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Monday, February 23, 2015

Our Exclamation Point!!

As one of our sweet friends said today "Baby Boy is the exclamation point to your family".
In other words he completed our family and in a very exciting way!! I always refer to his homecoming day as the biggest SHOCK and most JOY we have ever felt at one time.
We never thought we would be able to adopt a newborn. We didn't necessarily want a newborn, we wanted kids who weren't wanted....sibling groups, mixed race kiddos, those who been passed around the foster system.
In the same breath we also wanted to keep our kiddos siblings together and so when we found out that there was a half brother up for adoption we didn't even hesitate. In fact, just as God had physically prepared me for our first two with achy arms and visions of their names, he completely prepared me for Baby Boy. He put those aches back into my body and he also gently nudged us to say NO to another baby boy (who was not related to our kiddos) 2 months earlier.
Baby Boy was a drug baby and had to spend a lot of time in the hospital detoxing, going through seizures and being closely monitored. At the same time our foster care license had gone into remission, meaning that we could activate it with one or two classes and a new inspection. So after an 8 hour class on drug babies, side effects, medications needed and overall care.....the quickest home inspection ever in which we were forced to get rid of our trampoline....and an awesome group of church members who put together a nursery and baby proofed our home in 1 day...we got Baby Boy.
He was around 2 weeks old and from the minute he arrived his presence was known. CPS knew that we didn't have a clue what we were doing with a 6 year old and 18 month old...in fact at Ribbit and Goober's adoption hearing, our case worker told us that we were the youngest couple she had ever worked with but also the most changed from day 1 to adoption. We thought we had it together though from the start :).
With Baby Boy no one was fooled, we all knew that we had no clue what to do and that this was going to be different from our first adoption. Baby Boy does have the same mom as our first two but unlike our first two the supposed dad was still in the picture. He nor their birthmom had given up rights and he had family that wanted Baby Boy. We were so torn as to whether or not we should tell our kiddos that this was their brother. There was a 50/50 chance that he wouldn't be ours to adopt after several months...which we couldn't talk about without water works.

We decided to tell our kids though because we wanted them to cherish any time they did get with their brother. This also opened up several wounds for Goober and he had all sorts of questions. "Why does she still want him, but not me?" "Why does she give up her children" " Why did she name him _________". Things got even worse when she was granted a visit by the court......
The worst day of our lives happened when he was 5 weeks old, still considered a foster child, still taking a bottle with meds in it every 2 hours, even through the night. We begged to be allowed to drive him 2 hours away to have the visit but we were denied. We begged to have another judge deny the visit but it still happened. We had friends volunteer to run away with him for the day....WE LOVE YOU FOR THAT ;). But that day came and ended with an Amber Alert being issued for our son.

Our 5 week old son went missing and no one could tell me where he was, not our adoption agency who put out the alert, not CPS who later would have charges pressed against them by our agency and fined. Not even the CPS driver who showed back up several hours late with him and told me to "calm down, you are just the foster mom"....she saw the worst part of this mama bear, closest I have ever come to slugging someone. 
All we know is that he was breastfed with drug milk, fed french fries, broke out all over his body the next day, ended up back at the doctor and our privacy, confidentiality and safety of our other two children were all compromised.

That day was awful for all of us but especially for Goober who several times was in the fetal position in his bed worried about policemen, his brother, what his "mean mom" may do to him and why Mom was screaming in the front yard.

After that all court visits were denied, even though she kept requesting. We wouldn't have allowed it anyways. We would have gone to jail rather than to hand him over again. Eventually her rights were removed and we were granted his adoption. My hearts prayer was that he would be a part of our forever family by his first birthday, Feb. 24th. We drove to his adoption court hearing on Feb. 22nd, were told the judge called in sick and so we waited for another one to hear our case. It was the longest, most exhausting day in court ever but we left as an official family of 5.
God has taught us many things through this little bundle of joy. He has taught me to seek him late at night....my nightly time with Baby Boy soon became times of prayer and worship. He has taught me that my children are precious and mine, I am their best advocate and He is their best protector. I have learned that all children come with baggage...even bio kids and that those who scoff at adopting "drug babies" haven't witnessed what we have with our 3 miracles. All they need is a chance, an honest fighting chance. A stable home, lots of good nutrition, someone who will take them to the doctor, someone who will tuck them in, someone who will clothe them warmly, someone who will speak about the redemption of the Lord into their lives.
I am so thankful to the Lord for my little exclamation point, my curly headed source of daily Joy and the shock to my system that I so obviously needed 3 years ago!
So HAPPY GOTCHA DAY to Baby Boy and EARLY BIRTHDAY to my Big 3 Year Old Man!!



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