When I started at the Adoption & Family Support Center, Angela asked me to become a notary.  This would allow Angela to be able to have me, at a moment’s notice, be able to notarize all important documents for her and the A&FSC staff.  I never realized the depth of responsibility this notary license gave me.  When you sit in an office and witness your boss sign her name, make sure the documents are free from errors, you get a slight realization that your name will be the last and final clearance for the paperwork to be submitted, but still you are in the safety of an office.  That was until the other day…

Angela called me and asked if I would be able to come to the hospital and notarize documents for a birth mother relinquishing her parental rights.  “Of course, sure, no problem” spilled right out of my mouth.  As the conversation continued, Angela explained that I needed to review all the documents, twelve to be exact and make sure I printed out enough copies, checked for any errors and she would call me when she knew the name of the baby.  As I read each document and the words began to sink in, I became more and more nervous. I have never done this before!  I checked for any errors, contacted Angela with numerous questions and on the other end of the phone; a calm, composed Angela explained in great detail the meaning of each document and why it was a good thing that I read each document so I can fully understand why each needed to be signed.  Okay, I was ready…I think.

The next day as I was speaking to Pam on the phone, fear came over me!  Pam, in that calm, composed voice (just like Angela) went over what I need to pay attention too, make sure you have the woman raise her right hand, because you know, as a notary, you have to witness the person testifying that what they are about to sign is correct and the information is truthful to the best of their knowledge.  Oh, great…now I have to speak!  But Pam reassured me that Angela will be in charge and you just follow her lead.

When I headed to the hospital and as I walked into the woman’s room, I felt calm…a calmness that I hadn’t felt since I got the call from Angela.  The woman seemed very friendly and Angela was so professional, yet patient and caring to the woman’s needs.  I sat in the chair and listened to everything that went on and then Angela explained how I needed to, as a notary, witness the woman raise her right hand and testify that what she was signing was truthful.  Whew…I didn’t have to speak!  The papers went back and forth and things seemed to be going so effortlessly, until that final document….

As I watched the woman sitting in the chair, I saw her hand begin to shake, tears rolled down her cheeks, her chest begin to rise a lot quicker than before and noticed Angela began to tear up and then it hit me.  This woman was relinquishing her right to be a mom!  Oh my goodness as I said to myself – “don’t look at her Lisa, because then you will cry”.  I concentrated on the pen, and listened to the words Angela told her, “do you need a minute”, “do you fully understand”, and as the woman, with tears in her eyes said yes, she signed the final document.  It was passed to Angela for her signature then to me to notarize.  As I was signing my name, I heard the conversation between her and Angela.  The woman told Angela, she was doing the best thing for her child.  She was giving her child a chance at a stable, loving home.   As I looked up, I saw both of them with tears in their eyes, embracing and Angela telling her that although she does not feel this way right now, she should be proud of her decision and never let anyone tell you otherwise.  And just like that, it was done.  All my fears were gone and the three of us sat there and began chatting as if we were old friends!  We talked about my children and Angela’s child and believe it or not, the hospital jello!

I was done.  I said my goodbyes and told the woman it was a pleasure meeting her and you know; that was the first time in a long time that those words really meant something.  It was a pleasure to meet her.  It was a pleasure to sit and talk to her.  It was a pleasure to have that experience.

I won’t lie to you…I cried on the way home.  I thought of my two children and how hard it was for that woman to do what she did and then I thought of Angela.  She was so kind and even though she was extremely professional, she gave that woman the time and attention she needed.  I am sure I will witness more of these and hope to see the other side…the side of the adoptive parents finally holding their child!  That will be a whole new set of emotions.

I will remember this woman forever and I feel so honored to have been a part of something much bigger than my daily routines.  I am a notary and proud of it!

Elisa Maffucci

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About Us

We are Your Guide through the entire Adoption Process

The Family Support Center was established in 1992 and is a Licensed Child Placing Agency. Our hope is to share God’s love for each of our birth parents through our genuine care for them, and our non-judgmental and unconditional acceptance of them. We pray that, through our words and deeds, each family will come to know their intrinsic value and worth in God’s eyes.