Thursday, August 15, 2019

One of the most common reasons any individual has motivation in life, is from Passion.  Being Passionate, in most cases, is then which leads to success. If you are passionate in general, be it with your career, family, marriage or even of social issues, that is what motivates others.  Taking charge of your life and pushing for whatever drives you, that is what grabs the attention of others. That’s exactly what makes other people want to better themselves, it becomes contagious.

What I do not understand is, the negative feedback of someone else wanting change.  The putting of someone down, all because you do not agree with them. A few months ago, I made a statement that I was going to stop writing articles.  I was sick and tired of hearing the negative feedback, the hatred, it was not worth my time.  

Every one that knows me or has heard my name in the past, knows that I am a very passionate person.  Does it motivate people, yes. Are there people that bashed me or say horrible things about my family because we are different, yes. There are people that take things out of context or twist your words to fit their negativity.  

I didn’t want to be bothered by it, so I thought, I’m done. But then as I stopped writing, we have received an outcry of people saying how we have helped in the change of their lives for the better. I now know, the good definitely out ways the bad.

Then you read in the media, public figures doing things to try and make this world better, more accepting and equal.  They too, are being ridiculed. Why? The biggest statement is by the opposing person “If you don’t like what is going on in this country, then leave”.  My question is, How in the world is equality going to hurt you if it actually happens??? LGBTQ rights, if your not apart of that community, I’m lost how the need of equal rights will result with you to lose yours? Women wanting equal pay, they are not asking to reduce your pay if you do not agree.  What is the issue there?  

Just last week I indulged myself in reading comments on an article over politics about border control. The in-depth article I am not going to bring up, the comments I read, I was in shock.  One woman chastised another for being a foster parent in our country! She assumed this woman had no struggles raising those foster children because she had state assistance to do it. This woman then proceeded to say “I had my 7 kids the right way, I gave birth and did that working 2 jobs”.  

Again, Why are we putting down others who are born into or even choosing to do things differently than you?

My point to this, why are we having a negative attitude towards someone else’s passion of wanting to make a better place for more people?  

I write because living my life within the LGBTQ community, then adopting children of all different descents, I watched first hand how some things need to be better.  We are living afraid at times, of a lot of things that we should not be. Do you have any idea how many people live that way as well?  

All because they are too afraid of how others will attack them, even verbally.  I decided, I do not care anymore of who does not agree with me or my life choices, I can not care any more. What I am learning is the negative is driving me more now to motivate others to just be nice. What is that saying? If it doesn’t apply, let it fly. If another’s passion does not affect your life, keep it moving, in one way or another. PLEASE!

Monday, March 25, 2019

We regret spoiling our children

For as long as I could remember, I have always wanted to adopt children, this is not the first time I have said that. I wanted, at one point, to save them all, if that was possible or not. I wanted to show children of the foster system that life can be better. I wanted to assist children from the foster system, so those kids could experience what they were missing. I wanted to take these kids that would enter my home and give them the world.

 That's where our problem began, trying to give our children the world. We are now seeing the repercussions of making our poor decision. We thought that giving these kids a better life, meant spoiling them in many ways. All we needed was to show them that simply love, unconditionally, does exist.

 Now, as our kids are getting older, they are showing signs of having too much. They have no real respect for other adults, in most cases. They almost always think they can get away with treating others in a certain manner. We also have screams for hours when they don't get their way, in simple situations. The cause of most melt downs, us! We used to even bargain with them to get them to behave. Complete fail! If you are doing that with your kids, STOP! Fair warning, they will then try to bargain with you every time you implement any direction with them.

 There was a time, we felt they needed lots of toys, video games and TV. We are now at the point where everything extra, besides food, is on an earning system. Why, you ask? Because we have gotten to the point in our life, our kids now feel entitled! How many of you have kids that feel you owe them more? How many feel that if they don't take take care of anything, you will just buy them a new one? This is now where we are in life, from giving too much. There are times especially now that we moved to Florida, where they have to be consulted. We have Disney passes, mainly because it's cheaper than buying a 3 day pass. We go and are excited, the kids not so much once we get there.  It’s almost like things are never enough some times.

