It has been nearly a year since my last post and I started thinking today that I hate it when I come across an article or blog online and the person just cuts the audience off out of the blue and never comes back to give an update. It irritates me so much and I don't want to be a hypocrite.
So much happened after my last post back in November of 2010. A week later, I was skimming the "waiting" foster kids online as I did every single day, countless times a day and I came across the profile of two little ones who struck a nerve with me. I managed to track down the caseworker that same day and called him. We had a great conversation and I forwarded our homestudy. That night, I went home so excited (again) and showed Chris the online profile picture and blurb about the kids. He saw their picture and immediately professed, "That's them...those are our kids!" I was blown away by his reaction. He'd been very supportive of me in this search and very understanding of how attached I became to pictures and stories of children. Not once had he become as attached as I. This case, though, hit him so hard and I'd never seen him so excited! We could barely sleep that night thinking, imagining them here with us.
The next morning, I went into work and arrived to an email from the kids' caseworker. He was writing to let me know he'd received our homestudy and while he thought we were great, that morning, the kids' paternal grandfather expressed an interest in adopting them and he was obligated to give them the opportunity to prove to be fit parents. I was crushed. I was even more crushed that I'd have to break the news to Chris. We were both devastated.
Months passed but we still couldn't get those kids' off our minds. They had been removed from the websites but I had copied their picture and information to my computer and often just stared at them. We were in love and heartbroken...heartbroken again. However, my birthday came and I went into work that day. Unknowingly, I would receive the best present of my life! I had an email from that same caseworker! I couldn't open the message fast enough and to my surprise, I was elated to read that the bio grandparents were no longer a viable option and they would like to consider us for the kiddos if we were still intersted. "YES!!!!!! Absolutely and Thank you so much!!!" was the response I sent back. Out of hundreds of inquiries, two weeks later, Chris and I were finally matched with our true, God given, match! The caseworkers would not even going to consider any other families at the committee meeting because they felt so strongly that we were the right fit for these kids. FINALLY, I was going to be a MOMMY! My sweet, loving husband was going to be a DADDY!! We were going to be a FAMILY! We cried and cried and celebrated and couldn't wait to tell our friends and family! The catch? Well, the kids were a legal risk case because the bio parents' rights had not yet been terminated. Long story short...the rights were rightfully terminated three weeks after we were chosen to be their forever family.
During that three week span, we were able to get to know the foster family and the kids via Skype. The kids lived in a different state. They didn't know right away who we were due to the legalities of the parental rights not terminated at that point. They knew us as Nicole and Chris, friends of the foster family. They were so happy and bright and adorable and we just fell even more head over heels in love with them! We also became very close to their foster family who'd cared for them and really taken on the responsibility of bringing these kids into a real family life for nearly a year. We'll call the foster family J & Z for privacy sake. J & Z were such a great influence on these children and what a difference a few months of love, caring, and teaching can do for a lost child.
At the end of February of the this year, we made plans to fly out and meet our kids in person for the first time. It was like a first date! We were so nervous and praying they'd like us as much as we already liked them. Finally, the moment came when we got to the end of the terminal and there they were, live and in real time! Our kids! It took all I had not to scoop them up and hug them tight and cry my eyes out! The moment we'd waited so long for had finally come! Alas, we had to remain calm, remain neutral and non-threatening. Afterall, the foster family had become their pseudo family and the kids were, for obvious reasons, very attached to J & Z. It didn't take long at all and they were goofing around with us and laughing and just being kids. At this juncture, they'd been told who we were and what was going to happen and they were happy about the prospect of being in a real forever family. They were, however, hesitant about leaving their foster home and family, their first safe place. I would have been too, if I were them!
During that time, the kids stayed with us in our hotel room and it was such a wonderful week! We felt like a real family and were bonding quickly. It was finally sinking in...we were now parents...we now have a daughter and a son. We have a six year old and a four year old sibling set. Christina is an amazing little girl! She is so smart and beautiful and she is JUST like her Daddy! Acts and looks just like him. Noah is a funny and loving little boy who looks and acts just like his Mommy! She is all girl and he is all boy. She loves arts and crafts and so do he, she loves playing barbies and dress up. He loves Spiderman and Hide 'n Seek and loves to give hugs! We had to leave without our kids at the end of that week and it broke our hearts. We had to wait on the court paperwork to be completed but we did talk to them on the phone and skype often. We talked about moving and what was here in our hometown and what our house and dogs were like. They seemed very excited and couldn't wait until we got to come see them again.
On April 1st, we made the flight back out and picked up our kids for the final trip home on April 2nd. Home. Our family was home. It was such an amazing feeling! We've now been home together for nearly six months. I won't lie and say it's all been a fairy tale experience. We've had our ups and downs and it has been a major adjustment for all four of us. However, we are a real family and we all love eachother very much. We have, after over five and a half years of trying, arrived at our destination. We've completed our journey to parenthood and are now on a new journey as a family. This is my last post on this blog. Thank you to those who've followed and supported us over the years! This blog has been a great escape for me as well as cathartic. As I've said, I truly enjoy writing and I think I may need to find another subject to blog about. :)