6.23.2016

But God {Part 1}

At the end of June 2015, we were living in total chaos. Our fridge had malfunctioned flooding our house and ruining our floors. We had giant dehumidifiers and industrial fans running day and night in a deafening cacophony and we were facing down the unenviable task of having to completely move ourselves out of our home for the second time in as many months. Then the heat wave hit.

Now, when you have a hole in your floor, dehumidifiers sucking all the moisture out of the air, and a low tolerance for temperatures above 80 degrees, it is probably not the time to be accepting temporary care of a new baby. But that is what we did. A sweet 3-month old baby girl was on her way to us for a little while and the pressure was on to get our home livable again. In between settling into our temporary apartment and running back and forth to our house to keep gardens watered and pets alive, I was fielding the crazy mess of phone calls and appointment scheduling that come with a new little one. It was during one of those phone calls that I first heard about him.

"Oh, and by the way," she said, as if she were checking one more thing off her list, "I have a two year-old little boy coming up for adoption and I wondered if your family would be interested." I held the phone to my ear in shocked silence. "He's such a great kid and his case is pretty unique. Most of the legal stuff is all taken care of and he just needs a family." What? I'd never heard of any state adoption that wasn't wrapped up in a gigantic bow of legal red tape, so I had my doubts. Nevertheless, I told her that we were interested and ended the call with my mind buzzing over all the possibilities and a long to-do list already forming. We thought we had a few weeks to gather all the necessary paperwork, so I put in a few calls to get the ball rolling and packed us up yet again, this time to head south for a family 4th of July celebration.

Somewhere between the forests of northern California and the deserts of the High Sierras my phone pinged into service just long enough to let me know that our home study provider had left me a voicemail. The timeline had moved up and we needed to give her a firm "yes" about presenting our home study that day. They were expecting a large number of applicants and she wanted ours to be in before everything got backlogged. We had next to no information about this little guy besides that he was "a great kid." We didn't even know his name. The state had just released a short profile on him, just a few paragraphs with a first name and a picture, but they weren't allowed to email us a copy. Fortunately, Joe had stayed behind to oversee our renovations, so he dropped everything and raced across town to pick up the profile and then emailed me pdfs. Sitting at a park in Carson City, Nevada I read about our sweet boy for the first time. And I said, "No way. I'm not doing this."

You see, I had been a mama to two boys before. Precious little peanuts who needed lots of love and more of me than I could give. And I had not been good with boundaries, with reaching out to my community and asking for help or setting aside time so I could recharge and refocus and I was NOT going back to being that person again. The profile was benign enough and honestly could've described many, many two year-old boys, but all I could see was:

active, doesn't listen, doesn't sleep well, doesn't eat.

That is not what the paragraphs actually said, but it is what my fear-filled mind read. I called Joe so we could make a decision about moving forward and I told him bluntly that I didn't think I could do this - too much, too hard, too fast. I pulled no punches reminding him of our struggles in the past and that his busy work schedule meant I would often be bearing the weight of parenting this little guy on my own. I will forever be grateful that he listened to everything I had to say and took a deep breath and told me that he knew we needed to move forward with this. He had no doubts. It is rare for us to disagree about a choice this big, but I knew that my reservations were based on fear (big, overwhelming, excuse-me-while-I-go-throw-up fear) and that ultimately, I didn't want to be the person who said no to something amazing because I was just too scared of what ifs.

So we said yes.