 The reason, they want another snack after just having or even just because it's not as exciting as it should be to them. Then we say "if you're not happy and in a good mood, there is no TV this evening". At that point, being happy is almost forced.  We live very close to Disney World and it’s as if they do not appreciate things as many kids do. But Honestly, they are like this just to see what else they can get out of it at times.

 We are at the point as parents who have wrongfully spoiled their kids, now taking everything back. They are too young to remember what it was like not to have everything they wanted. We need to get them to the point of behaving and having respect, just because that is the right thing to do. We regret every bit of spoiling our children. We did not owe that to them, they already had a good loving home without all of the extras.

 If we could go back, we would change a lot of the past 4 years. We weren't trying to buy their love, we already had it. We weren't trying to buy their happiness, they had that also. We tried to make up for things in their life that were beyond our control at the time. Now we see, if we don't fix what we have done, they will grow up expecting that the world owes them more, instead of doing what they can in life to create and change their own path. The person they will become is much more important than what is given to them, solely based on their history.

Friday, March 1, 2019

When many people think of soul mates, they imagine the person to spend the rest of your life with.  Most of the time, it’s the person you’re married to, right? Not many people consider a sibling a soul mate.  In our home, we have 2 little boys that we call twins, for that same reason.  Then the question comes “why do you call them twins?”. Well, sometimes life is a little more involved then meets the eye.

The quick, honest answer, Karson and Gavin are soul mates.  They are the same age, well 3 months apart, so we call them twins.  As we were pregnant with Gavin, 7 months pregnant, Karson was born.  We were done adopting and decided that we wanted to try giving birth before we called it quits on having

more children.  Karson was a shock, although we knew it was fate the second we got that call.  We assumed that he was coming to us since we were in the process of adopting his sister.  Although, now years later, we now know, he really came to us for Gavin.  

From the second Gavin was born and even before, they had this deep connection.  They are quite inseparable, always have been.  They are brothers but just don’t look like it at first glance.  So why is the in-depth reason we call them twins?  The answer, To simplify their life later down the road.

Think about them being in school, the same last name, the same age.  They will be in the same grade also, at the same time.  The questions will come up, are they supposed to explain every time that one is adopted?  We already get questions all of the time, “is Gavin yours” our reply “they are all ours”.  To us, that’s just not fair to them, because they are actually twins.  They just are not from the same genetic connection. 

Like Alyx and Landon, who are only a few weeks apart.  We call them twins as well, although no one questions that since they are of similar nationalities.  It’s hard growing up and trying to live a life without having to answer questions of your past that you cannot control.  We all know this, yet still some adults ask the questions of why we refer to our kids in a certain matter.

To me, I get annoyed, I’m their mom, I get questioned as well of how we came about.  Then when people ask and then you have to explain then it’s “You’re doing a great thing”.  Do you think I’m flattered once you say that after questioning our family?  To me this is just how we chose to create our family, we are not great because of it.  It is just our family and how we wanted to share our love just like every other adult that wanted kids.  Mean while, Why does it matter?  

My point is, Not all siblings look alike, some you can’t even tell that they are related.  Our little twins even have their own language, they dress the same, they choose to be this way.  Why question that?  But people still do, so how are we supposed to answer?  Why do you see happy kids just living their life and have to know details of why they are family, yet do not look the same?  Sadly, I reply “because they are twins”, followed by silence and the end to that conversation.

For those that still question after my explanation here, I’ll give you the same reply I once had on instagram.  The definition of Twins - one of 2 persons or things closely related to or very like each other.  Maybe going forward we should be more descriptive by saying “soul twins”. Although we like to just keep it simple as possible, even if it keeps the minds wondering of others.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

For many people the Holidays bring mixed emotions, especially for those that have lost a loved one.  Thanksgiving is supposed to be happy and of course to be thankful for what you have in life.  For us, it's not about who we have lost, it's about those we choose to keep away from due to negativity.  The sadness is that all we ask is for positive people to be in our life, blood or not, as parents this is important.  It took a very long time to realize, this is exactly what our children are feeling being adopted through the foster system.

