Friday, January 17, 2014

How we got the girls…..

I really intended to finish where I left off but for some reason I have been asked a lot lately how and when we decided to take siblings.  A lot of people have asked how that worked out, so while it is on my mind I thought I would get it out!

Most of you know we received B the last day of school last year in May.  Literally, we had early dismissal that day, I received a call that our house had been opened and that I could get B whenever.  I ran upstairs to the school office where Rachel and I ran to Target to get a few items (notably a carseat), ran back to school and poor Jennifer worked on installation with us and off I went.  I picked him up and realized the house he had been staying in was literally within a stones throw of the school.  Figuring that out, like any proud mom, I swung back through the school parking lot after I picked him up because I saw Rachel standing there, and showed off my new baby.

In July, we first met 'Anna'.  B's case was kinda falling apart and we were set to have him for awhile and we found out about an aunt who needed help with a new 16 mth old she had for a few days.  The toddler went to daycare and literally days before I had written in my journal…"toddler???"  I had no idea what it meant but when I saw this respite request I knew we had to answer.  (The request had actually been filled earlier but the lady couldn't do it and resent the request out).  I pulled in to daycare to pick this baby up, saw her, and thought…."woah…we are in trouble."  She was tiny, feisty, precious and calling me "ma" by the end of the 3rd day.  She went back to her aunt and I couldn't get her out of my mind.  The really bad thing was neither could J. O.  So, that's when I asked the aunt if we could just get her on Sundays.  That could be our day with her and her aunt's day with her own 2 bio kids.  It worked great for awhile.  Then 2 of 'Anna's' siblings came into care.  We told the aunt we just couldn't take any more than one for the day or night because we had B and that was all we could handle.  She understood and we just slowly started helping with her more and more.  Days turned to nights, nights turned to weekends, weekends turned to me taking her to the doctor and picking up from school and so forth.  All the while B was still ours and we were committed to his case.

Over time, I asked J.O. what we would do if the aunt decided she could no longer keep 'Anna' and the siblings.  We knew if that happened, although it would be heartbreaking, we would have to let her go to another house because we couldn't take more than one at that point.  

Fast forward a few months and B's case took a different turn.  A relative came forward and it became clear over time he would be going with her.  We were still getting 'Anna'  like normal but just didn't know what to expect long term.  We found out when B was leaving, and booked a short get a way before we jumped back in.  In between B leaving and our vacation, we also found out 'Anna' and the siblings had a court hearing (literally a few days after he left).  Her aunt asked me to attend and I was able to find out more of what was going on.  During this 3 week time period between B leaving and our trip, our house was still open.  I told J. O. my plan was to tell DHS if we got a call that we were taking a short break until we got back, but I was worried I would cave if I was asked.  My secret plan was to take the child regardless and then figure out the rest later.  

However, our phone never rang.  During this time I even called our resource worker and she confirmed our paperwork was good to go and she was showing us open to take a baby.  She said she really wasn't sure why our phone wasn't ringing??  I just remember telling J. O. that was so odd and I wondered what was supposed to happen next.

Well, during all this, there were plans being made to move 'Anna' and her siblings.  The case took a turn and the aunt decided it was in their best interest.  We made our strong wishes known that we wanted 'Anna' and I actually got a call from her caseworker, while we were in the airport, saying she was going to work on placement of all 3 first and then we would go from there.  It was the longest week of my life.  We had no idea what to expect and I even asked J.O. if we could take all 3 (even though technically we can't with Addison's age) and was really expecting to move forward in a new direction.

Then, one day her caseworker called and said she would try a new route.  If we could take the girls, the brother would stay with the aunt and we would move forward.  She was trying a couple more avenues to place all 3 first but that was what she was working towards.  It sounds so dumb to say, but we had never really considered that.  Even though at times we had B and her together it hadn't really crossed my mind to take both girls.  As I sat back and looked at all the divine intervention along the way we knew we couldn't say no.  The fact that both court cases lined up together, B left when he did, our phone never rang in 3 weeks, and so forth and so forth.  

I was nervous when we opened our home and took B, but I was sick to my stomach when we took the girls.  This was unlike anything I thought I could and would do.  However, our pastor always says he isn't scared when the hand of God is on him, it's when it's removed from him that he is afraid.  Knowing that these girls were placed in our house by a complete divine intervention lets me know that God's hand is all over this.

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