I have been journeling mostly about our adoption journey and our family for a few years on an adoption website. I’m ready to move on.
I won’t try to update much. Just a short introduction.
I am married to the love of my life, James. He is a busy small animal Veterinarian. My name is Lori and I’m a stay at home mom to 3 amazing children. Mikayla age 12 (our competitive gymnast), Cady age 8 (our free spirit/artist and horse enthusiast) and Everett (our never ending source of joy and energy) age 2 1/2.
Its been a long journey of love and loss as we entered the foster adopt world. We did not want to be “foster” parents we wanted to adopt. Along the way we became foster parents to 7 amazing children, some for only a few weeks and a few very special children for much longer. 7 out of 8 foster children placed with us have moved on, most have been reunited successfully with their parents, there have been a few sad turn of events and losses deeper then any of us have imagined. Despite the pain, this journey has lead us to having Everett in our family, the miracle and blessing he brings to us is worth doing it all again. Knowing and loving and reaching, even for a moment, each child we have loved is worth doing it all again. Everett’s adoption has not been easy, its had its twists and turns but we always felt he would be our forever son. We are hopeful for Everett’s adoption date on National Adoption Day, November 15th.
When we finalize Everett’s adoption we will also be homestudy ready and submitted with an agency in NYC for our 2nd adoption. We are currently ending the paperchasing, homestudy updating, physicals, financial statements, endless questions, fingerprints, background checks…..all that entails becoming ready toa dopt. Our adoption worker wants to begin working on finding a match mid October. She explained that timing is everything and one never knows unless you are looking back how the chain of events lead to the child meant to be in your home. Oh how true that is when we look back. Without details I can tell you each placement of children we took as foster parents lead to Everett becoming our son.
We plan on naming our baby Emma Ruth. We have never been into traditional names but after several spiritual moments and whispers I felt this is to be her name. Ruth is my mother’s name and Emma is a family name on my side of the family.
I’ll try to take this journey forward from here, but I may have to retrace some of our steps for reference.
Our journey towards adoption has been a spiritual journey and one of the most difficult leaps of faith we have taken. It began several years before Everett came into our life, at a small orphange on an island in the Caribbean. I went to this orhpanage one time with some members of our church. That one time turned into several times a week for 2 years. I loved and left 24 amazing children on that island. It was during a visit to the orphange that I first was inspired to know that we would one day adopt and that this child was African decent. Then we had several spiritual moments during these years knowing and feeling our son would come to us through adoption.
Forever seared into my memory after 2 years of getting to know each of the 24 children by name, reading to them, snuggling the little ones, helping with homework, sitting on the porch with the girls taking turns trying to “plait” my hair and giggling because it wouldn’t “stick”, singing with them, hugging and loving them, praying for them…I drove away for the last time never to return we were leaving the island, it was our last day, our last night, our last moment there. The little ones running barefoot down the street after my car shouting my name begging for one more minute. It happened every time I left the “children’s home” and every time it was hard, but this time was the hardest. I knew it was my last. I watched them from my rear view mirror until I couldn’t see them anymore and the tears blurred my vision. I never got over that and I never will.
After our first really hard loss as foster parents I went into mourning. Only I didn’t just mourn him, I mourned each child I had loved and left behind. I would listen to the song and know that he, along with all of the children who touched my life, would forever leave an impression on my heart. I will never forget any of the children we have loved and lost. I am blessed to have known them, they touched me and left me a better person.
The minute I met Everett I knew he was the child of my dreams, the one I knew would come. In time I had experiences that lead me to feel another baby was going to come to our family through adoption, feeling her around me, knowing she was very anxious to come.
This is a sweet and miraculous time for our family. With the blessing of adoption in our life there is a bittersweet feeling. Everett’s mother’s rights have been terminated for some time now. His adoption will be a celebration, he will no longer be a “ward of the state”. He will have a family on paper not just in our hearts. We are planning a huge adoption party! The sadness is joy for him and for our family.
Working with an agency that I really beleive in, our next adoption will be somewhat different. This mother will choose to place her baby in our home. How hard to choose something because you feel it is the best thing for your child knowing it will bring you pain, its not a pain I can understand. I can understand what it is like to love a child like my very own, to feed them, to hold them, to care for their every needs, to have them look to me like I am their saving grace, their mother, and then to release them and let them go. I know that I will never fully let any of those children from my heart, the ones I held, the ones I stayed up nights with, the ones I fed bottles to, the ones who looked into my eyes and smiled at me when I entered the room, cried when I left them, you don’t let go of that kind of love you can’t. I do understand that. I am a firm believer in the miracle of adoption.
I know little about Everett’s birth mother but enough to know she was intelligent, in college on her way to law school when her life fell apart. I know she was beautiful and that everyone who talked to me about her very much liked her. These are people who don’t generally speak kindly about birth parents, GAL’s (law gardian’s assigned by the court to represent Everett’s interests), Social Workers, attorney’s, burned out and used family members…they all spoke of the sadness at her bad decisions. Many in her family called a “waste” of a life. I know better, because Everett is a miracle and anyone who gave him life is not a waste. So while some of what Everett’s birth mother did makes me angry, she stepped away, she allowed us to adopt him. I am and will always feel a deep sense of love and gratitude for her.
Can’t wait to put up our family pictures and to chronicle the rest of our adoption/parenting/life journey! I will be back soon. This is my therapy.