getting them all signed up so that we can just deposit right into their accounts. So that’s what we’ve been working on.

Ron Reigns:

Has that been difficult because I know that some of these women are homeless or don’t have a permanent residence or bank accounts or things like that. Has that been an obstacle that’s been easy to overcome or not?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

There are avenues like the Green Dot card and Chime and things like that, that you don’t have to have a credit rating per se, in most cases in order to be able to qualify for one of those.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So that being said, we are trying to utilize all the resources. And a lot of that is just preparation so that we can make sure that in the event, again, that we get to the point.

Ron Reigns:

Totally shut down, right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

where they don’t want any transportation, that we’re still able to get their funds to them. We are still having to have them obviously sign documents. I don’t know if we will ever have to go to an online document signing. I’m hoping that’s not the case because we would have to do… That would only work for some documents rather than all of them, obviously.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We are still able to do face-to-face intakes when a birth mother comes into the program, but we’ve had to make a lot of drastic changes. Like when, when a mom goes to get an ultrasound, we’re having her Skype with us because we can’t go back with her. Whereas we normally go back and hold her hand and talk to her through it and make sure she’s doing okay. And we’re not able to do that right now.

Ron Reigns:

Right right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And it’s really scary because they look to us as their support structure. And when we used to be able to go and take them to lunch and spend time with them and really get to bond, now we’re using Skype and Zoom and not able to spend that one-on-one time like we used to.

Ron Reigns:

Right. Now, how are they taking it as far… Obviously they can’t be, I mean, they’ve got to be understanding of the situation?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Oh absolutely. I have to say that they’re… That all of our birth mothers have been incredible troopers.

Ron Reigns:

Good.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They understand completely. They themselves do not want to get sick. They do not want to contract the virus either and so…

Ron Reigns:

Or spread it to other people in their families and right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Agreed. And so they are sheltering in place as well. And they are holding, they’re holding it together. They’re doing an amazing job, but they’re scared and they’re struggling just like everybody else.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The adoptive families, when we explained to them that we’ve had to do a shift in case management just to keep everybody as safe as possible because as a director and looking at the whole scope, there’s really a triad here as well, where we’ve got the birth mothers and the adopted families, and then the agency staff. And I’ve got to make sure that all three entities are as safe as possible. And yet we still want adoptions to be successful as possible. But at the same time, safety has to come first. And so we are doing everything from, like I said before, sanitizing the offices daily to making sure that we… When we go into the hospitals, we’re not allowed to be there anymore for labor and delivery. That’s a big question that we get. They’re not allowing a support person to come in at this time. They they’ve changed the protocol a few times, but right now they’re not allowing anybody else in.

Ron Reigns:

Not even one other person in the room, even family.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

In some hospitals they’re allowing it and others it’s not really uniform.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It depends on the hospital. But what we are allowed to do is when we have documents that need to be signed like a power of attorney, they are letting us go in and get that paperwork signed as long as there’s not another support person already in there. But I mean, they’re taking our temperature before we’re going in and we’re gloving up and wearing masks. And we’re even wearing masks and gloves in the office.

Ron Reigns:

I was going to ask about that. So you have those on supply for your staff and their work mothers that come in for instance?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We do. Yep. Everybody who’s coming into the office has to wear gloves and a mask, regardless of whether or not they’re feeling ill or not.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Even though the office is sanitized, because again, we really want to promote safety. We’re dealing with pregnant women and there’s so much unknown about COVID-19. There’s so much that we don’t know yet that we’re still learning. As a world, we don’t know enough about this. I have to say that it is, it was scary. And we… When the pandemic first broke out and you couldn’t get groceries at the grocery store because everybody was rushing the grocery store and buying everything off the shelves, and that’s still happening. We had actually reached out on Facebook and asked for any extra donations of non-perishable goods that people may be willing to depart with. And it actually made it onto one of the news websites that we were looking for donations. So that was really nice.

Ron Reigns:

That is very nice. Now, how is your office doing as far as, I mean, this is the question that everybody’s been asking each other online. How are you doing on toilet paper?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right now? We are, we’re okay.

Ron Reigns:

Okay, good.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We also don’t have the influx of people like we used to because again, we’re doing so much more of it from home.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. So it’s not getting used as much.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Correct.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s not getting used as much and we are part of a business park. And so that’s what… That’s their obligation to provide it. But at the same time, we have backup if we need it. So we’re okay on toilet paper.

Ron Reigns:

Good. I’m glad to hear that.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Our birth mothers were more concerned about our food pantry and making sure that we had food for them. And we do.

Ron Reigns:

But donations are always necessary for this.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We do, but it’s not what it used to be. It’s thinning out. I know that everybody out there is really concerned about food and toilet paper and all that, but anything that anybody is willing to donate, as long as it’s not perishable, we would be really grateful for.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. And where do they send that?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What they can do is they can either send it to our office at the 8433 North Black Canyon Highway, Suite 152, Phoenix, Arizona, 85021, or they can ding-dong ditch at the office.

Ron Reigns:

I haven’t heard that term in a long time.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. They could drop it off at the office and our receptionist is there and she won’t open the door, obviously, but when you’re there, but she will take it. And we would be very grateful. So it’s always a concern for the birth moms because our food pantry is something that not any other agency that I know of even has, or hosts and St. Mary’s Food Bank is one of our major contributors for food, but because of what’s been happening, they haven’t been able to donate like they used to.

Ron Reigns:

Right. Certainly there’s a community need that they have to take care of first and right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And we totally understand, and are grateful for everything that we’ve received and will receive in the future. And that’s totally understandable, but it does put us in a little bit of a predicament. So we’ve done everything from ordering on Amazon and Walmart in bulk as best we can. I know some of our staff members have donated food. I know we’ve donated food just to try to keep things going.

Ron Reigns:

Remember that those donations can be dropped off or sent to 8433 North Black Canyon Highway, Suite 152 in Phoenix, Arizona, 85021. Visit Building Arizona Families website at azpregnancyhelp.com. We have a new website for the podcast. BirthMotherMatterspodcast.com. And as always, remember to rate and review us wherever you are getting this podcast. We really, really appreciate it. Join us next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I’m Ron Reigns and we’ll see you then.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me Ron Raines, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the executive director, president and co-founder of Building Arizona Family’s adoption agency, The Donna K. Evans Foundation and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in Family Studies and Human Development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott Arizona. Now I work for my wife who’s an adoption attorney and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Explaining the unexplainable. Trying to verbalize the impact of adoption as an adult adoptee. As an adult adoptee, I get so many questions and a lot of them yes are because of the position that I’m in and working for the agency. And when somebody hears that I work for the adoption agency and I’m adopted, here comes the questions, which is fine.I don’t mind them anymore.

