To value kids and family above, say, trips to the mall or hitting the bar on weekends, is a quality not celebrated often enough in our society. Trenton natives Nicole Brossoie and Heather Kearns-Latini have found a way to celebrate family and children in a way that has never been done before. Brossoie was born in Mercer Hospital in 1972, adopted, and raised right here in Trenton. When the time came for her to start her own family, she chose adoption first. "Adoption is a wonderful gift, to the parent and to the child. I never tried to have a biological child, and to me there would be no difference. There was no difference in how my parents raised me. Iíd recommend it; anybody that cares for a child is given a wonderful gift. If you can give that to a child that wouldnít have that anyway, itís even more special," Brossoie told me.
In her family, Brossoieís adoption day was usually a bigger celebration than her birthday; it was the day she became one of the family, instead of just being alive.
She didnít even know that other adopted kids didnít have adoption day celebrations.
"Maybe 40 years ago it wasnít discussed at all. Iím mixed and my parents are white, so they didnít have a choice but to explain it to me."
But it wasnít until she started throwing adoption parties for her own child that she noticed the lack of items in the marketplace that celebrate adoption.
Brossoie received 14 of the same "congratulations on the adoption of your son" cards.
Fourteen of the same cards?
In other words, she found severe lack of gifts for those that exchange them with their adoptive families.
With the Angelinas of the world out there (and their Brads) making adoption more of a household topic of conversation, this shouldnít be.
Enter Kearns-Latini, who made the innocuous comment over lunch, "Wow, thereís a huge market there." And wham, the two friends went to work and snagged the domain name, Theadoptshop.com.
And on November 16, 2005 (November is national adoption month, donít you know), unto the world a new online boutique was born.
Itís a classy-looking, nicely streamlined site. Kearns-Latiniís cousin did the graphics, so they really are keeping it in the family.
The overlying theme is "delivered by angels," which has a strong appeal even if one isnít thinking about adopting.
Kearns-Latini said, "ĎDelivered by Angelsí doesnít have to mean adopted."
Kearns-Latini even wore one of her companyís own shirts that read "Opt to Adopt," while pregnant with her own child.
"Some people might have a problem with it, but you donít have to go through the body change in order to become a mother."
Alex Richmond is a columnist and staff writer for the Trentonian. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.