Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.
Facts and Figures
In this section of the blog I want to address a few of the realities of going down the journey of adoption. I think when I started this journey I pictured friends and family being involved but I didn't think about who the baby would bring with her.
During our training they told us to be ready to have a zillion people who weren't related to us be in our home and in our lives. I didn't think much of it because I'm use to people. The reality is it's a lot more intrusive then you might think. You have the county social worker, the agency social worker, the pediatrician, the siblings (if there are any), the birth mother and father, any grandparents, aunts, uncles, lawyers, and adoption workers who are different then your social workers. These are the people that come with the child you are going to adopt. Family with standing many of these people will be in your home weekly if not more. Especially at the beginning where they have to document every movement and make sure you're doing well and adjusting to having a child in your environment.
I do have to say after a while it gets better. For the first 3 months I had 1 social worker visit every week and another visit every month. Also we were called by the attorney and then they sent a representative over. Each time they had to see where the baby slept and make a general sweep of the house. As they got to know me better it eased up but it was very intrusive at the beginning. They will always ask how the baby sleeps, eats, new milestones, emotional state, your emotional state, and usually some personal things about work and life in general.
The harder part is the birth family. I know for me personally it was really hard in the beginning because I got so use to this baby being mine that whenever I heard news about the birth family it brought a hard reality check that she wasn't even mine yet I was just a glorified babysitter in the eyes of the State. We had siblings and birth mom to worry about, but really we only visited the siblings in the end. Of course you get attached to them as well and really my heart was conflicted about how much I wanted to adopt this little one and have her be all mine and how much I hated seeing families torn apart.
I know other foster/adopt parents who have had several meetings with the birth parents. The goal is to reunify the child with their biological parent and if that can't work out one way or another then you're the one that gets the child. Here's another catch, at anytime a relative who is certified and background checked could step in and start taking care of the child. You're the last one to have rights and the last one to be looked at as a caregiver for the child. It's hard there are a lot of emotions running through you. The birth parents usually have to do something really drastic to loose their child. I know sometimes media portrays that for any reason DCSF could take away your child but the reality is it's not like that. Usually the parents break laws, are addicted or have abused their child. So when you meet the birth parent you have to act like you're cool with them trying to take back their child and that's a hard thing to do for anyone.
Having all these people in your life really will disrupt everything, you won't ever be the same. That child that is now in your home has brought a whole other family with them. I would suspect it's like being married (though I wouldn't know) you have to make adjustments and realize you're committing to everything that this child has to offer. Even for people who are just adopting either internationally or domestically it can be the same with the involvement of so many people in your case.
The thing to remember is that at some point when the journey of adoption is over you will have that child in your family no matter who they bring with them. It's a beautiful thing sometimes to realize that all these people are moved by this one life.
Thoughts and Journal EntriesMarch 2011
The call that I had been holding my breath for came on the 7th. I was unable to take the call right away so I called the lady back she said we have a Hispanic baby girl who will be taken from her current foster home tomorrow she's 5 weeks old do you want her? Of course I knew immediately that this is the baby the Lord had told me about. I found out that she was born the day after I was certified how crazy was that. God's timing is never off. I was sooooo nervous I couldn't sleep that night at all. I had everything ready I had called her Dr. the day before and made an appointment for a check up literally 30 mins after they were going to drop her off. They told me that with in the first 24 hours I had to have her checked out by a physician so he could say if she was alright or not.
Anyway I got everything I could think of ready I didn't really look through the clothing sizes in the closet I had one outfit at the time that was newborn but what did I know, she would come with clothing and that should be fine. The next day I went to work and got off early to meet the social worker at my place. My placement lady was there and we talked while waiting. It was as if I was on a first date there were butterflies in my stomach and I was so nervous. I didn't go about having a baby in the traditional sense of the word so I didn't have 9 months to get to know this baby before having her in my life. The social worker pulled up and met me on the street. She took her out of the car seat, when I saw her for the first time my heart melted.