Ron Reigns:

Were you ever offended by it?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Offended? No.I was never offended. I consider myself an exceedingly private person. And so initially I wasn’t so at ease talking about it.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But I want to go back because I’ve touched on things and I want to go back about my coming out of the closet story regarding being adopted.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And because it happened in such an interesting way. It was almost like they say that that path just opens up and all the lights were shining at the right time and all the stars aligned and that’s where we are today.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So prior to being about 28, 29, there were a handful of people in my world that knew I was adopted. Now, my parents had told all of their friends and family members, and all those people knew, but in my social world, less than a handful.

Ron Reigns:

Your friends from school, your friends that you worked with.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Less than a handful. And so I really didn’t speak about that. And I think that as a society, we’re now changing it and I love how open it’s becoming and how accepting people are beginning to be regarding people’s choices and lifestyles and so forth.

Ron Reigns:

And their life paths that they’ve been on and everybody has a different path, right?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And in the last 20 years, a lot about adoption changed. Adoptions are definitely going towards more open adoptions rather than closed and mine was closed. And I don’t think that my adoption being closed was a positive thing. I think it would’ve been much better had it been open, but back then that wasn’t a thing.

Ron Reigns:

It just wasn’t the way it was done mainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No it wasn’t. And I think also with celebrities talking out their adoptions on the cover of magazines, you’re seeing all of the children that they adopted and they have these beautiful multiracial families. I think it’s gorgeous and I think it’s helping uplift people’s opinions of adoption and their acceptance levels. And it’s educating. And as we’ve talked about a hundred times, education does everything positive for people’s viewpoints, opinions. It helps them stereotype less and have less preconceived notions because they’re educated and adoption nowadays is integrated into movies and television show and books and plays and you just have adopted characters. Whereas, back when I was younger, if it was about adoption, that was what the movie was centered around.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It was the whole focus. It wasn’t just a cameo appearance of somebody being adopted, it was about the adoption.

Ron Reigns:

Whereas nowadays you have the show Modern Family, which has a gay couple, but it’s not about a gay couple. And it has an adopted daughter for that couple, but it’s not about that. It’s about the whole group.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And that’s a great example. It’s not just focused about the adoptee or the adopter family or the birth line. They’re just interwoven into the fabric of life. Some adult adoptees have struggled in their skin and others are fine with it. Everybody interprets being adopted, I think probably by the way it was approached, taught to them as a child, as the reactions that they’ve gotten in the past. Now I’ve never gotten a negative reaction about being adopted. I’ve gotten surprised reactions, which I often didn’t know how to interpret. I didn’t know, are you surprised because that’s a bad thing or are you surprised because… Why does that surprise you? So in other words, in my mind, I’m thinking, oh, I’m surprised you’re adopted. And I’m thinking, well, why are you surprised? What is surprising?

Ron Reigns:

What? You thought I would be a different person had I been adopted right?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Perfect way to say it.

Ron Reigns:

And I think it’s more just, oh, I didn’t know that about you, more that kind of surprise than… It depends on how you interpret it. But yeah, I think generally.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But when you’re hiding in a closet with your story and you’re sensitive to it and you open up to one person and they say, oh, that’s really surprising. You kind of take it like-

Ron Reigns:

Yon don’t know how to take it, right?

Speaker 3:

You know, I’m going to run back in the closet and shut the door and lock it. So yeah, I think that, because adoption is more openly spoken about and more of a normality, children now, who are adopted, are not looked at as the purple person in the room.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And I love that.

Ron Reigns:

I do too. I couldn’t agree more.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You know, as a child, I didn’t walk into my third grade room and they didn’t know I was adopted. Whereas now if someone always says, oh yeah, I’m adopted, people aren’t like, oh wow. And they don’t stare at you like you just grew wings on your back and halo over your head or what have you.

Ron Reigns:

Right. So when I look at anything from an outside perspective, I want to know more, so that’s why I always ask you questions. It’s not like, oh, you’re some sort of freak of nature. I just want to know what brought you to this [crosstalk 00:07:08] I’ve talked to your kids about you and you are a freak. But I just like hearing different stories that I’m not familiar with. So if I ever cross any lines or make you feel uncomfortable, please let me know and stop me. It’s just….

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Absolutely. No, not at all Because I think the questions that you have are the same questions that everybody else has. And we’ve agreed over and over again in this podcast, we’re going to go there wherever there is we’re going to go there. And we’re going to clear up misconceptions and be honest and talk about adoption truth and that’s important.

Ron Reigns:

And contrary to popular belief, adoptees are actually people.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Absolutely. That was a joke by the way.

Ron Reigns:

Yes, it was.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So talking about my coming out of the closet on being adopted. It’s something that I want to explore a little bit because everybody is going to have their own story. My adoption journey started when I was placed for adoption. And then in a lot of ways, it halted until this moment because nothing changed. I didn’t meet my birth mother. There was no further development with adoption. There wasn’t a kumbaya moment or an aha moment until I was in my late twenties. There was just nothing. And I actually may have even been very early thirties. I’m trying to remember exactly when this occurred. And I was married. I had had biological children. I was working as a school counselor and one of my co-workers was also married and working at the school. And he had children the same age that I did. We both had a child in the onsite daycare at the school. And so, not only did we work in the office but we, we also had a child in the same classroom. And so we would see each other frequently and idle chit-chat around the high schooler, and he was doing the pleasantries, how was your weekend? And I was going on and I asked him about his and he said that he had had lunch with his birth mother and time just froze. Everything stood still. I remember thinking a million thoughts at that moment. It was as if he told me the sky is forever going to be polka dotted. There would’ve been no differentiation as to how shocked I was. It was literally one of those moments where everything else goes silent and you get tunnel vision and your whole life stops.

Ron Reigns:

Was it that way because he told you, or because you didn’t know he was adopted also or little of both?

