ROSSBURG — Carla Bubp-Hill finally has that daughter she has always wanted to call her own.
Three-year-old Raelynn Nicole was born two months premature April 21, 2012, in Muncie, Indiana.
“I worked with the birth mother and grandmother at a nursing home,” Bubp-Hill said. “My best friend, Tina Riley, would take the birth mother to the hospital. Raelynn calls Tina ‘nana’ even though they’re not related.”
Before the infant girl was born, the biological mother, who had two other sons, said she didn’t think she could handle the baby because she thought it would have medical issues [due to her prematurity].
“I told her I would take her,” Bubp-Hill recalled. “She [the biological mother] said, ‘I love her but I want her to have a better life.’”
Not long after the birth, Bubp-Hill took over the care of the baby.
“And one day, I said to the birth mother, ‘Let me adopt her’ and she said ‘okay.’ I thought it was a dream. I was floored at the time. She weighed 4 pounds when I got her,” Bubp-Hill said.
Yes, that little girl, for the last 3 1/2 years, has changed the home life of the Hills, whose last name she now carries.
Bubp-Hill worried somewhat at first that the mother would fight to get her daughter back.
“To begin with, I went to the court for guardianship and they granted me an indefinite guardianship until she’s 18,” she said. “Her mother gave up her rights after she was born.”
Bubp-Hill said both her husband, Jim, and two sons fell in love with the little girl.
“Jim loved her and took to her right away,” she said. “She’s spoiled.”
Then, Bubp-Hill and husband Jim Hill decided they needed to get Raelynn’s last name changed. So, they did.
“She was tongue-tied, so she had surgery and she has sprouted up,” said Bubp-Hill, who is a PRN at Rest Haven Nursing Home and works full-time on the second shift at Fram. “She’s 30 pounds and 30 inches tall.”
She said her mother, Lena Smith, in nearby Rossburg, baby-sits while she works.
The official adoption day was Nov. 5.
Bubp-Hill has fulfilled her promise to the biological mother.
“The mother is 27 and now has another child, a girl,” the Rossburg woman said. “I told her I would take Raelynn to see her siblings [two brothers and a sister] and promised I’d always keep her in their lives. We are 12 miles apart. I try to go over a couple of times a week. Raelynn’s mom is happy we got her and it [the adoption] is over.”
Bubp-Hill has two sons, Zackaree Bubp by her first marriage to Jerry Bubp, who was killed in a traffic accident in January 1994, and Austin Hill, her son by Jim.
“I met both of my husbands on the same barstool at Meinerding’s in Fort Recovery,” said Bubp-Hill, who was a bartender at the time. “They drank the same beer and smoked the same kind of cigarettes. Jim and I got together in June 1996 and were married Oct. 10, 2009. I turned 49 on July 15 and Jim turned 65 on June 28.”
Linda Moody may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.