At the beginning of 2023, a baby girl, only a few hours old, was surrendered at a Safe Haven Baby Box in Elkhart County.  

As the baby was placed in the warm incubated box, an alarm was triggered, alerting first responders that the box was in use and that a mother had made the difficult and heartbreaking decision to surrender her child and relinquish custody.  

Today, that same baby, now named Lynne Marie*, lives in Indianapolis with her adoptive parents, Gabby and Jordan. She’s 11 months old. She’s an expressive and opinionated baby — she’s often giggling and playing with her loyal canine companion, Kevin, the family’s basset hound. 

After Lynne was surrendered, she entered the foster care system and was assigned a CAPS Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to represent her best interest in court and help ensure she had a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible. Due to the unusual nature of this case, her assigned CASA was Regina Hauptli, CAPS’ CASA Program Director, who has spent the last 20 years advocating for children in Elkhart County.  

CAPS played an instrumental role in Lynne’s adoption process. Regina was a member of the committee tasked with finding the right adoptive parents for Lynne out of dozens of hopeful families. The committee, made up of Regina and Department of Child Services employees, chose a few families to interview.  

Gabby and Jordan were the second couple to meet with the committee, and as soon as their interview concluded, the committee members looked at each other and knew — this couple was meant to be Lynne’s parents.  

“It was clear during the interview that they were going to love Lynne no matter what,” Regina said. “They hadn’t even seen a picture of her yet, but they already had so much love to give her.”  

Regina recalls one of the committee members chasing after Jordan and Gabby and catching them in the parking lot as they were about to make the three-hour drive to their home in Indianapolis. They told the couple there was one final question they still needed to answer and brought them back inside. 

That final question?  

“Do you want to adopt the baby girl?”  

“Gabby and Jordan hadn’t even seen a picture of her yet, but they already had so much love to give her,” Regina said.

The couple didn’t hesitate. Absolutely, they said.   

Jordan describes that moment as surreal. 

“In a tremendous and exciting way, it was nerve-racking,” he adds. “Suddenly, Lynne was our kid.”  

The family still had court hearings ahead before Lynne was legally their child. During that six-month-long adoption process, Regina provided consistent support to the family. She made sure that Lynne was receiving the best care from her soon-to-be parents, and that the adoption process was moving along smoothly. She advocated for Lynne in court, testifying that Gabby and Jordan were the perfect parents to raise the baby girl.  

Finally, on Sept. 22, Lynne officially became Gabby and Jordan’s daughter. The family’s lives are full of love and adventure. Gabby and Jordan want to ensure Lynne has a childhood full of exciting experiences, so they’re often traveling and making memories as a family.  

As we celebrate Lynne’s journey to a loving forever family, CAPS will continue working to ensure that every child in our community lives a life free from neglect and abuse. 

* We appreciate Gabby and Jordan for sharing Lynne’s story with us.