The reason I am saying this, tomorrow we will look around the table, at the faces with us.  We will see our kids, they will be happy. How often during a holiday do you realize what or who you are missing?  People are in this world, that made the choice not to be in their life.  That goes for all of us, you don't have to be through the foster system to know or feel that.  Someone doesn't need to pass away to feel like you have lost them. Then the questions arise, how hard is it to just get your stuff together for the people or kids your supposed to love????

Karson, he turned 1 year in October.  You remember him, our surprise baby, a sibling to one of our kids.  Before his birthday, we were supposed to have TPR (termination of rights).  The Bio mom showed up to court for the first time since he has been born.  Of course, the judge took her rights, but when our case worker told her of the sibling that was adopted this past June.  Her words "That's over, I don't care about her, I'm here for my son".  OK, WHAT?!?!?!  You left him in the hospital and ran as soon as you gave birth, never even looked at this poor baby, YOUR SON?  That does not qualify you to call him that name, he is OUR son!!!  Our daughter, we know she never cared for her, but does it hurt to just say "I'm happy she has a family"?

The kicker is, a man was with her that signed hospital papers, claiming to be the father.  While the Bio mom was denied her rights, the judge demanded this guy with her to take a random paternity test.  Honestly, no one has seen Karson ever, over almost a year; The judge just wanted to know who's naming to list for bio dad to be terminated as well.  Unfortunately, the paternity test was never taken, so our adoption was delayed for no reason at all.  Apparently, Bio mom told him on the way to court that she was already pregnant when they met.  We go back to court mid-December and now it’s a done deal, finally.

Just after this all happened, I reached out to blood relatives of these 2 specific kids we have.  They are the only children we have with no contact with the Bio family.  I reached the grandmother, via facebook, asking if she would mind us staying in touch.  I told her how well the children are doing, I even sent pictures.  I asked if she can allow the children to talk to her later in life if they choose, she agreed that would be OK.  The reason, she is their Bio grandmother, who currently has their 3rd sibling, the oldest sibling.  She at one time fought for custody, but was denied, we give her tons of credit.  But when our kid’s birthdays came up, no message, nothing to even say Happy Birthday.  So, our hope to have her communication did not last very long.

My point here is, when your looking around your Thanksgiving table, the ones that are there are the ones that count.  I don't mean only those missing because they have passed or ones that had to be somewhere else this year.  What I mean is, everyone at your table is missing someone else.  Either by choice or not, deep down they are wishing maybe the table was a bit fuller.  That's the important thing, is to be present for them now so they can feel as complete as possible with what we have today.  We can't make people change, I have tried, it doesn't work.  I learned to make myself aware of how someone else maybe feeling, empathy goes a long way.

At first, we felt guilty of us wanting to move 1000 miles away.  Truth be told, once you drain the drama and nonsense in your life, there is not many left.  So, we really do not feel so bad about them being so young and moving now.  We are moving to give DeAndre a better education in a school environment that we cannot find here.  We are also moving to get our children away from how we got together as a family.  We do talk whenever they want, about how each one of them came here.  They are fully aware and comfortable with their stories.  But now it's time for them to get a fresh start with only being themselves and not reminded of being victims of circumstance.  To just be thankful for who is actually here, present in their lives, forever.  That's what really matters, for all of us.

Monday, August 7, 2017

How life has not changed as we expected too, in other ways we didn't see coming...

As many of you know, we recently completed 3 more adoptions.  June 23rd, we had the finalization of all 3 toddlers, this day was very long coming.  With 4 adoptions down total and 1 more to go, we are almost done, this can't come soon enough.  We have decided that after the next adoption it is time to relocate, we deserve a new adventure for our growing family.

