The Call……

16
Nov
2012


We began the process to get licensed through a private Christian Agency in the local Seattle area.  We also started a bathroom remodel for our upstairs bathroom that would be shared by ‘more’ kids.  We knew it needed to be done, but now we made some specific changes to accommodate more kids in our family as well as considering making one more bedroom.  It was an exciting time – waiting in anticipation.

In the midst of our bathroom remodel we got our first placement, a newborn – straight from the hospital.  I thought God had answered my prayer, the one I had been praying intensely – my desire of a newborn/very young baby.  This is unusual in foster care, but I learned further that a newborn is just nearly unheard of!  My husband felt it was not our time, since we were in the middle of the remodel – but after a few hours (you do not have long to make these decisions!) we made a spur of the moment decision to say yes, even in the midst of our bathroom being torn apart – I mean the baby didn’t need to use the bathroom! 

Baby – Oh Baby

We were so excited and our world turned upside down.  Imagine within a period of 4 hours going from our youngest child being 10 to now a brand new 3 day old baby in your house!  Before baby M arrived, I ran to the local store and grabbed some diapers, bottles, blankets and clothing.  I remember the terrified feeling I felt when I opened the door and there was this little boy – so small and just waiting to be loved.

Normally you have a few months to adjust to the life of a newborn – not a few hours.  And even though I had been a mom a few times before, there is nothing you can anticipate about being thrown into this type of situation.  I was scared, excited, motivated and thankful.

This particular little boy was actually #5 of his siblings that had already traveled through the foster care system.  So unfortunately the likelihood that he would stay and end up awaiting adoption was pretty high.  The odds were already against him and his mother. But, we were excited, yet cautious, because we knew we wanted to adopt and if he could come into our home and stay we would feel ultimately blessed.

I cannot give a lot of details out, but the forecast for this little boy was up and down during the time we had him, whether he would eventually be free to adopt was a long way down the road, but we had indicators that led everyone to believe that it was highly likely.  So we prayed, waited and nurtured this little guy – Matthew.  Which by the way means, Gift of God.

As the weeks went by, the indicators were revealing more and more that Matthew would be with us for the long haul.

Baby Matthew was in our home for a total of 3 weeks.  We sadly experienced first hand the withdrawal symptoms of a baby who had been exposed to Meth while growing inside a mother who could not overcome her addiction.  An agitated little guy to say the least.  He could hardly get settled, required constant holding and the sleep I ended up getting was only a few hours at a time while he slept on my chest.  (Not my finest moment for a photo!)  I had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into.

I struggled to survive – especially taking care of the rest of my family.  My husband was traveling for work and I was left at home to deal with the child in our family who had been adamant about not doing foster care.  The tension in our home was intense.  I was exhausted and hardly able to function.

But, what I was able to gain was the knowledge that I could truly fall in love with a child that I did not give birth too, honestly I had questioned that in myself.  But just as we began to get ‘used’ to this new little guy in our home, we got a call telling us the state wanted to move Baby M to another home closer to his other siblings.

Devastation

I could not believe this was happening, the one thing I knew I could not handle, having a child in our home and them leaving.  That is why we were cautious about placements and truly only wanting to take a foster to adopt type case.  I felt like I had been sucker punched in the gut – I didn’t know what to do, I was angry at God – He knew this was the one thing I told Him I couldn’t do – letting a child go who was in our home.  I felt betrayed.

The day we said goodbye to Baby M was one of the hardest days of my life.  This was the first time I had seen my husband cry – we were devastated and grieving just like we had a death in the family.  My husband even took the time to write a letter to this little boy, who hopefully he would read one day – who knows, but it made his heart feel better to share our hearts with him.

We were to leave on a family vacation traveling in our RV to Yellowstone, Glacier National Park and Mt. Rushmore.  We felt this was a time that we would use to grieve, heal and find our strength again. I wrote a post during the midst of that time and shared my heart.

But you know, God brought us through it all, helping heal our hearts and showing me that yes, I could survive a child leaving our home, that He would be there walking alongside us as we clung to Him for strength.  I kept hearing very clearly, “It is not about you Susan.”

We waited…nearly 4 months with very few calls for possible placements……it was very hard for me, I was ready ……then got a call about a 12 month old little boy.  Were we interested in him.  I said yes!  I met him, his biological family (great aunt, great grandma and mom) and we began the process to transition him into our home.  He came into our home permanently shortly before Christmas.

What a gift.  {To be Continued….}

Come back tomorrow to see what happens next!

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