So, we had J1 for about 4 mos when we learned that his Tummy Mommy (we prefer that over birth mom) had given birth to another boy. Her lifestyle had not changed and, in fact, by the time the state called us, she had already disappeared. It wasn’t that she didn’t love her children, but she is so totally without skills to parent. I think she gets so completely overwhelmed that it is just easier to disappear and let someone else take care of her children.
We never hesitated about our decision that, if J2 was available for adoption, then we would do everything we could to make sure the brothers were together.
Even though the Tummy Mommy was out of the picture, they system would only work so fast. So, while we wanted him the moment we heard about him, we learned that it would be awhile. At first, all we knew was that J2 was in a medical foster home in the Portland metro area. But eventually we were given the foster mom’s phone number. I have my notes from my first phone calls with Laurie somewhere. After a few phone calls (I hope I wasn’t a pest!) Laurie graciously extended the invitation to come visit J2 and her family. It was a neat experience. Not only did we get to meet and hold tiny J2, but Laurie and her family were a joy!
One visit, we went along with them to J2’s doctor’s appt! I imagine that was something to see! One dad (Doug was at work), one mom with a toddler, and another mom with an infant (J2) and a triple stroller and a few more kids! lol But it was so neat to hear the Doctor give us an update on his withdrawal experience and development. The Doctor seemed to roll with the fact that J2 had two mommies! lol
In December of 1996, Laurie and her family were planning a vacation over the Christmas break. Laurie worked it out so that we would be her respite foster parents for J2. So we were going to have him for 2 weeks! We were pretty excited about that. But then someone realized that we could just make the permanent transition from her home to ours. After all, we were foster parents at that point too. We weren’t considered his adoptive placement home (that would come later) but he could live with us as foster parents. To be honest, I have NO idea who instigated it or even if it was acceptable. But we were beyond excited!
On December 13, 1996, Laurie and her family drove to The Dalles and brought us the best Christmas gift! We ordered pizzas and tried to make it more like a visit than anything really formal. But as Laurie explained to me about his medications and feeding needs, I struck by the enormity of what we were doing! I was going to be Momma to 2 boys – ages 23 mos and 3 mos old. Laurie shed more than a few tears that night – I could only imagine how hard it was/is to pour so much of yourself into a little one knowing that it’s only a temporary situation.
Those early days of two babies is sort of a blur now. But fortunately we have some videos and pictures to help us remember. Maybe I’ll see what I can do about scanning some this summer!
There is so much more to share….3 more children…many moves….lots of stories! But today there is no more time. More soon – I promise!