Post adoption, our house has changed, but slightly.  Almost like living with your partner for years then finally getting married.  We definitely feel closer then before, we feel like a Complete family or at least almost.  We also feel a sadness, cause these kids don't really know what this means.  They all know they are adopted, we try to explain as much as possible.  You can just see in their faces, they do not know this wasn't only about changing their name.

I don't know if having one child not adopted, maybe having Gavin changed us.  Having more sympathy for the bio parents, their sense of loss.  As much as we are happy and elated especially because we don't have to fight anymore; well no longer fighting with the system.  The feeling that someone else just really lost the child that we gained.  With that, we decided to track down and reach out to DeAndre's bio, we needed closure with her.  We traded pictures and cried a little through email after she said "I was blessed with him, to give to you".  Then finding out his bio father recently passed and he will never know him.  We are happy and sad for DeAndre all at once.

Right around that same time, we had to get an endoscopy for Landon.  He was always listed as failure to thrive, but we needed answers to why.  We had a 36 hour inpatient fasting test, that showed nothing.  We did learn during that time that he is hypoglycemic, but what is causing it is unknown.  Then the endoscopy came up as nothing also.  The benefit of him now being ours, we can put a stop to putting this kid through so much testing.  Having the decision of actually doing what is best and not have to answer to some one is amazing!!!  We feel he simply just has a high metabolism, we want him to be left alone and enjoy his childhood.

Now Alyx, this one is tough for me.  Alyx is our miracle child, the one that wasn't supposed to make it.  It's this kid that cannot catch a break and our heart aches for her.  Now that she has surpassed the medical standard for her "short gut syndrome", were faced with a new realization.   Not a month after her adoption, after seeing in her profile her living conditions were worse than we have ever thought.  We are finding out she also has Asperger's.  I think what is so hard knowing this, is she has over come so much already in her short 5 years.   We were told up until now, she was just delayed due to her past.  Unfortunately, she has more of a road to over come than we originally thought.  But she is the strongest little girl that we have ever known, we know this will just make her even stronger.

For Karson, the good news is the judge agreed already for a quick adoption.  This one is fairly simple, since Kai was just adopted they want him adopted soon after.  Kai was placed with us when she was 9 months old.  These 2 will only ever know us, but Kai is much different with us after her adoption.  Previously we had behavior issues, we thought possible bipolar.  Currently, that dark period is gone, almost like being only 3 years old, she feels more complete.  She obviously had emotional issues of abandonment etc, that you don't realize just a small child could have.

This time around, really changed us, our way of perceiving adoption.   It's not just a happy time, there is sadness also, we were naive to that before.  We went from no contact with bios to us making that first move, really early on.  It's important for us, the questions are necessary for us and the kids.  I was wrong in my previous blog, having them adopted the stresses and concerns are still there no matter what.  I thought it would go away, the only thing that really changed was the lack of case workers that visited every month.  Besides that, yes we all have the same last name now, but the past will always surround us.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Have you ever been accused of something so horrendous that you lose sleep?  To the point that you’re so angry, angry that someone can even say something so false about you.  Well, after the false accusation was made about our family, I am now living in fear. Yes, it was expunged, but the fear is not going away.

I’m talking about the doctor that called child line on us, because we are a same sex couple.  The doctor that said that we starve our child, when we found he has Hypoglycemia.  The doctor we took our kid too, because we were concerned and knew something was not right.   This is a reason that some foster parents choose to take a step back and not push for answers. 

The reason that I am writing this, is because this feeling that has come over me is all new.  Being targeted and sparking an investigation about our home, regardless if true or not is scary.  I for one am now terrified for my kids to say the littlest thing for someone to take it out of context and make a call again.  This isn’t just about foster parents, this is about all parents. 

When the investigation happened, our house was run through with a fine-tooth comb.  It was terrifying, what if one of the kids said something sarcastic, it could be taken the wrong way.  There even were meetings after the investigation was complete.  DHS questioned if we were placed too many kids or kids with special needs because of things this doctor said.  Meetings that we weren’t invited too, people were there that had never even been in our home.  How the hell could they have an opinion on what we do on a daily basis?!?!

