Winnie Lyn’s Journey

“We’ve got a birth mom that would just love you guys!” Nicholas and Brooklyn were thrilled when the call came in from their adoption case worker. A birth mother in Evansville had been introduced to them by way of their profile and wanted to meet them, and she did, in fact, love them!

Nicholas and Brooklyn had always envisioned their family as a blend of both biological and adopted children. With the blessing of daughters Nadine (6) and Vivian (4), the couple decided it was time. They knew they were in for a wait but were shocked that the pandemic had the waiting time at three years instead of the previous average of eighteen months. Instead of years, though, their wait turned out to be only weeks.

The birth mother was scheduled to be induced at The Women’s Hospital in Newburgh, so Nicholas and Brooklyn were able to schedule the trip from their home in Elkhart to be present for the birth. A night in a hotel was all they expected. Their soon-to-be daughter was born with some health issues, however, that required a stay in the NICU — the medical team estimated a week — so the couple prepared themselves for a longer stay.

There was some concern about hotel and meal expenses adding up. “Our social worker offered to refer us to Ronald McDonald House right away,” said Brooklyn. “It was such a huge blessing. We had a place to sleep, a shower, and so much food! Volunteers were helpful and supportive. It was really, really wonderful.”

Winnie Lyn was released from the NICU after four short but anxiety-filled days and made the five-hour trip with her parents to her forever home in Elkhart, where she was welcomed with glee by her new sisters and extended family.

“Nicholas and Brooklyn are lovely people and I’m so glad we were here for them during this special time,” said Julie Burnor, guest services manager at Ronald McDonald House Gateway. “Adoptive parents don’t tend to think they’re eligible to stay with us. I’m always happy when our medical partners help us make those connections.”

Little souls find their way to you, whether they’re from your womb or someone else’s.” —Sheryl Crow, singer and songwriter