Today's the day. Today is the day you came into our lives.
I felt like pasting the very first journal entry I did, soon after Atty was placed with us. It speaks so well to how I was feeling at that time, how overwhelming the whole thing was, and how loved he was from the moment I heard of his birth, before I even saw him, I knew that if he couldn't be with his parents, then his home was with us.
I changed a few things for privacy reasons.
February: Atty came to our house on February 9th when he was only a week old! He was a tiny little peanut. It was a surreal experience, two social workers came, they looked like they were my age or younger and they brought Atty with them. They stay for less then an hour, gave me a packet of paperwork, a little bag with a few belongings in it, checked the house, and left. We had less then a week to prepare for this, so there I stand with a tiny little baby in my arms, pregnant, and even with all the kids in the house making noise, everything for a moment seemed silent. So overwhelming. I just looked down at him, snuggled in my arms, and for a moment I panicked. Had I done the right thing, would I be able to handle it? But I knew I had because I couldn't imagine leaving him in foster care and possibly never getting to know my own nephew. I can handle anything I put my mind too, and that is what I will do. I know it’s going to be hard, the whole situation is difficult for everyone, but I want what is best for Atty. So innocent, so unaware. So deserving of love and happiness. I felt such a mixture of emotions staring at him after the case workers left. Little tiny fingers and toes, red fuzz for hair, little scrunched up face, just a peanut. Only weighed about 7lbs and seemed so tiny in comparison to how big Bubu was at the same age. I felt like I was in a daze. I stayed up late into the night just gazing at him, my brain swirling. We have settled in to a routine of some sort. Bubu is doing fairly well with the whole situation so far. I wonder how long he will be here and if (biological parents) will be able to get him back or not. They were pretty far out there when the state took custody of Atty, so we will have to wait and see. I am afraid for what Atty’s life will be like if they do get him back, because of their mental illnesses, but at the same time I know they love him and a little bit of me hurts for them. A lot of me is angry at them though, because they had been told that it was not a good idea for them to have a child because of their mental illnesses and that there was a good chance that the state would take there baby away, and they had one any ways. Now poor Atty has to grow up and face the choices his parents made, good or bad, and I don’t want him to suffer because of them. Also there choice made life more complicated for everyone involved, and I’m involved because I was the only family member the state was willing to place him with, so I had to step up or face possibly never knowing him and having him be lost in the system and maybe even adopted out. That would eat me up inside. I need to know I did everything I could to provide a safe and loving environment for this precious little baby. So that even if he can’t go back to his parents, he will still know his family and know that we cared about him very much and wanted him to stay with us where we could raise him and keep him as connected to his family as possible. So he knows where he came from and does not ever have to wonder about his roots. I just hope that if they do get him back it is sooner rather then later. It would be a lot harder if he was a year old verses a couple of months. The longer he is here I know the more we will become attached and connected and it will be so much more emotional to say good bye.
Just re-reading this brings tears to my eyes. It's been so hard not knowing if he is staying or going. For the whole first year we got no answers. Nothing is finalized still, that first September we started the adoption process, only on the hope that we will be able to adopt him. We have been told recently that there shouldn't be any reason why we can't, but the whole process is still slowly working it's way through the system. When he was little I would look at him and want to love him whole heartedly, yet I would feel like I needed to guard myself against possible heart break. As the months went by though it wasn't a choice, he had my heart, my whole heart. So the fear started, the fear that he would be removed from our home, that we wouldn't be able to adopt him, and that I wouldn't recover from that loss. My heart still lurches at the thought. I so desperately want this adoption to be finalized so I don't have this thought in my head anymore that I could be looking at him helplessly, while he is being taken away from me screaming, in the arms of an unknown caseworker. The other day a cop pulled someone over in front of my house, all I saw was the lights flashing and I immediately thought for a split second, oh no they have come to take him away and there is nothing I can do about it. Completely irrational, I know, but I live in fear right now. The older he gets the more desperately I want this thing finalized. I just want that piece of paper in my hand that gives me the right to say, "yes I am his mother, and you can't take him away from me." We have cared for his every need for two full years now, and you can't just come and take him away.
There is no way to end this post without sounding like a paranoid freak, but I think any mother faced with even the slimmest possibility of losing their child would feel as I do. I just want the security to say that my child is indeed my child. He was placed in my heart on February 9th 2007, and he has been growing in there ever since, it's time for things to be finalized people, it's time for him to essentially be "born"! It's time for me to be able to look into the face of my child and know that I kept my promises to him, the ones I made on that first night two years ago. The promise that I would always do what was best for him. No matter what. The promise that he was home if that is what he needed, and that he was loved, always loved. The promise that I would do everything I could to make sure he was safe and secure.
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