Friday, January 31, 2014

Our third Foster Child placement...

There we were, we had just finished taking our Oath with the Judge to complete our adoption of JayJay. We stood up to give hugs to everyone who was in the court room, including JayJays Social Worker. She no sooner hugged me and the words, "you know I need to get an answer from you" came from her mouth. To which I said, "we can't do it".

Four months prior I found out that JayJays biological mom was pregnant. About 45 days prior to JayJays adoption they asked us if they could place him with us, (he had not yet been born). We thought long and hard about it, but at that point in time we were aware that we realistically could not do it. At that moment we had a 18 month old and a 15 month old. JayJay who was 15 months old was also undergoing both physical and occupational therapy. I could not imagine a newborn thrown into that mix.  Then about two weeks later he was born, prematurely, with major medical issues. They of course called us again once he was born, and again I said no, but I also said if you cant find anyone please call me.

Fast forward three months... I was checking my messages on our answering machine when I heard her voice. The voice of the Social Worker, and when you do not have a Foster Child in your home but you have a Social Worker leaving you a message you immediately are overcome with emotions. I nervously called her back, and she explained to me that they needed to find a new home for him (JayJays brother). Again I told her no, but left it open by also saying, if you cant find a home call me back.

They were able to find him an adopt home, and that made both me and the hubby feel good. I would be lying if I told you that I didn't think about him. I hadn't even met him and yet I worried for him. He was after all, family.

Fast forward eight months. We had decided at some point during those last eight months that we were done. Our family felt complete and we were not interested in being Foster Parents. So, we let our Foster Parent License expire. There is an old saying, 'If you want to make God laugh, tell Him what your plans for the future are'. Again our phone rang, again it was the Social Worker, but this time there was urgency in her voice. She again needed to find him a home. There was a Court ordered removal and it was going to happen in less than 24 hours. I told her I needed to think about it, and talk it over with the hubby. She gave me until the next morning to get back to her. All I remember from that evening is that we were up late, and I was going rounds with myself. Hubby was ready to bring him home, I was in turmoil. I wanted him, and yet I was not wanting my "perfect" little family to change. I cried through most of our conversation that night. By the time we went to bed we had decided to welcome him home.

The next afternoon we watched the Social Worker pull up our driveway. We bolted out the door before she was even out of the car. Hubby and I watched on as she opened the door to where he was sitting. I gasped, and literally almost crumpled to the ground. I was hysterical, the type of cry where you are sucking in air and not really breathing out. The Social Worker handed him to my hubby since at that point I had to walk away to compose myself. I was overwhelmed for two reasons... 1) He looked exactly like his sister, so it was like looking at JayJay one year prior (almost like seeing a ghost) 2) I knew he was mine, and he was home.

He was not a perfectly healthy baby, he had actually just spent the past four months in and out of the Hospital. He had a stomach surgery called fundoplication.  Fundoplication is used to help with severe GERD, during the surgery they wrap the esophagus around the stomach and then sew it into place. This then helps with reflux. His problem was that he would reflux and then aspirate, so what was coming up was then going back down, but down the wrong pipe. Causing him to develop pneumonia (more than once). At the same time as the surgery they also installed a G Tube (gastronomy tube) for feeding. A G Tube is a tube that is inserted through the abdomen which delivers nutrition (food) directly to his stomach. They opted to do the G Tube because he was also aspirating during his meals. I was scared more than I can ever describe. I made hubby do all of the feedings the first day, because I was terrified of the process. After about a week I was a pro. I was even starting to get the hang of pulling food back out of his stomach when he would get sick. Don't ask, you don't want to know...

The first four months he was with us were very nerve wrecking. There were a lot of people who suddenly wanted him in their homes. All I could think was heck no! It was quite a roller coaster ride with all of the normal Foster Parent emotions. It was month seven when we received the news that mom had relinquished, and he was for sure going to be able to stay with us.
Three months later he legally became ours.

I think it is important for me to be honest with you. I still struggle with the chain of events from the first year of his life. I know I did the right thing by not taking him the first few times they asked. I had to focus on the health of my family meaning my girls. Bringing him into our home with all of his health issues would not have been good for anyone. That being said, I HATE that he had to go through what he went through the first year of his life. By the time he came to our home, he had already lived in 5 homes. That makes me so unbearably sad. Sometimes that is just how life plays out, and you have no control. This little man has completely changed me, even more than my girls changed me. I now see that God already has my life planned out. Why I thought I was in control, still remains a mystery to me. Clearly He is guiding me. I would have never thought I would have the strength to take care of a medically fragile child, and for that, had they called me with the possible placement of some random medically fragile child I would have said no. If it was not for Him, I could not have cared for my son the way that I needed to. Since the hubby and I have now had our aha moment, we will never let our Foster License expire, because you just never know...

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