Making the Days Count {Adoption Awareness Month: Jan & Phil… and Darling!}

by GfG on November 19, 2014 · 2 comments

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Every week in November I will have a guest post on adoption, to celebrate Adoption Awareness Month.  These posts will highlight different aspects and different journeys.  Today, Jan shares her story. Her story is still unfolding… and it’s darling.   

Darling* arrived at our home December 16, 2013, the result of a paper pregnancy. After months of classes, applications, inspections, and home studies, our baby arrived.

I get weepy, giddy, and not a little bit sheepish thinking back to that day. As was typical for me, I had misplaced my phone. This is kind of a big deal when one is awaiting “the call” from a foster agency. Having failed to reach me, our agency reached Phil. Would we take a little girl? Having no one to confer with…ahem…he said yes (the right answer!)

By the time Phil could reach me, I had an hour to prepare for our new baby girl…and I was over an hour away from home.  I may or may not have sped, my heart racing with anticipation. When I arrived home, I had a moment to catch my breath, only to have it stolen again by a precious bundle…our Darling. She came with the clothes on her back, a pacifier, mismatched baby mittens, and a blankie. I had heard of such, but the shock of her lack of provision split me open.

Darling joined us right before Christmas. At two months and three weeks, she came to us and swallowed us whole. Someone brought a baby girl wrapped in a blanket to our front door, put her in our arms, and drove away.

And so began our new normal…learning “the system.” Our home became a revolving door with our lives on display for all to see…to poke…to prod…to question. We learned to navigate WIC (paperwork and classes), Medicaid (paperwork, paperwork, paperwork), and Early Childhood Intervention complete with physical therapy sessions.

Jan's family Darling w a heart

We doubled locked all our drugs (i.e. Motrin and multivitamins…and the dogs’ med. Yes. We locked away the dogs’ meds).

We welcomed monthly visits from the CPS agent, our agency case manager, Darling’s attorney, and Darling’s CASA worker.

Court. We are still learning the ins and outs of court…which still seems surreal. Court? All I knew of court was learned from Law & Order. (Note, the most valuable information is always gleaned in the hallway before and after court. Always. In fact, we should all probably skip the court part and just chat outside in the hallway.)

Each time our toddler has taken a tumble that has left a mark; a photo is taken and sent to our case manager. Post. Haste.

Each time Darling needs diaper cream, we document it. Each. Time.

And while I cannot wait to leave the Tylenol on the windowsill where it belongs, each inconvenience is borne with the joy of loving Darling. She is more than worth it.

For eleven months, we have taken each day…each giggle…each glance…each step as a gift.

Darling One WEB

Darling turned one while in our home. We had court on her birthday. Her mom wept in my arms. Oh! That precious girl. We love her almost as dearly as we love her baby. I held her and whispered, “I know. I know.” Brave girl. She relinquished her rights to Darling that morning – one year to the day after giving birth. Brave. Girl.

And so it has been…Darling’s first giggle, first tooth, first step, first word…these have been ours to treasure. That these milestones belong to another is not lost on us.  We are profoundly humbled.

Though we are currently in a ninety day waiting period, the end of which marks our ascent to adoption, we have yet to count the days. Rather, we are making the days count. The deadline does not impact our game plan. Each day, we love that girl with all we have. Each day. Every day. For as long as we can.

Have you considered the road to adoption via fostering? 

Darlings Family 3

*Name changed and full face not shown, per foster regulations.  When she is a legal Tessier… I’ll brag and show her Darling face!

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