During this meeting, it was mentioned that the medical appointments haven’t been documented for almost 2 years.  So, DHS assumed we were not taking the kids to the doctors, but wasn’t a doctor the one who started this whole thing anyway?  So, of course we catch wind and took over.  We called all the doctors’ offices, specialist and dentist to resend over all paperwork needed.  Again, we had to prove that we have been doing our duties as parents without fail.  What was then showed was how our case workers dropped the ball and never filed the paperwork properly.  So of course, the fingers get pointed at us first, then we cover our butts.

There was a follow up meeting to decide if all the kids were staying in our care or not.  I asked to attend but was denied.  I wanted the commissioner of DHS to know what takes place between our home and her office.  So now the heat is off us and on the case workers.  The investigation is over, we filed a complaint with the medical board against the doctor.  For us, we just cross our fingers that we can get the rest of the adoptions fast before any other mishaps interfere with our children and their safety.

Don’t get me wrong, fostering is a great thing.  We love all our children, even after having Gavin, it’s the same love.  The problem is to do this job, you’re doing other people’s jobs as well.  You need to have thick skin and realize that you are under a microscope always.  Sadly, at times, you feel like everyone is against you.  Especially when all you want to do is be an advocate for children that have no one else.  At the end of the day we doubt if we can take any more stress.  It’s when the kids are in bed and the house is finally quiet, you remember why you started this journey.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Why is it that when you feel like finally the stress is coming to an end, BAM, another issue is knocking at the door.  I say that very lightly, all because this is our life story.  Did you ever feel like things are just too good to be true?  Usually, that feeling never lies, at least in my life.  It is almost a guarantee that something unexpected will be attempting to knock us back down.  

After some long awaited 9 months of pregnancy, Gavin Antonio Ponist arrived on 2/1/2017.  That day in its self was full of chaos, which I’m sure most is the day of delivery. But for us, we had no idea this was going to be taking place or how it all happened.  Kristin and I went to our 40-week appointment with the OBGYN that morning, Kristin mentioned she hasn’t felt the baby move for a few hours.  The doctor advised us to go immediately to the hospital to be induced.

Once we left the doctor’s office we drove home, quickly ran in, grabbed our bags and kissed the kids before we left.  We arrived to the hospital for the doctor on call to chastise us for pushing matters just because we want the baby out.  Yea, we were offended, we corrected him to how this wasn’t our idea.  Within 10 minutes, he finds out our poor baby Gavin was breached, C-section it is.  Thinking we were going to be there for days after being induced; it turned into only hours and the baby was born at 5:33pm.

Everyone, Kristin and Gavin, are completely healthy and were released from the Hospital 2 days later.  So as our emotions are incredibly high, just to be home with all 6 of our kids, the text messages and phone calls come through.  The investigation that was filed against us from the last piece I wrote, was finally completed.  You remember that ordeal, right before Christmas, the hell we went through.  Well, something else was discovered from that whole dilemma.

This meeting was just to bring everyone to date, which involved all our case workers and agency workers. It was only so everyone was on the same page to complete our adoptions.  During this meeting that we were not invited too, the DHS commissioner realizes that none of our case workers have updated our kids’ medical situations in over the past 2 years.  What it looked like from an outsider is we do not take our kids to the doctors ever or follow up with their medical needs.  Immediately, this man that has never stepped foot in our home or even met us, said we have too many medical needs in one home. 

We of course were furious, that isn’t our home, our kids are doing amazing.  On our own, we called all the doctors and specialists the next day and sent over everything to prove what we do.  Again, we did what these case workers weren’t doing.  This laziness almost cost us our children, the children we fought for years to be healthy and safe.  Even hearing that in the close of the false allegations made against us, in which prejudice was literally written and found, we still cannot take a deep breath. 

