Yesterday was little man's story. Today is LeeLee's story (not her real name, just the nickname I've begun using with her!)
When N was about 18 months old, we were ready to begin the adoption process again. I mean it took so long the first time and I really wanted my children to be born in the same decade, perhaps! So, we began the mountain o'paperwork process. We got our medical clearance, our financial statements, our employer references and proof of salary, we had our pastor's reference letter and letters from our friends - all to prove that we in fact could succesfully parent a child again and outfit the said child with diapers, formula, and the mountain o'toys!
Quite honestly we were less consumed the second time around - we had a boy child that we were busy raising after all and so it took us about 6 months to fill out said paperwork. Then, the waiting to wait began.....
There weren't enough prospective adoptive couples with paperwork turned in to hold a seminar (required to adopt) so we waited and waited and waited. I gently and then NOT SO GENTLY began to bug, uh move along our social worker. We were ready! So, finally the first week in June - about 8 months after submitting our paperwork, we were ready for our seminar.
Again, much more relaxed this time, we were able to laugh and joke around with other perspective parents and enjoy this part of the process. We noticed you could completely tell the first timers apart from us repeaters just by the expressions on our faces. We met our friends Becky and Steve at this meeting. How fun to travel up to Dallas and meet a couple from your hometown who also had a little boy and were waiting for #2.
The summer went by pretty fast (as summers always do at our house!) but then things began to happen for other adoptive families from our seminar. There was a couple who matched and ultimately adopted twins, Becky and Steve were matched (and ultimately it failed) and we were growing restless. But, still parenting that sweet boy!
About this time is when my anxiety attacks showed up for the first time. I was so focused on that and trying to get thru life that I forgot about the baby desperation for while (plus how could I take care of a baby when I couldn't get thru the day myself!) As I began to feel more normal at the end of the fall, we went to Dallas for my dad to get his pacemaker/defibrillator installed. While we were at the hospital, we received a call from the social worker.
A birthmom was interested in talking to us and one other couple. We had been down this road before and knew this didn't mean we would get chosen. The other times we'd been in this situation, the other family was always chose. But...you can't help but get excited. We sat in the car in the hospital parking lot and spoke to this young lady on the phone. Her baby was due in January (only 2 months away!) and was a boy. We got excited.
The next day as we were getting ready to head back home and my dad was ready to check out of the hospital, my brother and his wife announced their 3rd pregnancy. Now, we really thought it was meant to me, after all they had announced their 1st pregnancy the night we matched with N's birthmom (see yesterday's post). But, not long after my cell phone rang and it was the social worker. The birthmom had chosen the other couple. I was devastated. I couldn't grieve alone in my own home, I was grieving there in front of my whole family and facing the news of my brother's 3rd child when I couldn't even have 2 children. I was jealous and not very nice - I only cared about myself and my pain. N saw me crying and came over to love on me as only a sweet little barely 3 yr old boy can.
The entire trip home was one of tears. I couldn't understand the rejection yet again, why were we not good enough?
Time went on and I was to rejoice just weeks later as Becky and Steve brought home their sweet little girl. Then at the January support group meeting, we saw "our" baby, the couple who was selected was there with the newborn boy. That was hard, but on we went.
On March 10th, we received an email from our agency about a perspective birthmom who had come in for counseling very late in her pregnancy and they wanted to know who was willing to have their profiles shown. I was convinced this was our baby and even said so to Lance. Several things had happened that week that began to clear off my calendar and it all pointed to the fact that there was a reason for this.
On Tuesday, March 15th, the social worker called to let me know the birthmom would be calling that night to talk to us. She had chosen us, but wanted to visit some. Lance was gone that night with the youth, but I was ready to talk. I sat by the phone that night and when it rang I was so excited, but it was N's birthmom. I told her what was going on and we quickly got off the phone. I promised to fill her in later. The call never came....
I went to work the next day and was distracted. I had already told my coworker Jennifer to be prepared for me to leave because of the events of the day before. She was sitting in my office when the phone call came from the social worker. The reason A hadn't called us the night before was because she went into labor. Sweet relief! She still wanted us and she wanted us to head to Dallas. The baby hadn't come yet, but it would soon.
Jennifer and I quickly went over everything on my desk, I went to lunch with a friend that was already planned, and of course I couldn't talk about anything else but my sweet baby girl!
Lance was gone with the youth again that day (it was Spring Break) and so I ran home to pack and get everything ready! It was so fun to pick N up at school that day and say, "we're going to get your baby sister!"
Again, this time there was a peace that this would happen.
When we got to the hospital, my parents were waiting to meet us. They were their to watch N while we met with A. Unfortunately, that day she wasn't prepared to meet with us. The next day we did get to meet her, her parents and our sweet baby girl - she was beautiful - head full of dark hair and oh so tiny.
LeeLee's entrustment ceremony was held right there in the hospital. It was simple, but sweet nonetheless. Our parents weren't there this time, but N was and it was a beautiful time for our brand new family of 4.
Our family was now complete - the ache was gone from my heart!
Lots of other things happened over the weeks to come, but those are LeeLee's stories to tell when she is older. She is blessed to have an older half-sister Rachel who lives in Houston and we are thankful to God for her and her family.
I love what my friend Kathryn posted on yesterday's comments. She said, "I love to see how God puts families together - He is so creative." and yes, He is! All along our adoption journey, we would have so done things on a different time frame - and yet, if we had, we would not have our two sweet children. We would have had a completely different perspective on life. They have forever changed us and our family. Thank you God for having the best plan for us!