I recall vividly the insane look I walked down the street with my huge pregnant belly and a newborn baby draped across my arms. I ‘d probably also stare. It’s a surreal sight, and frankly something I never dreamed for myself. Still, there I was only three months apart to have two children. My husband and I started the process of preparing our home and hearts for a nursing baby a couple of years ago. We had three children, two of them biological and one of them adopted from foster care. While we were excited to foster and potentially adopt again, we were also anxious about raising four kids. However, our baby fever took over our once reasonable brains and so we pressed forward
The process of foster care and adoption is long and just as we ended up jumping through all the hoops and meeting all the state requirements, we found out we were pregnant. Knew unprotected relation could lead to pregnancy? Even if you don’t want to have a baby? Well I did, but I think I’ve just forgotten for a minute. And so it changed plans. We celebrated that pregnancy and slipped away with the idea of adopting.I was 6 months pregnant when I received a phone call to ask if we should sponsor a newborn baby girl. Probably not because the diapers are expensive, it ‘s important to sleep and that’s crazy.
Once the social worker learned that I was pregnant, she usually advised me that they don’t put a newborn with an expectant family. So, we’ve continued with life. I was always worried about this child. I ‘d love to have one more child. I always wanted twins, so that two babies who were a couple of months apart could work. Perhaps. Nonetheless, rules are laws.The social worker called again, a few weeks later. They had reached out to several families but they were unable to find a home for the baby now seven weeks old. ‘Converse with your husband, and let me know.
Yeah, and could you drive to pick her up three hours tomorrow morning? ‘This was crazy! We called back after thinking, crying and getting an emotional breakdown and we said yes. We said yes to a baby who had expected someone to be happy to get her home. We said yes to several unknowns, months of sleepless nights, babies eating and worried we couldn’t be enough, couldn’t have enough. Five percent of us were persuaded that this was a good option but it seemed like the only option.
This baby’s mother and maternal grandmother had very low IQs, so this baby should have chances too. I didn’t mind that at this stage. They might have told me that she’d have an arm growing out of her forehead and I’d said, ‘Great! Now we are ready to take home our baby! I can remember just how wrapped in my arms she and her brother looked when I would sing them songs and they would coo in an attempt to suit my words.
The first time they laughed together I recall how beautiful it was. I remember the sheer joy that they had brought us. And then there was the sad phone call that let me know we ‘d probably not be able to adopt this girl, who was already our daughter in our hearts. I recall pleading with God, with the social workers and with everyone who listens, please don’t take her away. From the bottom of my heart, I do believe that biological families belong together wherever possible. But the situation around our case left zero doubt that this baby was the best place for us.
The social workers have said our daughter would be taken by a distant relative. The relative was much older, single, no kids, no job, living in poverty but she had every right to custody legally. The case worker assured us that she will be much better off with us, but that is not taken into account in these circumstances. She spent the holidays in a haze that year. As a family, I had enjoyed our time. Whatever time we had together I tried to be thankful. But no matter how hard I tried I wasn’t able to persuade myself it would be enough.
The prospect of Christmas next year without her laughing while trying to pick ornaments from the tree was sad. Yet the thought that this beautiful girl would be cut off from opportunities we felt we could offer her was even more sad. We would work extra jobs, make sacrifices, and move heaven and earth to give her, everything they need, and all of our children. Can she guarantee the same in her new family?
A mother changed her mind the week before her birth, and did not seek custody. Legally and forever the judge ruled her ours. It’s been 2 years since we brought home our child. She is the cleverest kid we ever met. Non-stop she sings and speaks. Everywhere she goes she loves people and waves like the Miss America. She recalls everything she sees, and tells any outsider she thinks it all fascinating. There were difficult moments. There were days on which I was too busy to shower. The kids now have epic tantrums in the middle of the grocery store. Yet, there was not a single second of a single day that we regretted our decisions. I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to be worthy of the title “Mom to the Cutest Toddler in the World.”