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Ike Richman and wife Shannon look to expand family through adoption

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According to the UN, about 360,000 babies are born each day. That figure roughly estimates to around 130 million a year.

 

For Ike and Shannon Richman, just one of those 130 million babies would make their family complete.

 

Ike, whom many know as the affable Vice President of Public Relations at Comcast-Spectacor, has a family name that has long been connected with the city of Philadelphia. His grandfather, also named Ike, was one of the men responsible for the formation of the Philadelphia 76ers. Shannon is a Project Interior Designer at U.S. General Services Administration in Philadelphia. The couple were married last summer and would like to extend their family by means of adoption.Ike Richman and wife Shannon look to expand family through adoption

 

“Thankfully, Ike and I have a lot of friends between the both of us,” Shannon said. “That’s why we put a Facebook page together to try and help our cause. We thought that if we collectively got the word out, and our friends helped us spread the word, you never know. For things to go right, a lot of it is being at the right place at the right time.”

 

That term could very well apply to the way Shannon first met Ike. Originally from Scranton, Shannon was on a work assignment in Chicago. As it turned out, so was Ike, who was travelling with the Flyers during the team’s 2010 Stanley Cup against the Blackhawks. Little did the both of them know that a cab in front of a city hotel would change their lives forever.

 

“I was there for work and he was there for work,” recalled Shannon. “I was in the cab and ready to go to the airport, when Ike banged on the window and asked if he could get in. After talking for a while, we found out we both lived in Pennsylvania, and we had a mutual friend who I worked with who went to high school with Ike. We got him on the phone and it was really funny. We took separate flights back to Philadelphia, but when we landed, we saw each other again at the airport. It truly was meant to be.”

 

In the end, the Flyers lost the Stanley Cup in six games, but it was a win for both Shannon and Ike (who has two teenage daughters). Although they have been tested for infertility and the doctor insists there isn’t anything preventing a pregnancy from happening, in the words of Shannon “It doesn’t seem meant to be.” Due to several concerns, Shannon has decided to forgo the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) route.

 

“I didn’t want to have to do all those drugs for six months or however long it takes,” said Shannon. It’s a whole procedure, where have they put you under anaesthesia and remove your eggs. Something is telling me that it’s just not for me. I’m 39 this year, and it’s a gut feeling.”

 

If the couple chose a surrogate, Shannon would have to undergo the same requirements for an in vitro fertilization process. As a result, options have become somewhat limited, so the two have signed up with an adoption agency.    

 

“As I’m doing all of this networking, I’m finding that a lot of people aren’t using agencies because they find them ineffective. They’re going through many different channels, including social media. However, there are a lot of scammers out there who use fake ultrasounds and sonograms and do this whole thing where they try to rob people of their money. It’s just disgusting. We had an incident after our Facebook page was launched where somebody messaged us on our page. This woman had an 18-month old and asked us if we were still interested in adopting, because she apparently couldn’t keep her. We went down this whole road with her and I began to get suspicious. I consider myself pretty intuitive when it comes to reading people, and after I told her we were going to get our adoption agency involved with the process, she messaged me and told me she had chosen another family.

 

We’ve been with our agency since last May. The home study process started in March of 2015 and we were approved two months later. We were put on a waiting list and got into their program in August. We were really fortunate we were selected so quickly. That is fast in the adoption world.”

 

At first, one might think that signing up with multiple adoption agencies could offer a better likelihood of a quicker adoption, but according to Shannon, it’s not the most beneficial or practical method.

 

“If we were to do that, we would have to pay so much upfront in regards to cost, it’s scary,” she admitted. “Most of the time, it’s non-refundable and usually in the range of $25,000 just to sign up. Then, we would have to pay close to $40,000 if your adoption works out. Those costs can add up very quickly.”

Despite getting readily approved, Shannon and Ike suffered a setback several weeks ago, when their attempts to adopt a newborn fell through after the baby was born.

 

“A few months ago, we were informed that an expectant mother had selected our profile and was interested in meeting us,” Shannon recalled. “She was having a boy, and was due at the end of March. We set up a time to meet with her through our social worker, and we enjoyed each others' company so much that we decided to meet again the following week.Ike Richman and wife Shannon on their wedding day.

 

We later learned that we had been matched with the mother. We were over the moon with excitement at the possibility of having a newborn baby boy within a month, as well as the possibility of now having a wonderful extended family. We got to know the family extremely well and felt so secure in our relationship with them. We were so happy.

 

A few weeks later, I got the text that the mother was in labor and that our little boy would be born that night. I was told we should come to the hospital the following day. That night, the baby was born. I could barely sleep the entire night, I was so anxious about meeting our little boy.

 

When we got to the hospital the next day, we were asked to wait in the lobby because there were visitors in the room with the baby. This was our first clue that something may go awry. When we finally were allowed to go into the room, I picked that little boy up and held him in my arms for the first time, and it was truly a miracle. This was the absolute best feeling that I have ever had. Never, in a million years would we have believed what was to come. When we arrived at the hospital the next day, things did not seem right, and what we were dreading the most actually happened. Apparently, the mother had changed her mind and could not go through with the adoption. I broke down there in the lobby, and the tears would not stop. Ike, the gentleman that he is, went over and hugged the mother and grandmother and wished them good luck.

 

I stood there dumbfounded, tears streaming down my face. So there we were walking to the car with an empty car seat. We were so close. So close. I’ve been working from home, but I haven’t physically been back to work yet. I’m not quite ready to go back into the world. At first, I said to myself ‘I’m never doing this again.’ But now, what took place in March is driving me to make this happen more than ever.”

 

Even though Shannon and Ike were heartbroken over the experience, they are not giving up hope, and are encouraging those to reach out if they know of an expectant mother who will be unable provide a suitable home for their unborn child.

 

“I would love for people to share our website with as many people as possible,” Shannon said. “We’d rather have those people contact us so we can put them in touch with our agency. But some people might not be comfortable talking with the adoptive parents right away and would rather speak with a facilitator, so that’s why we are giving both options. Whatever is most comfortable for them is fine with us. We’re really hopeful that this can happen again quickly. I want to be a mom, and I remain hopeful that my dream will be fulfilled through the miracle of adoption.”

 

Ike and Shannon can be reached at (802) 33-ADOPT, through their website, or through their adoption agency.

 

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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