The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Round Two--The Never-Ending Story

12 January 2011

I guess I've been neglecting you blog-followers again. I'm so sorry. It's just that a lot has been going on here. I know, all the more reason to blog. But, it has been hard for me to sort out what to make public when. I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of gal, and that is certainly true in the realm of blathering (tending much more toward the "all" than the "nothing" even though the blog belies me). Anyhow, blah, blah, blah, this is not the reason you read this blog (if any of you still do). So, let's get to the heart of the matter, shall we? But, first, do you have a box of tissues handy? This is about to get emotional.

For about six months Aa and I have been considering that our home study would be expiring in January. If you've been reading for a long time, you remember that God gave me a promise that He would exceed my expectations about this adoption. However, Aa has had to take my word for that this very long time as God has not given him his own revelation. Granted, Aa felt that we were on the right track, that God led us to domestic adoption, etc., etc., etc. But, he was kinda living on bread alone (and the Word of God second-hand through me). So, this issue of renewing our home study (read "spending several hundred dollars more on this seemingly endless process") was a source of stress and even, I'll admit, division between us. I just couldn't see how we could let go of that promise from God (i.e., not renew our home study so we would be ready for anything) and he just couldn't see pouring more money into the adoption abyss. So, we prayed and prayed, and asked others to pray for us. And, we heard nothing.

Meanwhile, several friends had mentioned that we might look into foster parenting. Well, we always shut them down. I felt strongly that God's promise had to do with birth parents (one of the main reasons we chose domestic over international adoption this time around) and, frankly, I was afraid of the sort of birth parents I assumed we'd be dealing with in the foster system. I also thought there would be no way I could get these aching-for-an-infant hand around a bitty baby through the system. So, we politely said, "No, that's not for us." Until... I suppose their prayers tipped the balance of our fears and the window opened and we peeked in. We began asking questions to these fostering-touting friends and eventually called DSS to find out more from the horse's mouth. Funny how knowledge makes fears seem so silly! When we got our questions answered, we found that we could probably be pretty good foster parents after all!

So, on November 30 (see timeline to the right), a social worker from DSS came to our house and answered more questions and gave us reams of paperwork to fill out. After she left, Aa and I looked at each other and decided to go ahead and apply. BUT, there was still a hurdle for me, an emotional reining in. I had expected to feel definitely one way or the other about fostering after the meeting, but I didn't. I felt more like, "there's no reason not to" than excited or afraid. Still, I figured, we'll learn lots more at the classes we need to attend and maybe then the feelings will come.

Then, ninety minutes after the DSS sw left, I was driving to the school to pick up the kids and my phone rang. It was our adoption agency in GA. I was sure she was calling to tell me our paperwork was expiring and that we needed to make a decision about whether to renew or not. But, she told me she was actually calling because another birth mom had chosen our family for her baby! You could have knocked me over with a feather (except that the seat in the car is pretty supportive). It was the last thing I had expected. I think I had really given up on that route. Of course, I cried and sputtered and tried to take in the details of the situation. Then I called Aa and cried and sputtered and tried to tell him some of the details.

And, then, reality sunk in. Because of certain aspects of this situation, the adoption fees would be higher than we were anticipating. Plus, we would certainly have to renew our home study since the baby's due date was the same as our home study's expiration date! The financial pressure, right as Christmas was coming on full-steam, and just as Aa got himself a hernia that needed to be operated on right away, well, let's just say it was a little overwhelming. I'm usually the one who has all the faith in the world in financial things and I need Aa's realism to temper me. I was very afraid, though, that this time he would be wrong, that he would say, "We can't afford this; let's just pursue the foster thing." But, one day, he called me from work and said, "I would regret for the rest of my life if we passed up this opportunity just because of money. We'll make it happen. Whatever it takes, we'll make it happen." I'm crying again recounting this to you. And I just have to say on the public record that I know I am blessed beyond measure with this man of mine. There's no one else I'd rather have at the helm of my family.

Now that we had made our decision, Satan decided it was time to really mess things up. Our agency then called to tell us there may be a problem with getting our state to agree to our taking custody of the child. The baby is in what they call a "legal risk" situation where the birth father hasn't signed relinquishment and the courts will have to terminate rights in his absence after the birth. This means there is a window of opportunity for him to come forward and claim the baby and we would have to surrender him to the father. Another family from our state was having trouble over that issue and until it was resolved, we couldn't proceed with our match. So, we began to pray and we asked many others to pray, and I know that other family was praying and gathering others to pray.

It was touch-and-go for a few weeks, but finally the word came back that the other family had been approved and that we could go ahead with our plans to meet the birth mother on December 21st. My parents came to town for Christmas the weekend before that, so they took Punk and Pea to see a movie (in 3-D!!!) and to the indoor playground, while we traveled to GA and back in a day! As we drove up to the restaurant where we had planned to meet our birth mom and her case worker, the butterflies in my stomach took flight. Touch up the lipstick, stroke down the fly-away hairs, straighten the sweater, and... go! We walked in and two women were sitting there waiting, one middle-aged and one in her 20's with a darling baby bump. The latter woman stood up and came right to me with her arms open wide (oh, here comes an ugly cry--I'm glad y'all can't see me as I type this!). She wrapped herself around me in what can only be called an embrace and put her head on my chest and silently cried. She held on for what seemed like minutes. I have no idea how long it really was. But, if that was all that had happened that day, it would have been more than worth the 14 hours of driving. It was truly one of the most precious, salient moments of my life.

We wound up talking for almost two hours, during which all four of us shed tears. She seemed to fully grasp how hard it would be to live without this baby in her arms, while at the same time recognizing the hope she was giving him. She showed us ultra-sound pictures, and despite US pics being what they are, I can confidently say this is the gol-darndest cutest baby being born in 2011! We asked her how she came to choose adoption for her son and she said that she'd made an appointment at the abortion clinic. But, when she went in there, she just couldn't do it. She said, "I can't do this to this baby; it's not the baby's fault." So, thank you to all of you who pray for women who plan to have abortions. Our baby's is one life you've been instrumental in saving.

Also, she asked if I could be there for her while she labors and delivers the baby! I am so humbled and honored. I am very much looking forward to getting to know her better and to starting our relationship by serving her. No service could be sweeter to me. She is being induced THIS SATURDAY!!!! So, I am driving down Friday afternoon/evening so I'll be on hand in the morning. If you pray, please cover this incredible day (or two?!) in prayers.

Aa made this beautiful memory box for our birth mom. I'll give it to her this weekend before the birth. It's sized perfectly to hold the photos and letters we will send about the baby.
Now you're up to date! So, what happens next? Well, I'll have to come home and baby will go into interim care for about 10 days. Then, we'll go to GA, sign some papers, and bring our baby boy home! It's still hard for me to believe, even with the pack-n-play set up in our room and his drawers starting to fill with itty-bitty socks and such! It's been six and a half years since I've had a newborn!

Oh, and we haven't closed the door on fostering either. It's plain to us that God drove us in that direction for a reason. So, at some point, maybe as soon as the fall, we will go ahead and begin fostering as well!

And, I have a little homework for YOU! Birth mom and baby both need blog-names. Hit the "Comment" button to make suggestions! Thanks!


andreawilliams said...

I am soooo bad at names, but I wanted to wish you well. God IS so good! I am so happy that everything has turned out as He had planned and how we all prayed for :)
Keep us all updated and tell baby J that his aunites in Idaho cannot wait to meet him!!!
PS I am so ugly crying right now :)

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued