October 5, 2010

Adoption Series Chapter 2

Right after lil JB came to live in our home, we had him checked out by his pediatrician. She was alarmed to see that he only weighed 12 pounds, and informed us that he had been battling being able to gain weight ever since he was born. He had been placed on a very special (and very expensive) formula, and it was imperative that we keep him on this. She also asked us to bring him back in two weeks so that she could see if he began thriving. If not, she was going to diagnose him with Failure to Thrive. She also gave us a special prescription medication for his Eczema, because he would get patches of dry skin so bad that he would bleed and then they would get infected. At at least one time, he had been hospitalized due to an infection of one of his soars from the Eczema, and it had been accompanied by a really high fever. She felt that a lot of his issue had to do with the homes he had been placed in. She had been seeing him his whole life thus far, from when he was born and lived with his mother, and had seen him be sheltered into care and then bounce around the foster care system. It broke my heart to hear that one foster home she knew of did not want babies, only wanted to care for teens, and they had taken him because the child welfare agency had begged them. She said the very next home he had been in was a Spanish speaking home, and she had a lot of difficulty trying to communicate with them, so she could just imagine how it was for him. We took the prescriptions and our broken hearts and took our little bundle of joy home to help him get well.

It really perplexed me that the other homes had such issues caring for him. He slept through the night from the VERY first night he came to us, and seemed to be pretty content. Slowly his Eczema cleared up, and it mostly only showed back up on his elbows or in the creases of his knees. Sometimes, he would get a spot or two on his face, but the creams were working wonders. He also gained THREE pounds in the two weeks until his next appointment, and even his doctor was shocked. She said she knew right then and their that he really just did not get the love or attention he needed. With a little effort, and a LOT of unconditional love he was beginning to crawl, and within weeks was pulling up on everything. He had really stolen our hearts.

Over Christmas that year he met my father in law, as well as my parents, grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. Every one just adored him. Before we knew it, it was his first birthday, and my mother in law and her best friend came from out of town to celebrate with us. Lil JB was hysterical on that day...he did NOT want to eat his cupcake, he hated to have his hands dirty. This is incredibly funny to me, because even now, at almost 4 years old, he is the biggest BOY in the world but HATES to have dirty hands or feet.

During this month, his birth mother also came back into the picture. She visited him every couple of months or so, but would disappear for awhile, and then resurface. Of course, with his first birthday upon us, it did not surprise me in the LEAST that she all of a sudden popped up and wanted to see him. So, he had a visit with her. The case manager on the case took him to the visit, and according to her he did not want to be put down at all and would not interact with his birth mom. She was essentially a stranger to him, and she could see that he did not want to bond with her. She asked the case manager about his current foster family, and she informed her that he had been moved to a home of a young couple with no other children. The case manager emphasized to her that we did not plan to take any more children in our home, because we wanted to ensure that he developed appropriately, and that all of his medical conditions were under control. She also told the mother that we would adopt him if he were to be available for adoption. Of course, at this point in time, she was working on a case plan, but she had failed drug treatment twice, and had no intentions of going back.

When I heard about the visit, and the conversation that Lil JB's birth mother had had with the case manager, I felt it was important for her to know who we were. So, at the next court hearing a few weeks later, I attended and I came with an armful of goodies. I had pictures from Lil JB's first birthday for her, and I also had a note with my cell phone number in it. I told her that she was welcome to see her son anytime she wanted, and that I would be more than happy to meet her or pick her up and go to a park and let her visit. This way, she did not have to deal with case manager's, and visiting with him in the office of the case manager. She seemed relieved and also happy to know that we were open to working with her. She had an appointment scheduled for that afternoon to see Lil JB, and she planned to see him at the office, but stated that she might call me to arrange otherwise. I told her to call me and we could plan something. She never showed for her visit at the office, and never called me to ask to see Lil JB. About a month or so later, she called the case manager and told her that she had another possible man who could be Lil JB's father, and provided the name. She also told the case manager that, "she wanted the nice lady from the court hearing who had lil JB to adopt him." She was very clear that she did not want his father or his family to gain custody, but felt that we were where Lil JB needed to be.

The case manager informed me of this telephone call, and stated that the man she had named as JB's possible father was currently in prison. They were getting an order to have a DNA test done, and from their we would move forward with dealing with this situation in the event he did turn out to be Lil JB's father. We felt so relieved about what his birth mom had told us, but then felt like the breath had been knocked out of us when she named a father. She had named several men in the past who could have possibly been his father, and none had panned out. We would have to wait with baited breath to see if this was the case with this man as well.

Until next time,

~June Bud



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