Jack's Adoption Story, Part III

Thank you for sticking with me on this journey. I told you it was quite an adventure! If you're just stopping in, please see Part I and Part II of Jack's story before picking up today's post. Let's see if I can keep my tears to a minimum. I promise it has a happy ending!

When Rick said it was time to go home, I knew he was right. It hurt worse than any of the other failed adoptions combined, but I knew my husband, the head of my home, was right. It was time to move on. We tried to fly home that day, as well as the next two days, but seats were limited due to the holidays. Finally, by December 26, we couldn't stand it any longer, so we rented a car and drove home. We did our best to remain tear-free in front of Liam, because once the tears began, there were flood gates, and he was too young (20 months) to understand any of it. We made it home that evening, and I went straight to my bed and cried for what was probably hours.

I don't remember the next several days at all. I know that I got up each day and tried to tell myself and everyone else that I was okay, but I continued to question God. "Why in the world are You making me go through this again?!" I remember He very plainly spoke to me in one of my crying fits. He said, "Trust me. I've got you."

By January 8, we were weary, and we knew it was time to make a very important phone call. I actually made this call myself. It had to be me. "Shelly, I need to know how much of our account has not been used and when we can expect to receive a check for that amount. It's time that we move on." Silence fell over the phone. In my mind, I began to panic thinking that all of our money had somehow been used. But Shelly spoke very quietly with this: "She called me yesterday, Ami. I wasn't going to call you until I had more info. She had the baby January 6th, and she still wants to place him with you. She's bringing him tomorrow. I wasn't going to call you until I had him in my arms. She said that her family was pressuring her, and she just needed some time." I was speechless. Was this really happening? Because in the meantime, Rick had found out about three other baby boys that needed to be adopted, and we were ready to make a decision that day. Shelly continued with, "I don't know what you want to do. I know she's put you through a lot. If you want to go ahead with another adoption, I'll send your check tomorrow." No, no, no! Jack was mine back in July when I found out about him! He's Liam's flesh and blood. I couldn't turn him down!

We made plans to drive from Colorado to Louisiana with Liam and my parents to claim our baby. We were ecstatic, to say the least. BM was due to sign relinquishment papers at 2:00 on January 10. 2:00 came and went. No BM. 2:30, 3:00, and so on. At 4:30, I knew she wasn't going to show. Shelly, once again, couldn't reach her by phone. We remained calm and hopeful throughout the evening. At bedtime, I told Rick that he and I were going to the office at 8:30 the next morning. I don't know what I wanted to accomplish through that, but it was one of those moments where I had to do something.

We did exactly that the next morning. Shelly met us at the door with the look that told me everything I needed to know. Without words, she told me that BM had not called or come in. I held my chin up and said, "Then we need you to return our money." And we returned to the hotel to retrieve our one beautiful child, my grieving parents, and our luggage. We were on the road quickly and planned to drive as far as we could in order to get home as soon as possible. The car was quiet, except for mine and my mom's sobs. As I tried to calm down in the back seat, I felt God's presence. He kept me warm, literally warm. Again, He reminded me that he had me in His arms. And I sat up, and said to Rick with absolute assurance, "We need to call the agency in Oklahoma and tell them that we want that bi-racial baby."

[This is where Garrett's story begins. I don't want to leave you hanging, so I will tell you that we went straight to Oklahoma and met Garrett's BM, who delivered three weeks later. Garrett was brought to me within 20 minutes of his birth, and he's been ours ever since! Praise be to God!]

From January 10 to April 2005, our lives were complete chaos. Not only did we lose Jack a second time, but we adopted a newborn, sold our Colorado house, and moved to Texas. Our Colorado house sold so quickly that we had to live with my parents and my in-laws for three-week stints each, until our new home was ready. We were able to move into our new house on April 17, and were so relieved to have a place to call home. We finally felt settled, ahh the relief!

Ring, ring. April 26. "Hi, Ami, it's Shelly." Oh. My. Word. You cannot be calling me, because you don't call me to shoot the breeze! "Hi, Shelly. I'm feeling sick to my stomach. Should I be sitting down?" The conversation went something like this: "BM called and says she's ready to relinquish. She says that she's got uterine cancer and is having a hysterectomy in two days. Now, I don't know how much to believe her. She may be saying that just to pull at your heart. I know you have a newborn, so you can say no, but I wanted to call you first."

Rick was out of town. Liam turned 2 the day before. Garrett was 12 weeks old. We had just moved. "Shelly, I need to think and pray. This is Liam's blood brother. Can I wait a couple days to give you an answer?"

I promise that part IV will be the final installment of the Jackson saga. It will appear tomorrow. See you then! Yes, it's a happier installment!


rocks in my dryer said...

Wow, this is amazing!

Angela said...

What a wonderful story. God is good
I can't wait to hear the other stories. Please post them as soon as you get a spare moment from your 3 beautiful boys!