Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Day that Changed How I Look at the World.

This is a "rerun" post.  But as I was looking through past posts I felt impressed to share this one today.

(This was written March 10th 2009.   FYI:  We call Ashanti "Our Favorite Baby" because she touched each of us in our family....as a family this is a special name we have given her.)
One year ago my life changed as I got a call from DCFS to come and pick up a brand new 2 day old baby girl from the hospital.
I knew she was going to be an African American baby...not because anyone told me....I knew because the Spirit had prepared me.
Why did I need that type of preparation?
Well because I always had this HUGE question in my mind from the first day we started the adoption process.
"Could I bond to a child who didn't look like me at all?"
I really really worried about this.
I don't really know why....but it was the question that weighed on me.
Filling out prefrence checklists was a nightmare for me....I bawled and bawled over this one question.
As time went on my scared feelings lessened.
Then sometime before Camden blessed our home I had those fears leave me almost completely.
I didn't know why...then.
I started to desire a child with a different racial background....I really wanted a call about a child who who's skin didn't look just like mine.
Then Camden came....his Birth Parents are CC along with other races.
But ironically he still looks alot like us.
Then as we started to do foster care we were open to all races.
But I did have that last tiny worry in my head....
"if the child is AA will I be able to bond....AA skin looks different than me....would it all be ok?"
Well then we got a call about a little 12 month old girl who was AA.
I had to talk to Brad before I said yes...but by the time we got to discuss it and called the worker back this little girl had been placed.
I felt sad.
And then I KNEW...I could bond with a baby who didn't look anything like me.
I knew if we got another call like that the answer would be an instant yes. Brad and I decided it was ok for me to use my judgement on who we say yes to...we didn't want to lose another great opportunity.

So on Feb. 10th 2008 when they called about a little 2 day old baby girl (race unknown) I knew she was going to AA and I knew we wanted her.
The first time I saw her I loved her and the love just grew each day as I fed her and held her and cared for her.
The first 2 weeks it was just me and her up at night...pretty much all night.
The first couple of months I had to hold her so she could sleep.
I was very tired but she needed me.
But what I didn't realize at the time was that
I needed her.
In those 8 wonderful months that we parented our favorite baby I was able to understand love on a new level.
Love doesn't see the color of someones skin or see the differences.
Love see's the similarities.
All of those classes that I took about adopting transracially...they told us about the differences so that was all I thought about....except for one class. Kathy Searle's class taught about finding the similarities.
I remembered her lessons as I held this precious baby girl.
But even if I hadn't remembered her class, love was teaching me what I needed to know.
As I held Baby A. I laughed at myself as I remembered how much I use to worry about bonding.
In the end there was nothing to be worried about.
Motherly love came into my heart for her just like it did for all of my children I adopted.
Bonding is a learned behavior...it doesn't come from genes, or birthing and it doesn't just happen for Mom and Babies that look alike.
Bonding is a gift that comes from our Heavenly Father...a gift given to each Mother who wants it.
Ashanti changed my life.
I see the beauty found in each person as individuals and I know that my heart will love any child who comes into my life.
She also brought some special new friends into my life...friends I probably wouldn't have found here in Utah.
In the end it was me who needed her.

For those who may be hoping to adopt and are struggling with the "preference checklist".
Learn from my lesson......be open to all and trust the Lord.
He will help you overcome any fears you may have if you ask.
The Lord loves ALL HIS CHILDREN who come to the earth.

By the way..for those who wonder..Ashanti is doing really well.
She has many people who love her and caring for her.
I am grateful for these people.
They continue to call or email me updates.
I have been blessed!
April 3, 2012 Update on Ashanti.
Ashanti's Aunt keeps me posted on how Our Favorite Baby is doing.   She is not a baby anymore.  She is a beautiful preschooler.   Our love for her continues to be with us and we still talk often of her and pray she is thriving and being loved.   I still wish she was "my" baby but in my heart she always will be mine.   I am  grateful everyday that Brad and I chose to open our hearts to Foster Care. 
For those who are pondering over fostering....let go of your fears, take a step forward and your life will never be the same.   You will find your heart grows with each child wether they stay with your forever or go back to their bio family.    When you become a postive foster parent you bless the live of each child you welcome into your home.
 "If you're listening, if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold ever more wonders."
~ Andrew Harvey

Here are a few posts about being a foster parent.
Have you thought about foster to adopt?
Making Foster to Adopt Work.

1 comment:

Maura said...

I LOVE THIS POST. I once wondered the same thing. Now it is hard to believe it was ever a question in my mind.