In the coming months after the arrival of our sweet babies, things settled down drastically. Bubby was sleeping through the night, his reflux was finally properly medicated, and we would say goodbye to his cast. He began physical, occupational, and nutritional therapies to get him healthy and caught up developmentally. Sissy would learn to love and trust my husband and also develop a pesky case of separation anxiety. We all bonded so quickly...I won't say it was "easy" to take care of two children this small but it was SO easy to love them. We had no idea how long they would be with us but I decided to quit my job to stay home with them. I wanted to give them all of my love and attention and really invest in them while we were blessed to have them in our home. I had wanted to be a mother for a long time, we were in the process of adopting a baby. And right now God was trusting me to mother two fragile babies and I wanted to give it my all.
I worked very hard at my relationship with their birthmom, I'll call her L. I took the babies to visit her twice a week and I remember every detail about our first meeting. I didn't know anything about her but when I walked into the waiting room, I knew who she was. I had this plan to hug her as soon as I saw her... I thought that would thwart any intention she had to hate me. I had taken several pictures in the one week I'd had them so I put them all in an album for her. I could tell the hug made her feel awkward but I do believe my plan worked;) And she loved the album of her babies. I wouldn't say we "hit it off" but we were kind to eachother and considering my worst fear...kind worked for me! My interactions with her were short and sweet until the day I was taking Bubby to the doctor after a visit. I felt God tugging at my heart to ask her to come along. I didn't really want to, my anxiety was through the roof as I contemplated. I knew I had to get permission and my phone call wasn't returned until we were already on our way to the Dr.'s office. Our family case manager said inviting L to come along was a great idea so I turned the car around and found her walking down the street. I pulled over, yelled my invite out the window and she gladly accepted. I ended up taking her to work after Bubby's appointment and we spent several hours together. I would say that is the day I felt like we became friends. We had regular visits through September and then for various reasons she moved out of state where she had family. This created quite a few problems and DCS immediately began working on moving the kids to live with relatives where they could continue visits with their mother. The process was long and complicated, lots of paperwork and communication between states, I was informed it would take a while which was perfectly fine with us. We were selfishly hoping to be with them for Thanksgiving.
Now we were still working on our adoption through the fall...November came and as soon as we became an "active" couple we had a match! Actually we were matched shortly before we were "active". There was such a great need for plan 3 adoptive couples and the birthmom we were matched with was due in 3 weeks! Thanksgiving came and the babies were still with us, we were expecting our baby in 2 weeks and we had ALOT to be thankful for...we were also a little overwhelmed at the thought of having three babies under two. The girls in our small group immediately began planning my baby shower...which was AMAZING:) My favorite part was the recreation of the game I played on The Price is Right...at the end I won the Vera Bradley diaper bag of my dreams (way better than a pool table;). It was a beautiful evening I will never forget, a time I had waited for for so long, a celebration of a life on the way, a celebration for OUR baby. We knew he was a boy and he was due December 8th, we didn't get to meet his birthparents, we were told they weren't really concerned about having any contact. December 8th came and went, it was her first child and she was induced a week later. I got a phone call from the adoption agency, she decided to keep him. My sister was with me at the time and I handed her the phone, I had no words, my breath was knocked out of me, I was devastated. I waited to tell JT after he got home from work. We were shocked really...in that evening I felt SO sorry for myself. I remember thinking, how pathetic are we? Who does this happen to again and again? Pathetic us. And this time I had a nursery full of baby boy things to look at every day...perfect. What I also had was an almost 2 year old baby girl and a 9 month old baby boy. They needed me and the Lord grew my strength and restored my joy once again. They made healing so much easier...it's hard to keep the tears coming when you're potty training, playing, reading, rocking, and just plain busy with babies:) Again, healing was quick for JT because he was hardened and guarded after our previous heartbreak. He wasn't vulnerable like I was. To complete the crazy story, I'll tell you that 2 days after that call, we got another call. It was time for the birthmom to leave the hospital with the baby and her boyfriend had disappeared, she had no carseat, no ride home, and nothing for the baby when she got home. She called the agency and changed her mind again. So I called my mom to come stay with the kids and off we went to the hopital to pick up our baby...a rollercoaster of emotions. We had a long drive and alot to process...we're having a baby! No we're not. We having a baby again and on our way to get him! All of this in 48 hours...needless to say we got a call during our drive and turned around to drive back home. I'll spare you the details but I will tell you I didn't shed a tear. At this point I think I could have laughed, but my heart ached for the baby whose life was hanging in the balance. Here was this young little couple speeding to the hospital to get him, and then there were these relatives berating his birthmom in the hospital for giving her child to a white couple. He was so close to a different future and that was a hard truth...I tried not to think about it. I do know he ended up in foster care, maybe he has been adopted by a sweet little couple who waited and waited for him. I'll choose to believe that.
We were blessed to celebrate Sissy's 2nd birthday with her later in the month and we weren't holding our new baby that Christmas but we WERE holding our Stinkerman and Princess. What a gift to have them...it was our first Christmas with children in our home and it was wonderful. It brought new meaning to the season and as time went on we were growing more and more attached to our sweet babies. By Christmas, they had been with us for 5 months, DCS was still working to get them out of state and in the home of relatives but they were running into some major bumps in the road. Again, that was okay with us. While we were supportive of L, we were also in love with our babies and considered our time with them a gift.
When we became foster parents, people would say things like "I could never do that, how can you give them back? I couldn't handle it emotionally, I'd get too attached". And our response was always something like: Well, it will be hard when they leave, it'll probably break our hearts. But it's not about us, and whatever we have to go through for the sake of loving them is worth it (which is very easy to say when you haven't experienced it yet). Though I know that there are, I can't imagine a foster parent who doesn't get attached. It's hard for me to fathom bringing a hurting child into a home where there is no bonding or attachment. These kids need all the love in the world and depriving them so we don't get hurt ourselves is a tragedy. Okay...I'll get off my soapbox that barely has anything to do with my blog. Thanks for reading:) Until next Monday...
Crazy Mama Crook