Monday, March 3, 2014

Adoption Part 2: Paperwork, Paperwork and More Paperwork.

I ended Adoption part one with Joel and I selecting to restart our Adoption with Gladney.  Gladney has long been offering to help families through the gift of adoption.  They help unwed mothers with support and counseling to help them make the best decision for their unborn babies.  Gladney just recently started a Program known as New Beginnings.  New Beginnings aids couples with adopting through Foster Care but does not have a Foster Care department.  The lack of being a foster care provider means to us that Gladney is in it to help kids get adopted not to make money.  The only cost to the adoptive families is the $1500 in lawyer fees (which most likely will be taken care of by the Texas Department of Family Protective Services).  This was a huge bonus to us.
We got all our initial paperwork and interviews completed  so that in January of 2013 we were able to immediately take the training courses and get our adoption on the way.  This meant even more loads of paperwork, doctor visits, finger printing and more interviews.  Ahh it was FUN!  Just kidding.  This phase took us months.  From January until Summer.  FInally we were done.  Our file need a full review by a separate department.  At some point our case worked had her vacation, which i of course was totally understanding about.   Finally August 16th, 2013 we were an approved adoptive placement home!  YAY!  Now to wait some more…
I immediately emailed our worked several sibling groups that I found online- Please Submit us for these kids.  Then on September 16th, 2013 along with several other sibling groups we were submitted for our boys.  It took a long while, then we hear that there will be a Selection Staffing to choose the right family for the boys.  Then the CALL.  "You have been selected!"
"WAHOO! So when can I pick them up?" I asked.  It isn't that easy.  The CPS case worker requested that we speak with the current foster parents(this is not typical).  We had the call and immediately let all parties know that we were still ready to go forward.  Really? They were concerned.  You do realize these boys are both Specialized levels of care.  Meaning you have to supervise them 24 hours a day!?!  Yes, we did, and yet we think that we are ready for the challenge.  Now CPS wants us to observe the boys so that we can see for ourselves what we are really getting into.
So during Christmas vacation we took Ross, Edith, Sofia and Brendan and headed into Dallas to meet the foster family at a park and observe the boys.  As I was standing there and my mother spoke with the foster dad, my soon to be middle son, came up to me and says, "I got to tell you something."
"oh yeah?  What?"  was my friendly reply.  Did CPS really expect me to ignore this child- not going to happen.
He proceeded to tell me about his first mom.  It was not easy to hear.  The kids were hungry and the foster family had plans to go to McDonalds so we asked if we could join them to get some more insight.
Upon arrival at the McDonalds by the Dallas Zoo we met up in the playroom.  The kids all went about eating and when my middle son finished, he came up to me again.  This time he had millions of questions about my camera.  I let him take a few photos and he requested I take some of him teaching me to surf on the alligator.  My heart was BURSTING!  It was so hard not to pack him up into my car and take him home.
As all parties were dispersing I noticed that Ross and Brendan had been playing with Caleb.  I had not told Ross what we were doing for fear he would say something to the boys(the boys were not yet told about us).  I asked Ross with whom he was playing?  When I asked, "Do you think that was your brother Caleb?"  His reply was priceless, "I was playing with my brother and I didn't even know it!?!"  Adorable, absolutely adorable.  I asked if Caleb had been nice, what they had played and if he still wanted him for a brother.  Ross told me I didn't have a choice, it IS his brother.
The hard part was not just having to leave the boys, but seeing how so heavily medicated they were.  I didn't even know these children and I could see it so clearly.  How my heart ached.  This threw me from rushed to panicked mode.  I needed my boys home- NOW.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

On Being Thrown

Eight months ago, I was a mom to one angel in Heaven and one spitfire here on Earth.  Jacob and Ross.  Then tragedy struck two kids I have loved dearly since before Jacob and Ross.  So in June I jumped into my Auntie role.  It was an adjustment- and it was just summer! Then School started.  Wahoo!  My type B, artsy personality had to learn a few new tricks.  Then it happened.
Adoption happened.  We finally got to have our boys come home.  Older and Younger.  So now, I am mom of three boys.  two school aged and one still at home and Auntie/Nanny to two big kids.
I went from mom of one preschool laid back easy going spitfire to mom of THREE.  In an instant!  flip the switch!  Now GO!  AHHHH.  I have had the difficult task of learning how to get up because we have to leave the house by 7:30.  Ross and I slept till after 9 most days so this was a huge shock to my body.  I was merciful and let Ross adjust naturally.
One day I am sleeping past 9, next day I am up at 5.
One day I am productive as my spirit leads, next day I am forced into early morning chores.
One day I spent chilling on the couch with my four year old, now I have three fighting for my cuddles.
One day I ran errands when I was in the mood; now I do it or it may never get done.

What a 180.  God threw me and I'm am stumbling to get onto my feet but I am definitely making progress everyday.

My life has completely changed.  Now for trying to keep up!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


He is here!

The Arrival!

After a few days of wondering what our fate would entail we now have an answer of sorts. Jacob Marlowe arrived Wednesday March 19th, 2008. After drama about a water breakage or two my OB decided the best course of action was to CSection him out- much to my disapointment.

