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Adoption Final Story-The Missing Link

family 2003-2

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Have you ever felt that someone from your family was missing?  It wasn’t just the fact that I had always wanted a son, but I felt like one of our family members was absent.  After this family picture was taken, I said to John, “Look! That spot is for our son.”  We weren’t the only ones who noticed the hole between family members in the photo and we told people, “No, we aren’t done, we are going to get/have another child.”

In the process of Foster to Adopt, social workers are in the perspective adopted family’s home all of the time.  There were 3 social workers assigned to our daughter Hailey.  One for the agency Children’s Hope, one for the county in which we lived and a third from the state and then as the time came closer for us to finalize the adoption, a fourth one came a couple of times to do a home study on our family.  She was from the adoption agency-affiliated with the state of California.  It was a lot of people doing visits and I looked forward to having our space, but I knew it was temporary. When Hailey was about 18 months old, my husband and I started to pray and think about when we should get back on the list of the fostering program.  We had told Children’s Hope to remove us for a while after Hailey was placed and later adopted. In August of 2003 we made the phone call and within a month we received a call about a little boy named Trevor.  He was 6 years old and had been thrown into the system….again.  He had been bouncing around from home to home for a couple of years.  Apparently, he had been with a long-term family early on in his life, when his mom, a drug abuser, had lost custody.  That family wanted to adopt him but after a few years of waiting for parental rights to be terminated, the mom got her life together and Trevor went back to her.  The family was heartbroken and emotionally scarred from raising an infant to almost 3 years of age and then losing him. In his mother’s care, Trevor was exposed to abuse to and neglect and he witnessed seeing his mom being abused in all forms.  Different men frequented their trailer and she had gone back to her old ways of drug abuse and alcohol.  When Trevor was about 5, he had been found on the freeway, riding his bike alone.  That is when an investigation was done and he was put back into the foster care system. Although he was young, much damage had been done. And he was hard to handle and that is why he had been moved around from foster family to foster family. John and I discussed it and we decided we would take him.  He was such a cute little guy and looked a lot like our oldest daughter, but with brown eyes like our second daughter. I enrolled him in the same school as our girls but had a phone call almost every day about his misbehavior.  He was emotional and unattached to anyone.  He had severe ADD and I didn’t know if it was real or all of the meds he had been prescribed.  The poor kid was on uppers and downers.    He was on so many psychotropic drugs that he didn’t know if he was coming or going. I had to log everything I gave to him, all of his behaviors and performance or lack thereof at school. His temper and mood swings were out of control and he began physically hurting one of our girls.   When I think back now of the several weeks we had him, I am so sad.  Sad that he was placed in our home, because we were not equipped to help this little guy.  With the help of the Children’s Hope and the county agency, a sibling of his who had been adopted a couple years prior to his birth was found and he left our home to be with her and her adopted mom, Judith.  Everyone was hopeful that Judith would be able to adopt Trevor so he could be with his sister.  But after being with them for a couple years, trying to make it work, Judith had to turn him back over to the county and the last I had heard, Trevor was put into a group home.  I have so much guilt when I think back about this.  I could have been more patient.  I could have tried harder.  I did go to counseling with him while he was with us but I didn’t really know HOW to help him. A couple months after Trevor went to live with his sister and Judith, we received a phone call from a friend Jay, who was doing foster care.  I didn’t know it at the time, but P and B, the brother and siblings who were with my friend Amanda, had been living with our friends for quite some time and their mom’s rights had been terminated and they were adoptable.  John and I seriously considered it.  But again, so much of a past with these two kids as well.  There was a couple who wanted to adopt them.  But Jay didn’t feel like it was a good fit for P and B.  The little girl really didn’t feel safe around men because of seeing abuse to her mom and Jay’s wife was the one to always care for her.  Both kids, had really only had one parent until foster care, a female.  This couple was two men from San Francisco. P started to break out in cold sores and B began wetting the bed at night.  Both were very nervous about uprooting the area and being adopted. Even their social worker was very concerned for them.  She had weekly visits with the kids and they had expressed to her that they were scared and didn’t want to go live with two men.  B had told her she wanted a mom. We put a lot of time into trying to adopt this brother and sister but in the end, we were unsuccessful and ended up attending a going away part for them and meeting their new parents, which actually seemed like a very nice couple and very loving.  Probably more equipped than us to help children who had been through traumatic events. I remember praying and asking, “Please help us find OUR son.”  In February of 2004, I was at a park with a friend who was pregnant when I got the phone call that a baby had been born.  He wasn’t eating well and he had been born positive to drugs.  I was told I could go see him the next morning.  I went in to the hospital and a friend working there was the nurse who had assisted in his birth.  She let me hold him and I fell in love. My eyes started to water and I just longed for this little baby to be mine.  I went back home and told my husband, “This is it.  Our family is going to be complete.” We were at church and I was in the children’s meeting getting ready to teach a lesson, as I was the President of the Primary at the time when I got the phone call, “The birth mom, is going up on the roof for a smoke, come right now so you don’t have to deal with her screaming and yelling.”  