A terrible car accident in high school resulted in doctors telling Marcie Dobbs of Dry Creek that she would not be able to conceive or carry a child. That news never deterred her and husband, Chris, in their quest to become parents.
A baby's first moments - yawns and faces - are all documented in a treasured photo album for Marcie and Chris Dobbs. "That's the first time she opened her eyes," said Chris, pointing to one of his favorite pictures.
Marcie says she was up front with Chris from the beginning of their relationship about the difficulty they might have in growing a future family. The two fell in love, got married and after six years, Marcie said she was ready to become a mom. "It was around Thanksgiving time in 2010 that I said, 'Okay Chris, we're gonna adopt.' He just looked shocked and said, 'We are?'"
It took a month for Chris to agree to Marcie's full steam ahead adoption approach. Next came a meeting with an adoption agency and compiling a portfolio of their lives together for potential birth moms. "We just tried to show who we are, just how loving we are, how caring we were, how ready we were to be parents," said Chris.
Just days later, a birth mom selected the Dobbs to adopt the baby girl she was carrying. "I was absolutely not expecting it to happen so quickly," said Marcie, "every story I had heard, people were on waiting lists for months and months, even years."
These parents-to-be thought they had a few months to prepare for their daughter's birth, but the baby came eight weeks early.
When they met Analise for the first time, they knew she was their child. "It was like a real calming peace about seeing her, holding her," said Chris, "No nervous feelings, just a calming, relaxing peace."
Analise spent several days in the neonatal intensive care unit and it was there that the birth mom placed Marcie's hand onto her baby in the bed. "It was just so selfless of her," said Marcie, "because in her own way she was letting Analise know that, 'I have loved you all of these months that you have been in my belly, but this is your momma who will love you for the rest our life.'"
Once at home, this family of three was living the dream, surrounded by extended family, horses and land to roam. Then came a big surprise: Marcie was pregnant! "That was more shocking than finding out that we were going to get Analise," she said, "I just couldn't make myself believe it."
Rowan was born last June and these parents say their love for their adopted daughter and biological son is identical. "It was equally as emotional," said Marcie, "and it was the instant bond that I had with Analise, I had that instant bond with Rowan."
"Analise is mine, Rowan is mine," said Chris, "they're both my children and adoption doesn't change those feelings."
Analise opened this couple's eyes even more to the huge need for more adoptive families. Marcie says the best time to pursue adoption is now. "You can talk yourself out of being ready and having the money or time," she said, "it's never going to be a perfect time, but it's absolutely always the perfect time for that child that needs the family, so just do it."
The Dobbs used a local adoption agency called DeColores in Lake Charles. The agency also provides resources to pregnant women placing their children for adoption.