One more lovely story to share for Foster Care Awareness Month! This comes from my friend Betty who adopted sweet newborn baby Lucas. Little Lucas had a rough start but he is a true testimony to what a miracle modern medicine is and how far love of a family can bring you! Thank you Betty for sharing about your sweet miracle boy …….
We got married young. I was 20 years old and he was 22. He was in the military and I just followed. That’s what you do when you’re in love. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes infertility. Wait, no. Well, that’s the truth for some. A sad, painful, yucky truth. We tried for a little but then I just knew that I didn’t want to get involved into fertility treatment and the heart ache that came along with it.
Then in 2011 after my husband came back from deployment we asked a couple from our church who had just adopted about their adoption journey. We had always wanted to adopt and we thought we would do that eventually down the road when we could afford it. We didn’t know about Fos-Adopt and how that would drastically change our lives for the better.
We were excited. We were overwhelmed. We were “ready”.
When we started the adoption process in the summer of 2011 through a local agency named Hope 4 Kids we were ready. I remember filling out the paperwork for our homestudy. We were excited and overwhelmed. We took things slowly. We took our time to fill paperwork out and when I say that we took our time I mean we took like six months to fill it all out. Was it six months of paperwork to be filled? No. For some reason we didn’t feel that need to rush on our side. I do remember one specific moment during those six months that was particularly hard for us. It was the Child Desired sheet. That’s when it hit us. We were told time after time “don’t expect a baby” by our social workers. Adopting from the Foster Care system is different than most private adoptions so that meant that there were a lot of older kids waiting to be adopted. We went in thinking that we weren’t going to adopt a baby so our age range was 0-5. We went through that Child Desired sheet prayerfully. That sheet mentioned HIV+, Down Syndrome, Children from incest, Autism, CP, and it went on and on. I’ll be honest that at first I was terribly afraid to say YES to every single one so we didn’t say yes to every condition. But as time went on and we waited for our social worker to complete our homestudy we felt Jesus tug at our hearts to say yes to any and every health condition. We figured that if God placed a specific child in our lives with any health condition that He would provide the wisdom and resources to care for this child.
Months went on. January 2012 came along and we turned in all our paperwork to our social worker. It was all on their hands now. We were told to wait about a month or so to get the ball rolling but things didn’t turn out that way. Then it was March. I was getting desperate. My heart ached. My period would come and remind me that there wasn’t a baby in my womb or in our home. The day I cried in pain due to heavy menstrual cramping was the day the child I didn’t know would be mine took his first breath. It was not until three months later that I would find out about this little miracle (more on that in a bit!).
Finally some news on our homestudy. Our Adam Walsh clearance was being held back. And finally… After months, it was clear. Our Homestudy was ready and we were ready to put our homestudy out! A few days later my husband and I go out to celebrate the beginning of our adoption journey over sushi. While we’re inhaling sushi I got an email from our wonderful social worker. Baby R needs a family. Attached was a medical report filled with a bunch of medical information that seemed overly complicated for my tiny brain to comprehend. I read that there was a baby with severe medical issues; meth exposure in the womb, born at 23 weeks, born 1 day before his scheduled abortion date, breathing complications, etc. We talked it over and emailed our social worker and said “YES! Send them our homestudy”. That moment is when this little baby had a hold on me. Suddenly over sushi we had a new name for baby boy R, Lucas. The next day I couldn’t function. I wrote down a list of things I needed for this baby. Was I going nuts? ABSOLUTELY. I mean, this child wasn’t technically ours. The social workers hadn’t picked us but here I was making lists and buying a $20 crib I found online. This child had become a child of my heart in every sense of the word. My heart would ache for him. I would pray for his little body to be healed. I would even pray for his future family even if it wasn’t us. I would find myself crying at random times of the day for a child I had never even seen a picture of.
Meanwhile we waited to hear from Baby R’s social workers we were told about another little boy. He was almost three and had leukemia. We said yes again, submit our homestudy. A few days later while I was at the vet with my furbaby I get the call from my social worker that they were currently picking a family for this little man. His social works had questions for us. My heart raced. Suddenly I was planning the room for this little man. Dinosaurs? I think yes. Green room or blue? An hour later I got another call from Mary, my social worker… We didn’t get picked. His social workers said we were too young and that my husbands military job was too unstable for a child with severe needs. My heart was instantly broken. I knew that this would be a challenge: our age and being a military family but hearing it made me feel hopeless.
My social worker notified me that they would be picking out Baby Boy R’s family June 7th. The day before I found myself in the empty nursery building the crib crying my eyes out. I knew in my heart that God was calling me to build that crib but logically I knew that this would be a recipe for disaster if we didn’t get picked. June 7th came along and I rode the emotional roller coaster more than I’d like to admit. One moment I felt peace and certainty and the next I was looking at adoption websites in other states to adopt teenagers. Then 4pm rolled around and I get a call from my social worker. “Betty, you guys were matched with Baby Boy R” is what my social worker said. JOY filled my heart! I wasn’t crazy after all! This little baby was meant to be ours!
It took weeks that felt like months until we were able to see him.
Then a day in late June we walked into the NICU and got to meet our baby boy. He was so tiny, so fragile, and so precious. I didn’t know how to safely hold him while he was attached to a bunch of foreign tubes and cords but when I did, I didn’t want to let him go. I slept in the NICU overnight while my husband drove back home to San Diego. The next day the bonding continued. I held my tiny baby boy on my naked chest for some skin on skin contact and then it was time to let him go. My little man was getting an eye surgery and I had to let the dr’s and nurses take over. My second day of being a new mama was rough. The child I had longed for and had only held for a few hours was now getting surgery and I had to wait. I saw my baby strapped in wires and tubes. I couldn’t touch or hold him for the next few days and I felt helpless. Hours after the surgery my little boy was turning blue and the monitors were going off. I thought I would lose my child. I cried as the nurses rushed in to help him and I just wanted them to help him but I also wanted to be the only one to touch him. Months before being matched I had prayed to God that if He wanted to give me a child who was sick and if this child passed away because of a sickness that I would be okay because at least he/she would’ve had a family to call their own. Flash forward to Lucas’s surgery, my child is turning blue, I can’t hold him and I don’t have a clue what’s going on. I pray “God, I know I said I would be okay if you took a child from me… but it’s only been less than a day, I don’t think I’m ready for you to take him”. My heart ached. Was it too late to take that prayer back? I don’t know but God spared me that heart ache. My God came through for my little guy and He came through for him 2 more times for follow up eye surgeries. We drove back and forth an hour an and a half daily for a month and a half until our little man was finally released August 1st.
My God came through for my little guy and He came through for him 2 more times for follow up eye surgeries. His birth family signed away their parental rights. We were never able to meet them. Our adoption went without a glitch. Six months later we were able to legally adopt Lucas just a week after celebrating his first birthday. Our little boy came into this world with a bang! There was no doubt that God intended for him to be a fighter. Lucas means bringer of light and he has illuminated our lives greatly!
Seriously, how can you not love this family?
Thank you Betty for sharing your fost adopt story! Your Sweet miracle boy and your whole family is beautiful!!