Guest Blogger: Marie writes about her foster-to-adoption Experiences:
“Marie”, I looked up at my mother. Worry creased her brow and filled her countenance.
“Yes?” She couldn’t be in trouble… No. Something bad had happened. Mom only got that look in her eye when a pet had died or something.
“Could you come into the front room with me? We need to have a little talk.”
Bewildered, I followed as curiosity and fear warred within me.
Mom sat down on the bigger couch and patted the seat right next to her. Morgan sat down nearby, pretending to be disinterested. I mentally shrugged as I plopped down on the couch and looked at the manila folder my mom held with white knuckles.
“Do you know what the word adoption means?”
Mom nervously explained it. It took a moment, but I got the gist. Mom had almost died when she had Daren. She’d almost died when she’d had Morgan. The doctor didn’t want her to have any more children, but dad had a vivid dream about a boy who told them that he was waiting. So despite what mom had been through twice before, they had another baby, only it was a girl. They prayed about it but knew that little boy was theirs; that he was to come to them through mom. So they tried again. This time the doctor made sure that mom couldn’t have any more babies.
But they still heard their oldest kids’ pleas during family prayer. “Dear Heavenly Father, please send us another brother or sister.”
The answer for them was to become foster parents. They would take in kids (even teenagers), teach them, guide them, and love them as their own. Then their four children would have more siblings, in a sense.
“Okay,” I remember dragging out the word. So what did that have to do with me?
Mom asked if I noticed that my brother Chad and I looked different than them. I shrugged. Granny had curly hair, so did dad. That’s where I got my curls. Come on, that’s where both Morgan and Carol got their curly hair.
Mom pointed out the color of my eyes; hazel, sometimes green. Chad has brown eyes. Mom has grey eyes that sometime turn green and dad has blue greyish eyes. Oh. Okay. Our older siblings all had light eyes too. Then she pointed out how dark her hair was as well as dad’s. But Morgan had lighter hair, like mine. Mom pointed out that the differences would become clearer as I grew older.
She had no idea when the right time to tell me about being adopted. She’d prayed about it, and although she was scared, she knew she needed to tell me at a young age. I was in first grade.
Now that I understood that I was different, it was time to learn where I’d come from. Morgan made her way over and sat on the other side of me. She grabbed my hand, squeezed it a little too tightly, and gave me her I’m here to comfort you smile. This only added to my confusion.
I turned my attention back to my mom as she stated how much they needed more for their family; that it just wasn’t complete.
With a shaking hand, my mom carefully lifted the top of the folder, revealing a stack of papers inside. She gently picked up the first paper and showed it to me, trying to explain the contents. One by one, we went through the papers and packets. However, my mom had to stop. She was crying so hard that her body shook with each sob. Her voice has disappeared behind gasps, and hiccups.
Morgan told mom she would continue reading.
Candace, my birth mother, said that I should’ve been an abortion, only she found out about me too late. She only wanted my brother. This was too much for my mom.
My brother, Chad, was the last kid to fill the spot in (our) foster family. However, my social worker called my mom and mentioned me. I was still in the hospital for failure to thrive. Because I wasn’t supposed to live long, it was requested that I spend my last few precious hours on this earth with a loving couple who could share some of that love with me. In tears, my mom had agreed to take me. When I was dropped off my mom was told that I would not survive the night.
She held me tenderly to her, caressing my head, face, and ear as she sweetly sang to me. While she rocked me, dad kneeled down in prayer. They switched off throughout the night. Morning came and I was still alive.
Tears streamed down my own face as I realized that my birth mother had not wanted me to live. That hurt. My mom was so horrified by my birth mother’s actions that she had written an essay for her English class about the condition I was in when I arrived. She read it to me. She wrote about the frail condition I’d been given to her in; how my stomach was distended due to malnutrition, the veins that shone through my thin skin, and how devoid of life my eyes looked.
A few short years later, we went to court. My brother and I officially became members of the family. I can remember going to the D.C. Temple in my adorable plaid skirt, white shirt, black shoes, and cute socks trimmed in lace. I remember changing, though I can’t remember into what clothing, but I will never forget the room I was sealed to my family in.