Adoptive Families Blog

Mardie Caldwell

Mardie Caldwell is the Founder of Lifetime and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P). Since 1986, Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.

Mardie has graciously provided her knowledge, experience, and caring heart to media requests from across the country and around the world. Many people were first introduced to Mardie through one of her appearances in the media as one of the most experienced adoption experts in the United States.

Mardie has more than 150 media credits to her name, including: Larry King Live, The Ricki Lake Show, Marie Osmond’s show “Marie”, ABC News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN Headline News, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, CBS News, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, Dr. Laura, and is widely sought for print articles and speaking engagements. Learn more at MardieCaldwell.com.

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Recent Posts

Am I Too Old to Adopt?

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on January 8, 2020

Midlife is a time when many people reflect on the lives they have built for themselves and plan for the next leg of their journey. Perhaps you have embraced family life, and your children are now grown, or maybe you've focused on your career and your relationships. You, your partner, and your friends are established in your careers, and retirement is within sight. Your friends lament about being empty nesters soon, but they are excited to relax, engage in hobbies, and travel as they look ahead.

However, this vision for your future does not feel right. You still have energy and love to share with children. Whether you are a parent already, or you desire to experience parenthood for the first time, you may question if adoption is still a possibility. Prospective adoptive parents in their 40s may wonder, "Am I too old to adopt?"   

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Topics: older parent adoption, am I too old to adopt?

What Happens When Adoptive Parents Change Their Minds?

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on January 2, 2020

Fernando and Angela Martin had struggled with infertility since they first decided to grow their family. They came to our adoption center two years ago to explore their options, but they were not quite ready to pursue adoption. Now, several failed infertility treatments and over $50,000 later, they were ready.  

It only took a few months to locate a birth mother for Fernando and Angela. The eager-to-be adoptive parents met their potential birth mother, Janette, and they really hit it off. Janette thought Fernando and Angela were perfect, and she chose them to become parents to her unborn baby. Shortly after, this adoption took a difficult turn.  

Adopting after infertility invites even more emotional intensity into the already complex adoption process. I saw this when Angela walked into my office one afternoon, anxious and unsure. She said she needed to talk.  

“Janette’s a great person,” she said. “Very positive and outgoing.”

“I knew you’d like each other,”  I replied.

“Yes,” she hesitated. “But we’re declining her offer.”

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Topics: infertility to adoption,, adoption match, adoption disruption

In the Adoption Wait? 7 Practical Tips to Get You Through the Holidays

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on December 19, 2019

The holidays are a time for celebration, spending time with loved ones, and making happy memories. But waiting adoptive parents might have a different experience. They may feel like they are missing something during the holidays, and it can be hard to explain to others exactly what it is. No matter when you are waiting to adopt a child, you can face ups and downs, but the holidays can make waiting feel even more difficult. I'd like to share 7 practical tips to help you deal with the stress of your adoption wait during the holidays!

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Topics: Holidays, Waiting to Adopt, adoption wait, Christmas, how to handle the adoption wait

Celebrating National Adoption Month With a Glimpse Back in Time

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on November 6, 2019

Happy National Adoption Month! Here at Lifetime Adoption, we celebrate adoption year-round. But November holds a special place in our hearts. This month is recognized across the U.S. as National Adoption Month, and it's the perfect opportunity to share the beauty of adoption.

Today, I'd like to share about how adoptions in the U.S. have changed over the years. Join me as I reveal a peek into the past of how adoption has evolved from a secretive practice to a nationally recognized and celebrated event!

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Topics: Open Adoption, Infant adoption, closed adoption, National Adoption Awareness Month, history of adoption

How to Encourage an Emotionally Healthy Open Adoption

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on October 17, 2019

When most people think of adoption, they imagine adoptions of the past when closed adoption was the norm. Society's views on adoption have evolved over the years, and now most private or independent adoptions are open adoptions. In fact, only 5% of infant adoptions are closed, according to a 2012 survey of 100 private adoption agencies.

What this means for you is that more than likely, you will have an open adoption with your child's birth mother. 

