The McCain family doesn’t live a typical 9-to-5 lifestyle.
Artina, a concert pianist, professor, and speaker, and Martin, a bass trombonist and educator, record and tour with each other. Together known as The McCain Duo, Artina and Martin have traveled the world performing and educating musicians. And much like their careers, their adoption journey is certainly unique.
“I say that adoption found us. We didn’t start down the path like some people do from the very beginning,” Artina said. “I was in a Bible study group, and somehow, we started talking about family and children. One of the ladies in the group said, ‘I adopted my son through Life Choices of Memphis,’ and basically gave me the whole spiel about the organization and said, ‘Maybe this would be an option for y’all.’”
About a year before Artina had that conversation, the couple had been considering adoption but were stalled by the complex adoption process.
“We just didn’t know where to start,” Martin said. “So we were just Googling different places in Memphis, but I felt like that [conversation] kind of opened a door because we had more clarity.”
Something that attracted the McCains to Life Choices of Memphis was the need for couples who were African American to adopt. They had requests from expectant mothers but didn’t have any couples to fill the need. Artina and Martin loved that Life Choices put expectant moms first. For instance, the organization placed a high priority on where the expectant mothers wanted their children placed.
This wasn’t something that Artina and Martin had ever considered until the agency shared their demographics of expectant moms. The McCains immediately saw the need and realized how they could fill it. They saw a community that needed families that were African American to step in and serve expectant mothers in that specific way.
“I never thought about it to be honest,” Artina reflected. “I never really thought anything different about my sister-in-law or cousins [who were adopted], so now [as we are] going through the journey ourselves, I’ve wondered how that was for my aunt to adopt, and what does that look like for other black families who have adopted? It’s been nice to be able to talk to them in that way because that was nothing we have ever talked about.”
The McCains have a passion for supporting and serving expectant mothers, acknowledging how difficult of a decision it is for anyone to place a child for adoption.
“Adoption begins with pain, so the thing is that anyway we can make that more soothing or comforting to them, we are willing to do that,” Artina said.
“We have a lot of empathy for the birth mom. That’s an extremely hard decision with a lot of moving pieces, thinking about the growth of the child as well,” Martin shared. “I guess down the road, you can think of [the relationship with the birth mother] as an extension of your family.”
Life Choices of Memphis presented the couple with a list of resources and grants to apply for, and Show Hope’s Adoption Aid grants stood out.
“We knew that adoption was going to be pretty costly, and we were looking for help … and there was something about Show Hope that just seemed special when we were applying,” Martin said.
The McCains received notification of their Show Hope Adoption Aid grant around Christmas.
“I thought that was an amazing Christmas present,” Martin said. “When we opened it up, we were so grateful!”
“I think probably for a lot of African American—and other families—[adoption] is just cost prohibitive. I think some people would like to adopt, but they see the cost, and they think, Who can afford that?” Artina said. “There are already a lot of stresses with adoption, and the triad, and all the emotions that happen, the last thing you want is more financial burden. I’m thankful for organizations like Show Hope that are really trying to make it feasible and reasonable for all people to adopt.”