This is the final post in a five-part series on my blog called "The Road." This series will chronicle the events of my life leading up to meeting my wife, the events that transpired after, and how it has led us all to where we are now. The series will end not by my hand, but by my wife's. Some of this will be very hard for me to write, and as a result, will be hard for you to read. Some of you will think differently of me afterwards, but I ask that you please don't get halfway through this series and stop. In the end, maybe you will find something here that let's you know you aren't alone. The roads we travel are unique, but they intersect often. I have changed almost all the names in this story in order to respect individual privacy.
Part Five: The Call
This post is from my lovely wife, Alicia. You've heard my story about The Adoption, and now, for the first time ever, she's telling hers in a written voice. This has been lightly edited, but I've not added or removed anything that would detract from her words.
Greetings from the Missus.
Most anyone who knows me knows that I am not a writer. I don’t enjoy writing, as a matter of fact writing in general is the main reason I have not started work on my Master’s Degree. I do however feel that I want to share just a little bit about the importance of the month of May to me.
All of my life May was a great month. As a kid it always signaled that school was out and swimming was beginning. May, also was the one month out of the year that I knew we had standing plans for Memorial Day. Every Memorial Day weekend my Mother, Father, and I would pack up the car and take our family vacation. Please…Please hold your excitement. Our family vacation consisted of a weeklong visit to Kentucky. "Why Kentucky?" you might ask. Out of all of the places in the United States, why would we drive that 11-12 hour car ride just to visit? Well the answer was simple…Family. All of my family lived in Kentucky and, more specifically, Nelson County, Kentucky. So May has always, just like Kentucky, held a corner of my heart as my favorite month of the year. Now I am grown and no longer make that yearly trek with my Mom and Dad, but May still holds strong as my favorite month.
Last year in May we received a phone call from our adoption Case Manager, Jennifer. Jennifer made a habit of surprising us with phone calls and visits over the next seven months. This call in particular was to set up an appointment to learn all about these two kids that needed a Mom and Dad of their very own. So on May 12, 2011 Travis and I set down in a little room with nothing more in it than two stacks of paper, a desk, and three chairs. In those two stacks of paper were all of the details - some heart breaking - of these two little kids. We sat there and read each page trying to absorb all of the information, then came the fun part.
Jennifer asked, “Well do you want to meet them?”
At that moment all I remember is trying to keep calm while my brain was screaming, “Bring them to me now!” Instead Travis and I looked at each other and said. “Yes.”
One week later we were on a two hour journey across the state to meet these two little people at a Chuck E. Cheese. I remember the entire week before this trip all I could think about was will they like us? Will they be scared? Do they look like their picture? How am I going to be able to leave them? What if Travis changes his mind? What if I change my mind? What if we are not good enough?
I tortured myself for a week about all of the things that could go wrong. I remember praying for them. As a matter of fact I remember praying for them the day we decided to adopt. I didn’t know their names but I remember praying that they were ready for us and we were ready for them. I prayed that they were safe and being loved while we were getting our paper work done. However, all of the peace and assurance I had from the beginning was being rocked because of “what if.”
As always I was worried about nothing.
I looked at Jennifer and Travis took a deep breath and we all climbed out of the car. When that white state van opened a little blond haired girl came running around the back of the van and around the front of the car screaming. “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.” She wrapped her arms around me and just clung to me. The little blond haired boy was a tiny bit different. At three, I can imagine it was hard to understand what was going on, but he did understand that we were there to see Chuck. That little boy had us on our toes the entire day. I am telling you his eyes were as wide as saucers and he didn’t skip a beat. But we had fun, took some pictures, bought some flip flops, and said goodbye.
|The first time we met them. Also Chuck. Aven's eyes are about the size of Chuck's ears.|
Two days after that we were on a three and a half hour journey to watch a little ballerina perform her heart out for her “New Mom and Dad.” This was our first few hours alone with the kids. We were nervous and ended up lost with the kids and the low fuel light on, but we made it back. We got to meet the foster mom and say goodbye for the last time.
On May 27, 2011, a repeat trip in the Groom’s truck was made to move these two little people that we'd only met a week ago into our home. We had that truck packed with stuff. Now let me say most foster kids don’t come with anything more than a trash bag of clothes but it was easy to see that this little town loved these two kids. They had so much stuff it took me days to go through it all.
When we got home that night we had a house full of family just waiting to meet these two little people that were changing our lives forever. Most people would say that it would be scary for those kids to have all of those uncles, grandparents, aunts, and cousins there just to see you. You haven't met these kids, because they fit in with our family better than most of your blood relatives probably do.
|First family portrait.|
As we are once again into my favorite month, we are celebrating our one year anniversary as a family by taking a family vacation. Don’t worry we are not going to Kentucky this time. We are headed to Florida so the kids can visit the beach for the first time on their first family vacation.
If I had any advice to give anyone looking to adopt it would be to look into the state system first. I understand that most children in the system have a history, and that you will probably not get that baby you have always dreamed of. However, you will find children that need love and who have so much love to return. I still want that baby someday, but I could never imagine my life without our two kids. They make my life have a meaning that it never had before.
|Alicia with the kids. I'm not there, so the smiles are bigger. Especially Alicia's.|
My Corsica was hunter green not blue. Travis has trouble telling the difference between blue and green. Just ask him about the Fossil watch I bought him for his 19th birthday.
Editor's Notes: That watch was green, and that car was blue. That's my stance.
The Road is not over. It will be continually traveled for the next seventy years or so, Lord willing. Hopefully with less pain, fewer bad decisions, and not as many missed opportunities. I also hope you're all there to share it with us. Thank you for reading.
The book of love, is long and boring,
And written very long ago.
It's full of flowers, and heart-shaped boxes,
And things we're all too young to know.
The Book of Love - Peter Gabriel