Foster care is full of unexpected twists and turns. Just when you think your journey is over God laughs and says “You’re not finished yet”
It was mid September last year. My husband’s job was talking about transferring him to Tennessee. It would be awhile before the kids and I move down because we agreed it was best they finish out the school year where they were at. Our oldest son was a senior and there was no way I was making him switch schools, he would graduate with his friends even if it meant I would be a quote “single parent” for most of the year. We looked at places to rent, hotels, townhomes, ect for my husband to stay in but finally decided we needed a camper. He could live in it while we were still in WV and then we could use it to stay in when we travel back to visit family. Perfect solution. We had a plan now to find what we were looking for. Todd’s parents aka papaw and mamaw picked up JR and Elissa early one Saturday morning so that they could go enjoy the day at a fundraiser for a local children’s therapy group. Todd and I thought this would be the perfect time to go look for campers seeing we would only have two little ones instead of four. We loaded up the car and headed towards the camper dealership. Our oldest son Devin was in the back with Alex and Eli watching a video while Todd and I figured out what we really needed, not wanted, and how much we needed to spend. Life was about to change but not in the way we expected.
My phone rings. If you noticed it always starts with my phone ringing lol. The number was not one I recognize. I look over and showed it to Todd. He shrugs his shoulders and says “just answer it, probably a telemarketer” I said hello and on the other end in a hurried voice I hear ” Are you the parents of, insert Eli’s birth name,? I am trying to find his adoptive parents” I slowly answer yes, not knowing why she was looking for us. With a sigh of relief she says “Wonderful I found the right ones.” She starts talking about a mile a minute spitting out information and asking questions. I look over at Todd and he asks “What’s going on?” I shrug my shoulders because I still have no idea, shes talking so fast I can’t get a word in. She finally pulses and I quickly jump in and say “Whats going on? How did you get my number? Why are you asking about our son?” She apologies and slows down. She informs me that birth mom has had “ANOTHER BABY” and that as soon as the police show up to escort birth mom and dad out we can come see our newest addition. I almost drop the phone. I look at my husband and he is shaking his head no, repeatedly. I look at my oldest son and he also is shaking his head no. I find my voice and mustard out “I thought she moved out of state? Let me talk to my husband I will call you back in a few minutes”
I hang up the phone. Todd starts in “We said we were done after we adopted the boys. We agreed not to take anymore kids in” The whole time our oldest son is agreeing with him. Once he finished his speech I look at him and say, “Its not a new placement. It’s thier mom. She had another baby” He comes to a stop in the middle of the interstate. Then he looks at me and smiles while shaking his head and says “Can we at least go look at the campers first?” One of the many reasons I love him. As I pick up the phone he says, “Maybe she’s the dark haired girl”
A few months before this I was having dreams of a little dark haired girl. It made no sense to me because Elissa’s hair is blonde but I could not get it out of my head. My oldest daughter and I had went to a Womens conference where you could sign up to sponsor a child. We walked over to the table and there was a little dark haired girl on one of the pamphlets. I thought to myself she must be the one I keep dreaming about. So I signed up as her sponsor. But the dreams kept coming never seeing her face just her hair.
I call the worker back and tell her we will come by the hospital after we finished looking at campers. I explained we were a couple hours out our and she said not to worry we could take our time. She thanked me and said she would notify the hospital so we could get in.
I can honestly say we have never looked at campers so fast. I could not tell you anything about any we did go in. Our minds were on the new little princess at the hospital. We make the trip back to the house were we are met by my parents. I had called them to watch the boys while we went to the hospital.
We drive to the hospital and are quickly greeted by the nurses and given all of baby’s information. We had been told she did not have a name,but ny the time we got there they had found it. Birth mom had scribbled it on a napkin right before she stormed out. We had decided to name her after both our grandmother’s. So that is what the nurses started calling her. She was so tiny,less than 5 pounds, and we were told she would be in NICU for a few days while she went through withdrawals. She shook and trembled but she was beautiful. When I placed her in my husband’s arms he smiled and said “Welcome to the family” When I went to change her diaper I took off her cap. There we saw her hair, her beautiful dark hair and we knew she was ours.
She spent a week in the hospital and came home weighing in at 5 whole pounds. The nursing staff gave her a blanket and a few outfits to help her start her new life off right. She still uses that blanket. Truly an amazing group of nurses. I will never be able to thank them enough.
Her parents had been terminated less than a year before on Eli so they were only granted one visit to say goodbye. One hour when she was two months old she went into a little room at the local DHHR with two workers and her birth parents where she screamed the whole time, according to the worker. After that the process went fairly smooth. We did not have to do visitions or improvement periods so we only seen the birth parents at court hearings. I would give them an update on how she was if they asked and shared some small talk to pass the time. Their termination came quickly because of their history in front of the judge. At the last hearing birth dad asked me “if we are terminated today will you keep her and our son together? If so we will not fight this.” I told him that was my plan and that I would do everything in my power to keep all of her children together (we have 4 of her 5 the oldest was adopted out before we got involved) The hearing was short and as the birth mom left you could hear her say “I will keep having these fucking kids till they let me keep one” the dad said nothing just hung his head low. Sad so so sad.
Normally an adoption from foster care takes between 2 years to 3 years. Elissa and JR’s took us 2 1/2 years from the time he was placed with us and the boys took right at 2 years. Sadie became forever ours when she was only 9 months old. God is good.
She will now get to grow up with her siblings as God intended. She is a beautiful happy baby girl that brings us joy we didn’t even know we were missing. She keeps us on our toes now that she is crawling and trying to walk. She is truly a gift from God.
We never bought our camper. Todd did take the transfer and we bought a house instead. He moved down and started his new job in October while I stayed back and let the kids finish out the school year. After her adoption we were able to move and finally all be under one roof again. Life is good. We are not sure what the future holds for us here as far as fostering is considered. For now we will enjoy our 7 amazing kids. If God calls us to be the parents of another child then so be it. We answer to Him not to those that criticize us for our decisions. When God says we are done then we will be done. I am truly thankful for the plan He laid out for our family. There are times I want to pull my hair out, there are times I question myself why did we take so much on, but I would not change a thing. I love my beautiful chaos and all that goes with it. So if my phone rings again, I am sure we will answer the way God intends. Until then,
From our beautiful chaos to yours enjoy the day God has blessed us with.