Speaker 3:

It was everything. It was the fact that he so openly spoke that he was obviously adopted, the fact that he had had lunch with his birth mother. The fact that he said it as if he just told me that he was chewing Hubba Bubba bubble gum, rather than- And it was monotone, it wasn’t anything like, oh, I had lunch with my birth mother. It wasn’t that it was, yeah, I had lunch with my birth mother and then he kept going on. I remember just thinking, what? You know what I mean? It was one of those moments that I will never forget. And he kind of looked at me, I’m sure I had a stunned look on my face and he probably thought, do I have something in my teeth? Because I was blown away. And I asked him. I remember my first statement was, you’re adopted. And it was as much of a question as a statement you’re adopted. And he kind of nodded like, yeah. As if you have two arms. There was no response, no emotion, nothing. It was like the color of his hair. And so I said can I ask some questions? And he kind of nodded. And I remember saying I’m adopted too. And I remember lowering my voice because I didn’t know who could hear me. And it felt like I was confiding something.

Ron Reigns:

Deep and dark.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

A deep, dark secret.

Ron Reigns:

Whereas he’s handling it so nonchalant and you’re like, what is this?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And he was like, oh, you’re adopted. Cool. Yeah. I mean, again, this was not phasing him at all, phasing him whatsoever.

Ron Reigns:

I have a question then. And you may not even know, did he have an open adoption?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

From what I remember, remember this was now about 18, 19 years ago. He had a very good relationship with his birth mother. I don’t remember him mentioning his birth father. The relationship with his birth mother, his adoptive family and his birth mother, they knew each other. So it must have been an open adoption or at least somewhat open. And he was my age. So they must have had a very different situation working because he had always known he was adopted. So he said he was willing too, so then because I’d never really known anybody who was adopted that I would open up to or talk to, It was almost like I threw up everywhere. I didn’t really, but probably, I just felt like I threw up everywhere and this poor guy was probably thinking, oh my gosh, I just told her I had lunch with my birth mom. It wasn’t even anything to elicit this response.

Ron Reigns:

But it was so life changing to you. And so world chattering.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Okay. It was comparable to this. When I was a little girl on St. Patrick’s day, I truly believed that I could catch a leprechaun. To this day, I still wonder. Anyway, I would go out and I would literally look for a leprechaun, until my late teens and no, just kidding. And I imagine catching on. That was comparable. So I sat down and I remember asking him everything from, how long have you known? You tell people? Like you tell people that you’re adopted?

Ron Reigns:

On purpose? Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And how did you meet your birth mother? And does your adopted family know? And what do your kids think? And can you tell me everything? And this is just a co-worker. So now he’s probably thinking, oh, wow, okay.

Ron Reigns:

I think I opened a can of worms that I didn’t need to open.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

He opened Pandora’s box and then Pandora threw up. So that’s where we were. So I must have asked him a thousand questions. I threw off, unfortunately, admittedly, the rest of the Workday for both him and I, neither one of us worked in a classroom. And so it wasn’t like I was impeding him from… I’m sure it was..

Ron Reigns:

From taking care of children.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But at that point, wild horses couldn’t have drugged me away because I had to understand, I had to learn how somebody so confident and so normal could have gone through the same thing that I had and talk about it like this.

Ron Reigns:

So do you think people listen to this podcast, who are adopted or adult adoptees? Do you think they listen to this and look at you the same way you looked at this coworker? Like, how can she be so confident and sharing everything so open?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

If they’re in the adoption closet, I hope so.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. You could open somebody’s world like he did for You.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And he was so gallant and nice and patient because it had to have been obnoxious. I mean, I’m sure not only did I ask a thousand questions, but I probably asked them again, because I was trying so hard to not inundate him or rush him or make him not want to talk at all. But at the same time, I had never met anybody. It’s like, you’re a purple person and you walk in and you see a first purple person after almost 30 years. And you’re like, you’re purple and people know you’re purple.

Ron Reigns:

And you don’t care that you’re purple.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No, you’re not covering up your purpleness. So yeah, in having him help me walk out of the closet and close the door behind me, which is really what he did. I started to let the other workers at school know, and of course this poor man, I probably talked to him about adoption every day until we no longer worked at the school and that is how myself and the other co-founder started the very beginning of the agency. She found out that I was adopted, but that wouldn’t have happened had this gentleman not disclosed that he was adopted.

Ron Reigns:

That’s amazing.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes. And then the other co-worker adopted children from Russia and wanted me to help her with some post placement reports afterwards. Anyway, long story short, the stars aligned. I got a little braver every time I said it, I remember thinking, okay, it’s like momentum, okay, that person didn’t react weird. And so Kelly, next person, then I can watch their reaction and then it’s like the purple started to fade. When people find out that I’m adopted or I tell them I’m adopted, I still get the same questions. How does it feel to be adopted? I wouldn’t know. I don’t know what it feels like to not be adopted. there’s no level of comparison. So I think that’s kind of a funny, silly, dumb question.

Ron Reigns:

It’s like asking anybody, anything along those lines, really, they don’t know any different.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Absolutely. And you can understand that with your site as you’ve talked about before. It’s the same thing.

Ron Reigns:

What’s it like to be colorblind? Well.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What’s it like not to be?

Ron Reigns:

What’s like not to be? Yeah, exactly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Do you feel lucky that you’re adopted is another question? I feel lucky that I was adopted by my adoptive parents and lucky that I reunited with my birth mother. I feel lucky that I had a solid upgroup bringing and a good childhood. I don’t know if lucky is the right word. Blessed is probably a better one. The other question I get is why haven’t you adopted if adoption’s so great. That’s the other question that I get and that to me is kind of funny actually. I always thought that I wouldn’t and there isn’t a reason that I haven’t. I have four biological children and three step children and seven seems like enough. I know the TV show disagrees with us. because they say eight is enough.

Ron Reigns:

Eight is enough. Come on.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But for us seven is enough. Would I ever adopt in the future? Maybe. I mean who knows what the future holds? The stars align, who knows? But it’s not something that I’m looking to do. It’s not something that I wouldn’t do, but I get that question all the time is, oh, why don’t you adopt? Well, for the same reason.

Ron Reigns:

Just it isn’t my path.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It hasn’t been in the cards. Another question is, are you angry at your birth mother for placing you for adoption? Of course not. She was not in a place that she could parent me the way that she wanted to or provide the life that she wanted me to have. Why would I be angry with somebody who made a selfless choice?

Ron Reigns:

Do you think your biological brothers had wished at all that they had been adopted out as well?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They have referred to me with no disrespect to my mom as the lucky one.

