Liam's Adoption Story Part I

It is time to share Liam’s adoption story. For those of you who are new to Cup Runneth Over, I have already shared Jack and Garrett’s adoption stories here and here. Every adoption seems to carry its own unique qualities, and one of my main goals with my blog is to share my boys’ stories in hopes to encourage someone out there to consider adoption as it is…a beautiful way of creating forever families.

As I’ve mentioned before, once Rick and I began the adoption process, we faced eight failed adoptions. In one case, we discontinued the adoption of a girl in Sierra Leone due to a shaky program that left us wondering if we would ever truly bring that child home. The other seven cases were all domestic adoptions, and the birth moms all decided to parent their babies.

The eighth failed adoption took place on March 28, 2003, and it was the straw that broke this camel’s back. I swore off adoption altogether that day. I didn't think that I could take another disappointment. Only I wasn’t able to say that I would be content without children for the rest of my life, and fertility treatments had already proven to fail us.

Rick and I holed ourselves up for that March weekend to grieve. I truly felt as if I had given birth to a still-born baby. The pain in my heart was very real. And I told Rick that I couldn’t do it anymore. I think he was ready to call it off, too, until he talked to his mom on Sunday.

My mother-in-law called to check on us. I overheard Rick telling his mom that he was really worried about my well-being. He was worried that I would never recover, and so was I, honestly.

My mother-in-law is the type of woman that enters the room, and everything immediately begins to liven up. She’s a take-charge, high-energy woman, and she attacks life with her whole heart. While on the phone with Rick that Sunday morning, March 30, 2003, she said, “That’s it. I’m calling my friend tomorrow. Her cousin owns an adoption agency in Louisiana, and I’ll see what they can do for you. I’m taking the bull by the horns.” When Rick told me about this part of the conversation, I rolled my eyes and said, “Yea, right.” I couldn’t help but be pessimistic. I had no other results to make me believe any differently.

On Monday, I drug my feet to work. I hated that job before I lost so many babies, but that was the absolute worst morning of my teaching career. I had quit this job the week before, in hopes of staying home with my new baby. But when that adoption fell through, I knew that I needed to work in order to keep my mind busy. My assistant principal was also an adoptive mom, so she understood my position and allowed my return to work. I remember going through the motions of that Monday morning with so much pain in my heart that I had to leave my classroom several times in order to breathe through the tears.

By about 9:30 that morning, Rick had called my cell phone twice and had left one message. I took a break to listen his message. I remember his words very well. "My mom talked to her friend and got in touch with the attorney in Louisiana. There’s a baby boy due in April. Do you want him? Call me.” Only I was so hurt and depressed that I couldn’t get excited. I called Rick back and said, “I don’t want him. He’s probably a white baby anyway.” (Our last few failed adoptions had all been black boys, so my heart was set on a black boy.) Rick said, “No, he’s black, just like you want. Let’s get him. I’ll do all the paperwork this time. You just have to say ‘yes’.” I told him to go ahead with it, but I swore that I wouldn’t get excited about this one.

Rick spent the rest of the day getting all of the paperwork in order. By dinner time, he had everything ready for my signature and needed nothing more from me. I was slowly beginning to come around and was beginning to smile again. We had my parents meet us for TexMex for dinner, because all celebrations call for chips and salsa! I remember filling my parents in on all the details, and my mom said, “I don’t know if I can get excited about this. We’ve been through so much.” My heart changed immediately, and I said, “Mom, I know exactly what you’re saying. I’ve felt that way all day, but I feel a peace in my heart that tells me to get excited. This baby deserves our hope.” And we all celebrated and giggled the evening away.

Baby Boy was due at the end of April, but Birthmom (BM) showed many signs of an earlier delivery date. We spent the next three weeks on pins and needles, just like any first-time expectant parents. In the end, BM needed to be induced for her well-being. We knew that we would be parents on April 25, 2003.

We went to work that day in order to stay busy, but I couldn’t tell you one thing about work that day! I know that I went to work, and I’m sure that I worked, being that I was at work, but that’s all I can remember. I carried my cell phone with me all day in hopes of getting the call announcing my baby’s birth. The call did not come until after 7:30 pm, but we remember the news very well.

Rick took the call from our social worker (SW).
SW: Rick, you’re a daddy. Congratulations! You have a baby boy. He’s 7 lbs. 3 oz. and 19 inches long.
Rick: Oh my gosh! What does he look like?
SW: He has lots of soft, curly hair. He’s tiny. He looks like a little peanut.

And that’s how Liam Edward became "Peanut".

Please join me tomorrow for the conclusion to Liam’s adoption story.


Jodie said...

I remember Liam's adoption so well and every time I read/hear/think about you guys hearing those words that you were finally parents I cry. I will never forget the smiles on Rick's face from that day forward. All of your boys are so lucky to be part of your family!

Margaret said...

I can't wait for the rest...and you are right - any reason is a good one for chips and salsa (and queso!!)

Anonymous said...

Yay! I have loved realding the other 2 stories and I have loved reading this one too.

Thanks so much for sharing! Looking forward to the rest...


oh amanda said...

Thank you for sharing this story! I can't wait to read the other stories, too!