Clarendon family welcomes new adopted daughter after ceremony by Skype

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 May 2020 at 9:18 pm

‘She is funny and she keeps everybody moving. She is such a happy baby.’

Provided photos: Clarissa Bowen has been a part of the Bowen family in Clarendon since she was born. Her adopted mother, Crystal, delivered the baby with the biological mother on May 7, 2019. Clarissa officially joined the family after an adoption ceremony by Skype this afternoon.

Clarissa Bowen, 1, is a happy baby.

CLARENDON – A Clarendon family this afternoon officially welcomed a new member, Clarissa Rose Bowen, after an adoption ceremony.

Orleans County Family Court Judge Sanford Church presided over the proceeding with attorneys for the Bowen family, Clarissa and child’s biological mother. What was unusual? The ceremony was done through Skype.

Crystal Bowen, Clarissa’s adoptive mother, is thankful the court worked out the details through Skype so Clarissa’s adoption could be official and not have to wait for an in-person proceeding. The Bowen family said the attorneys said it was one of the first adoptions finalized in the state through Skype.

The courthouse is currently off-limits due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s cool they got it done with everything going on,” Mrs. Bowen said this evening.

Clarissa has been with the Bowen family since soon after she was born on May 7, 2019.

She joins Crystal and her husband Jason, and their five biological children: Jared, 14; Chelsea and Cassidy, who are Leap Year twins age 12; Chloe, 10; and Cheyanne, 6.

Crystal is friends with the baby’s biological mother. The mother, when she was six months pregnant, had already asked Crystal and her husband to adopt the baby. Clarissa’s birth certificate even includes the Bowen last name.

The biological mother was home in her apartment when she went into labor at 7:30 a.m. on May 7, 2019. Crystal headed to her apartment to take the biological mother to the hospital that day. But there wasn’t enough time. Crystal called 911 and she delivered the baby in the apartment.

The Bowen family includes: Crystal and Jason Bowen in back, and children from left: Cassidy holding Clarissa, Cheyanne in front, Chloe, Jared and Chelsea.

The biological mother remains friends with the Bowen family, and she sees Clarissa often.

“Clarissa is a wonderful addition to our family,” Mrs. Bowen said. “We love her very much and couldn’t imagine life without her.”

Mrs. Bowen, 40, was adopted herself at age 10. She said she had a tough time before that in foster care. She grew up in North Carolina before being adopted by a family in Webster when she was 10.

Even with five biological children, she wanted to either be a foster or adoptive parent.

“I came from a rough past,” she said. “You can either let your past make you or break you. You can use it as an excuse to break you or you can better yourself.”

The family celebrated Clarissa’s adoption today.

Mrs. Bowen said her home in Clarendon has always been open to children in the community (except the past two months during the Covid-19 pandemic).

“People know they can come to our house and feel safe,” she said.

Her husband works as a truck driver for a roll-off company. Mrs. Bowen is a cosmetologist who does hair and nails. Hair salons are currently closed in New York because of Covid-19. The Bowen kids attend Holley Central School. They are missing their friends and teachers a lot after about two months of being home due to the pandemic.

Clarissa is well loved by her siblings.

“She has fit right in,” Mrs. Bowen said. “She is a beautiful baby. She is funny and she keeps everybody moving. She is such a happy baby.”

The Bowens may still pursue fostering other children. Mrs. Bowen encouraged others in the community to consider being foster or adoptive parents.

“I would be open to helping another child,” she said. “As adults, that’s our job. It takes a village to raise a child. People should ask themselves if they have that love to give.”

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