Some stories are so easy to tell and the beauty of life rolls off of your tongue. Foster adopt stories however, are extremes of beauty and heart wrenching pain. I struggle to make my personal story short enough for a blog write up but here’s my best summary:
Riding in the back of a cop car as a preschool teacher with a student being removed from their parents is a memory neither of us will either forget. I say neither of us for sure because he is now my son. I never dreamed I’d take students home with me but I did! It was supposed to be short term and as a single gal I was ok with that. Just trying to do the little bit of good that I could and they needed a home.
Of course there was other messy stuff like what they were dealing with, other placements before me, and figuring out life as a parent overnight. Not to mention all of the team meetings, counseling appointments, strangers coming into my home all of the time, and court hearings. What I was told would be “3 or 4 months” continued into years. I lost track of the days and months between it all.
Etched in my memory are two dates. The first is the day they came to live with me with 2 small bags between 3 boys, February 15, 2012. Ages 2, 3, and 4 with the unknown fear seen in their eyes. The only other day written forever in my heart is the day they were adopted and through love and a judge we became a forever family, September 11, 2015.
It was a long journey of lots of sickness at first, figuring out the security of love, hiding food, starting counseling to sort through the icky stuff for them, getting their basic needs met, and moving past the beginning points. I definitely had hope in the beginning that they would be reunited. Of course, I advocated for what I thought was in the best interests of the boys for daily matters, but I never went into it intending to adopt them. I waited until their biological mother had long since relinquished rights and we were into the state terminating their father's rights before they point blank told me they needed a decision.
By then of course I’d fallen head over heart in love with these children, but I was protecting myself because I didn’t want to break my own heart and decide on adoption and then get it yanked out from under me. It was after I said my decision out loud that I started experiencing physically troubling symptoms.
As six months went on my symptoms got worse and by the end I had a constant headache, strained vision, numbness, couldn’t use my left leg for a whole day, strain in my neck, trouble sleeping, couldn’t concentrate, and more.
Finally, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. If I’ve ever experienced a moment where the wind was taken out of me this was it. I had to step back and decide if my decision to adopt was still best for our family of 4. Not the situation I figured would yank the bottom out for us but it did. I did infusions to kick me out of my remission and got set up on regular medication. My life was much more back to normal and I decided I was able to still be the mom for my boys that I would always want to be.
I was also blessed enough to get engaged to a wonderful man along the way who could love the boys no less than I. Now time flies between the life of teaching, boys’ sports, school, homework, family trips, and days at home. Some days go by and we even forget our beginning for a while, but we still struggle with pain from time to time and when we don’t have the answers we turn to those who do and God. Unfortunately through a long list of events no contact is allowed between the boys and the biological parents for their well being but we talk of them as often as they like.
I am passionate by nature and cannot stop myself from caring too much. “I will burn for the things I love” (Mia Hollow). I do not know my life story until God reveals it to me. I’ve learned to not plan how I think things should go because I would have never guessed my story as the one written above, but I couldn’t have written it any better! <3