|Here is Gabby with her |
foster brother AJ
|Gabby at 2 with Grammy Alice|
Unbeknownst to me, God was directing paths to converge, starting with that picnic. That same day, an adoption social worker called Mary, unofficially, to ask if I'd noticed Gabby. Of course I had and Mary told her how I'd been so excited to know if she was available to adopt. The worker let Mary know the situation about the department being angry at us and that they were hesitant to let us adopt a child now. I guess when you mess up, take it out on the ones who suffered for your mistakes, huh?!
Anyway, once she told Mary that, Mary placed a phone call to the supervisor of the department. She told him in no uncertain terms, that he better make sure that we were able to adopt this baby if she was available to be adopted. If they didn't she and her husband would quit doing foster care that day! Do NOT make a Hispanic mama mad about her babies!!! Needless to say, the adoption worker paid us a visit before long to ask if we'd like to adopt Gabby! :)
Things seemed to crawl after that but looking back, they moved quickly! We met "Grammy Alice" soon after when we did respite care for one of her foster babies for 2 nights. This baby was a few months old but looked newborn and was on a heart monitor. She barely kept any food down, her reflux was so bad. And she was super sensitive to touch. All thanks to the gift of meth in her system in utero! I'm happy to report that she's a happy, healthy teenager now, but I vividly remember not sleeping for 2 days while she stayed with me!! Grammy Alice was Gabby's foster mom. As a nurse, she usually only took very medically fragile children into her home. She said Gabby was the first "normal" kid she'd had as a foster parent!
|Grammy Alice's sweet note on finalizing our adoption|
Need I say more?
After we came back home there was more waiting. It seems like adoption is all about the wait. In the movie "Shadow Lands" CS Lewis makes a reference to a bleak winter and feeling discontent, calling it, "This waiting room of the world". Sometimes it feels like that. Going through the motions of daily living while really I'm in a waiting room, waiting for the real story to begin. We filled out paperwork, took classes, and waited. After a year we got a placement. Before we could finalize, the child was sent back to her birth parents (read the post "Alyssa" for the story). Heart break. More waiting. Now, months later, we were waiting again but hope had reared it head!
on her head!
|Gabby and her cousin Madeline|
I'm sure Gabby had an adjustment phase with moving to a new home, but other than crying when I left her alone with Tony the first week or so, we didn't notice it! She just became the center of our joy! 3 days before her 2nd birthday, we finalized her adoption. We declined going to court because, although we loved the adoption worker, the less we had to see the other workers from the department, the better. Now I regret that but I think we were holding on to a lot of anger from losing Alyssa still.
|Dressed up for Pioneer Day in|
3rd Grade complete with
American Girl Doll
From age 1 until her 12th birthday, she was an only child. Now, while we didn't spoil her materially and are definitely on the firm side as parents, being an only child gives you a sense that you are the center of all. The day of her 12th birthday she became the oldest of 4 children when we brought Will, Lydia, and Madi home. I know it rocked her world but today she is the best big sister I know. She has helped them find their imaginations and loves to play with them.
|With Pink Bear who after 12 years|
is a rather grayish pink!
*Not their real names