When Melissa Pandolf and her husband, Doug, began the adoption process, the hopeful mother-to-be had her sights set on quickly welcoming two beaming babies to make the Pandolf house a family home. However, after three years, four trips to Russia, one trip to Washington, DC, and two plane crashes that threatened to bring their dream down around them, she came to realize that a bigger destiny awaited them on the other side of the world. As the adoptive parents of four Russian siblings, the young Long Island couple learned the true meaning of family, and what it means to go the extra mile to give your children what they need.
Beginning with the first meeting with an adoption agency, The Journey for Mama's Babies chronicles the Pandolfs' three-year odyssey to bring their babies home. From her naïve initial assumptions about the process to her ultimate hard-won savvy and resolve, Pandolf shares every key aspect of the experience, including the unexpected depression that can be companion to this emotionally wrenching process. With clear-eyed candor, the author recounts the ups and downs, the unexpected twists, and the backward loops that frequently punctuated their mission.
"Finding the time to write about this amazing journey is an accomplishment in and of itself, but being able to produce a book that my children can read and re-read, and digest their journey at their own pace, of how they became "Mama's Babies", is by far the most proudest accomplishment of my life. I love my children fiercely and this book is just one way that I demonstrate my love for them," says the author.
Being able to share the great lengths adoptive parents will go to in order to build their family through adoption, and also give non-adoptive families another angle to view adoption from, has been a blessing in disguise. I find that my readers are thankful for opening their eyes to a world that is full of assumptions."
"Melissa has captured the complexity and the passion of the adoption process in this story. Her honest and ability to share even the most difficult aspects of the adoption process will help other families get through!" says Charlotte Torti MSW, LMSW, Senior Social Worker, Wide Horizons For Children.
The Journey for Mama's Babies, by Melissa R. Pandolf, 194 pages in paperback, ISBN-10: 0615865429, ISBN-13: 978-0615865423, is published by Harpan Publishing (November 26, 2013). It is available through major on-line booksellers and select book stores.
About the Author:
Melissa R. Pandolf is the adoptive mom to four biological Russian siblings, two of whom have special needs. She recently celebrated her twentieth year serving in the United States military, and is currently serving in the Air National Guard. She has an AAS degree in financial management, as well as an associate degree in allied health services, from the Community College of the Air Force. She was born and raised in Huntington, New York and graduated from Walt Whitman High School in 1992. Melissa is a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1469 in Huntington, New York. She lives in Patchogue, Long Island, with her husband, four children, and the family dog. Her life, as crazy and hectic as it is, is perfect, and she wouldn't have it any other way.