He's in the NICU for a few weeks they tell me... I am praying for less because I believe in Miracles!

Adoption: First Installment!

It has been a long while.  Today my sister Caryn called and asked me to write our adoption story for her.  SO I thought our family blog would be the place.
We dated during our senior year of high school.  At some point it came up that Joel's step brother was in a group home.  I didn't know what it was and thus began conversation about orphanages, foster care, and group homes.  It was a huge eye opener for me.  It was then that I said that one day I was going to adopt kids from foster care.
Fast Forward eight to ten years, Joel and I are married, and just moved to Texas. (This is when our older adopted son was Born) I had been ready to have kids for A LONG TIME.  We discussed our family planning process and decided that we would adopt before we birthed any children.  We looked at agencies and decided on Arrow Project. We filled out paper work, attend classes for weeks, were finger printed. Then Labor Day 2007, as Joel is in the back yard it comes over me, I'm late.  Hmm.  Yipee I'm pregnant.  A few days later I called our worker and happened to mention that I am pregnant.  WHAT!?! She said we would have to put our adoption on hold!  I was DEVASTATED!  Why does this child in my womb preclude us from giving a home and family to some very well deserving kids?
We learned our new one was to be a boy. (And now our younger adopted child is born). Jacob was due to arrive May 10, 2008.  On March 19th Jacob had to be delivered.  He was with us for six weeks, on May 4, 2008 Jacob died.  I've never known such devastation.  to add to my ache I knew that Arrow or any agency would make us wait at least year before restarting our adoption.  I was devastated because I  felt that I made my kids wait a year by getting pregnant; now we have to add another year!  I was so Frustrated!
Then the fall of 2008- we are pregnant again.  Another boy- Ross Jacob.  He arrived June 2009.  At this point we decided that maybe God wants us to have our birth children first and then adopt.  We decided that rather than begin the adoption process again we have attempt to birth the last baby my doc said my body could handle.  When Ross turned 3, June 20012 I looked at Joel and said, "I don't think this is going to happen."  We mull over our family planning ideas, yet again, and decide that maybe we should walk both roads simultaneously: Adoption and Birth.
We had moved churches and some of our friends were adopting through Gladney.  They were happy so we thought lets see how Gladney's process compares to Arrow.  Gladney had training compacted into less time than Arrow, so we chose them.  After all, all groups pull from the same pool of kiddos.  A year after our beginning, we are home, with our kids.

Family Planning

Sitting in bed with the stomach flu.  Guess now is as good a time as any.  Well,  for about 3 years Joel and I have been feverishly working to have another child.  In that time we know of only one pregnancy. It was my ectopic last October.  In God's gracious timing it was while my parents were here.  They helped transport me to the doc, entertain Ross Boss and replace all our houses windows.  Amazing!  God gave me Amazing parents.
In the last year I have been working with my doc on a very limited basis to figure out what our issue is. Here is the deal.  My next step in the 'getting pregnant' process is to take hormones.  But alas we are both undecided.  How do we know which path is right?  If we have another baby will we allow it to  limit our adopting?  I have always thought that if it doesn't  happen naturally then it wasn't meant to be.  I don't know that I am correct.  I am just lost.  Sin affects our world.  People die; I know that all too well.  So is a lacking fertility out of God's design?  Which then changes my stance.
I am all too happy to skip the infant stage.  Ive done it twice and after my life experience it is not happy memories.  It was a time of great stress(well at least it was with Ross; with Jacob it was surreal).  Maybe I do it one more time to show myself it doesn't always end in tragedy?
Joel said that he wants me to start our adoption process.  We did the initial application and have orientation Tuesday.
I think all my stress is a wish for His answer.  I would like to know the plan he has for us.  More kids?  How many?  From where?  How long will it take?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Our First Meeting

It was supposed to be time for us to observe the boys.  CPS wanted us to see the boys in action before we could give another, "yes."  But much to my surprise, once Caleb spotted me talking to his Foster dad, he began speaking to me. I mean, what was I really supposed to ignore him?  I think not!

"I got to tell you something." Caleb
"oh yeah? What is it you want to tell me?" Unknown to him, His Mommy(me!).
"When I was born I only at fruit from fruit cups."

Thus begins a huge Highlight to my week.

From the park to McDonalds we went.  Upon arrival at Mc Donald's we spoke with foster dad.  I got out my camera in hopes I could catch a few shots.  Caleb came right up to me, he wanted me to take some pics of him.  Then he wanted to take some photos himself.  I even got to sneak in some video of him. 

At one point he sat in my lap while we were taking pictures of all the kids in the Mc Donald's playground.  IT WAS SPECIAL!

Arthur was busy playing so I didn't get to spend time with him like I did Caleb.

At one point Caleb went and was playing a good bit with Ross.  All the while Ross didn't know this Caleb was his new brother.  When I finally told him, he was comical!

"WHAT!?! I was playing with my brother and I didn't even know it!?!"
 A Totally Great Day!