“Baby, I will always wuv you.” –LittleMan as he wrapped his arms around BabyMan this morning.
Fostering is not easy. I don’t know how people do this over and over again, but I am so thankful that those kind of people exist. There are so many unknowns with the system and the circumstances of the situation. Yet, in our little corner of the world, in the day-to-day, it’s like we find a way to make that all disappear.
Many people have asked us, “How can you do this?”
My answer is, “I’m not sure.” So until we know how, we love completely, knowing that this selfless love could break our hearts. We allow LittleMan to love completely, trusting that if he loses his “baby brudder” we will find a way to help him cope. We live like this because, if we didn’t, we would go crazy! We try to just be a family, to just be parents to two amazing little boys. I’m not saying that there are not times when all of the “what-ifs” don’t creep up and completely overwhelm and overtake me, but I am finding a way to work through them. It’s getting easier to do as time passes and we realize that patience is key AND no amount of worry will change the outcome here. We take it a step at a time. We trust that there is a reason we have all been brought together and we know that God does not make mistakes. Truly, that’s the only way we are making it through these uncertainties.
Our visits with TummyMom have been reduced from twice a week to twice a month. That has made it easier to “forget” the situation for a longer stretch of time. It has taken that glaring reminder away. It has also made life feel more normal. We aren’t spending over 2 hours in the car twice a week. We aren’t constantly feeling like we are ‘sharing.’ I don’t want to share too many specifics of the situation on here, given their sensitive nature. Please, just pray for the BabyMan and all who love him. There will be a lot of decisions made by a lot of parties in the coming months, pray that HIS best interest is the focus of ALL of those decisions. In the end, that’s the most important thing we can ask for.
We were engaged on September 1st.
My birthday is September 1st.
We got married on October 1st.
Our ‘dating anniversary’ is December 1st.
And we just found out that we are adding one more milestone on August 1st.
We will be in court at 8:45am to finalize Little Man’s adoption! He will officially become a Rummel. All of the caseworkers and other reminders that it’s not ‘official’ will be gone FOREVER!
We can just be a family….FOREVER.
We couldn’t be more elated. It typically takes six months to go to court. But, as the stars continue to align and God continues to bless us, we will be finalizing after only 4 months and 3 weeks of formal placement! *pinch me*
One of my biggest struggles right now is dealing with the fact that this whole ‘adoption thing’ still isn’t technically over. At least not from an agency and paperwork point of view. In our hearts he is our son, through and through, forever. Which is why it’s so frustrating to have to continue to call social workers with updates, deal with medical assistance, write his old last name on forms and have regular visits from the social worker. I think what I hate most isn’t the fact that when I call the insurance company they say they aren’t ‘authorized to give me information’ and it isn’t the fact that a social worker has to sign consent for anything medical…it’s the fact that each of those things I CAN’T do reminds me that it’s not over. It reminds me that there is still a ‘watchful eye’ that belongs to a system that I don’t trust, at all. It scares me. I know that at this point we are the only ones that could change anything by saying that things aren’t working out. But, it still makes me anxious.
I just want it DONE. I want to be a family on paper too. I want him to officially have our last name, I want him on our medical insurance and I just want to be a normal family. Not a ‘pre-adoptive’ family. I don’t want to explain to everyone that ‘he was just adopted or is in the process of being adopted.’ I just need for him to be mine, for now and always.
My skin crawls when the caseworker says, “He is in the county’s physical care and custody.” Really? Is he? You change his diapers. You give him ‘uppy with mama.’ You know what his favorite car is, where he’s ticklish, what his ‘I’m pooping’ smirk looks like. You have his favorite bedtime story memorized. You buy his 4 pounds of grapes a week, extra wide shoes and toy cars with doors that open and close. You’ve taught him to talk and climb the big boy ladder at the playground. Really…it’s you that provides his care…ok.
I’m just done. I know I am his mom. I am thankful to be his mom. And as much as I hate this system, I am thankful it brought him to me. But, they’ve done their job and now they need to go. I thought six months would go quickly. We are almost half way there. But…it’s just not fast enough.
