September 30, 2010

Adoption Series

I was made aware of an awesome blog recently named Flower Patch Farmgirl. She recounts her adoption experience every week...she started at the very beginning of their journey, and each week she posts another tale. With everything that has been going on lately, the other night I was sitting with Mr. JB on the couch and we were watching lil JB play. We reflected on how far we had come, and how mesmerized we were that he was going to be 4 years old in just a few short months. On Halloween of 2007, lil JB was placed with us, and with Halloween coming up it made me very sentimental. Flower Patch Farm Girl has inspired me to do my own adoption series, and to blog about the process starting from the very beginning. It will take awhile, but I hope to show people what our adventure was like, and shed some light on the foster to adoption process. It can be heartwarming, grueling, heart breaking, and completely awesome all at the same time. I think it is important for people to know that. So, here it goes...

On October 31, 2007 my life changed forever. A little 12 pound bundle of 9 month joy was brought into my life. It is important to know that up until this time, Mr. JB and I had fostered four children. The first one entered our lives on March 31, 2007, and the last one had left our home on October 25, 2007. With each child's arrival I felt overwhelming joy, and with each child's departure I felt broken. It is also important to note that the child who left on October 25, 2007, had left me with a huge empty heart, and feeling a lot of despair. He came to our home in May, and from the get go we wanted to adopt him. We were under the impression that we probably would be able to, but by October 23, 2007 I was informed that he was going to be reunited with his father. Great news that his father was on the right track, but devastating for me, because I really felt that he would be our forever child.

As soon as the case manager pulled into the driveway at about 5:00 PM on October 31, 2007, I ran out the door to meet our new little guy. I was faced with an ADORABLE tiny child, with a big heaping hair of curls. I could not get over how cute he was, and in such a short life, this child had been through so much. Lil JB was born at the end of January and spent less than 4 months at home with his mother. The bulk of his time with his mother was spent in his crib, crying for her, and getting no response. She would leave him laying in his crib while she did drugs, and he developed an innate habit to scratch himself til he bled to get her attention. Yep, at exactly 1-3 months old, my child had been forced to do this to himself in order for her to even acknowledge him. He was removed from the home in May 2007, and spent the next 5 months bouncing from home to home. He had a severe case of Eczema, and continued to scratch himself to death, and no one wanted him. They labeled him a "behavior issue," and basically had to beg people to care for him. He also was so underweight that they had labeled him Failure to Thrive. My question is...How is a five month old a behavior problem?! I just wish we had found him sooner.

From the moment I took him out of his car seat, he never once cried, or acted like he didn't want to be around me because I was a stranger. The case manager even commented on how we quickly bonded, and stated that he had never been so calm and serene before around anyone. She told me that she felt like he just knew that this was his home. I giggled in delight and told her that, "of course it was, because he is my Pumpkin Baby." To this day I still call him my Pumpkin Baby, and if you ask lil JB why mommy's favorite holiday is Halloween, he will tell you that it is because he was my pumpkin baby. I also tell him that he was born in our hearts on Halloween. So, Halloween will always be a special holiday for our family.

The case manager informed us that lil JB's mother was still in the picture, and that she was supposed to visit him on a regular basis. This usually turned into maybe a visit once a month, and he also saw his 1/2 sister who was just a year older than him at the visits too. His mother was working on a case plan to get him back, but was very unstable and did not have a stable home or job. They also did not know who his biological father was. This was a relief to us, because it just meant that if they could not identify the father, that in the event the mother failed her case plan and her rights were terminated, that we could probably easily adopt lil JB. Little did we know what kind of bumpy road was heading our way! This pic is the first pic we took of him, the day after he came to our home! Sorry it is so grainy...I have carried it around so many place to show him off to so many people that it is rather worn now!

Til next time!

June Bud~


Flora Bud said...

What an amazing beginning... I cannot wait to read your journey.


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