There are varying degrees of contact in an open adoption arrangement, from emails sent through an adoption professional to annual in-person visits. Open adoption comes with many benefits for everyone in the adoption triad: adoptive parents, adoptee, and birth parents.

Birth parents know that open adoption does not mean that you share custody. You are the parents, and they will respect this. They simply want to know how their child is doing and that they made the right decision. I've seen so many great open adoptions and wonderful birth mother relationships. You should be open and honest about the amount of involvement she will have with the baby. 

By setting healthy boundaries, the adoption experience will be a happier one for you, your baby, and the birth parents. Keep reading to learn about open adoption agreements, the hospital experience in open adoption, topics to discuss with your child's birth parents, and more!

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Topics: Open Adoption, visit with birth family, open adoption visits, relationship with birth mother, what is open adoption like?, open adoption agreement

Mother's Day Takes on the Meaning You Give It

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on May 11, 2018

My first Mother's Day was pretty exciting! There had been a lot of pain before that: I’d lost seven pregnancies, really wanted to become a mother, and had been waiting to be chosen by a birth mother. There were times we were thinking we were going to be parents and we weren't, and I always had some feelings around Mother's Day. I had a miscarriage a week before Mother's Day, which was really hard. And then I had another one ON Mother's Day. We were getting ready to go to church, and I knew I was losing the baby!

A lot of the time on Mother's Day, I just wanted to curl up in bed and forget the whole day because it can be really painful. I'm sure that some of the other adoptive moms out there might feel like that too. You’re around people (especially at church) who are celebrating moms. In the past, they’d have all the mothers at my church stand up, and that was really painful.

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Topics: Birth Mother's Day, Mother's Day, Holidays, Waiting to Adopt, adoption wait, how to handle the adoption wait, National Birth Mother's Day

Adopting After Infertility: How Do I Know It's Right for Me?

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on May 4, 2018

Sometimes, people rush into adoption when they discover they are infertile without taking the time to grieve the loss of the biological child they did not have. They risk sabotaging an adoption or, worse, treating an adopted child as second best to the son or daughter they might have had.

Before you can adopt with success, you must come to terms with your infertility. For some couples, this may take years. Move at your own pace, but realize that the longer you wait, the more you delay the precious time you could have with your child.

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Topics: Infertility, infertility to adoption,, fertility treatments, failed fertility treatments

Your Adoption is All in His Timing

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on September 29, 2017

"Children are a heritage from the Lord and a reward from Him."
-Psalm 127:3.

Get tips on how you and your spouse can pray for each other while you wait for a birth mother to choose you!

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Topics: Christian Adoption, Mardie Caldwell, Adoption prayer, Waiting to Adopt, adoption wait, how to handle the adoption wait, praying for your adoption

How Kicking Your Daily Starbucks Habit Can Help You Adopt Sooner

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on April 28, 2017

A hopeful adoptive couple, Kevin and Heidi, always seemed to be just getting back from Starbucks or were at a Starbucks looking at their cell phone while they waited for their daily latte fix.

Over the next few months, we got to know each other. They were worried about how they'd afford their upcoming adoption costs. They were seriously stressed about how they'd fund their adoption. Both Kevin and Heidi worked from home. Each morning, they'd go to Starbucks for a latte and a muffin and then return home. 

Their daily habit of a couple of lattes and muffins cost them $14 every day, and around $434 per month. I worked out the math, and over the course of a year, they ended up spending $5,200 a year at the popular coffee chain! 

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Topics: afford to adopt, how to afford adoption, fund an adoption, fund my adoption

A Greater Inheritance: A Christmas Message for Adoptive Parents

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on December 22, 2016

Every Christmas a different aspect of the Christmas story stands out to me. This year, one part in the very beginning tugs on my heart and reminds me of the inheritance you’re already preparing for the child you will adopt.

I remember when I decided to adopt I had to accept that some things wouldn’t be handed down to my child. My mother’s eyes, my husband’s dimples, my grandmother’s cute little nose would not be inherited by the child we adopt. The dream of comparing family photos and figuring out who our baby most resembled was something I had to process as part of infertility, before I could fully embrace our adoption dream.

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Topics: Christian Adoption, Infant adoption, Christmas, infertility to adoption,, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell