Our Adoption Story

I am a 44-year-old mother of two teenagers, 14 and 15, and a 2 1/2-year-old.  People have commented about my “accident.”  (By the way this cracks me up when they say it to me(white) and my husband (white) while looking at my obviously biracial son.)  K was not an accident. K was a wondrous gift.

A little over three years ago, my cousin committed suicide.  His wife of 20 years became pregnant by someone else 3 or 4 months later.  For reasons that I’m not going into, the family was pretty sure the baby would be taken into foster care.  We inquired about taking the  baby when he was born.

His birth mother made decisions that didn’t include our side of the family, after all we are “blood” to this baby.  Now his brother and sister are my 2nd cousins. I never got to meet the baby.  He was with mom for a while.  Then he was placed in foster care.  Family rumors had him being adopted by a cousin of his birth father.

Then on a Monday I got a phone call from another cousin, “Are you guys still interested in adopting the baby?  He MIGHT need another home”  The baby is now 9 months old and has lived in 3 homes.  Absolutely. My husband and I spoke a bit with his Social Workers.  It sound really iffy.  They didn’t want to move him again if they didn’t have to move him.  I totally understood.

The next Monday I got another phone call asking again if we were really committed to taking him. We decided we better tell the older boys that this might happen.  Like us they considered this baby that we have never met, part of our extended family.  They thought it was  a cool idea.  I stressed this probably wouldn’t happen, as they didn’t want to transition him again to a new home if they didn’t have to do that.

That first meeting in the driveway.

That Friday morning I got a call at 10:30.  I’m at school teaching.  An hour later I am in my driveway holding this sweet little boy and falling in love.  He seemed like he had been there from the beginning.  He bonded very quickly, and is loved beyond measure.

Now almost 2 years later I am so grateful that my cousin(not his birth mom) remembered that we wanted him, and told the Social Workers about us.  There were other family members that would have taken him, but I really feel that it was God’s plan to have him here.

In less than two weeks our lives were turned upside down and inside out.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Pool

Today we are going to the pool.  My friend Suzanne has one directly in her back yard, so they swim a lot.  I have a child with sensory processing issues that for years couldn’t do water, I got out of the habit of taking my kids to the pool.  Thankfully, E can handle the pool and even knows how to basic swim.  That is due to a lovely friend of mine that gave him private lessons.  She was beyond patient with him. 

Today we are taking the baby, the boys, and 4 cousins.  One of the cousins is the baby’s big sister.  I am hopeful that this will give them some good bonding time.  It’s hard to be 14 and trying to bond during weekly visits.   I am really hoping that this gives them time to play and bond in a more authentic environment.  Really not just for them, but for all of us.  We are not the usual family, but we are family. 

I am a little afraid that maybe I have put too many hopes into one trip to the pool.  Well that will be alright, we have all summer.  We can go again.

Foster Parents

Foster parenting is not easy.  My brother is a foster parent.  I am continually amazed by him (really his whole family.)  I think being a foster parent for any child would be a challenge, but they choose teenagers.  They have had 6 children come through their doors in the last 2 years.  Each with his or her own set of problems.  My brother has firm expectations of these kids, but he also spoils them pretty rotten. 🙂 

I’m really proud of him.  I don’t think he realizes how important what he is doing is to these children.  All of these children have been permanantly removed from their homes.  They are not all successful in my brother’s home.  Two had to go to a youth center.  They just couldn’t follow any rules.  They made it hard for the other kids.  One of them stole his car.  He got it back, only slightly damaged.

Interestingly though my brother goes out of his way to keep every child in the folds of his family.  He still has activities that he wants them all to attend.  They recently had a picnic and took everyone (even the one that took the car).  He lets them live at home after they turn 18.  As long as they are getting good grades in college, they get free rent.  Sadly, so far only one has made it to college and he isn’t doing so well. 

The two living at “home” right now are really good kids.  I’ve enjoyed most of them, and seen hope in all of them.  I think that is why my brother continues.  He sees hope.