may 21-25

May 21-25 was one of the most stressful, exciting, anticipation-filled, roller coaster rides of a week that we've ever had!  There are parts of the week that I can't share here, but I need to get the rest of it down on paper before I forget.  It was a great week.  It was also an incredibly hard week.  And it already feels like a lifetime ago.

A little background.  We had spent the previous 6 weeks or so becoming certified through Koinonia Family Services in order to get a wee babe that had been born very early and whose biological brothers were adopted by a girlfriend of mine.  We thought he would be in the hospital for a good 10 weeks or more and that we would have plenty of time to have most of our certification complete by the time he was able to come home.  We would have been wrong.  He was only in the hospital for 5 weeks because he eats like a monster and gained enough weight to leave early.  The plan had been to have him go home with said girlfriend who would act as the emergency foster mom until our certification was complete and allow us to start bonding with him by having him with us during the day.

May 21:  I get a text at noon, just after I left the house to pick up the girls from riding lessons.  It was from my girlfriend, K, and it said, "Social worker is calling you right now!!!!!!!!!!  Baby is ready to come home!!" I think I responded with, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!"  :)  So the county worker calls me and asks if we're certified and I'm thinking she already knows about the situation so I explain it again and she says, "Ok, well thank you, but I have a few other families I need to call that are already certified."  umm, what??  So I call K and tell her and she calls her workers to see what can be done, but tells me not to worry and that she'll get everything ready to go get him.  We don't hear anything else the rest of the day.

May 22:  I call the sw first thing in the morning to see if she'd made a decision and to explain our situation again....I tell her we're moving really quickly to get certified and that K will gladly take him until then, etc, etc.  She tells me again that she hasn't made a definite decision, but she's leaning toward placing him elsewhere.  At this point, I kind of lose it and start sobbing on the phone.  I feel like I'm pleading with this woman whom I've never met to please let me have this child and hoping and praying that she realizes that the only reason we started this process was for him, specifically.  That he's already loved even though I've never laid eyes on him.  While she had been somewhat dismissive in our earlier conversations, I will say that at this point her tone with me changed completely.  But when we hung up, I didn't feel a lot better about our chances.  That night we went to our final certification class and I tried to hold it together.

May 23:  I call her again {at the urging of friends and other social workers} at 9 am and she tells me, "Sorry.  I've definitely decided to place with this other family.  It's nothing personal, I'm sure you're a great family, but they're already certified."  I called K and she says it's not over until he's placed.  We don't hear anything else all day.  The girls had spent the night at a friend's house and Jake came home early so we went out to lunch.  I cried the whole time and he finally asked for to go boxes and we went home.  I spent the afternoon cleaning horse pens and being angry.  It was not pretty.  My poor husband.  At about 3:30 he yells from across the yard, "I think I hear someone talking on the answering machine inside...it sounds like your mom."  I finish the pen I'm cleaning and then walk into the house, wash my hands and push play on the answering machine.  It says there are 4 messages and the first one that plays is this social worker, "Hi, Cheri!  I'm just calling to let you know that there's been a change of plans.  I'm placing the baby with you!"  And then I think she said some other things, but I didn't hear them over my own screaming!  I pick up my cell phone and see that I have about 4 texts from K and several missed calls from our Koinonia sw.  I call the sw, but she doesn't answer so I return the call from Koinonia and she says, "All I can say is, you're prayers work.  I don't know what happened, but we were told you weren't getting him and and hour ago she called and asked how fast we can have you certified because she's giving him to you!  I'll be at your house at 7 tonight and we'll start your home study!"  Then Jake and I called our moms to tell them what was happening.  We had not told them {or the girls!!} a single thing until now. We wanted to know for sure that it was going to happen before we told very many people.  They were completely shocked and ecstatic!

May 24:  At one point during the week {I don't remember which day} we found out that bebe wasn't actually in the hospital anymore, but had been in an emergency foster home for 2 weeks.  We weren't clear about whether or not they were going to place him with K or keep him where he was until we were certified.  K was definitely our first choice, but we were trying to just be grateful that we would be getting him eventually.  I went to pick up the girls from my friend's and then we were going to run some errands.  I had not allowed myself to buy a single baby item until this point.  I had been trying not to get my hopes up {and failing miserably, by the way!}.  We were driving down Rosedale Hwy and K calls me so I pull over to talk to her.  She tells me that the sw had just called and said she was placing him with her and we could go tomorrow at 1 pm to get him!!!  She told K that I was welcome to come and that I could spend as much time as I wanted with him while he was in her care....the only rule was that he could not spend the night at our house.  I got off the phone and turned to my girls and asked if they'd like to have a baby brother.  They were so excited that I wish I'd had a video camera. :)  We spent the rest of the day shopping for him!  When we got home they made signs {which are still hanging on my bedroom door} that said, "Welcome baby brother!"  That night Jake and I finally made a decision about his name....we agreed it would be Levi Jacob.  I don't think I slept at all this night.  In fact, I think I had slept about 4 hours total since Tuesday night!  :)

May 25:  Jake left early this morning to go out of town.  :(  It had been planned for a full year and a friend was flying in from out of state so they could go to this rodeo together.  I promised to text him pix as soon as we picked him up.  I dropped the girls off at my mom's and then K, another girlfriend, and I headed to DHS to get our boy.  We had been a little worried and friends had warned me that sometimes the emergency homes are not the best.  Sometimes the kids come with nothing.  He might be dirty.  I was trying to brace myself for the worst.  We walked into DHS and see a woman with a car seat and a huge bag of baby items.  She looks like she could be one of our moms.  She smiles and waves to us and points to the car seat and I think the 3 of us all let out a collective sigh of relief!  We sign in and walk over to her and she pulls back the blanket to show us the sweetest, tiniest little boy I've ever seen.  By this point, a couple social workers are standing there with us and a random foster mom who happened to be in the waiting room {she was hilarious and just joined right in!!}.  The emergency foster mom took him out of the car seat, handed him to me and said, "I gave him a bath right before we came.  He wanted to smell good for his mama."  How do you thank someone for that?  How do you thank them for taking care of your child and loving on them until you could come get them?  All I could get out through the tears was, "Thank you!"

We're all so in love with him and now that's it's been 5 months since he came into our lives, I can't imagine how we made it without him!  It seems like he's been here forever.  We're so thankful!

Blog Archive