November marks Adoption Awareness Month. In the United States, over 400,000 children live in foster care, hoping to find families. David Plivelich never expected to adopt a child. He and his wife undertook a long and winding journey to build their family.
“We tried every avenue possible to have our own kids, and we had numerous miscarriages early in our marriage,” he said.
The couple spent nearly a year working with attorneys and childcare specialists getting approved to adopt their son. The process is long and difficult, designed to place children in safe homes. Potential adoptive parents undergo strict and thorough background checks to get approved, and in most cases mothers placing their children for adoption choose from multiple families. That was the case when Plivelich welcomed his first son 21 years ago.
“We were actually there in the hospital when he was born, so we had spent time with the mother in the hospital and everyone knew that she was having our baby. For us it was a drive to the hospital then coming home with ‘oh my god we’ve got a child in the backseat!’ It was a strange thing to do but miraculous, truly miraculous.”
He never expected to adopt a second child until his attorney told them about a second boy they could adopt.
“We called our oldest son and it’s like ‘how would you like to have a baby brother? On Monday you’ll have one!” he said.
He encourages more families to consider adoption. Data shows that children are more likely to graduate from high school and college when they get adopted, and they’re less likely to struggle with mental health. For adoptive parents, these children can make a monumental impact. Plivelich says his life wouldn’t be the same without his sons, and he’s honored to be their dad.
“The struggles that we went through and the losses we went through, if we hadn’t have gone through that we wouldn’t have ended up with the two fine young men that we have today,” he said.
This story is profound for 17’s Moses Small who briefly shares his story growing up in an interracial adoption.