Andrea and Sam’s adoption story began in 1976. A Minister and his wife asked Sam, a young attorney, to represent them in the possible adoption of a newborn baby girl. Sam invited Andrea to accompany him to the hospital to meet the birthmother and then care for the baby as they drove to meet the adoptive family. This was one of their first dates, and their very first adoption experience. While Sam reviewed the legal procedure with the young mother, Andrea provided her with compassionate and emotional support. Their world was forever changed that day!
Both Andrea and Sam were overwhelmed by how brave and selfless this young woman was to put the future of her child ahead of her own feelings. It was difficult leaving the tearful birthmother who made a heart wrenching decision and then proceed to the home of the new anxiously awaiting family; yet wonderful to be part of making the dream of a family come true for the Minister and his wife. Little did the Totaros know that this “date” would be the foundation of a future devoted to both birthparents and adoptive parents.
Andrea and Sam got married and continued their adoption work. Through the years they answered calls from birthmothers at all times of the day and night and from all over the United States. They attended support groups, provided emergency housing, drove birthmothers to their doctor appointments, and provided moral support before, during, and after placement.
The Totaros decided to start their own family however, after a very difficult pregnancy they were devastated when their baby girl was stillborn. Leaving the hospital with empty arms helped Andrea and Sam understand what it truly feels like for a birthmother to go home without the child she delivered. Andrea and Sam were not successful becoming pregnant again. They realized building a family through adoption was God’s plan for them. So in 1983 they were blessed with a beautiful daughter, and in 1985 their wonderful son was born. While the journey of parenthood is never easy whether you have biological children or children through adoption, the Totaros can testify it is a path worth taking. Their lives have been enriched because of their children. While each day brings new adventures they would not change their circumstances in life for anything. Although their ties are not through a bloodline, their bond in love is as strong as any conventional family. Andrea and Sam will forever hold a special place in their hearts for the two brave and courageous women who entrusted their children’s lives and future to them.