Monday, February 05, 2007

(Be forewarned, this is long) This time the last few years

The last few days hold a pretty big significance for us in many ways. Monday, February 2, 2004 -- we were able to leave California (very late) to fly home with our precious Isabella who was then 2 weeks old. We flew through the night and were home Tuesday morning, February 3, 2004. What a wonderful blessing to be home, our tiny little daughter was out of the hospital, we were no longer living in a hotel and we were finally able to share her with our family. When we got home, my SIL had a banner on the garage and balloons on the mailbox welcoming us. I remember my parents staying to watch Isabella while I slept a little. It was wonderful! It was also a funny memory, because I remember telling my parents "When you feed her don't feed her more than X amount, she may act like she'll keep eating it just because but she throws it up....." Sure enough, the fed her more than X amount and she spit up. Awww, my first "mama knows best" moment. :) The next few days were full of fun being able to share her and show her off to our friends and family. Fast forward to February 3, 2005 -- We, along with my parents, head back out to California to finalize Isabella's adoption. Yes, it had taken a whole year to get done with the post placement visits and then get a court date. We then finalized Isabella's adoption on the next day February 4th. What a precious memory!! Actually that whole trip is a precious memory. The finalization was wonderful and then afterwards we were able to head over to the hospital to show my parents where Isabella was born and where we spent most of our time for those couple weeks. We were also able to see the nurses (and God let the ones we wanted to see the most be there) that took such wonderful care of Isabella (and us.) That was a blessing, for us to be able to once again tell them how much we appreciate what they did for us and for them to see Isabella, 1 year later. Then last year at this time, we found out that we had gone through an adoption fraud (on so many levels). Sometimes I just say failed adoption, but it wasn't a failed adoption, it was a fraud. It actually starts before Christmas. Mid December 2005, we got on a plane and flew out to California. This time it was to meet our next potential birthmother. I had been talking to her on the phone at least every other day for over a month and she wanted to meet us in person. We flew out there and had a couple days of getting to know her. She was one of the easiest people to get to know. She was outgoing, loud, and very funny -- a bit rough on the edges, but fun nonetheless. We enjoyed our time with her, went out one day and bought some toys for her kids, and were able to buy her a few odds and ends and a coat as well since it was cold and she was never wearing one. (There is a reason I'm telling this part) On Sunday, we were going to meet her for breakfast, but then she wasn't able to, which in the long run was a big blessing for us. We took off that day and went to Sequoia National Park --- Kenny and I love being outdoors and we would love to visit as many National Parks as we could, so this was very exciting for us. We had a fun family day, took all kinds of pictures and I came back saying that was my Christmas present. Shortly after we got home, we got a call from our attorney saying that he got a call from someone out west that had another couple working with this same birthmother. In other words, she was working with us and another couple, getting her living expenses paid for by both parties. She had worked up a scheme with even the landlord to be able to do this. I was floored, I felt I had been stabbed in the back -- honestly I don't trust many people, I don't have the easiest time talking to people I don't know, but I was fine with her. Well, they did a conference call with me and the other couple and Andrea (the potential birthmother) to confront her on this and to let her know that we all know and see what her plans were next. This actually is a felony charge to do this. Anyway, she said she really was wanting to place the baby, chose us, took a good amount of verbal lashing from the other couple, but didn't flinch. She knew that she wasn't going to get any more of her living expenses paid for the next month from us, but she still wanted to press on. We continued our regular conversations and I tried to trust her as much as possible. She told us that she was wanting to fly out here to have the baby. We bought her a ticket to fly out here (a refundable one though), I talked to her one night, she was all set to come, the next morning I called her number and got a disconnected message. I called the airlines to see if she had checked in -- Nope. I then refunded my ticket, thanking the Lord that I had listened to Him rather than the secretary at the attorney's office in buying a more expensive, yet refundable one. So last year on the weekend of February 4th, we were supposed to have our second daughter, but God had other plans. Last year, this past weekend, Kenny and I decided to go to Nashville to take Isabella back to a Rainforest Cafe (that's where we took her in California for her finalization dinner) We wanted to get away and we wanted to celebrate her -- the precious gift that God had given us. My parents, my brother and his family decided to come with us and make it a family trip. It was great, we had alot of fun and it reminded me of what I have to be thankful for. Fast forward to this weekend, February 2007. The past whole week, I've thought alot about last year. Not just because of the adoption fraud, but because of other things that occurred after, I have no respect for the attorney we were working with, we stopped working with him, although I'm not sure if he even realized that, but he has never called us since. He was a Christian, I won't recommend him to anyone, but I also try to keep from becoming bitter. I know that God will be the one to judge his actions and I just pray that somehow God will protect others from getting hurt through him. But the main thing I've thought about is, Andrea -- where is she? Was she even pregnant? Does she have the baby? Does she think she got the best of us? Because she didn't, God hasn't revealed his reasons for putting us through that, but He has revealed that His way is perfect and that Amelia was His plan in our life. Has it caused us stress we weren't hoping for? Sure, we are definitely hurting more financially after losing the money to her and the attorney, but once again "My God shall supply all my needs." Did she keep the coat? Does everytime she put it on, make her think of us? Does she see our faces and the face of our precious Isabella and remember the kindness we poured on her? I hope so, I hope that somehow our lives touched hers, I hope somehow God used us in her life. So many times, my phone or someone in the store will go off with the same ring I had her number set to and I will think of her and wonder if she will ever try to contact us again. Although, the attorney supposedly sent an affidavit for her arrest (once again, a felony) I doubt he even did that, which bothers me because she will probably do this again to someone else just thinking she can keep getting by with this. But what has hit me recently is that honestly -- and I think my husband could agree with this one -- somehow nothing she did caused any bitterness in me, "somehow" I have forgiven her. I know that "somehow" is Christ. Quite honestly, I'm not that kind of person (none of us are) I don't like being "stabbed in the back", I don't like to be hurt, but once again God has brought about a peace that anytime I think of her, I feel sorry for her, but I don't hate her, I pray that God will bring her to know Him, I don't pray for bad on her. Two things hit me this Friday, mostly through this song by Casting Crowns (and this isn't even my favorite on the CD :)
I will sing to the Lord
And I will lift my voice
For You have heard my cry
I will sing to the Lord
And I will lift my hands
For You have brought me out of the pit
For You have brought me out of the pit

