Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Modern Families

Motherhood With a Twist



Molly Friedrich and her husband, Mark Carson-Selman, have made their Bedford Hills home into a sanctuary for children.

Photo by Rana Faure

 As an empty nester with my three daughters off the payroll and living on their own, I could have just rested on my laurels and drifted into retirement, awaiting the arrival of my future (I hope) grandchildren. But I needed a new challenge, and when I thought back on all my different work experiences, being a mom ranked the highest in job satisfaction. In January, a year after deciding to become a foster parent, I finally got the call: three sisters needed a home that very day. It seemed like fate, so without a moment’s hesitation, I said yes to the stress—and bliss of motherhood once again.

I love the idea of being a safe harbor for children until they can return home. In the meantime, I’m busy with my new family, baking cookies, reading stories, walking the dogs, and giggling. Lots of giggling. I couldn’t be happier.

Katonah resident Marlene Gallagher also felt the tug of motherhood long after her children had grown, and took in eight infants over a three-year period as an interim parent for the Spence Chapin adoption agency in New York City. “It was the most joyful experience I ever had, other than raising my own children,” she says. “People would tell me I was doing such a nice thing, but they didn’t understand that this was a dream come true for me. I was happy the whole time: all the delight of having a baby without going through pregnancy and childbirth!” 

The infants would stay with her between one and ten weeks, long enough for the birth mothers at the agency to make an informed decision on whether to keep their babies or not. “Sometimes, the birth mother hasn’t thought through what would be best for the child,” Gallagher says. “Spence Chapin has social workers to help guide the mothers through the decision-making process. If they choose to release their baby for adoption, the agency will help them find a family for their child.” 

And adoption is often the best solution, both for the birth mothers and adoptive ones. After years of failed pregnancy attempts, Fran Hauser received a life-changing piece of advice from a colleague. “She had adopted a child a few years before and pointed out that I didn’t have to get pregnant to have a family,” Hauser recalls. “After much soul searching, my husband and I decided to move forward with adoption.” They were matched with a birth mother within three months and there was an instant mutual connection. A year and a half later, they had similar good luck when adopting their second child.

“After going through this process twice, I love that I can now be a resource for other couples looking to adopt,” she says, noting that she has referred eight friends to her attorney, helping them all create families. Her interest in adoption also led her to become involved with Help Us Adopt, a nonprofit organization that has given out nearly $1 million in grants to help families defray the upfront costs of adoption, which averages $40,000.

Molly Friedrich and her husband Mark Carson-Selman had two biological children before deciding to adopt. “Our house was too big,” she says. “We decided it should be a sanctuary for kids.” A baby girl from Vietnam arrived first (she is now in college); a seven-month-old boy from Guatemala came later (he is now 14). Then, a homeless Liberian refugee spent his high school years with the family, who still had room in their hearts and home for more children.

When Friedrich received a call from an organization looking to find host families for foreign exchange students, not surprisingly, she was up for it. “I’m sure they get a lot of refusals, so they were stunned when I said I would take two! It was such a wonderful experience for all of us that the next year we got two more, and next year we are going to do it again,” Friedrich says. “I have been incredibly lucky in my career and want to share what I have—this big, bountiful life.”

In my experience, sharing a “big, bountiful life” with children—whether for a few weeks, years, or forever—sums up what parenthood and family are all about.

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

             

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

What are traditional Hanukkah foods?

In Ralph Lauren’s Garage

The iconic designer entwines cars and fashion in Bedford

A Secret Touch

Getting a little professional design help from Lillian August

Fresh Yet Familiar

The Whitlock is a modern farmhouse with a homegrown feel and delectable dishes

Perfectly Arranged

A designer’s Holiday Home becomes a warm place to gather

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

December 2017

Meet friends and neighbors at the KMA for a spectacular afternoon of assemblage art, costume-making, and dancing. Work with artist Stacy Scibelli to transform mixed-media materials into wearable...

Cost: $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

An epic reflection on The Book of Revelations’ recounting of the Apocalypse, featuring a rare live performance of Oliver Messiaen’s monumental Quartet for the End of Time....

Cost: $25, $20 (Friends), $10 (Students)

Where:
Copland House at Merestead
455 Byram Lake Road
Mount Kisco, CT  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Copland House
Telephone: 914-788-4659
Website »

More information

Choral group Camerata d’Amici is proud to present its Christmas concert “This Christmastide” on Sunday, December 10, 2017, at 4 p.m. at the South Salem Presbyterian Church, 111...

Cost: Adults: $25 at door ($20 in advance) / Youth 18 and under: $10

Where:
South Salem Presbyterian Church
111 Spring Street
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Sponsor: Camerata d'Amici
Website »

More information

Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Westchester Community is in need of more than 40 foster homes to provide the county’s most vulnerable children with housing in a safe and stable environment. Come to this orientation to learn...

Cost: Free

Where:
Department of Social Services
112 Post Road
White Plains , NY  10601
View map »


Sponsor: United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Telephone: 914-993-3710
Contact Name: Lini Jacob
Website »

More information

Wednesday, Dec.13. This festive holiday concert features the Bedford Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Anthony Newman, performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. Mr. Newman, a renowned Bach expert...

Cost: $45 per person

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: Music Committee of St. Matthew's
Telephone: 914-522-5150
Contact Name: Anthony Newman
Website »

More information

Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Music on the Hill presents the Festival Chorus and Jubilate Ringers handbell choir in a traditional Christmas concert, with artistic directors Ellen Dickinson and David H. Connell. The concert...

Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door; students free

Where:
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
36 New Canaan Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

More information

Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

More information

Stroller tours at the KMA are a unique opportunity to connect with other new parents and caregivers seeking culturally enriching activities to share with their babies. These once-a-month...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Clay Art Center One-Time Cladies Night for Adults Interested in Learning to Use the Potter’s Wheel Looking to get your hands dirty and learn how to use the potter’s wheel? Try Clay...

Cost: $50

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Website »

More information

Get ready to rock the holidays with the one and only Rob Mathes, now in his third decade of holiday performances at The Performing Arts Center. This annual celebration featuring the multi-talented...

Cost: $45 to $72.50

Where:
The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College
735 Anderson Hill Rd
Purchase, NY  10577
View map »


Sponsor: The Performing Arts Center
Telephone: 914-251-6200
Contact Name: Jenifer Howard
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This December, one of New York’s preeminent vocal ensembles, TENET, brings light and joy to one of the longest nights of the year in a heartfelt program of intimate carols to celebrate the...

Cost: $20, $35, $50, $65

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Contact Name: Caroline Andrews
Website »

More information

Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

More information

Get ready to rock the holidays with the one and only Rob Mathes, now in his third decade of holiday performances at The Performing Arts Center. This annual celebration featuring the multi-talented...

Cost: $45 to $72.50

Where:
The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College
735 Anderson Hill Rd
Purchase, NY  10577
View map »


Sponsor: The Performing Arts Center
Telephone: 914-251-6200
Contact Name: Jenifer Howard
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags