Thursday, October 2, 2014

And now, the rest of the story...Part 3

Here we are...3 1/2 months after our first trip.  We have been waiting desperately for a court date.  We knew that if our court date was not set by 11/17, Clarissa was not coming home this year.  That was stressful to know.  Today, we got the news!  October 24th is the day!  We are so excited!!  Sometimes, I still can not believe we are here.  According to the timeline on this blog, we have been trying to grow our family and waiting on God to bring us a child for over 4 1/2 years!  Now, in 24 days, I will officially be a mom.  Crazy!

This all means we travel one month after our court date.  Give or take a couple of days, we will be flying back to St. Vincent on Thanksgiving!  What a way to celebrate a holiday all about giving thanks!!  This time my mom will be coming with us.  Another thing for which to be thankful!  It will take a load off of my mind knowing I have someone with me who has mothering experience.

This also means there is a deadline to get this house in order!  Oh my, let the true nesting begin.

We are so grateful for all of the prayers and support that everyone has given us along this journey.  God could not have given us better friends!  We are still working every way we can to raise the last bit of money for this journey.  I am still booking appointments through my Mary Kay business and every bit of profit from there is going to this.  We have also started a gofundme page.  Any way you want to help would be greatly appreciated!!  We need prayer warriors, we need people who are willing to host a girl's night and be treated to a Mary Kay makeover, and we need people who want to give to our fund.  Please share our gofundme page with all your friends and family.  Where we stand now, if only 100 people donate $65, we will be fully funded.  That really isn't that much or that many people if you think about it.

We are in the home stretch now and can't wait to see how God is going to work.  I know He can move mountains and work miracles!!

And now, the rest of the story...Part 2

Our first trip was a whirlwind.  Whew!  We traveled almost exactly a month after our referral.  June 14-22, 2014.  We took a round about way to get there but we love traveling so that was ok.  A friend of ours very generously donated some frequent flyers miles that saved us quite a bit of money.  We went from Atlanta to Puerto Rico, where we stayed overnight.  The next day...St. Vincent!  From Puerto Rico to St. Vincent, you fly on a much smaller airline, which is pretty much a bus in the sky.  They start from one destination and then make stops at different island.  If it is your island, you get off and others get on.  Going and coming home, we made an additional stop that wasn't on our ticket but by the time we came home, we knew what we were doing. So, finally, after three stops we made it at around 9:00pm  We went straight to eat. HaHa! We were exhausted and starving.  Good thing there was a restaurant at the hotel. Finally, we made it to our room. It was time to get ready for the next day.

I did sleep that first night but not much.  The next day we were going to meet our daughter.  What would it be like?  How was the foster home? What is her foster mom like?  Will she like me?  Will I screw up so much that the foster mom will tell me I can't have her?  The biggest fear for me was...would there be a connection?

I am not a hugger.  I am not overly emotional.  I do not run over to other people's children and start playing with them.  I do not run up to new mothers eager to hold  their babies.  What would I do with this new baby that is supposed to be mine?

I dreamed of this day.  In my mind, it was going to be like those cheesy movie scenes where the two people run towards each other on the beach and embrace.  What happened?  We walked inside and she was taking a nap.  HaHa!  She didn't care at all that we were there.  She was asleep and even if she was awake, she was only 3 months old.  Here is me trying to contain myself and not ruin her nap.
It was all I could do not to pick her up.  I think her foster mom knew that so she told me to go ahead.  She did not have to tell me twice.  I don't think Clarissa appreciated it.  She groaned a little but didn't cry and quickly went back to sleep. Pretty much all of my fears went away.  Her foster mom is so great.  I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am for her.  Her home is well taken care of, aka spotless and full of love and laughter. Our first day overlapped with another adopting mom so the house was full and bustling. The first day was a little awkward for me.  I didn't want a crowd watching if I didn't know what to do with her and so I was a little afraid to fully be first.  I have to say the first time Clarissa slept against my chest, my heart melted.  It felt so normal and right.  Side note: It is HOT there!  We also wanted to make a good impression so we wore jeans and I had a tank top on under my shirt and Paul wore an under shirt beneath his polo.  We didn't want to look immodest or unkempt just for the sake of being cool. So, when she slept against me, we bonded emotionally (on my part anyway) and physically through the sharing of sweat. I knew she was mine!

For many reasons, that was a long, draining, wonderful day that I will never forget!

We got to spend Tuesday-Friday with her.  It was great.  Her foster mom taught me how to give her a bath, let me change her diaper, and feed her. Paul even got a poopie diaper.  On day three, we really bonded when I was greeted first thing with a poopie diaper, got peed on during the bath, and made her cry "bloody murder" when I didn't get her dry and warm fast enough.  Every day we kept her awake a little longer and got to coax some smiles out of her.  Her foster mom gave us space to just be with her and made us feel so comfortable.

Friday, I didn't think I could give her back.  We told our driver to come and get us at a certain time and I knew the best thing was to stick to that time and leave.  It was a wonderful day.  She laughed and smiled with us.  We walked her around the yard and talked to her.  I think I kept letting Paul hold her more that day so I could distance myself.  Towards the end of the day, it was all I could do to keep myself together.  I am crying now while I am writing this post.  We tried our best to keep her awake for as long as we could.  We knew that was over when she got fussy.  I rocked her to sleep in my arms just like I had done all week.  I tried my hardest not break down.  I knew I was coming back for her but I couldn't hold back the tears.  I held her while she slept and then our driver arrived.  I put her down in her bed and had to walk away.  I think that was the hardest thing I had ever done. I hugged her foster mom and the lady she had there to help her.  We all had tears in our eyes. Before this trip, I never knew how in just 4 days I could love someone so much.  I didn't speak much to anyone when we left.  I would pull myself together and then out of no where, I would just lose it.  In the car, in the hotel room, on the plane, and after we got home.  It was sad that when we got home, life had changed and not changed.

So in my last post, I said a lot has happened and not a lot has happened.  Here is the "not a lot".  After all this excitement, we came back to life.  And waiting. And waiting.  Waiting for paperwork to go through and waiting to hear about a court date.

And now, the rest of the story...Part 1

It has been a while. A lot has happened and not a lot has happened.  That does make sense, just wait.

So, in regards to our adoption journey, let me catch you up.  Sometimes it is easier to keep everyone updated through Facebook.  Just type out a quick status and everyone knows what is going on.  That is probably why I have let this go.  I want to take time and fill in more of the story. This would probably be a pretty long post but I'm going to break into a couple of parts.

As most of you already know, we have a REFERRAL!!  I remember watching other adoption blogs and longing for the day that I would make that post.  I remember thinking "just a few more months" and "maybe next year will be our year".  Well, it has been a long time coming.  So, after one failed adoption, a few fertility treatments, and a lot of waiting, here is our story...

We have been in the St. Vincent program since November 2012.  We got our paperwork together and went on the waiting list around June 2013.  Now, May 13, 2014, Tuesday after Mother's Day, my cell phone rings.  The caller id said it was our social worker.  I was not expecting a call from her so my mind immediately said, "this is bad".  I, mean, why wouldn't it be with our track record?  I was on the home phone with Paul at the time and quickly let him go with a promise to immediately call him back and let him know what is going on.  I answered and our social worker was pleasant and asked how I was doing and then started reminding me of what she told us at the beginning.  Even though our preference was for a girl, she would let us know whenever any child became available, just in case we changed our mind.  I instantly broke out in sweat all over.  Is this it?  Is this a referral call?  It can't be!  Just a couple of months earlier, we had a check in call.  We went over where we were on the list (3) and I joked with her about hearing from her long before our USCIS expired.  She laughed and said, "I hope so too but don't expect it."

She finally said, "I guess you just want me to get to why I called."  I think I chuckled and said, "yes please."  Really, it might have just been a grunt because all I remember is being really hot and not able to breathe.  She proceeded to tell me that we were #2 on the list and 2 children have just come available.  Oh my goodness!!  This IS it!  I was told about the children and I tried to write down every word.  At this point, we had to discuss both children and determine what we would do in case of any scenario.  We had no idea what the family in front of us would do.  One of them was a baby girl, not quite 3 months old.  I couldn't believe that God had brought us everything we had asked for.  I thanked her for calling (probably in a giddy, breathless way that made no sense except in my own head) and called Paul.

"What did she say" were the first words out of Paul's mouth.  "We got a referral!"  He was in disbelief and so was I.  We just laughed for a little bit and then I told him about the two children.  We discussed a lot of different options and even asked if we could adopt both.  The next night we were at church early and waiting on a call from our social worker.  That night we accepted the referral for the little girl and never looked back.  We immediately starting planning our first trip to meet her.