My journey in adopting a toddler, began three and half years ago. It is a story still worth telling, to bring hope to all those hoping to find that special addition to their family. Kids are always a blessing, whether they come biologically or through another avenue.
To begin, I have to give a little information on myself. I came from a family of three boys and two girls. I grew up with Superman, He-Man, Star Wars, and any other “man” you can name. I was active. I never sat around playing with dolls or wondering what the boys were doing. I was hanging out with my brothers, and my sister, Camille. She was the youngest and I was the oldest of five children. I had mostly guy friends, unless my girlfriends were the kind that could run and play. This continued through highschool. I loved the free spirit and “get over it” additude that guys have. No drama for me, please. I did love to do my little sister’s hair and remember vividly praying one day, that I would have a daughter, because I loved to do hair so much.
I am beginning to learn that prayers are listened to and that they are answered, in His time and how it is best for us. That one little prayer transended years until the day I started having children. I planned on having boys, lots of them. I wanted to attend football games, soccer games and stock the fridge with food so they would all hang out at the house; and then I was married. My hubby came with a daughter, Sydney, we had our first and second girl within two years Kinley and Whitney, and became legal guardians to our neice, Shauntyl! Four girls in two years! I couldn’t believe it. I loved them more than anything, but was sure there had to be a boy somewhere in our future, to even out all of the estrogen.
We took a three year break and had girl number four, Brighton, and daughter number five, Ella, two years later. It took me 3 years to decide if we were crazy enough to give it one more shot, because I wanted to know I was having another baby, to a have a baby, and not just to have a boy. It took me 9 months to get pregnant, which was a long time for me and I gave birth to our last baby girl, Halle.
Our brittany Spaniel, Phylis, was a girl, our cat, Cat Stevens, was a girl (yes, even with that name) and I would bet that all of our fish are girls. If there is one thing that I want you to know, it’s that I LOVE MY GIRLS. We have SO much fun together and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything, but that hole in my heart hadn’t been closed. When my youngest was two, I started looking online obsessively, and considered adopting a toddler, that would fit between my last two children, or after the end of the row. I realized quickly, how much money adoption cost and felt quite guilty for possibly taking a baby away from a family that couldn’t have children. After about a month of looking, I started feeling sad. I knew it wasn’t for me and I was wasting time. I had great kids and full hands.
I had to find a way to move on and thrive with what I had been given, so I knelt down in my laundry room by the computer, and started to cry and pour out my heart to Heavenly Father, asking him to help me accept that I wouldn’t ever get the chance to raise a boy. I expressed my gratitude for all that I had and my love for each of my children. I asked if I could turn this over to Him. I asked that if there was ever a little boy out there that needed a home and we would be a good fit, that he would come into our lives.
I knew this was a stretch, but it made me feel better. I promised to focus on the children I had, and doing my best as a mother. As I closed the prayer, a flash of my friend, Jared’s face, went through my mind. He is actually one of two guys that nicknamed me “shmonae” so many years ago. It was seemed a weird conincidence when I saw him that same week and mentioned to him that if he came across a little boy that needed us, to let me know. He laughed and agreed.
I felt so much better. I got up off the laundry room floor and went about my business. I felt like I had closure and didn’t tear up every time I saw a little boy that looked something like ‘my son’. I was content watching my nephews grow and handing them back to their parents when they pooped. I felt relieved to be finished with the diapers, high chair, bottles, and long nights.
“haha, sucker’s” I thought, as I watched all my siblings start their families. I had done my duty. I was now moving into the pre-teenage years and grade school. My life became homework, lessons, monitoring the computer, and counseling on all the many issues young girls face. Last week, I was asked to be on the “Women in Philanthropy board” because, “I had more time”. My kids were almost all in school and I wanted to contribute. I was content.
Fast forward two years. Last Thursday night, I received a text message from our buddy, Jared. He and his darling wife, Alicia,were adopting their second son in November and were asked by the birth mom if they wanted two babies, because her friend was thinking about placing also. He was worried that gaining two kids the same month would be crazy, so he text…
“Hey, Shmo, I have your new son here, if you’re still interested.”
I read it outloud to Jon with a shocked, half quirk smile on my face. “Yea right!” I exclaimed. Jon looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Janae, you really want this don’t you?”
Tears began rolling down my cheeks, and no words could escape my lips.