From the beginning:
To say I love children is an understatement. Without noticing, noise, laughter, snuggles, and (let's face it) fights and tantrums became like air to me. I guess you could say that as the oldest of 5 kids, with a mom who is as great with kids as she is (not to mention a former day care director), I was bred to be a natural caregiver.
By the end of high school, I was done. Fed, up get me out of here, I'm going crazy- if I never nanny again it will be fine by me. Then I went to college... oh my, the deafening silence just about killed me. My TV, radio, or ipod ran every minute I was in my room. I couldn't study, focus, or sleep without it. When home on summers, it was time to find a job and guess what found me? NANNYING, babysitting, mother's helper, household organizer, home manager, and nursery volunteer- I was doomed (in a good way). Maybe it was just inevitable, but it ended up being the love of my life. Sure, the business world lit my fire for a while, but if I could go back and start over again, I'd probably be elementary education or social work. I guess its a good thing that I know how I feel now, it'll make picking my last elective next spring easy. Haha!
Where the latest adventure begins- Past to the Present:
I married DH, who is the godfather of his best friend from high school's kids. It's a pretty cookie cutter story of teenage pregnancy, getting married too young, an again-off again relationship, finally hitting a point where someone finally realized their relationship is completely toxic and bad for everyone in and around them, and, finally, one big, fat, final break up.
From the beginning, my goals were not light tasks, but were rather basic- keep the babies safe, spoil them rotten, and love the time I got to spend with them. Baby Mama loves her kids, and that was never in question. The question was whether or not she would be able to step up and put their needs above her own desires, in the absence of their father. There were many problems before, but they were old exacerbated by Baby Daddy's leaving. I gave it 6 solid months and some change. DH had put in over 6 years, being everything from moderator/peacekeeper, confidant, prenatal visit enforcer and transportation, babysitter, etc. Enough was enough! DH & I sent Baby Mama & Baby Daddy an ultimatum, a last chance to get their acts together. That plan backfired. In demanding that the children no longer be neglected and their needs be met, Baby Mama accused us of trying to steal her kids because I can't have my own. Ouch! That hurt.
Yes, it's true, we can't have children of our own without the help of a medical professional. However, that does NOT mean that we are unable to have our own kids. It was rough having the only person I had told about it, at that point, throw it back in my face, especially when my intentions where honorable. DH says that because Baby Mama is manipulative she expects me to be the same way. It makes sense, but I try really hard not to assume things about other people, so it is upsetting to not be given the same curtosy, or even be heard, by someone I thought was a friend.
(Note: Other people have tried to take her kids in the past. I know that now, so I understand that she fell back on predisposed assumptions. I just wish she would have thought twice, and known DH & I better than that.)
I feel like burning the bridge, though regretable because in it we lost the ability to keep tabs on the kids, was necessary to get Baby 2 the immediate attention he needed, even if it was only for one day. I do miss the kids terribly and worry about their health and well being often. I'm hoping that one day Baby Mama will let us see the kids again. The three months since I've seen or talked to them have been hard. We are trying to stay positive and respect the space Baby Mama has requested. We requested to stay out of the drama and negativity, but if I could go back I would do everything the same, I would just pray for a different result.
Looking to the Future:
I've known all my life that I wanted to adopt and foster children, my father was adopted and that has blessed my family in so many ways. DH and I decided to really consider it now, instead of waiting years when we already have children of our own. We have a long road ahead of us with training, home inspections, state evaluations, finger printing, etc. We are very nervous about knowing that we are only able to do so much on our side, and that we have to rely on and relinquish control to so many other people to make this happen. We are trying to give 150% on our end, and leave the rest of it up to God, relying on His plans being so much greater than anything we can fathom. We are hoping that all of our friends and family will support our decision to become foster parents, and stand with us in prayer for a smooth certification process and wonderful child placement(s) in the future.