Chorus 1:And I'll sing glory, hallelujah
I lift Your name on high
And I'll sing holy, 'cause You're worthy
I'll praise You with a dance

And I'll sing glory, hallelujah
I lift Your name on high
And I'll sing holy, 'cause You're worthy
I'll praise You with a dance
I will praise You with a dance
I will praise You with a dance

Isabella and I were dancing around the room and Amelia was sitting close to us just smiling and squealing. I danced over close to Amelia and she lifted her arms up to me that she wanted to be part of the fun. I had to choke back tears because it made me realize again how much I have to Praise God for!! That He didn't spare us from the trial or the tears, but He heard our cry and got us out of that pit. He heard our cry and gave us not one, but two beautiful little girls. And He has somehow given me something that is not of myself, to not have bitterness weighing me down, but to be able to Praise Him!! Its amazing and He is so worthy of all my praise!!


stephanie garcia said...

Yes, GOD is good. Even through the hard times. February is an important month in our adoption memories as well - the month of our first failed match, the month our daughter Eva was born and we celebrate her birthday (though we didn't learn of her existence and bring her home until May), the month we brought Caleb home and loved him until the "reclaim" occurred one week later. I will think of Caleb on February 17, the day of his birth when we held him for the first time at 3 hours old, and on February 24, when we held him for the very last time and said goodbye. But no longer with heartbreak because now I look into Owen's eyes and know that he was truly the son intended for us. Thanks be to GOD!

Amanda/MayhemMama said...

I'm sorry your family had to go through that hard time, but you seem to have a great attitude and perspective about it.

Becky said...

To be able to say all that you just said is truely the mark of a Godly woman! Even though your girls are little, some day they will be able to rise up and call you blessed just like Proverbs 31 talks about. God must smile when he sees such a heart!

Overwhelmed! said...

DeAnna, I have never experienced a failed/fraud placement and I pray that I will never have to. Still, it's one of the biggest fears that we, as adoptive parents, face.

I admire your spirit of forgiveness and I hope that God did find a way to use your kindness to influence Andrea. Perhaps she decided to parent the baby and just didn't have the heart to tell you. It's hard to tell.

Oh, as for your comment on my pedicure post...I found myself to be terribly ticklish too! :) I was laughing aloud during much of the pedicure, but it was fun!

Michelle said...

I couldn't say it better myself then what Overwhelmed, and your other commenters have posted. You did go through such a hard time with the fraud and anyone would be jaded by that and not want to try again. But look how you've opened your heart and now have 2 beautiful daughters. Yes, God is good!

Shawnda said...

Precious! You said it - "praise Him!!!"!!!!!

GLouise said...

What a beautiful post.

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Loraena said...

Wow - what a story. Thanks for sharing it. Reading it makes me wonder what kind of stories I'm going to have in the future - right now everything is staying pretty boring in the adoption area...