Bringing Aditi Home - A Thank You Letter to Sharmeela & BAAS
When Annie* and her husband first reached out to BAAS about the Indian adoption process in August 2015, they had no idea what to expect. According to Annie, “it was difficult to even formulate a question!”
They could hardly have imagined that three years later, they’d be sitting on their back deck watching their daughter Aditi scamper happily alongside her older sisters while they wrapped up their final post-adoption placement visit.
And they had no idea that the woman they met that day in August would be sitting beside them for that last visit. Nor could they have imagined how much they would come to rely on her throughout their adoption journey. In this season of celebration and gratitude, Annie’s family wanted to share their story – and their gratitude - with our BAAS family, and with one member of the team in particular.
Over that 3 year journey with BAAS, Sharmeela was our constant source of information, reassurance, and sanity. She responded to each of our frantic phone calls and emails with confidence, clarity, and a sense of calm that seems uniquely her own.
There were a lot of ups, downs, and emails about court delays, but we were cleared in January 2017 to travel to India and bring Aditi home. As was par for the course, it was Sharmeela who delivered the news.
After 48 hours of travel and an overwhelmingly beautiful 5 hours at the orphanage, we were back at the hotel with Aditi in our arms.
Sharmeela was the first one we emailed, trying to get a few pictures across some very spotty wifi. This baby, this moment, and this new family was the direct result of months of late night work on her end. A few days later in Delhi, we ran into a stumbling block trying to navigate the final to-dos before traveling home. An overtired and out-of-sorts Aditi was crying. We felt like crying too. In that moment on that Delhi street corner we reached out to Sharmeela. We sent a message at what was 1 AM California time.
Before the phone could find its way back into the pocket, she was calling us back. In what was truly an above and beyond response, she walked us through the red-tape remedy and assured us that we could do this.
With that reassurance always in our minds, we’ve watched Aditi blossom before our eyes. She’s growing into a funny and spunky preschooler who loves to cruise the neighborhood on her scooter, dance with her sisters, and do things “all by my own self”.
What an honor to have been entrusted with her. To Sharmeela and to BAAS we are forever grateful.
We love getting letters like these from our families. But Sharmeela – and all of us at BAAS – are grateful too. We are honored to be a part of each family’s individual journey. It’s truly a gift to be trusted with such important work.