Here, we planned to have a baby a year ago, after long consideration.  It was decided because Natalie is healthy and her short gut syndrome is stable and thriving.  We planned that when all kids are about to be adopted is when it was a good time to get pregnant.  This Commissioner at first argued that how can we have a child when the others were not healthy.   The sad part was, again we had no control of others incompetence falling on us.  A lesson we learned this week.  We refuse to feel safe anymore until each of these adoptions are final.  At this point we are terrified of what else could possibly delay in the completing of our family, who is there to trust?

Monday, January 2, 2017

The hurt you don't see behind the smiles

The craziness of the Holidays has hit us at a whole new level this year.  The saying “what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger” really hits home for us now.  Don’t get me wrong, most of it is positive, but man, everything is happening all at once around the holidays.  Not to mention, we have had the biggest scare of our life and only 3 days before Christmas.

DeAndre is DeAndre, taking the world by storm.  Those that know this incredible human being knows how far he has come and how amazing he is.  Well, with that we had made a huge decision that we probably should have done long ago.  We found that our son is not being pushed educationally at school.  In our school district, having autism, they focused more on behavior rather than education.  We also learned that his behaviors worsened at school because he is so bored.  So, we made a huge decision to home school him, we need to push him to the best of his abilities in all areas.

Now, as you all know, all 3 toddlers are going to adoption.  Those are easy now, the nightmare is over with fighting.  We have all paper work done and just waiting for the court to give us our day to appear to finalize.  Baby K, easy also for now, we are told once he is with us 6 months, it’s a closed case.  Just when all is finally being sorted out, the unimaginable happens!!!!

What scare you are asking?  Everything seems to finally be panning out for us, especially with baby Ponist due any day now.  The scare happened when a simple trip to the pediatrician and seeing a new doctor within the practice that we have never met before.  Who knew meeting someone for the first time could possibly ruin your entire life.

Kristin, on a random Thursday took our 4 yr old son to a regular checkup.  Once she left the appointment she called me right away upset, saying the doctor was chastising her the entire appointment.  She said maybe hormones from the pregnancy but she was offended.  Well her intuition was right, this woman called the child abuse hotline on us.  Why?  Because the country that she comes from, being a same sex couple is forbidden.

This doctor called in and reported us as abusing our kids, because of our sexuality is damaging our children.  Yes, it is abusing power and making a false allegation as a doctor.  Any one that deals at all with the foster system knows what happens when even a false report is made.  Our kids were almost removed from our home temporarily, that is protocol, even if a ridiculous accusation is made.  This, all right before the holidays, we were mortified.   We kept to ourselves and lived in fear for 24 hrs straight, sweating the entire time.  I for one, have never been so scared in my life, these children cannot be without us even for 5 minutes let alone a few days.  Especially miss out on Christmas with their forever family.

So that night, DHS said that the kids will stay with us, thankfully, due to the extent of the allegation made.  We called the doctor and she said she reported as a concern for our kids and not really abuse.  We could not believe that this even happened, she obviously had no idea how bad this could of really been.  But luckily the next day the state and DHS came out to the home, talked to all of us.  They admitted that the doctor was wrong and dropped the case completely.  They shook their heads and left saying that it doesn’t matter how hard you fight to help others, there will always be that one person trying to knock you down.  Someone’s selfish ways can easily ruin the lives of others.

Then some of you may be wondering, why Kristin started having contractions the Friday before Christmas.  Well, here is what we believe is the reason for that.  We are the ones that take in everyone and anyone we can.  We pay it forward as much as possible, that’s just who we are.  When this happened to us, it was a punch in our gut.  We are the people to save children from abuse and neglect, not put them in harm’s way.  Both of our souls were rocked with this cruel statement, I alone felt like I was having a heart attack.  I couldn’t even imagine how Kristin felt carrying our unborn baby.  But, like everything else, we got through it, just our unborn son seems to be coming a little early as a result.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

When we decided to try and get pregnant we agreed to take a break from fostering.  We figured that our 3 toddlers are going through the adoption process; this a great time to focus on seeing their adoptions through and try to get pregnant.  First of all, no one expected our process of IUI to only take 2 tries.  We were elated with 3 adoptions and a new baby on his way, all this will happen in less than a year.

