Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tracey Neale Set for the Long Haul of Motherhood

Tuesday, June 19, 2007; Page C03 Washington Post

Any day now, Tracey Neale is going to briefly disappear from the airwaves, and now we know why: WUSA's nightly anchor is adopting two children from Ethiopia. "I'm waiting for the phone call," Neale told us. "I've been wanting to do this since I was 5 years old. It's a dream of mine."
After more than a year working with a private adoption agency, Neale went public with her plan Sunday night at the Rammys, the annual awards for local chefs and restaurants (check out the winners in tomorrow's Food section). Neale, glam in black feathers, was introduced by WTTG (Channel 5) meteorologist Sue Palka, who proudly told 1,600 guests that her close friend is about to bring home two kids.

Neale first tried to adopt an African child six years ago, after reporting about the AIDS crisis on the continent. The baby died, and Neale founded Veronica's Story -- a foundation to help orphans and children with the disease -- and quietly continued to research adoption. Now, as a 40-year-old single mom-to-be, she's requested young siblings (ideally a brother and sister, who might otherwise be separated) and says she's as nervous as "any expectant mother."

Plans for maternity leave are up in the air, and she's still trying to decide if she'll bring a WUSA crew to Ethiopia when she picks up her kids. One thing she knows for sure. As a first-time mom, she's going to need an experienced nanny. "I'm already looking," she said.

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