Adoption Day: Ivy is quite the talker

Sarah Gladding is “head over heels” for Ivy, the 2-year-old she’ll adopt Friday as part of Hamilton County’s national Adoption Day ceremonies. She says we all would be in love with her too if we knew her – she’s “the perfect combination of sweet and sass.”

Ivy came to live with Gladding when she was about two weeks old. They first met in the NICU, where Gladding says Ivy gave her a “furrowed brow look” as if she was thinking, “This lady has no idea what she’s doing.” That was true, Gladding says – she didn’t know.

Ivy is outgoing and full of joy, her mom says. She loves music, animals, books, playing outside and people. She’s very observant, stopping to examine every bug and flower. She’s also very smart and verbal and is “full of a million questions…I love watching her constantly learning.”

“She’s fiercely independent and I love to watch her personality emerge,” Gladding said. “I am so grateful that I will continue to have the privilege of watching this sweet little girl grow up.”

Knowing that the goal of foster care is usually family reunification, Gladding said she tried to support Ivy’s biological parents as they tried to create a safe home for their little girl. But reunification did not happen. As Gladding and Ivy’s father were outside the courtroom for Ivy’s permanent custody trial, the man – with tears in his eyes – approached Gladding and asked her to adopt Ivy. She said yes and the girl’s bio parents surrendered their rights that day.

Gladding said she told Ivy that night, while rocking her to sleep: “Your mommy and daddy decided the best place for you to stay is here with me. I’m so sorry you lost your parents today, and one day you will fully understand that, but I am so excited you get to stay forever and I am so thankful to be your mommy.”