Don't get me wrong, we make it sound a lot easier than what it was, things still were a little stressful.  There were a lot of doctors visits and ultra sounds, on top of the extra paper work for the adoptions.  Things were getting done in a timely matter but still seemed to be taking forever with all 3 of these adoption cases.  Especially after TPR was months ago, we should of had these court dates by now.

Then comes our usual, every time things start to seem calm, the phone call that changes it all.  As I am getting the girls ready for bed last Friday night, Kristin comes running/screaming across the house.  DHS called to advise us that our youngest, now has a 2 day old brother.  Being that her rights were just involuntarily terminated, this child is automatically an adoptive placement.  First thought was, there is no way we can do this with 4 kids and 1 on the way.  We had no idea that the Bio was even pregnant, apparently neither did any one else.

That night on the phone with DHS, Kristin puts the call on speaker phone.  She told the case worker she was doing this so I could hear.  DHS immediately says "who is Diane" Kristin replies “my wife” then the call goes quiet.  We tell the worker that us being pregnant we need to discuss this and will call her back in  minutes.  We call back with a few questions then were told by the worker "sorry, my supervisor said no to you guys getting him anyway”.  So we thanked her and ended the call puzzled why that was just said to us.  I, in turn, was very upset and couldn’t sleep that night knowing our child had a sibling, we needed to follow up about this.

Moving on to Saturday, we started the morning discussing back and forth about this new baby situation.  Both of us were so out of our minds with this recent shock, it just wasn’t sitting well.  Then our agency calls and asked us to please take him, he needs to be with us.  So immediately, we say yes and go into freak out mode trying to get ready in just hours for this new born baby.  We can do this, this is what we do.  We make every thing work with no time to prepare, this is our forte’.

On Monday we were ready, they said DHS will pick the baby up from the hospital and bring directly to our home.  Our case worker came to check that we had a crib and were ready, everyone in our community really stepped up and helped.  We ran around like crazy for 48 hrs getting every thing we needed, now it was time for us to meet this baby.  All day went by, no phone call, no baby.  That evening we called the agency, they were in shock we did not have him with us.  The chain of calls started with who has him and what in the world could have happened.

Tuesday morning, the supervisor of the agency calls, she is steaming with anger.  She told us the baby was brought to the wrong house, DHS did this behind every one else’s back.  Reason being, when Kristin said my wife, immediately they didn’t want us to have him.  DHS literally told our case worker on Saturday in a meeting, “but they are a lesbian couple”.  So this woman, took matters in her own hands with her personal beliefs and hatred.

That day, the prejudice went all they way up to the DHS commissioner.  That day, we were on the phone with every one involved and of course our attorney.  That day, the baby arrived, transported by that DHS worker who made that poor choice.  That day, the baby was home to stay with his forever family.  We thanked her for bringing us our new son, shook her hand, as we smiled, walking her to the door to leave gracefully.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The day I met my child's mother, I dreaded this and never wanted this to happen. Termination was supposed to have gone through before she was released from prison.  Unfortunately, the scheduling was off by a few weeks and a visit was granted.  Two years ago this meeting between us would have went very differently.

We got the news telling us that her release date and our court date for TPR was a few weeks apart.  Due to her rights still intact she had the right to see her children one last time before possibly losing her rights forever. She was fighting the fact that the state wanted to take her rights away of being a parent.  Truth be told, she had no shot in winning, she just served three years behind bars for what she did to these same children she  was fighting for.

Kristin usually does these visits with the kids, I have never met a bio face to face.  This time was different, this person almost killed our child.  She is a very dangerous person, she plead out of serving for attempt of murder.  This was not the first time she lost children though, it seems like it is a vicious cycle for her.  This visit Kristin asked me to go along, there was no way her anxiety was going to let her go in this solo.

