Maryland parents-to-be Michael and Karen Faherty are awaiting an inspection from the agency that is dealing with their adoption. Suddenly, a commotion brings them to the front door of the couple’s home. It seems a gang of firefighters – as many as 30 – are gathering in the yard, and as an ambulance pulls up, Michael and Karen are wondering whether something has gone wrong with the adoption process.

Michael and Karen first met when they were students at the University of Scranton. Both members of the Reserve Officer Training Corps, they went on to join the military, making Baltimore their home. But their dreams of making their family bigger had fallen foul of infertility, and after four years of struggling with it, they plumped for adopting a child.

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