Facebook Makes Couple's Adoption Dreams Come True

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edlavitch family

Seth Edlavitch and his wife, Melissa Segal, pictured with their son, Noah, never thought that Facebook would make them a family. Credit: Michael Krauthamer

Seth Edlavitch and his wife, Melissa Segal, were not going to give up on their dream of having a family, despite the fact that they were diagnosed with infertility. But after several rounds of in vitro fertilization and the devastating death of their premature twin sons, they were ready to pursue other options.

The Kensington, Md. couple turned to private, independent adoption, which is facilitated by adoptive parents and a birth mother without the assistance of an agency. Little did they know that posting their hopes for a child on Facebook would make them a family of three.

"When you pursue a private, independent adoption, you are responsible for all the marketing," Edlavitch, 39, tells ParentDish. "We did some newspaper advertising and we sent an e-mail to all of our friends, but as part of this spread offense, we turned to some of the Internet mediums."

Edlavitch says he didn't know much about blogging beyond the fact that he could sign up for a free website, but that didn't stop him from creating "Melissa and Seth Adoption" in 2008. He also signed up for a Facebook account, but really didn't expect any adoption information he posted there to go much beyond his own circle of online friends.

But it did reach much farther than that -- and much closer, in a way. A friend of Edlavitch's shared the couple's information with his Facebook friends, and an old acquaintance of that friend responded. She knew a woman looking for an adoptive family.

"She has a local business, and she employed (the birth mother's) husband," Edlavitch says. "She was eight or nine months pregnant. I posted (on Facebook) in early December, and she called me Dec. 8. On Dec. 9, we met (the birth mother), and on Dec. 30, Noah was born."

The woman who gave birth to Noah lives just 10 minutes from the couple, so they were able to be present when their son was born. The new parents celebrated Edlavitch's New Year's Eve birthday by getting their home ready for the child they were never certain they would have.

"We didn't have any of the gear because of the experience we had before," Edlavitch says. "I wasn't interested in getting a lot of stuff, because I didn't want to have to return it."

But after meeting Noah's birth mom, the two took a deep breath and painted a room for him, and purchased basics such as a crib and a car seat. Today, the three are happily settled in and the couple is looking to adopt a sibling for Noah, now 16 months old.

"We can't wait to find a sibling for Noah and are looking again to find another newborn to adopt," Edlavitch says. Although, "as the typical guy, I'm already not getting enough sleep," he jokes.

The Edlavitch family story is one that caught the eye not only of the media (stories about the couple have run on CNN and NBC Washington), but also of Emily Liebert, author of the book "Facebook Fairytales: Modern-Day Miracles to Inspire The Human Spirit." The book details 25 inspiring stories about connections made via the social medium.

"I didn't believe her," says Edlavitch, when asked what it felt like to be included in the book. But now, he says, the two count Liebert as a good friend. "It turns out she was going through infertility and the adoption process, too."

Related: Teachers Mouth Off to New Jersey Governor on Facebook

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.