Vision Statement: Strengthening Eternal Families by Promoting and Defending Adoption and
Increasing our Involvement in the Community

Friday, January 25, 2013

Brett & Cali

Our road to having our own family was not easy. We were married in 2005. We were expecting to get pregnant soon after but it never happened. The next year I went to a fertility specialist to see what was going on and they did tests and I was told I had unexplained infertility. They had no answers for me. I later had problems with a few cysts on my ovaries and was told that I did not ovulate. My husband also got tested and was told he was also unable to have children the normal way. It was devastating news. I wanted to be a mother and there was nothing we could do about it.

A friend of mine when I was young was a foster child. I saw how it changed her life and I admired the process and the people who took her in.

We were in our 4th year of marriage and I suggested to my husband that we could consider becoming a foster home. He did not know anything about it but, was very supportive of my desire to do it. We attended the classes and was certified. We were anxious to be parents. It was our turn to have a family.

We got several phone calls about different sibling groups but none of them ended up working for us. We waited for a placement for a year. I never imagined it would take so long to get our first placement.

I got a call about a sibling group of 4 placement. they were in a hurry to find them a home. I had a 5 passenger vehicle and a 3 bedroom house. It was a strange feeling because it felt right to me, however it wasn't going to work. I was very sad to tell her no. She called back an hour later and asked if I would take the 3 youngest girls. The oldest boy is a half brother that was going to stay with his grandmother. I called Brett and he also felt it was right and was not even hesitant to say yes, even though we were about to take on 3 kids. She told me to come get them the next morning.

They were the sweetest kids. We fell in love with them so quickly. These poor kids however were not taught anything. They were 5,2,1 when I got them. All in diapers, all drinking bottles all day, all with about 10 words in their vocabularies. In a sense, I was given three 1 year olds. All were born premature because of use of drugs during pregnancy- one born at 26 weeks and stayed in the NICU for almost 4 months. Just a sad situation.
We spent almost a year being foster parents which implied that we were to go take the kids to see their mom once a week, take them to court dates, take them to many doctors, speech therapy, occupational therapy, special ed schools, and to see them progress was amazing. They were like new kids and it felt so good to be able to help and allow them to have a different life and to learn. This made the whole process worth it.

Their mom had every chance to get them back but never really tried. But she did however drag it out as long as she could. This was the most scary and frustrating thing for us. We never knew if and when they would get to go back. That will be the case in any child you will foster. We were incredibly attached to them and to lose them would be heartbreaking. With kids 3 and younger, parents have 8 months to get everything done (anger management classes, parenting classes, get an approved place to live, get a stable job, mental health assessment and in my case, stay out of jail) With kids 4 and older, the parents have 12 months. Since I had kids in both groups. There were more court dates and rights were terminated for the younger 2 first but no trial yet so the visits and such continued until she had dragged the process out as long as she could.

After the allotted time, there was a trial. The people who testified were the social worker, myself, the mothers and fathers teachers of the classes they were supposed to take, her therapist people, the parents and other people relevant to the case. It lasted about 5 hours. At the end of that trial the judge terminated rights permanently. A few months later we went back to court for the adoption, which was the first time that we did not dread going to court.

We have been very lucky. We were able to help these children have things and tools that they would have never had and opportunities to do things that they would never do. This makes everything worth it. It was a lot to take on but I was lucky and I knew it.

Last month, we were able to have the most amazing, special day our family will ever have. We were sealed to our children in the temple. What a beautiful feeling it was to know that they were mine, forever.

We are the luckiest parents in the world and we are so grateful that we have our family, even though it did not come the normal, easy way, it was our way and it was perfect. The girls have come a long way and are doing great in school and other aspects of their lives. I am grateful that we are the ones that were able to change their lives. They certainly changed ours.


Mary said...

Beautiful Girls! I commend you for opening up your hearts to fostering.

Marty and Brigette said...

LOVED your story! You have a beautiful family!

Holly said...

As a former foster parent myself, I completely understand the frustration and waiting you went through. Congrats on making it through it and best wishes to your sweet family!