8iRWeiXjcKj9kUz5Tebo4_k_FtY Life with Two Special Needs Children: Caleb's Adoption Journey: The Beginning: January 4, 2002

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Caleb's Adoption Journey: The Beginning: January 4, 2002

As I was sitting at Caleb's bedside at the hospital yesterday, out of the blue it hit me the true significance January 4th held for our family.  January 4, 2002 was the day that we had our first contact in our adoption journey with respect to Caleb.

You see, we had been waiting a LONG time, had walked a very long and very difficult, heart-wrenching, and most importantly, God-ordained journey to get to this point.

Our adoption journey actually officially began in March of 2000 when we went to an informational meeting for an adoption agency.  After the meeting, we truly felt this was the plan and the process to build our family, so we jumped in with both sets of our feet.  We completed the necessary paperwork; we read the necessary books; we had the necessary home study visits; and most importantly we began working on our Dear Birthmother letter.

I then took a trip to visit my parents and saw a friend and was filling her in our adoption plan. She then told me about a young lady that we had known from our church who was pregnant and was interested in placing her baby for adoption.  She asked if she could provide her with my information.  I told her, "Of course!"

Trying very hard not to get my hopes up, I went home and went back to work and continued getting things accomplished on the adoption checklist.

To make a long story much shorter, that situation did not lead to a placement, but led to a lot of heartache and ultimately led to Tony spending 15 days in the hospital -- including three in ICU and being intubated overnight -- after having a four-hour MAJOR surgery.  I knew that there was no way that I could have taken care of a newborn, taken care of my husband, myself, our home and continued working.  But darn it all, I was so confused!

Due to Tony being so sick, we never were able to grieve the loss of that little baby that we held and cared for for almost two weeks until months later.  When we finally did, we got back into the adoption process, working on our Dear Birthmother letter again.  There were lots of phone calls, meetings, discussions, disagreements, frustrations with the adoption agency, as well as many tears over that letter.  Until finally we had our approval and were able to get the required number of copies that the agency needed.

And then we waited.  And waited.  AND waited.  AND WAITED.  (I was not a very patient waiter.)

We began talking and wondering if this really was what God had planned for us.  We talked about medical intervention, which we had never done, and sought counsel from some wonderful and dear friends.  I talked to my doctor and he referred me to another doctor.  We scheduled the appointment and they almost "guaranteed" that they could help us.

We (well, I should clarify that "we"' to be an "I") were almost desperate enough that we believed them and were ready to jump in with both feet without looking.  Outside of October/November 2000, there were some of the worst five months of my life at that point.

I do not remember the exact day, but one day in November 2001, I called my doctor and told them I was done.  I couldn't go through any more treatments.  The nurse assured me there were more things they could do -- much  more invasive, mind you -- and I just said no, I'm done.  I couldn't go through any more heartache.  Not even an hour later, my phone at work rang.  I answered it and it was our adoption agency.  The agency had received a phone call from a birthmom who had given birth at home, had been taken to the hospital, had no insurance and wanted to place her child for adoption.  They wanted to know if we were interested in having our profile presented with about five other families who had been waiting as long as we had.  I called Tony to get his thoughts, he said to go ahead, called the agency back and then waited.  I truly felt this was God telling me that we had made the right decision to forgo any other medical intervention and that adoption was the plan for our family.  I had a peace that I had never felt before.

Obviously, that was not God's answer for our family, but we were okay with it.

Then we started talking about whether we should think about international adoptions, but then that led us back full circle to our current agency.  Tony and I decided if we were willing to go the international route, we should be willing to open our preferences with our current agency, where we had already completed all of the necessary paperwork, paid all of the required fees, and had spent so much time and energy over the last year.  Around the first part of December, we completed a new "preferences" profile page and sent it to our agency.

Things were so busy with the holidays that we didn't have much time to just "sit and wait."  Then came the snow storm of January 2002.  January 4, 2002, we were snowed in.  Granted Raleigh had only received four inches of snow, but an inch of snow closed down the city!!!  They were just not equipped to deal with snow.  We spent the day at home and that evening we were doing something on the internet.  At the time we had the slow dial-up!!!  We were on the internet for hours!  I can't even remember what we were doing.  I can visualize the picture of us sitting in our living room with the computer on our living room floor.  I am not sure why we were in there and not in the office!  When we got off, it was well after 9:00 p.m.  And, guess what, we had a message!

I checked the message and was shocked when I heard it was from our adoption agency.  I immediately got off the phone and tried calling, but even though they called from the California office, could not get anyone except for the 24-hour birthmother line.  And because it wasn't an emergency, they wouldn't call any one for us.  So we had to wait.

Saturday morning, we received a call from some dear friends that had come up from Florida for a wedding that weekend.  We ventured out to meet them and learned about a small church, which turned out to be a church where we met some wonderful people and who were there to support us and pray for us during the next a year and a half.

Monday morning as soon as our local office opened I called and talked to the staff there, but they had no idea what the call would have been about.  I would have to wait until after Noon to call the California office.  I'll tell you what, that was the longest morning at work that I had had in a very long time.

When I was finally able to call, I learned that they had a birthmother, who was due the end of February, and they wanted to know if we were interested in having our profile sent.  I told her yes, since Tony and I had talked a lot over the weekend about the possibilities.  I was told that they would be sending our profile as well as one other one to her by overnight mail that day.  And so there was much more waiting!

Tuesday was a normal workday and that evening we were going about our normal activities when the phone rang.  I answered it and it turned out to be Caleb's birthmother.  She had chosen us!  I was in absolute shock.  We talked for a while on the phone, learning about her situation, answering questions about us, back and forth.

Wednesday I called and talked to our counselor at the agency in California and we began making plans to fly out to meet her less than three weeks later.

And the rest, as they say in the movies, is history!   I will write more over the next couple of months regarding our meeting with Caleb's birthmother as well as when we got "the call" that he had arrived and our trip out to pick him up.



Mama said...

Did you use IAC as your adoption agency for Caleb? I was reading this and saw where you live and that the agency also has an office in CA. We used IAC to adopt our daughter so I was just wondering.

Cassandra Sines said...

Yes, Natale, we used IAC for Caleb's adoption.

Sharla said...

I love reading people's adoption stories! There are usually twists and turns and hurt and joy in them, but if not for all those twists and turns, they would not have ended up with exactly the child they were meant to as is the case in your story.

Thanks for linking up to Adoption Blog Hop!