A few days before the scheduled appointment, I decided this time, Kristin needs to sit out.  With being pregnant and her high emotions; especially what we have gone through after receiving this child in such bad shape.  I was adamant that this one I needed to do for me, I wanted to go in and gain the upper hand for us and our child.  Although when we arrived, I have never experienced my body shaking so badly.

Our 4 year old child and I pulled up to the building and right away tensions were high for both.  We walked into the building and into a very small room with this monster and her attorney.  We held hands the entire time, our child was completely comfortable and connected with me.  They never once made eye contact, I never saw my daughter ignore anyone, she must of remembered or knew who was in the room with us.

Once I stopped shaking I sat down across the table from this woman that  I've hated for about 2 years now.  Me and my daughter acted for a while as if she was never there, as she watched us interact.  Her attorney was smiling and asked if we can adopt her as well.  I looked at my child's mother and started asking her questions of how the child was born and other things that we have always wanted to know.  She answered all my questions and I proceeded to tell her what it was like to be us.  All the details I had planned to give the judge in two weeks to testify why she is unsafe to be around any children, let alone our baby girl.

After an hour of “Natalie” and this person that gave birth to her, her attacker, we said our good byes.  This little girl walked out without looking at anyone, holding her head high.  This woman that I thought nothing but negative thoughts for so long grabbed my arm.  I turned around, she pulled me in and hugged me.  She said to me loud enough for the room to hear, “I'm signing my rights over right now.  This is your child and I can't stand in your way”.  I said thank you, we exchanged emails with me asking for baby pics and she agreed.  This day, this woman saw that just giving birth does not make you a mother, it's who is raising and protecting the child that makes them the parent.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

This week was an unexpectedly exciting week for our home and family.  On Monday we had an ultrasound and learned the sex of our baby.  Good surprise that was very well needed, we are having a boy as all of our children expected.  But with all the excitement and new feelings of carrying a child, new for both of us, it is also eye opening in another way.

As I laid in bed last night, trying to fall asleep, it dawned on me.  In the beginning of this pregnancy, I was worried about this baby coming into our life. We did things backwards, well compared to most families to foster/adopt and also have a bio child.  I was scared that our current children were going to have negative feelings, “why didn't I come from your belly” type of feelings.  Honestly, they are not feeling anything but happiness and joy of our newest family member. They are proud to be apart of this process and feel closer as a family unit which is an amazing feeling for all of us.

Every night we have a routine after dinner.  Kristin lays on the living room floor as the kids and I sit around her and we talk to the baby.  We each yell at Kristin’s stomach “hi baby” as we all tell the baby who we are.  Then we blow raspberries on the belly and giggle, this we started a few weeks ago.  What came over me last night is the feeling of an overwhelming sense of sadness in a way.

I am extremely sad because I am feeling a different type of attachment for this baby.  I am just as attached to our other children don't get me wrong.  My point is I never wanted to carry a child, so until this I thought maybe I would resent the baby, that's not the case either.  My sadness comes from wondering how any person can go through the excitement and the feeling of carrying a child.  Even though I'm not the one carrying, knowing this growing baby in my wife's belly, then turn and not want it anymore.  As is the case with our other children, I feel more sad for them, I appreciate them even more now.  I can't understand how any person can conceive a child then not do everything in your power to keep this child safe.

When Kristin told me 7 months ago she still wants to experience carrying, I said ok.  At the time I was impartial, I could take or leave her being pregnant and be fine either way.  Now that she is pregnant, even though I have no biological connection to this baby either, I have already created a huge bond with him.

I thanked her recently, of course she told me to stop cause she is so emotional, but I thanked her for kind of pushing this experience for us.  It opened my eyes in a new light.  This is something so amazing, something I never knew I wanted so badly.  Something our kids are proud to actually watch their new sibling growing in mommy’s belly.  Something to bring our family even closer to solidify even more that just blood doesn't make us whole.

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