I've agonized all weekend long about whether or not to tell this story. In the end I guess I'm just a wuss. So even if other people don't care, I can't help myself, I have to share or I'm going to bust. A warning up front to those who are turned off by "a lot of words" this post will probably be long, so skip it if you wish, I won't be offended.
After two years I had honestly thought that Gideon's adoption journey was done. I won't rehash it because I know most people are familiar with the story. (For those who aren't, go back two years in the archives of this blog and you'll find everything you need to know.) It just seemed that as of 18 months ago everything was nicely tied up in a cute little package. And really we felt blessed, because things went so very smoothly for us. We've heard of so many people who had frustrating road blocks, and delays and heartbreaks in their process of adoption, and frankly, ours couldn't have been easier. The only rough patch was the first 10 days of his life when he wasn't with us, and although that was tough on us at the time, in retrospect, it really wasn't so bad. After he was placed with us things couldn't have gone better.
About a year ago I made a pitiful little plea on my blog about how I just wished that something or someone would miraculously fall into our laps because I didn't feel I had the strength to go through the whole process again. Since that time we've discussed over and over again submitting our papers, but it just never felt like the timing was right. Travis and I both kind of tiptoed around the subject, blaming his work travel and my being too busy with multiple jobs at church and a toddler. I can't speak for Travis, but deep down part of my trepidation was that I was afraid things wouldn't be as easy for us the second time around. Both with the process and the birth mother. I've said more than once that we really hit the birth mother lottery with B. and her family. They've been amazing. We've kept contact over the last two years, sending letters and pictures through the agency so that they could see how big he's getting and how much we love him. And on a few occasions we've been blessed to recieve a letter or card in return. We've really been so lucky that I for one, have been nervous about taking the chance that it wouldn't go so well a second time around.
But this last month as we've traveled, it has become evident to me that we need to start the process for another child. Gideon had so much fun playing with his cousins. And it was so good for him. Especially at Cami's house. It tugged at my heart how much he loved the baby and always wanted to be holding him or kissing him or checking on him. (We had to be careful because he frequently tried to pick him up on his own.) I told Travis the day we left that we needed to get our paperwork together as soon as he got home from Guam and get the process started again, because Gideon is ready for a sibling. Travis and I might have some hesitation and might not feel urgent about it, but Gideon is ready.
Imagine my shock when Travis called me the day after we got home (at what was 2:30am in Guam) to tell me that a case worker from LDS Family Services had just called him and would be calling me soon.
The short version is that B. is pregnant again and wanted to know if we were interested in adopting the child. (Please, please, please don't get all judgemental of her. I don't want to hear comments like "Didn't she learn the first time," or questions like "How did she let that happen again?" I don't know and I don't care. The truth is it doesn't matter. Clearly there were some issues that were never really dealt with after Gideon was born. I know precious little of the situation, but what I do know is that I love her more than I can explain to anyone and right now my heart is just so full for her.)
As you can probably imagine I spent the first day freaking out and trying to wrap my head around things. All weekend long I've been on an emotional roller coaster. I bounce between ecstatic and heartbroken.
On the one hand, I'm thrilled. This type of situation is something I could never have anticipated, but it just feels like everything is falling perfectly into place. We feel so honored and blessed that she obviously approves of the way we're raising Gideon, enough to ask us to take this second child, when she could easily have decided to choose another one of the amazing families out there still waiting for their miracle. It's just a bonus that this child will be biologically related to our son, and that we already have an established relationship with she and her family. Even better is that the process will be much more stream lined this time (at least according to the case worker) and there will be so much less stress on us going through it all again knowing that there's a child waiting on the other end.
On the other hand, I catch myself crying at different points in the day because I cannot even fathom what B. and her family must be going through. I've wept many times for the pain and anguish I saw her go through on that day when she placed that infant boy into my arms and walked away. I can't even imagine how she'll do it again. I already consider her our angel and I only wish there were something I could do both for B. and her family to take a little of their pain away or make it better. It's frustrating to know that I can't. She's so strong and so courageous, but please keep her in your prayers for the next six months (she's not due until September) because even though she's the most amazing girl on earth as far as I'm concerned, I'm sure she's going to need all the prayers and Divine help she can get to make it through this period.
On that note, it's only fair to remind everyone that with adoption it's not final until it's final, so anything can happen in the next six months. We definitely feel very good about this and very right, but that doesn't mean things always work out the way we feel they should. I'll post updates about the situation when I can, but six months is a long time. Just keep that in mind.
And until then, I'll end as I began, Gideon's story apparently isn't anywhere close to being done. Instead of having two separate adoption tales we get to have one big ongoing journey. How amazing is that?