Ron Reigns:

Because you got out.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Because I had opportunities that they didn’t. We all loved my mom and I don’t think they would’ve traded a moment of time with her, but the lifestyle that they lived with her was not ideal in comparison with the lifestyle that I lived. Best way to say it.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Another question was, was your adoptive family upset when you wanted to find your birth mother? Not at all. They gave me the information they had and they were very supportive.

Ron Reigns:

Now you didn’t tell them immediately when you went to meet your birth mother?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That I did not. And thank you for pointing that out. I did not tell them immediately. I told them when I found her but I found her on a Friday and I left on a Wednesday. I did not tell them that I was leaving to go to Ohio. And I think I was worried it would hurt their feelings. I wasn’t ready to answer questions. And I felt like I was walking in quick sand in a certain aspect because I didn’t know what I was getting into. I was jumping down the rabbit hole and I didn’t know what it was going to look like. Are your adoptive family and biological family similar? This is actually probably the funniest one. No, they couldn’t be more opposite. So my adoptive parents are upper middle class. They’re both college educated. They’re very proper, manners are a huge thing. You wouldn’t know it by these podcasts with me, but they’re very proper. My birth mother was not as fortunate in her finances. She dropped out of school after I was born in the 10th grade. And she’s from the Hills of West Virginia. So polar opposite would be an understatement.

Ron Reigns:

Okay, fair enough.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. But that doesn’t mean that one is better than the other.

Ron Reigns:

No.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It means that I am like the two worlds colliding. I’m like the overlap of two things smashed into each other. I’m like the middle smash.

Ron Reigns:

But I think that can be just a huge blessing for somebody to see two different sides of life that aren’t similar at all. I mean, you could go to a fancy ball and do all the things and eat from the right plate and use the right utensils and everything at any given time.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Correct.

Ron Reigns:

But you could kick back with a beer and sit on the front porch. I think that’s a good thing. Watch life pass you by.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No, I agree and I can. The other thing is people will say, well, which of the families do you relate more to? And it’s really a mixture of nature and nurture. I can go either way. I can walk through an art museum just as easily as I can kick my feet up. And I think that some of my responses are refined by my adoption and other times, what first wants to come out of my mouth, I think it’s been trained not to.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Because your birth mother would say anything at anytime.

Speaker 3:

And my biological brother, Mike Clarence, and I’m saying Clarence’s name, because he would say this as well. He will call it how it is and that’s just who he is. And he prides himself on that. He’s very real, he’s very honest, very open. And he means what he says and if you don’t like it, then that’s not his problem. And so my mother was very much the same way and she wouldn’t hold back for anybody because that wasn’t who she was. She was a survivor and she was going to fight her way through the world. And if people didn’t like it, then they could get out of the way or she would just go right through them. That was their choice. So I think that some of my behaviors are a result of the modeling I watched of my adoptive parents, but some of my responses are my DNA.

Ron Reigns:

That’s cool. That’s a good mix.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It is a good mix most of the time. So I think the best way to describe this, because this is something that a lot of adoptive parents talk to me about. Your kin is from West Virginia and the mountains and Appalachian people and all of that and yet you were raised for the last, when we moved to LA Jolla, California, I was raised there and the only analogy I could come up with is, sometimes when you’re at the zoo and you’re looking through the glass at a gorilla and they’re looking back at you, it’s almost like you make a connection, but when you’re adopted and you’re trying to decipher which side, it’s like you don’t know which side of the glass you’re really on and you’re thinking, okay, am I a product of this upper echelon upbringing, educated and so forth? Or am I on the other side? And I’m just a girl that was placed with a family that should be running barefoot through the fields of the mountains in West Virginia. You know what I mean? Is that really what this is?

Ron Reigns:

And you’re lucky you can be both.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I can be both. So I think overall as an adult adoptee, I think we grow and we learn our experiences are what shapes us and viewpoints can change with education. But being adopted doesn’t make us special or unique.

Ron Reigns:

We have a pregnancy crisis hotline available twenty four seven phone or text at (623) 695-4112, or you can call our toll free number +1 800-340-9665. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get you to a safe place, provide food and clothing and started on creating an Arizona adoption plan or give you more information. You can check out our blogs on our website at AZ pregnancy, help.com. Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters and Adoption written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me, Ron Reigns. If you enjoyed this podcast rate and review us wherever you listen to podcasts and as always thanks to Grapes for letting us use their song. I Dunno as our theme song, join us next time for Birth Mother Matters in Adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m Ron Reigns, and we’ll see you then.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome. And thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 1:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid. And that’s not fair.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And I know that my daughter will be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 3:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 4:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the executive director, president and co-founder of Building Arizona Families adoption agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation and creator of the “You Before Me” campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife. Who’s an adoption attorney and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Ron Reigns:

Thanks for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. Today, part two of our two-part interview with Robyn, the intake coordinator for Building Arizona Families. You may remember her from last week, she’s the married proud mother of four children. One of whom was recently adopted at birth. She studied business management and education at the University of Kentucky. She has experienced teaching children in primary and secondary education. Robyn started working with Building Arizona Families over five years ago, just after she completed an adoption with BAF.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What is one thing that you have always wanted to tell families that are beginning the adoption process, but really isn’t socially appropriate, politically correct. In other words, what is the one thing that you’ve always wanted to say over and over again, but logistically you really can’t, but now you can. What’s the one thing you would say?

Robyn:

Oh, that’s a tough one.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Would it be, “Redo your book,” or “focus more on the pictures,” or…

Robyn:

Oh, oh, there’s been many times where I’ve wanted to say redo your book. But I think that as far as that, I would say get help when putting your adoption book together because they need to realize that this is… to word it straight out: this is how you sell yourself and sell your family to a birth mom. That this is your way of saying, “Hey, this is us.” And just be so careful how you do that, both in what you want them to see and how they’re going to get to know you. So definitely be aware of that profile book.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What is one common thing that you think that adoptive families coming into the process do incorrectly and maybe it hinders them from being chosen or it kind of turns off some of the staff members and working with them, what are some of those things?

Robyn:

I think that they definitely need to become educated. Educated in the actual process and realize… I think a lot of them think that this is going to be an easy road and it’s not. And I think that they need to realize that when they do make that connection with their birth mother, that they need to accept her. That I think. That was a big part in my adoption that our birth mother wanted to be accepted and she just wanted support. And I think that if you can make that connection and do so with keeping an open mind that it’s going to make things better in the end.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Is there a part of your job that’s your favorite?

