This continues the story of our journey to have a family. The time frame for this chapter of our story is September 2007.
If you continue to read along, you will see first hand the reality of how broken the Foster Care system truly is.
We had gone to all of our classes and received all of our certifications. We had all of our inspections completed. We had our medical exam. We had our TB Test. We had received our FBI background check and fingerprint check back. My husband had received his driving record. Still we waited for my driving record!
FINALLY it came in! Everything was completed! We had graduated and were now officially certified by the state of Texas to be Foster Parents! Now we just needed the children!
One of the first decisions we had already had to make was how many children were we going to get licensed for. This is asked on your original application. I wanted to start with one child. I was still very apprehensive about everything, so thinking about more than one child in the very beginning was unimaginable to me. However, my husband pointed out that by agreeing to take two, our chances of getting children quicker would increase, because we would be available to take sibling groups. This made sense to me, but I still was not so sure about it. I just did not know if I was going to be a good Mommy! And I would be all alone during the day with the child…errrrr… children! In the end, we agreed that we would get licensed to have two children in our home.
Within just a few days of getting my driving record in, we received our first call. I did not even wait to hear the entire situation before I was saying, “yes!” The very next day we would have children! Two little boys!
What should have been the most joyous day of our lives at this point was clouded over by a family crisis. We had been over to my in-laws visiting with them, filling them in on everything that was going on. We left, excited that in just a couple of hours the children would be with us.
On the way home, we had to stop by a friend’s house to pick up a car seat that she was loaning us. We had such short notice that we had not had time to go purchase one.
As we were getting in the car to head home, my husband’s phone rang. I immediately knew something was wrong. I heard him say, “Don’t wait for an ambulance, get him to the hospital now, I’ll meet you there!”
It was my mother-in-law calling to tell my husband that his dad had collapsed and could not talk, and they were rushing him to the emergency room. I was devastated for several different reasons. Obviously, you never wish that anyone has health issues. I love my father-in-law dearly. I am very close to him. I did not want anything to happen to him. This was my first thought. Then came the realization that the case workers were literally on their way to bring us the children!
I asked my husband if he wanted me to call and cancel the child placement, and he almost screamed, “No!” My friend assured my husband that she would come to the house with me to help me with the paperwork and other particulars in the process of receiving the children.
We raced home, my husband dropped me off, and he took off to the hospital. My friend was right behind me.
The next hour was one of the most nerve-wracking hours of my life.
Child Protective Services (CPS) and our Agency Caseworker arrived with the children. They were two little boys- brothers- 2-years-old and 3-years-old.
Thankfully, our house was only about 3 miles or so from the hospital. My husband ran home from the hospital to sign paperwork, meet the boys, and head back to the hospital to be with his dad. At t his point, things were very touch and go. They had determined that he had suffered a stroke. The outcome would not be known for 24 hours.
They had to make a decision whether or not to give him a drug to counter-act the stroke. There was risk of sudden death with this medication, but this was the only hope of him recovering to any sense of normalcy. Otherwise, if he did not take the drug, it was very unlikely that he would recover, and there was still the possibility of death. The family decided to give him the medication.
Thankfully, his dad has made an excellent recovery. I know this is not something he would have ever wanted to happen, but one thing I have learned through my life is that we are in control of nothing outside of the choices we make. Things happen. The real test of character is how you deal with the things that happen.
Later that night, when things were looking more stable with his dad, my husband came home to spend time with our new children. This was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.
As I have written in previous articles, I still tease my husband to this day that he wanted to be a father before he wanted to be a husband. In many ways, though I am teasing him, I do believe that is partially true. His youngest sister was born when he was 14-years-old, so he was a very big part of caring for her as a baby.
My husband was 28-years-old when we got married. He has never been married before, and has no children from previous relationships. So his dream was finally being fulfilled after almost 19 years in the making.
Watching my husband play with these two little boys warmed my heart beyond words. I was enjoying them, and thankfully, my friend had been there to help me with the legal side of things- coordinating the search for marks on their bodies so that could be documented, getting them bathed, and getting them settled in for their first night in their new home. As much as I love my friend, she is not my husband. She had been there with me for so much of the process of our fertility journey, but your friend is not the same as your husband. So when my husband got home and joined us, my friend went home. And it was just our little family. Finally!
The thought was almost overwhelming! In many ways it had been a whirlwind! Though our journey had spanned the course of several years, this process had taken us to the deepest depths of darkness in so many ways. Even tonight- the very first time we were to be called “parents”- we had a crisis to face. And yet, the bright light shining on my husband’s face and in his eyes as he played with his two sons was absolutely amazing! The most beautiful sound I believe I had ever heard up to this point was the pitter-patter of four little fun running around our home. The giggles were infectious! Finally! Our dream had been realized.
The Purpose Of This Series: Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?
The next chapter in this series: Love Plain and Simple
The previous chapter in this series: Fostering Hope