Foster and adoption, two words that were not in my vocabulary, two words that had never entered my mind, not together or separate. These two words mean more to me now than I could express. These words brought me my son, they started my family, and they made me a mother.
After almost seven years of marriage my husband and I stopped getting the usual question from inquiring minds, “When are you two having kids?” Now I could just feel everyone’s sad looks, and empathetic pouts pointed in my direction at family activities and church events (at least this is what my mind saw). Every baby I saw seemed to stare at me, mocking me. We longed to begin a family, and decided it was time to see the fertility specialist and start down that path.
We saw the specialist and started checking tests off the list. They could not seem to find anything “wrong” with me medically, yet somehow, all was not right. We devoted the next year of our lives to tests, ultrasounds, blood work, injections, and pills that seemed to make me crazy. There were countless appointments, and a long commute to the specialist almost weekly. We even suffered the cruelty of a false positive pregnancy with insemenation. It was at this time we took a breath to consider if this was the path we wanted to go down. I was physically and emotionally exhausted from the testing, although in reality we had just skimmed the tip of the iceberg in the world of fertility treatments.
When my husband approached me about this ‘idea’ he had about foster/adopting, I tried not to laugh or scream at him. What was he thinking? That was not in my plan, that was not for me, why didn’t he want to have ‘our’ baby?? I think back on this moment, and on my resistance to the idea and shutter to think of my life without my sweet husband’s ‘idea’, which I know, was divine intervention. I will be forever grateful for his openness and willingness to take this path even when I was not there yet. I am also grateful for his patience, and loving persistence he had with me until I came to the amazing realization that this was my path! This path gave me the sweetest blessing, a happiness and completeness I couldn’t have imagined, a plan that someone above knew was far better than any plan I had constructed in my head. Foster-adoption brought us ‘our’ baby. He is ours, he is mine in every way that a mother and son belong to each other.
I have to admit that even when the realization came to me that this was my plan, it didn’t always come easy for me. We went through extensive foster parent training, classes, interviews, home inspections, and mental/emotional/physical inspections. My emotions were all over the place, I knew I was doing the right thing, but a apart of me felt a sense of loss from ‘my plan’. How would I react when we got a baby? Would this baby love me? Can I love them? What if the baby gets taken away and goes back with their biological family? There were so many uncertainties and this left me quite nervous. My husband managed to direct me back to the moment when I had the realization, that this was how it was meant to be and everything would be alright. We had had strong feelings that everything would be ok, we had faith that it would work out and we hung onto that. Faith was the key to us keeping our sanity during this entire process.
I remember the day we got the call. It was a day like any other. On this day, almost exactly two years ago, I woke up and went to work, went and saw my patients ( I am a nurse). That day began with me as a wife, a daughter, a sister, a nurse, a friend. However, that night when I went to bed, I had been transformed, I was now a mother.
We got the call just a week after finishing our foster parent certification. Over the phone my social worker gave us a quick recap of the baby’s situation. We were told he was a three month old Hispanic male and that if we felt this was right we could meet the social worker in an hour to meet him! I got off the phone to call my husband and my hand was shaking. How do I know if this is our baby? What if I make the wrong choice? I quickly called my husband and we both decided to pray about it. After a few minutes we both decided it was right and agreed to meet with her as soon as possible.
My husband and I sat outside the social service building with the social worker from the foster agency while we waited for them to bring us the ‘baby’. I was so nervous, I didn’t know what emotions I would feel or should feel when I met him. They finally came through the doors carrying a precious little boy, and walked over and placed him in my arms. He was beautiful. He was happy. He was innocent, and oblivious of the commotion around him. They took me and my husband upstairs where we had to sign some papers and receive instructions. I don’t recall a thing that was said. All I remember was the precious little face that kept staring at me. This sweet boy would not stop staring at me, he looked into me as if he knew me, as if he was waiting for me, as if we already belonged together. I remember feeling very nervous as the social worker’s said “Wow, I can’t believe how he is staring at you, it is like you are the only person in the room.” I know now that he did know me, he was waiting for me, and even though I hadn’t known it then, I had been waiting a long time for him. We tried not to call him ‘our baby’ or let them hear us introduce ourselves as ‘mom and dad’ ( because we knew that in their eyes we were just foster parents, we would be involved in the process of reunification- they will attempt to reunite him with his biological family if possible), but in our eyes that’s what we were.
That date was November 21, 2014 nearly two years ago. My over zealous, love-for-life, spicy, sweet, passionate, going a mile a minute, love hard/cry hard, cutest, smiley, dimpled face beautiful boy calls me ‘Momma’. He cries for me in the morning, when he gets ‘bonks’, I kiss them and they are magically better, he hugs me tight with both arms around my neck, he kisses me, says his prayers and blesses me, he hides behind me, and glances at me in reassurance when he is scared or unsure. But best of all, he still looks at me as though he has always known me, that our waiting for each other is over, because we do belong together.
The last two years have been the most emotionally draining and challenging as we have gone through the court system in the long hope to adopt this sweet boy. Almost any road block that could come forward did, any extension or longer time period offered by the court was extended, I felt like everyday was a fight as I held on to my faith and knowledge that I had received from my Heavenly Father that all would be well in the end. It is sometimes very hard to see the end when you are in the midst of such an emotional battle. Often times we would begin to see the light and things would look good for us, only to be knocked down and blindsided again. Each visit he went on, every home visit from the social worker, continual court dates, all contributed to the loud and obnoxious reminder that although he was mine in my heart, he was not yet mine in the eyes of the state of California. As of today we have not yet been able to officially adopt Zeke, ( we are hoping to make it official in the spring!) but we are headed in that direction! What comfort and joy we have found in knowing that we will get to be with this amazing little spirit forever! He is such a joy not only to my husband and myself, but to all of our extended family. Most importantly, his little brother Porter loves and admires him. We know Porter waited patiently for his big brother Zeke to come and pave the way for him.
The words foster and adoption may not have been in my vocabulary before, but to me these words are my world. I am so blessed for this miracle in my life. I can firmly and honestly say, I would have it no other way.
You can read my foster to adopt story HERE .
To read a remarkable journey of an amazing Birth Mom who so courageously placed her child up for adoption read HERE.