Robyn:

Seeing the pictures that get sent to me, either in the hospital when baby is born or seeing the finalization pictures. It’s the end result. And of course, I have some families that I work with more than others. And it just knowing that I was just a part of getting them to where they are on that day where birth mom signs consents. Or on that day when they’re having their finalization in court. It’s amazing. It’s such an amazing feeling.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

All right, what’s your least favorite part?

Robyn:

Failed adoptions, disruptions, and granted, I’m not the one usually that has to make that call, but they do. The families when they stay in the program and they come back around, it’s hard working with them again, knowing the heartbreak that they’ve been through.

Ron Reigns:

You ever feel like they blame you?

Robyn:

Yes.

Ron Reigns:

For matching them with…

Robyn:

Yes, I do.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Good question.

Robyn:

I do. And you know, I mean, I know that. And I tell them all, “I wish we had the crystal ball. I wish we could see the end result,” but obviously we don’t. But yes, I have felt that way before. And it’s hard.

Ron Reigns:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Robyn:

It’s hard thinking what they’ve gone through… Because it’s not only financial, it’s emotional as well. So it’s so very hard when they come back around. But again, when you do get them to the end and, especially if it’s a hospital baby born situation and they’re on a whim, they’re out here and within 12, 24 hours, they’re holding a baby and they know that, okay, we’re going to get there. This is the way that it was supposed to be. That’s the end reward.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So you are obviously from Kentucky.

Robyn:

I am.

Ron Reigns:

It’s not as thick as I thought it was going to be. You warned me. And I’m like, “It’s not that bad.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We love your accent.

Robyn:

Aw, thank you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Adoptive families. As you know, we do a lot of adoptions from Kentucky and I have to say, even having traveled to Kentucky multiple times, adoptive families from Kentucky are drawn to you. They want to speak with you. Is this the good old girls club, or why is this?

Robyn:

I don’t know. They say Southern hospitality maybe.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Ah.

Robyn:

And maybe that’s just what I was born and raised with. And I love working with families from all across the United States, but when I get to make that call that they’re in Kentucky, I always share with them, “I was born and raised,” where you’re from. And I want to share with them that it just makes it very nice being able to work with them as well, just because it reminds me of a little bit of home.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah, it’s nice. We’ve definitely made some wonderful connections in Kentucky, so…

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

For sure. So looking back, what is the most memorable story that you have played a part in?

Robyn:

I have to say that it was matching, well, we did an adoption with a family that was from Kentucky. I happened to be at one of our seminars with them and you and Adam were there as well. And I start to talk to this guy and it turns out that he was in a wedding of my brother’s best friend. So we definitely had mutual connections and at least about six months later, their birth mother comes back into the program. So they come back into our program and I absolutely still keep in touch with them to this day.

Ron Reigns:

Oh, cool.

Robyn:

It was just crazy how the connections that we had. And I still keep in touch with them. She actually is a teacher at a school that I used to do long-term substitute teaching for. It was just such proof that it’s a small world that we live in.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

For sure. Do you have any funny stories?

Robyn:

I got a call one day and when the lady left her name, I was like, “I know this last name. This is crazy.” So it turns out that her brother coached my daughter in all-star cheerleading from the time she was four until 18. And she now has adopted two times with us. And all of that came about just by me recognizing her last name. And when I returned her call I thought, “Okay, I have to ask because your last name is so uncommon. Are you related to,” and I said his name and she said, “How did you know that?” Because I’m from Kentucky and he coached my daughter in cheer. And she said, “Oh, no way.” So now she has come through the program and adopted, and then in turn, her birth mom came back and they have adopted again. And they actually have full siblings.

Robyn:

She’s actually adopted and those are full siblings. And I do still keep in touch with them too, just because there were always a part of our family. So every time I’m in Kentucky and see their family, I see those kids.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Aw.

Robyn:

I mean, I look at them and I’m like, “Oh my goodness, this is just it.” I really got to be a part of building their family. And I know we have such a history with that family. That goes way, way back to, like I said, with him, coaching my daughter in cheer. Her entire family, her brother that I knew, but yet her other sister, her mom, her dad, they all send me messages at Christmas. When I see them they hug me. They’re like, “You have no idea what you did for Heather and her family.”

Robyn:

I just feel like I was such a small part. And they’re like, “No.” You’ve not just changed. You know, her mom said to me, and this was just this past Christmas. She said, “You’ve not just changed Heather and her husband’s life, you’ve changed all of our lives by helping us with these beautiful girls, by helping us come into connection and having beautiful girls as a part of our family.” So when somebody comes back and says something like that to you, it’s the ultimate reward. It really is.

Ron Reigns:

It’s better than getting paid millions of dollars or whatever. I’m just kidding. It’s not.

Robyn:

No, I’m not even kidding you. I don’t know, there’s a place in my heart. Because I look at my son and I know how I feel, and I know how bad I wanted to be a parent again. And when you get these families that come to you and you know that that’s what they want and they tell you their stories. You’re like, “I can help you. But you’re going to have to trust me and you’re going to have to trust the process, but I can help you.” And when you see the end result, it’s amazing.

Ron Reigns:

It really is. I see how Kelly and Building Arizona Families and my wife and you, and everybody. You’ve affected people’s lives in such a positive way in every aspect of the adoption triad. So I just think it’s incredible what you guys do. So you’re doing great.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You really are.

Robyn:

Thank you. Thank you. It’s a joy. And, everybody stands when you find your passion and you can have that incorporated in your job.

Ron Reigns:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Robyn:

I’m just convinced that it was what I was supposed to do all along. And it took me going through the process to really have that focused to me. Voiced to me that this is what I need to be doing. And I even told our caseworker at the time, which I got connected with Becky, but Becky wasn’t our caseworker. I told her at the time, “I need to do this. I need to learn more and I need to be a part of this.” And I still… I’m five and a half years in, and I still learn something every day, every day. If it’s nothing, but at staff meetings, we learn from our education or we learn from a particular situation. There’s still just… it’s ongoing. There’s always something that you can learn. That you can in turn, turn around and help someone.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Robyn, thank you so much for all you do. And for agreeing to do this podcast.

Robyn:

Oh, thank you. You’re very welcome.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I’m thinking maybe in the future, we’ll have you back on and maybe you can give your insight into profile books and helping adoptive families create books.

Ron Reigns:

There you go.

Robyn:

Absolutely. I would love to offer that.

