Little man was born on July 24, 2013, and was placed with us on August 1, 2013. He spent his first week in the NICU going through withdrawal and wanted to be held all the time once we had him in our arms. We had no contact with the birth parents until the first mediation meeting that was held December 19, 2013, to discuss the surrender of his half-sibling for adoption with another foster family. I will never forget the first time I laid on eyes on the birth parents–or the emotions that went through me.
For a few weeks, the birth father tried to visit, but he couldn’t keep up with it all, and by February 2014 he was talking about surrendering–but it would be 12 months before he actually did surrender.
The birth mom was adamant about not surrendering, but couldn’t keep herself clean. She was in and out of treatment programs and saw him only a few times. She missed most mediation meetings and finally surrendered April 1, 2015, to avoid going to trial.
We had two bonding evaluations done–one for the state and the other for the birth mom’s attorney. Both doctors felt that we were the best place for the child.
We had numerous doctor appointments–orthopedic doctors for club feet, infectious disease doctors for a blood disorder (that he turned out not to have–thank you, Jesus!) and a urologist that we are probably going to have to go back to this summer.
We fought for him to be evaluated for PT through early intervention and had a therapist work weekly with him starting at three months old. At a year we asked for a speech eval to be done and he started six months of weekly speech therapy. He tested out of both last month.
We’ve taken him to Disney, to the lake, to family celebrations and friend’s picnics–he goes where we go, and it’s been a joy to watch this little 5 pound peanut turn into a 23 pound toddler with a winning smile and an infectious belly laugh.
Yesterday we were supposed to have a good-bye visit that the birth mom requested from the judge when she surrendered her rights to us…and she didn’t show. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. There are so many things that I would like to say to her, but it all comes back to THANK YOU.
I’m so thankful that she carried our little boy to term. I’m thankful that she chose not to abort him. I’m thankful that she went to the hospital and had the safest birth for him she could. No matter what little man asks about his birth mom, I will always start with how thankful I am that she chose LIFE for him.
And because she made that choice, we will have a SON.
How can I not be thankful for that?
We have started on the mountain of paperwork that the state requires, and it’s daunting to say the least! We have to get fingerprinted (again!) and have medical clearances done on our family. We also need to get little man in for a medical evaluation and to have a liter of blood drawn for lots of blood testing–but it will all be over soon and it will be so worth it when we can finally call him ours!
Aurie Good is a mom of 5 incredibly adorable kids who keep her hopping all day long. She’s given up on eating a hot meal, showering without kids banging on the door and has yet to finish a sentence without interruption. A reluctant homeschool convert, she now homeschools her 2 daughters Sophie (10) and Isabelle (8) year round, and somehow manages to keep up with the laundry, dishes and everything else. A passionate advocate for foster care, she and her husband have been foster parents for the past 7 years and adopted their sons Samuel (4), Isaiah (2) and daughter Penelope (1) from the foster care system. When she’s not locked in the bathroom eating chocolate, you can find her blogging at ourgoodfamily.org.