The baby was going to be removed and she knew it and couldn’t fight the law, but she was going to cause a scene.  I drove to the hospital, and with the car seat on my arm, climbed into the elevator to the maternity ward.  Just as I was getting off, a man and woman were getting in.  She had a pack of cigarettes in her hand and for some reason, I just knew it was her. I tried not to have any eye contact with her, but I did remember what she looked like, because a few weeks later I recognized her in the grocery store.  While she was on the roof of the building with her boyfriend, I packed up our son and went home.  The girls devoured him.  They wanted to hold him and feed him and they loved on him all of the time.  Within a few weeks, someone from the court called and said that there was to be a paternity test to claim Robert as their son.  I wasn’t too nervous because those who had more knowledge than me about the birth mom’s history, told me that the guy claiming to be the father, probably was not.  After waiting for a couple weeks, that turned out to me true.  It was a relief to know that we were in the clear for that obstacle. But then we had to wait for the bio mom’s rights to be terminated.  I was on edge about that.  As each day went by I grew closer and closer to this baby. Finally after a couple of missed court dates, her rights were terminated and again, I breathed a sigh of relief. I absolutely loved this little guy.  His hair was a bit crazy and we compared his hair to Gene Wilder’s.  His health wasn’t great and right away he had breathing problems and a respiratory infection.  His skin was all scaly and we learned that there was hardly any amniotic fluid in utero.  But I tamed his hair with gel, gave him breathing treatments and medicine and rubbed him down with lotion a couple times a day and I absolutely adored him. There is something about a bond between a mother and her son. When Robert was about 6 weeks old I started to panic, feeling like he wasn’t going to be part of our family.  It brought me to tears and I was unwilling to be calmed.  John asked me, “How do you FEEL, deep down?  What does the Spirit tell you?” I told him I wasn’t sure, I was just so scared.  One night I had a dream that 3 men were sitting at a table and I was standing in front of them. I recognized each one.  One of them spoke to me and motioned to one of the men sitting next to him and said, “President Faust has something you need to hear.” That was it.  That was the end of the dream.  The following weekend, Sunday April 4th there was a General Conference in which members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints receive instruction and inspiration from the Prophet and other leaders as to living their lives in harmony with the Savior’s will.  I waited on pins and needles for James E. Faust to speak. After his speech, what I felt I needed to do, was to prepare myself spiritually so I can hear the whisperings and promptings of our Father in Heaven and be able to recognize WHO is sending thoughts to my mind. I had let the adversary bring fear and doubt into my life. On Tuesday April 6th, I recorded this in my journal, “Not great news…..Today the bio mom’s parents contacted the courts and they want to consider adopting (Robert) because they already have adopted 3 of his siblings.” My heart was breaking! I spoke to the bio mom’s step mom (Robert’s grandma) on Tuesday April 13th.  she told me that they want to adopt him because they don’t want to lose another grandchild.  Apparently, his bio mom had lost custody of her first child and it was placed for adoption. The grandparents were raising 3 of her other children. She also told me that their daughter had had 6 abortions as well.  I explained to her how much we loved this little boy and how he is part of our family and his sisters love him and how he has been an answer to our prayers. In my journal I recorded, “None of what I said, seemed to matter a whole lot-however she said that she would talk it over with her husband and she agreed to pray about it and asked if we would too. One part of me is calm and reassured that all will be alright, then for a split second I want to panic and cry.  This will feel like a death if we lose this little guy. I am going to listen to the calm part of what I am feeling and pray that the Father’s Will will prevail.” We drove to Idaho for a family wedding and while I was in the temple, I put the grandparent’s name on a prayer roll, a petition of sorts for others to submit names to be prayed over by all who attend the temple.  I needed all of the help I could get.  After returning from Idaho on the 26th of April, I called the grandma back.  She sounded frazzled and was unable to speak to me.  She told me she would have to call me back.  It took several days for her to make contact again. I knew that when she did return my phone call, she would have her answer as far as pursuing the adoption of Robert. As the phone rang, I picked it up and saw who it was on the caller I.D. My heart dropped and I said a silent prayer, asking Heavenly Father one more time, to soften their hearts. Pleasantries were short. She explained that right before I called her, she had tripped while vacuuming and had broken her arm.  In her words that I wrote down in my journal, “I think God may be trying to tell me something.” But she said that there was another family member who had expressed an interest in adopting the baby.  She was also going to seek the advice of her priest.  More waiting…… Thirteen days later, the grandma called me back.  She began the conversation by saying that she had good news for us, but bad news for her.  She proceeded to tell me that she and her husband had decided to back out of trying to adopt Robert. She said she was very upset about this but her orthopedic doctor told her that she will need 2 or 3 surgeries to fix her broken arm.  Again she said she thought that “God had a hand in this, but I wish he would have been a little more subtle….” I was overcome with joy and I KNEW that Heavenly Father had a hand in this.  And so that is how we came to have our little boy, Kaden. He is tender-hearted yet stubborn as a mule.  He is loving and sweet and can be a Holy Terror.  He brings so much joy and fun to our family.  And we all love him! kade preschool2

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