Ron Reigns:

We have a pregnancy crisis hotline available 24/7 by phone or text at (623) 695-4112, or you can call our toll free number +1 800-340-9665. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get you to a safe place, provide food and clothing and started on creating an Arizona adoption plan or give you more information. You can check out our blogs on our website at azpregnancyhelp.com. Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me, Ron Reigns. If you enjoy this podcast rate and review us wherever you listen to podcasts and as always thanks to Grapes for letting us use their song, I Dunno, as our theme song. Join us next time for Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. For Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I’m Ron Reigns, and we’ll see you then.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I’m the Executive Director, President, and Co-Founder of Building Arizona Family’s Adoption Agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation and creator of the, You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife who’s an adoption attorney and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast. Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters and Adoption, today part one of our two part interview with the intake coordinator for Building Arizona Families. Robin is a married and proud mother of four children, one of whom was recently adopted at birth. She studied business management and education at the University of Kentucky. She has experienced teaching in primary and secondary schools, as well as prior office management, proficiency, Robin has been with Building Arizona Families since she came to work after completing an adoption with Beth over five years ago.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Why don’t you first talk about how you found us and came to us and how you are, where you are now?

Robyn:

Well, I actually lived, I mean, I was living in Arizona, but had not found Building Arizona Families until a friend of mine that lives back in Kentucky said, ”Hey! I found this adoption agency, you need to check them out, they’re right, they have to be close to you.” So I started looking into things and I got in contact with Becky Merryman who I work with now. And that was pretty much it once I, once I got in contact with Becky and started the process, that’s all I needed to do. It was amazing.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You adopted?

Robyn:

Five and a half years ago and

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You have biological children as well?

Robyn:

I do, I have three biological children.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And you adopted five years ago. And then how soon after that, did you come to work for us?

Robyn:

Exactly two months.

Ron Reigns:

After the adoption finalized?

Robyn:

After, no, not even after that we did not finalize yet. It was two months old when I started working for Building Arizona Families.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Wow!

Robyn:

I know.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So why did you want to work for Building Arizona Families?

Robyn:

I can honestly say when I went through the adoption, the entire journey, I found my passion and I went to school for so many different things. I started in accounting, and then I went into real estate, and then I went into education and I found my passion just in helping people. And I’m certain that it’s because of what I went through. We tried to have … Jeff and I tried to have biological children and couldn’t, so I have three older children and started all over by trying to go through fertility. You know, we used fertility drugs, we used IVF, unsuccessful, and I met with a lady at church and started talking about the adoption process and looking into it from there. But I never imagined how much it would change my life after actually going through the entire process and learning. I still to this day learn something all the time in the journey, but to be able just to share my experiences and to be just a small part of building other families, the way that I was able to build my family is amazing. It’s just so rewarding.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So how would you describe your position with Building Arizona Families?

Robyn:

As far as for match coordinating, I honestly don’t think that I would want to do anything else other than what I do. I feel like, that I get to talk to adoptive parents and explain the process with them and help them through the process and let them know it’s not just a smooth road. It’s not … It’s never just going to be a straight shot. There’s going to be a, they’re going to throw you curve balls and you’re going to have to learn how to, sometimes even tiptoe through the process. So I like to be able to share my experience, I like to be able to explain to them, what to expect and that sometimes you have to expect the unexpected. I think that being able to connect adoptive parents with birth mothers is what I’m supposed to be doing, in a way, my background is in teaching, so in a way, I am still teaching, but it’s just a different aspect of it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I totally agree. So can you describe what a match coordinator does?

Robyn:

So I get the preference forms from adoptive parents that’ll, and I basically match up what they are looking for in a birth mom, and I take the preferences of what birth mom is looking for in an adoptive family and connect. I connect with the adoptive families, show them the birth mother intakes and let them know, you’re exactly what she is looking for, kind of go from there.

Ron Reigns:

So do you choose, for instance, the home studies that the birth mothers see when they’re first given like three options or five options?

Robyn:

Sometimes I do, now there are occasions where I’m not able to do that if a birth mother, depending on what her intake looks like, as far as substance abuse matching up with adoptive parents preferences, sometimes I’m able to do that and sometimes I’m not.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Robyn:

I do tell adoptive parents a lot. You’re going to get intakes from me that may not exactly match your preferences, but please just keep an open mind and read over the intake, it cannot hurt for them just to read it. You never know what is going to catch your eye and we’ve had so many matches on, wow, she was so right, I looked over this intake and you know what, it wasn’t one that we would typically look at, maybe they had something in common, whether it be a favorite sports team or a favorite writing or reading or something in that intake just caught their eye.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Do you think that your own adoption experience with your son gives you an advantage in working with these families?

Ron Reigns:

I do, because a lot of the families that I talk to and I can remember being this way, going through the process, they’re scared. You have to look at it as a leap of faith and you have to look at it as trust in the process, and it’s very hard to at first going into it to trust. If I can just even offer that little bit of advice as to, Hey, wait a minute, this is what happened in our situation, so you just need to sit back and wait. And as hard as it is, sitting back and waiting, it’s what you have to do and keep your faith.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What do you think the most important recommendations you have for adoptive families who want to get matched as soon as possible? Like what would you tell them?

Robyn:

Number one, I would tell them, do not Google anything, go talk to a professional. I talked to pediatricians about substance abuse in birth mothers, and I also talked to my personal OB doctor. I wanted to hear firsthand, what do you see as far as the pediatricians? What do you see in these children that could be substance exposed? And what do I need to know moving forward? So don’t Google anything, because you never know who writes those articles. You need to actually sit down and talk to the professionals. And I think the best advice given to me that I pass along to people is, begin the process with the end in mind and know that it, it’s going to be, could be a bumpy ride, but you’ll get there. And I’m a true believer that everybody, everything that anybody goes through, through adoption, when they get to the end of the journey, they’re going to know, okay, this was the way that it was supposed to be.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What are some common, some of the most common misconceptions that adoptive families have when they come into the program?

Robyn:

Okay. I think a lot of times when they come in and there’s substance exposure, they’re going to expect us to drug test. It’s kind of a challenge to get families to understand that we’re not there to drug test them, we’re there to help them and help baby. So that sometimes is a challenge to get adoptive families to understand, okay, this is why we don’t. If her doctor does a drug [inaudible 00:10:06], yes, we’re going to get those results, but that’s not what we are there to do.

