Ok. So I have been duly chastised regarding telling my story in parts. Really, if I told the whole story at one time, I am afraid my poor friends and readers would not last until the end. I liken it to swallowing a whole steak instead of cutting it into edible pieces.
Here is the next piece of steak.
Alright, where was I? Ah yes, I ended the last post saying that I had convinced myself that God had wanted us to adopt my cousin's precious baby girl. I couldn't wait. She was due late August of 2009, but on July 25th, I got a call saying that she had gone into preterm labor and was about to deliver. This was not supposed to happen this way! My cousin was 5 days away from flying out to North Carolina to deliver here. I had wanted to be with her and legally it just made things a whole lot easier. I tried everything in my power to get to where she was to no avail. This is where I fully admit, with shame, that I was in this more for me than the baby or the mom. To be truthful, a part of me knew that the longer my cousin was around her baby girl, the less likely she would let her baby girl be adopted by us.
We received a call later that night from my aunt telling us to stop all the paperwork and that my cousin had decided to keep her baby. I wasn't surprised, but oh so disappointed.......I mean, who could blame her? I couldn't even be mad at her. Quickly, I knew this was the way it was supposed to go and I was surprised at how easy it was for me to make peace with this. My husband had other ideas. Shortly after my aunt's call to halt the adoption, he came to me with tears and conviction. He told me that he felt the Lord was leading him to take in my 17 yr old cousin and her two tiny little girls. My cousin had had an unsavory past and was struggling with the choices she had made and was making. Most of our family would not lend support to her as they had wearied of her behavior long ago. It was clear to us that we may be her last life line and it was my husband's prayer that maybe we could mentor her and get her on her feet so that she could learn to support her children. Now, please keep in mind that I never told him that I had read books on birth mother issues, nor had I ever confessed to a single soul that my heart was telling me to try to keep my cousin and her babies together. It was then, that I knew the Lord was speaking very clearly to me. He had tried to speak to me through my research on birth mom issues, but I did not have the courage to listen. Then, my husband came to me with a solution to help keep my cousin and her girls together. Now, it was glaringly obvious to me what we had to do. We were about to become a family of 12 children overnight.
Within three weeks, I was on a plane to go pick up my cousin and her girls Maria and Baby Julia. Here is Maria at 15 mos and Julia at three weeks in the arms of the daughter of a good friend, several days after their arrival in NC:
Unbeknownst to me, there was much debate about whether coming to live with us was the right thing to do. The children's' father and paternal grandmother were against it but relations between them and my cousin were strained due to accusations of physical abuse and drug abuse on the father's part. It was a whirlwind pick up and we were all back at the airport ready to come home to NC within 24 hours. The paternal grandmother had told my cousin that she would help by "packing" Maria and Julia's carry on backpack for the trip. I thought this to be so odd given her negative feelings about my cousin going to NC with her girls. Upon arriving at the airport and waiting at the gate, little Julia began to fuss due to hunger. My cousin pulled out the back pack and started to rummage around for the bottles and formula to feed her. After searching fruitlessly, it was clear that the grandmother had failed to pack the formula or any bottles. There was no way that this 5 lb newborn was going to survive 8 hrs of travel without being fed. It was midnight, 20 minutes before boarding, and there was no way we could get our hands on any formula. In my heart, and knowing the grandmother and her absolute distaste for what we were doing, this was a purposeful act of rebellion and an attempt to sabotage our flight. This had the potential of being a real deal breaker.
What the grandmother did not take into account was that I was an active breast feeder, and with my cousin's permission, I breastfed sweet hungry Julia all the way home without a hitch. This also spoke to me that we were doing the right thing. It truly felt like the Lord had parted the Red Sea for us and that any attempt to stop this would, and did, fail miserably.
You know, at this point, I am not sure which way to go with this. There are so many points to this story and so many lessons learned. I am glad it all happened. I would love to say that this all had a happy ending. It did have an ending but not what I expected at all.
(To Be Continued....)