Friday, February 27, 2009
Another Gottcha Day???
We are celebrating another adoption day. Two Years and one day after we brought home Leanne, Cameron and Justin we got another call. This time it was for little Miss. Katie. The way Katie came into our lives is a true testament to God. She was an answer to my prayers and it is unbelievable (and a little funny) how this precious little girl came home.
I must start by saying that in Ohio when you are first licensed to Foster or adopt you can not have anymore than 3 children in your home for 2 years, unless they are siblings. After having the kids for about a year I was really starting to feel like or family was not complete and I really needed a baby. I knew we had to wait 2 years, but I did begin praying for our baby. I didn't know if she was already born or not, but I prayed anyway. I asked the Lord to protect her and to bring her to us at just the right time. I was also praying for Chad since he thought our family was complete. He also didn't think a baby "was a good idea". He thought I would get attached and be very hurt if the baby was reunited with her birth family. Which I am sure would have been true.
Because we had not finalized our adoption of our older children we were still having weekly visits from our caseworkers. Since Chad worked during the day it was just the kids and I home when the caseworkers visited. Early in February I casually mentioned to them that we really wanted a baby. We wanted a healthy baby girl, with no addictions, no medical issues, no siblings, straight from the hospital and going straight for adoption. They laughed and said good luck and that we may have to wait forever. I told them that was OK, I was prepared to wait and had plenty of time. Since my husband was still on the fence about adopting again I thought I had time to sway him to my side. Exactly 17 days later, the day after our second Gottcha day, I received "the call".
This is exactly how the conversation went:
Caseworker: "Lacy, I have a 2 day old baby girl..."
Me: "I will take her!"
Caseworker: "Calm down, I have to read you the entire referral first. Two day old baby girl born... blah, blah, blah, blah........
Me: only hearing newborn baby girl I again blurted out "I'll take her!!!"
The caseworker said she would put our name in and to expect a call from the county agency sometime that day. I was on pins and needles the entire 5 minutes it took for the county worker to call. She asked me a series of questions including how I felt about helping to reunify the baby with her biological mother. I am not sure exactly what I told her, but I was thinking I will do anything to get that baby into my home. She told me they were considering 4 other families and that they would call my agency soon and let them know if we were chosen. About 45 minutes went by before they called again and I was FREAKING out waiting for them to call. I prayed and cried and prayers some more. Finally the phone rang and it was the county worker again, she said she had a few more questions for me. Finally she said "we have chosen you and your husband to foster the baby. Can you be here in an hour?" Of course I could be there in an hour. I just needed to find someone to watch the kids, get a car seat and call Chad and tell him we were getting a baby. Now, please don't think I bambozzled my husband into taking this baby. It was not that he didn't want a baby, he just didn't want his wife hurting if they reunited her with her birth family. I lined up a sitter, borrowed a car seat and called Chad. We had the following conversation:
Me: "Chad, I need you to come home and pick the kids up from Malissa's."
Chad: "Where are you going?"
Me: "To pick up a baby" laughing
Chad: "Sure you are. Where are you really going?"
Me: "To get a baby!" still laughing
He thought I was joking. He said he would get the kids, but he honestly thought I was kidding.
Chad called me while I was on my way to get her. He asked me where I was really going. I again said, I am going to get a baby. He said "Lacy, I told you it is not a good idea. You will get attached and it could end badly." I assured him that I was in fact not going to get attached. I was only going to like this baby a lot and take the best care of her I possible could. He said OK and I continued on my way to the hospital.
I was so excited walking into that hospital carrying that empty baby seat. I walked up to the information desk and said "I am here to pick up a baby!" The old man behind the desk looked at me like I was crazy and said "excuse me?". I repeated, "I am here to pick up a baby". looking like he should really be calling security he he directed me to the maternity floor. When I walked off the elevator a nurse at the desk said "are you the foster mom?". It must have been the cheesy grin on my face along with the empty car seat that gave me away. I quickly told her "yes" and she escorted me into the nursery. I walked in and looked into the little bassinet and asked "is this her?" when they told me yes, I burst into tears and exclaimed "she is the most beautiful baby I have even seen in my life!" They handed her to me and asked if I wanted to dress her in the outfit I brought. I asked the nurses a few questions, signed some papers and we were on our way to the car. The nurses strapped her in while I talked a little more with the caseworkers. I felt so euphoric, yet at the same time I felt like I was stealing her. It was so emotional for me. Once I had her in the car I pulled around to the back of the hospital, parked my car and got out to look at her again. I just wanted to touch her and look at her. I called Chad from my cell phone and said "She is the most beautiful baby ever. Chad, I love her already!". Chad being the optimist said "I knew it wasn't going to be a good idea." I assured him it would be fine because she is OUR baby I could just feel it.
On the way home I had to meet our caseworker. It was a rule of the agency that they see each child the first day they were placed in your home. I met him at Babies R Us since I also had to get bottles and a few other baby essentials. My youngest was 4 years old, I didn't have anything for a baby. The caseworker held the baby and talked to me as I shopped. I was only there a few minutes and we were on our way home to meet the family. When I arrived home I took Katie out of her car seat and carried her wrapped in a blanket into the house. When Chad came over I pulled back the blanket for him to see her and he said "I love her too!" It was at that moment I knew for sure this baby was meant to be ours. I knew that children's services wanted to reunify her with her bio mother, but they were wrong. This baby belonged here in our family.
For the next 18 months children's services tried everything they could to reunite Katie with someone, anyone, in her biological family. We, along with our family, our friends and our church prayed for God's will. We prayed that Katie would be placed where the Lord wanted her. I will admit though I was guilty of praying that she was supposed to be with me. During those 18 months she visited with her biological mother weekly. Katie never bonded with her and spent most of the visit screaming and crying. She wanted me and I wanted her. During the last few months of her visits, there was a court case going on. The paternal rights were terminated and we were able to apply to adopt her. The adoption worker wanted us to finalize Katie's adoption on National Adoption Day. However, that was less than 3 months away so we had to work fast. We completed our paper work in record time, as did our adoption caseworker. Our court time was set for 3:00pm on November 15, 2006 National Adoption Day. When we arrived at the court house there were so many families finalizing at the same time. The court house was decorated with balloons and they had refreshments and gifts for all of the families. There was media there interviewing families for newspaper articles and taking pictures. It was such a blessing to see all of these children being excitedly adopted into families that day. We were joined by family and friends. There was not a dry eye in the court room as the judge announced Kathryn Dawn was now a part of our family.
Four years later I can still feel the emotion of that day. We are so blessed to be Katie's family. We love this little girl so much. Even when I thought I would never have a baby to love, the Lord was preparing Katie for me. When I thought he was ignoring my prayers he was orchestrating each step in the adoption process and opening every door at exactly the right time. I thank the Lord for bringing this precious little girl into our life.