We spent the night with our sweet little man. Fed him Chinese….based on his ability to house Lo Mein and then proceed to sit on my lap and fart for ten minutes, I assure you, he’s going to be just like his daddy! In all seriousness though, he warmed up to us right away again. He reached for me to hold him right after we got there and was very snuggly and lovey for a little bit. It’s crazy to see how much he’s learned in just two weeks time. He’s repeating EVERYthing now when asked and has started feeding himself with a fork. Of course, about half way through it was more fun to dump the dish, eat with his hands and use the dish as a hat,
but hey…that’s what makes being two so much fun, right?
After lots of playing and giggling his foster mom (who is undoubtedly an angel and whom I will owe for the rest of my life) offered to let us put him to bed. Of course we obliged…
After a bedtime story, a great snuggle and a few lullabies (poor kid…my melodious voice must have been a shock to the system!) we tucked him in with a promise that it was the first of many ‘good nights and sweet dreams’.
It all still feels like a dream….our son, our very own perfect, sweet,
smart, silly, son…. How are we this blessed??
Now we sit here on our couch, in our quiet house, with no toys on the floor to trip over, no stray Lo mein on the floor…. And with our hearts left outside our body, tucked safely into his crib 25 miles away..
Just got off the phone with foster mom who finally got in touch with the county caseworker. (Foster mom is amazingly persistent and for that we are so thankful). Basically the judge listened to testimony all day regarding this little guy and an older sibling and then at the end of the day mom contested. He ruled that he would not be hearing her testimony and would have a decision by the end of the week. At this point the caseworker said she can see no way that her rights won’t be terminated but nothing can move forward until that is all finished.
The good news is the foster mom talked to the caseworker about us and she seemed very happy to hear that we were willing to adopt and that all of our paperwork was done. She even found our home
study while she was on the phone with the foster mom and said she
would review it right away and see that her supervisor got it and
knew about us and our willingness to adopt. She made it sound like she was going to give us some priority.
At least everything is in the right place and we’ve confirmed that the
right people are aware of our love and commitment to this little guy, that’s progress.
So today we have some renewed hope…but, once again, we hurry up and wait…
I know that everyone has been checking in for an update…wish we had one to give. The hearing was Friday but the social workers did not return calls to the foster family on Friday so we continue to wait. Once we know that rights were terminated (crossing fingers and toes) than hopefully we can know a little more about the timing of the process for choosing his forever family. Waiting is HARD.
I could get on my soap box right now and tell you how messed up it is that a system in place for children protects no one other than their incompetent, irresponsible parents (if you can even call them
that when they have seen their child twice in two years). But, I’ll spare you and I’m fully aware that being bitter at the system doesn’t change anything. My main concern here is HIM, he deserves his forever family, whether that is us or someone else. He deserves them NOW so that they can start bonding and start making new memories. Don’t get me wrong, he has the most wonderful foster parents you could dream up, but they aren’t forever and he deserves forever. This ‘system’ has played with his life for long enough, now its time to do what’s right for HIM.
Praying today for patience and that this sweet boy has a forever mommy and daddy, fast! And of course praying that we might be that mommy and daddy…
We know everyone is checking in to see ‘what’s up’ and get an update. Unfortunately, there isn’t really one. We have written our letters of interest to the case workers explaining why we think we would be a great match. Our social worker should be mailing our home study/family profile tomorrow. The foster family is writing to the case worker to advocate on our behalf. Those two letters and the fact that we have met him and will be continuing to visit him over the next few weeks are things that none of the other interested families will have. We are hoping that that at least gets us an interview. Once all profiles from all interested families are collected they will interview the top 3 and the make a decision in his best interest.
I can’t even imagine the nerves and complete stomach knot that wil exist for that interview….
This is not for the faint of heart…wow. It is truly like our hearts are walking around outside of our bodies right now. I guess since adoption doesn’t allow for all the ‘pregnancy hormones’ that give you ‘maternal instincts’ this is the way it is done. We already feel protective, we are in love and we are learning a key to being good parents…..PATIENCE. Right now it’s a matter of hurry up and wait.
Thanks for your prayers and continued support, it means the world