Robyn:

So I think that is probably a challenge to get them to understand, it’s a challenge to get them to understand funds and how funds are distributed. And in the process, it’s, I think that you have to … I have to look at it as they need the most education that they can get on this process. So it, even if it’s not all by myself or my co-workers explaining the process to them, it’s giving them articles to read or other people. I think that it’s amazing how you can get other people that have gone through the same process to talk to, that helps as well.

Ron Reigns:

Thanks for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption, next week, join us for part two of our interview with the intake coordinator for Building Arizona Families. We’ll be talking to Robin about the best and worst parts of the job, as well as her ties to Kentucky. That’s next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. We have a pregnancy crisis hotline available 24/7 by phone or text at (623) 695-4112. Or you can call our toll free number +1 800-340-9665. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get you to a safe place, provide food and clothing and started on creating an Arizona adoption plan or give you more information. You can check out our blogs on our website at AZpregnancyhelp.com.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me, Ron Reigns. If you enjoy this podcast, rate and review us wherever you listen to podcasts and as always thanks to Grapes for letting us use their song, I Dunno as our theme song. Join us next time for Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. For Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I’m Ron Reigns and we’ll see you then.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome, and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid. That’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 6:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the Executive Director, President and Co-founder of ‘Building Arizona Family’s Adoption Agency’, the ‘Donna K. Evans Foundation’ and creator of the ‘You Before Me’ campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife who is an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Open adoption has really become the trend and I love that. I always encourage open adoption when moms come in, unless there is a reason that closed adoption would really benefit the entire triad. I really push and encourage open adoption.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think it’s beautiful. It often begins with promises and commitments on everybody’s part, and on behalf of the birth mother and the adoptive parents. When an adoption is finalized, there is something called a post adoption communication agreement, and this is entered into the adoption decree as well. Some states make it legally enforceable. Other states it’s not legally enforceable, but it’s still an agreement that is entered into the court.

Ron Reigns:

Where does Arizona stand with the enforceability?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It is legally enforceable.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It is.

Ron Reigns:

That’s why, when there’s an adoption out of state, they kind of go by Arizona’s…

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It depends on where the adoption’s finalized.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

In other words, if you’re going to finalize in a state that doesn’t enforce the post-adoption communication agreement, you can still have one. It’s just not enforced in that state.

Ron Reigns:

In the other state, okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Because that’s where it’s finalized. Now, if Arizona doesn’t finalize out-of-state adoptions here. That’s not something that we as a state do.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s not like if you were in X state that doesn’t recognize them as legally enforceable that you could then do in Arizona, you can’t do that.

Ron Reigns:

Generally speaking, the adoptive parents and the birth mother to some degree, at least try to…

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right.

Ron Reigns:

follow the

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Absolutely.

Ron Reigns:

Guides.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What’s so interesting to me is oftentimes birth mothers are very worried that the adoptive families won’t follow through on their end and they won’t stick with the plan.

Ron Reigns:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What’s so interesting is in my experience, it’s actually not the adoptive families.

Ron Reigns:

More often than not it’s the birth mother?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. It’s not that she has a commitment that she has to follow. She’s not obligated to provide letters and pictures, but sometimes it’s tough. Sometimes she just needs a little bit of a break to clear her head and find peace again. Families often struggle with the lack of communication after a birth mother has placed a baby for adoption. They want that communication. Both sides were fearful prior to the adoption happening.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What it was going to look like and how it was going to really pan out. Some adoptive families have the irrational fear of a birth mother is going to come and knock on the window and take the baby. That’s not reality. The woman is placing the baby with you, because she wants the baby with you.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

She’s not placing the baby with you so she can come in the middle of the night and take the baby back. That’s not what this is. The birth mothers are afraid that the adoptive families are going to take the babies and cut off all communication. Again, that’s not what we see.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Has it ever happened? In situations where there was a concern on behalf of the adoptive family, about the appropriateness of the relationship, and the behavior and so forth around the child in that situation, I have seen there be a disconnect for a while. Then that would’ve been deemed appropriate.

Ron Reigns:

In what you’ve seen, does that usually change? If they disconnect, you said for a while, does that ever?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Sure. Let’s say that a birth mother has had a visit with the child and maybe she came high to the visit, and was not really appropriate. The family may be hesitant to do that again for a while. If the birth mother then becomes clean and is able to resume the visitation.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. So it’ll kind of self correct?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That happens sometimes. I can’t say how often I see an adoption set up with the parameters, letters and pictures. As an agency we use child connect, so it’s its own entity. They start off on one level and then it just takes off and it blossoms into this beautiful relationship.

Ron Reigns:

Wow.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s no longer letters and pictures three times a year. It’s, “Oh no, we have separate phone lines that we set up that we talk on and we exchange pictures”.

Ron Reigns:

The bat line, the adoption bat line.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Absolutely. It’s beautiful. That’s always the goal, is to have this relationship where it’s extended family, not co-parenting, but extended family.

Ron Reigns:

Right. She’s part of the family as well. The birth mother is.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When a birth mother chooses open adoption, she has the ability to watch her child grow and thrive and not wonder or worry about what’s happening. The birth mother’s current future children have the opportunity to connect with that child. The birth mother can feel confident that she will have contact between the family and her child. She knows that’s going to happen. Having a secure and positive relationship with the adoptive parents can help feel really confident and reassured in her adoption choice. That brings a lot of peace.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It also brings peace to the adoptive family when a birth mother is in the life because when they adopt the baby, they in essence fall in love with the birth mother because of this beautiful gift they’ve given them. She’s made them a family.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They love her and they care about her. When she distances herself, if she chooses to, because she’s struggling, sometimes it’s very hard. We have adopted families, where the birth mothers have drifted away, calling us saying, “Have you heard from her?” “Have you had any contact with her?” “Has she come and checked on the pictures?” “Have you heard anything?” “We’re really worried.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Maybe the open adoption was not really with the birth mother vision. Maybe she really wanted to place the baby, knew the baby was safe and in a good home, and move on with her life.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

She wasn’t ready to really take on this new relationship. She didn’t realize that until afterwards. Sometimes she just needs time. Sometimes it’s not that the adoptive family’s done anything wrong. It’s not that she regrets any aspects of her decision.

Ron Reigns:

Her choice. Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

She just may need time.

Ron Reigns:

I think that, I don’t know. Maybe this is analogous or maybe it’s not, but when my son was in his teens and in high school, I didn’t hear from him a whole lot. He was hanging out with friends, doing his thing, doing homework, and doing school. It worried me. I would call, I wouldn’t get a call back, I’d text or actually it was more email at the time. I would try and stay in contact without being overbearing. It’s scary. Am I going to have a son? Is he done with me?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think that’s totally a great analogy.

