Very early on in our journey with S we knew that it was in gods plan for him to be in our lives forever and us to be in his, we wanted to move forward with the process for adoption. However, S had just been through a very traumatic experience and due to this experience our agency wanted us to wait before we moved forward. Although his wounds from the situation he went through may never heal we agreed that it would be best to wait to move forward, allowing more time to heal and the agency to be completely positive this was a good fit for everyone.
After about 2 months of S living in our home with weekly visits (this is not normal for foster care) we got the green light to schedule a full disclosure meeting. A full disclosure meeting is a meeting where potential adoptive parents meet with everyone on the foster child’s team to go over everything in his history packet and ask any questions. Typically this meeting is done before the potential adoptive parents meet the child but our case is much different. We met with about 12 people ranging from caseworkers, support staff, supervisors and one of the foster families that had S previously. For anyone going through the process in a traditional way this meeting would be a huge benefit and full of great information and assess if they would like to move forward. However, since he had already been in our home for so long, we had already received answers to questions we had and there was nothing they could say that would make us change our minds. To be honest, it was kind of a waste of our time and it was more so a meeting that we were filling them in on things that have changed with S. We were asked to wait a few days to let all the information sink in. (Which although we respect the process, there wasn’t much to let sink in). A few days later we were able to sign the letter of intent to adopt!
So it’s official……
Although we were so exited we couldn’t fully celebrate yet. The agency wanted to wait longer to tell S that we where the chosen ones, we were going to be his forever family. We scheduled a time for them to come out weeks later. On June 11th, 2018 both his foster care social worker and his adoption social worker came out to tell him the news. As we sat around the table his adoption worker started the conversation. As S listened he acted completely disengaged in the conversation as he played with a toy and would not make eye contact with her and when she asked questions he would respond with something completely off topic. This is very typical for children in foster care when they are having this type of conversation. His foster care worker then tried to talk to him about it through play with the toy alligator he was playing with and he continued to not make eye contact or respond as we all had kind of been expecting due to all the conversations we have had previously as explained in, Are you my Mother? Yet we were not surprised either due to his experience he had just months prior. After watching them struggle, S quirming in anxiety and Brandon looking at me with concern, I knew I had to try something. I spoke up and said, “S, do you remember all the times that you have asked if we are going to be your mom and dad forever and if you were going to live with us forever?” He made eye contact with me. “Do you remember that we said mommy and daddy want you to live with us forever but we have to wait to see what your workers decide?”, I continued. He partially nodded his head. I said, “Well they are here to talk to you about what they decided. Can you tell me what their choice is?” A big smile came across his face and he stated loudly “I get to stay here forever!” It was a great celebration after. We all had cake and ice cream.
For my bridal shower I received a bottle of sparkling juice to drink to celebrate for our “first baby” I read the card aloud and he said “I’m not a baby but I’m your first kid!” and we all drake it together to celebrate being a family. As the week went on S has gotten so much more comfortable knowing we are his forever family. Last night I asked if he wanted to pray before bed. Typically we read out of his kids bible but we couldn’t on this night. As I explained that first we should tell God all the things we are thankful for and then ask for help with things. To be honest, I was nervous about what was going to come out of his mouth but beyond a few silly things his prayer was beyond what I was expecting for a little boy his age. I looked at Brandon in shock and tears swelled my eyes as he started out his prayer by stating. “Thank you god for sending me to this house and giving me my mommy and my daddy”
Mommy and Daddy… that is what we are and soon it will be official. Through love and faith we are a forever family.