She was so tiny and she was screaming, now that I think about it of course she was screaming. The social worker was paranoid the birth mother was following her because she had done that to other foster parents. As I was holding this little one in my arms I kept thinking I can't believe it she's here. After all this time waiting and wondering what she was going to look like there she was in my arms so beautiful and tiny. We went up to the apartment to sign papers. She had a bag of clothing that her foster parent had sent with her(the clothing she came with turned out to be not in the best condition so I was unable to use any of it but it all had to be cataloged anyway). I will at this time call her baby girl because I want to keep a bit undercover. Anyway, baby girl had a lot of things going on when I got her none of them however were drug with drawl. I signed the papers as quick as possible the whole time this baby is screaming at the top of her lungs. I don't blame her she's in a completely different environment with strangers. I was holding her and rocking her and signing paperwork it was a rough first 20 mins. As soon as the social workers walked out the door I had her in the car seat and off to the Dr.s. We were running late but luckily it was 5 mins away. I had no idea what I was doing with the car seat. I wrapped the seat belt around it of course incorrectly and just prayed the angels would hold it. I had a diaper bag with me and some diapers but I didn't know at the time she had a dirty diaper and was wrapped in 3 layers of clothing sweating and the car seat was facing backwards and the sun was in her eyes. OMG what in the world was I thinking. Dear Jesus help me! So we ran into the Dr.s office and he looks her over for 5 mins and says she looks fine in his broken English and after I get him to fill out a form we are on our way back home. Where I have to figure out what to do with a new born.
I called my friend because I didn't know what else to do she was still fussy after a bottle, a change of clothing and a clean diaper I was running out of options. The following day the agency social worker was coming over and I had a huge pile of paperwork that I had to fill out. Really they give you a new born and expect you to fill out all this paperwork? Super parent much? Anyway I eventually got her to sleep and was still super nervous about bottles, formula, diapers, sleeping positions, and schedules. I think I was googling every five minutes to see what parents where saying about this or that. I really missed my mom she was the person I needed most at that moment. I wish she would have been with me to see the baby. Anyway we got through the night of course the baby woke up so many times. My life was over, I love sleep and this little one was ruining it.
I now truly believe all parents are super heroes because for the first 3 days I not only took care of a new born, I filled out paperwork, worked, ran errands, paid bills, and did whatever else needed doing. The first week was a blur but I do remember at one point being so exhausted that I started passing out forgetting where I was and what I was doing. My roomie saved my rear one night while her and another friend watched baby girl while I slept for several hours. I told the Lord right then that He had promised to be the husband and He needed to take at least one night shift so I could get some sleep. Not kidding 5 seconds later a friend that I really didn't know that well offered to sleep on my couch and do the night shift for me. I cried, she helped me out so much. Because I was working during the day and I brought baby girl with me to work I didn't have time to nap with her during the day.
I think about the first few days at work, I had the greatest boss she told me one day because I was so exhausted to just lie down and she watched the baby while I took a nap. At one point I was so emotional I sobbed in her arms I felt like I was super hormonal from having a baby. It was strange it was if I had her myself my hormones where on over drive.
Though the first weeks were a bit rough going I couldn't imagine it any other way. This little life completely dependent on the adults in her life to fight for her, be a voice for her, take care of her, and protect her. I had never known that type of dependency before someone completely dependent on me. In that moment I realized that I wanted to be like that. Completely dependent on God. What a beginning to such and amazing story.
Dear baby girl,
The first day that I saw you and held you I knew that you would be in my life forever. I would do anything to see you happy and free. Your tiny hands and feet where so cute I couldn't help but kiss them all the time. What a miracle you are. Before the beginning of time God thought of you and when He designed you He knew I was going to get to be your mommy. I love you more then words could say. I promise to be there for all your firsts and your lasts. You are the best and greatest gift anyone has ever given me. I will always fight for you and will be cheering you on no matter what. You will always be my child no matter what happens. For the moments when you don't have a voice I will speak for you, for the times you can't reach high enough I will reach for you. Anything that is in my strength to give you I will. God designed you with an amazing personality, a unique history, and a great destiny. There's nothing and no one that will take away your light. Know this my beloved daughter I will be here through thick and thin. I can't wait to see what you will become but I'm happy right now in this moment holding your tiny form and listening to your soft breathing. The best time for me is seeing you at peace in dream land. I will always love you!
Your forever mommy