Ron Reigns:

He did come back to me and he’s like, “I want to hang out” and I want to do the… It was kind of at a perfect time because even now thinking about the situation, I’m kind of getting teared up.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It was just a season.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. It was a season in his life. Exactly. Like we’ve talked about.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. I think that’s exactly what it is. There are seasons in life where you and him may be thick as thieves, and super close. There may be other seasons where you’re not as close.

Ron Reigns:

It doesn’t mean the love is not there or the respect or anything else.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No, it just means at that time in your life that it’s.

Ron Reigns:

I want to start playing the cats in the cradle or something.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Don’t because I’m going to start. That song gets me every single time.

Ron Reigns:

Oh, it’s the best and worst at the same time.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I’m going to go with worst because it’s just the parental guilt.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The parental guilt of all the what haves, should haves, could haves.

Ron Reigns:

“Can I borrow the car keys, Dad?”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. Sorry. Little tangent there.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Absolutely. So because open adoption is beneficial for both sides, the birth mother and the adoptive family, I think that when a birth mother starts to drift away, the most important thing you can do is remain constant and consistent.

Ron Reigns:

Keep putting those pictures up.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Keep putting the pictures and letters up, give her time, reassure her in the messages. You’re not going anywhere that you’re here and that you love her enough to wait for her.

Ron Reigns:

You’ve talked before about how sometimes they’ll come back after a long time and just be inundated with pictures and letters that they hadn’t seen yet for the past six months. I think that’s kind of a neat because it’s always there.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It is neat. Sometimes when they come back after and they resurface, and they come back after not being there for a while, and they see the letters and pictures, they’re in a different place in their life. They’re able to take the relationship to another level, whereas maybe they had to go and grow in their own life and find themselves.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Before they were able to be the person to be a part of the open adoption that they really wanted to be. I think that, like you said, that adolescent stage where it’s hard on parents, but again, it’s kind of a blessing because if they didn’t pull away a little bit in adolescence we’d never let them leave at 18.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So it’s like preparing to push the eagle out of the nest.

Ron Reigns:

Fly a baby bird.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You just hope and pray that they will. I think you kind of have to do the same thing with a birth mom, when she ghosts or just takes off.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You hope that she will fly and you hope that she’ll return to her nest.

Ron Reigns:

You just want that nest to always to be there, ready for her to come back.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I would say just stay consistent. Just because she’s not emotionally, physically, mentally present in the relationship doesn’t mean the relationships over or it stops.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It just means that she needs some time.

Ron Reigns:

She’s in that season.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You got to let her fly.

Speaker 7:

Hi, my name is Sherell. I’m doing my adoption journey. It was kind of a last minute thing to consider because I just, in my mind, me and my husband was going through some separation issues. We have three other children. Still in denial around being pregnant again. I was in my first trimester and I knew in my heart I didn’t want to abort my baby. I was looking for other options and my friend said, “Oh, why don’t you Google look for adoption agency.”

Speaker 7:

So I did. It had a general one that was in California and then I kept going down list and then I found “BF” and then I called just right away. I think it was like three or something in afternoon. Look, I called and it was like, “Oh yeah, you could come right now we close at 4:30, you could come right now.” It was just perfect.

Speaker 7:

So we fired up and drove to the office “BF”. Then I met one of the agents here for the first time and she confided in me, went through the process just let me know, “Hey, it’s a good choice, you’re making a good choice.” I think all the expenses and benefits of the family and let me know that I get to pick the family. We were able to go down the line. I think we had three families to pick. Me and my husband, he said, “This family kind of mirror the type lifestyle we are.” Because we are family oriented and we like to travel and stay physically active, and they looked like they were doing well with that.

Speaker 7:

I read a little bit of their story and we went ahead picked them. I would say from this day that I am happy with the decision I made, that we picked this family. I always say, it’s an open job. I said that I call them the extended family. They got to meet my other three kids. They know who they are. They communicate with us, send us pictures little videos here and there. Let me know like, “Hey, if you’re going to talk, don’t be afraid to send a message to me or reach out to me.” So I love [inaudible [00:13:49]] because it does feel like they are extended part of our family. We’re not just giving our child here.

Speaker 7:

We’ll see pictures here and there, really a part of the family. If anything, I said we got a win-win situation and we put our child up there, know that he’ll be taking care of. We got blessed with and added another part of the family too as well. I’m very happy with the decision I made. I’m glad that at the time, whatever emotional decision that was for my husband, I didn’t grieve. Hey, let’s just let go of our child. That decision was not an option for me, even though we did have three other children, we was in a situation that could go left or right. I was trusting God. I’m not going to give up this child. We’re going to find a family for him or we just going to toughen it out.

Speaker 7:

I was grateful because I came to BAF, they had counseling and let me know, Hey it’s okay. Decision happens in life. They relaxed me. As women, especially, and all emotions and our hormones, you get anxious and worried like, oh what if? It’s helped me to relax. I think about the what ifs, but look at the positives, even site positive affirmation. “Hey, you’re a good mother.” You know, you have three other ones, you’re doing a good thing. I love that. People don’t say it, but counseling is good about some people get the wrong option about needing a mediator. It’s more than just being a mediator in a situation. It’s helping you emotionally and mentally stay stable. I’m grateful for BF for that.

Speaker 7:

They were there to emotionally support me. I was upset at my husband at the time, grateful that he did come and was there to support me during my time for us to give birth to our son. I’m grateful for that. I think I made a very good decision with that. I love BF for that. They have been there to support me in many ways, not just emotionally to help make decisions with housing or finances. They support you and always make you feel that you’re important. I’m important. I’m not just a mother out there giving up a child. I’m happy for that.

Ron Reigns:

We have a pregnancy crisis hotline available 24/7 by phone or text at (623)-695-4112. You can call our toll free number +1-800-340-9665. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get you to a safe place, provide food and clothing, and started on creating an Arizona adoption plan, or give you more information. You can check out our blogs on our website at AZpregnancyhelp.com. Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters and Adoption written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me, Ron Reigns. If you enjoy this podcast rate and review us wherever you listen to podcasts and as always thanks to Grapes for letting us use their song, ‘I Don’t Know’ as our theme song. Join us next time for Birth Mother Matters and Adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m Ron Reigns, and we’ll see you then.