My story began in February 2016, but I didn’t know it yet.
I live in a guest house only 4 miles from the the small, private, Christian school I teach at. My friends and landlords, T & J, have fostered babies for years. At the end of February a newborn was placed with them. He was born addicted to a hardcore drug that T had to wean him off of. I felt drawn to this little boy, but knew not to get to close as the babies never stayed long. All of the paperwork that accompanied him said “Baby Boy”.
In March, I led my school’s annual Washingotn DC trip, and my mom came out from Arizona to cat sit. Really she just wanted a vacation and excuse to visit the ocean, but it worked for both of us! As she spent a week loving on this little boy, she nicknamed him Bubba, because she felt that he needed a name, and Baby Boy just wasn’t cutting it.
As the weeks went on, I still felt drawn to the little guy. I tried to avoid too much contact, but it was hard to not want to spend time with him. It almost hurt to get to know him, and knowing he would leave eventually. I’m an avoider of relationship pain…hence being never married at 41. I always figured marriage and kids would come along eventually. I spent my 20’s working on my career, became a teacher and my 30’s were all about other people’s children.
About August, I was having a conversation with T about Bubba. I made a flippant remark about wishing I could adopt him, but knowing I couldn’t. She asked me a simple question.
Why can’t you?
I had a billion excuses. And she had responses for each one.
It really got my brain mulling.
As I started looking into it, it began a serious faith and identity journey.
Suddenly the grandmas showed up and considered custody. The agency T & J were certified through and DCFS wouldn’t certify me as a foster parent because I had the same address as they did. It felt that as soon as I made the thought real, the possibility was being snatched away from me.
T tried to sell me as a good option to the families. Willing to do an open adoption, allow the grandmas (who each had kids at home themselves) to be grandmas, etc. As the two grandmas warmed up to the idea of me as a parent to Bubba, his social worker had an idea – because of my closeness to him since his birth, I could be classified as a NREFM (non-related extended family member).
I was finally approved, and both grandmas agreed to step out of the line-up for Bubba.
On May 17, 2016, I became Bubba’s foster mom. Hopefully by January 2017, I will be his adopted mom.
Welcome to my journey as a single, pre-adoptive foster mom!