Let me start off by saying.. i absolutely 1000000% love and adore my god babies, nieces, nephews, all little ones that I have been lucky enough to have in my life. If I was to write out a guest list right now of people to invite to my birthday party, I would have MORE little kids and babies on that list than adults. And I mean that in a non pedophile type of way. Alex and I have been extremely blessed to have so many young kids in our lives.
Which leads me to the turmoil ive been dealing with lately.
As ive shared, me and my husband have been planning to start our journey to trying to become parents, yet again, thru IVF and a surrogate.
But I feel like im no where near being ready to start all of that again. Which I dont understand.. am I scared? And if so, scared of what? It not working? The pain? The financial aspect of it? Like, normally im very good at sorting through my feelings and figuring this stuff out but i feel so incredibly lost.
Then I think to myself... do I even WANT kids anymore?? I mean.. i love how things are in my household with just me and my husband. We can sleep in when we want, if the moment strikes us we can travel if wed like to, I mean.. we have an incredible life with it being just us two..so why isnt that enough?? Why is there this longing to add to our family that doesn’t go away??
and then there are these moments of my job as a wife and woman is I’m “supposed” to be able do this. My body is “supposed” to be able to create and carry a baby. It’s like civil rights.
no but seriously....
So I come to these moments where I feel like i'm totally content with things how they are...but then something happens.
Ill be sitting on the couch with my husband probably watching FRIENDS when he begins to crack up at one of the funny moments...I glance over at him mid laugh and its like everything stops. His red cheeks, the little wrinkles around each corner of his eyes when hes smiling, and his big beautiful almond eyes.... My heart literally cries out during these moments to have a mini him. To be able to create that little piece of life with him.
And then this frustrating circle of confusion starts all over again.
Maybe thats not reason enough to have a baby?? I derno!
Maybe the reason we cant just GET pregnant naturally is because we are not supposed to??
Maybe we are supposed to just be Uncle Alex and Auntie Angelique??
I DONT KNOW!
And its not like im 25 years old with all these eggs on deck..I mean, i get it, im only 30, wait, 31.
But thats old in trying to be a mommy world i feel. And according to every fertility Dr ive seen, once you hit 30 years old half your eggs are dead and gone. Dead and gone.
I know that God gives us (believers) the desires of our hearts. And I truly believe that.. but I also believe that HE opens up doors and requires you to do the foot work.
So this thought that ill just relax and if it happens it will happen... that doesnt really make me feel comfortable at all.
Remember Remember the fifteenth of December.
you find out your finally expecting, and once the shock subsides you begin to calculate. How far along are you? How many weeks? Months? Days? For those living infertility ever after you can calculate almost down to the hour just how far along you are.
Then you calculate your due date. THE DATE. The day you’ve dreamed about, prayed about, and anxiously can’t wait to get here. The day your bun that’s finally in the oven is due and your happily ever after will be complete.
Our special date was December 15, 2013. Christmas babies! Winter babies! I think I purchased about a dozen adorable “My first Christmas” newborn outfits. Not only were we being blessed with FOUR babies, but we would get them for Christmas?! SCORE!! The presents, the family Christmas cards, all the new traditions that would take place that month with our little/big family... it seemed to perfect. December/Christmas time has always been mine and my husbands favorite time of year but now it would just make it that much more amazing.
Now that’s all changed.
No family Christmas cards, no little ones buy presents for.... just empty arms.
Christmas time is difficult by itself for those of us TTC (Trying To Conceive)
Trying To Christmas shop and ignore all the babies and kids dressed up anxiously waiting to take pictures with Santa. Passing by all the toy sections in stores because you have no one to buy those things for.
But adding a due date that never came to that? It’s just rude.
I always try and stay positive and spirit filled but I’m not going to fake the funk. There is no easy way to deal with a Due Date that never came. This entire week I’ve been extremely depressed, sleeping as much as I can, barley showering, haven’t washed my hair, and crying when alone in my car or at 4 in the morning when my husband is asleep.
My heart hurts.
Are there things that help make it easier? Absolutely.
Pizza, for one.
Then me and my husband do this thing every year where we plan what would have been their birthday. I make a Pinterest board and even write a Facebook post about how stressed I am from all the imaginary party planning.
This year with them turning FOUR we decided to plan a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Themed Party. Complete with to go pizza party boxes instead of bags, pin the mask on Raphael, and of course a pizza buffet table that could make you wanna sing Hallelujah.
as im sitting here at work doing a 9-5 I never imagined myself doing I close my eyes and pretend that Party is really where I’m at.
I can hear them screaming and playing, I’m sure Carlos James would have already gotten in trouble by his dad for playing to rough. And my sweet twin girls.... I’m sure Bama would be having the most amazing time playing with all her friends and cousins, while Honey would probably be crying to open presents or dig into the cake already. shes so much like her mama.. in my head.
Maybe you are reading this like... uhhhh.. u know ur kids are gone right? Crazy pants.
Sometimes i think the same thing.
Maybe you are reading this and thinking.. gosh, get over it.
Never let anyone try and tell you how to feel about the loss of your children. No matter what gestation, what situation, you are allowed to hurt. To cry. To be angry. To be depressed. You are allowed to feel.
and my best advice on dealing with a Due Date that never came...
Allow yourself to be.
Whatever it is that YOU need on that day in order to make it through. Do it. I mean, obviously don’t go off and do heroin, hurt yourself, steal a baby, or murk someone... clearly NOT that.
But dont feel like you have to act or feel or behave a certain way. Allow your mind, heart, spirit, to do what it needs to do.
90% of the time during the year I’m a proud mama and can talk about my babies till I’m blue in the face... but on December 15th and maybe the week before and after.. I’m depressed. I’m heartbroken. I feel vacant, like half of my soul is missing. i want to lay in bed, eat pizza, imagine what should have been and just cry off and on in between sleep.
My mind and spirit know the truth. That my babies are in heaven, that Gods plan is better than my own, and that HE will never leave me or forsake me.
But my flesh is still heartbroken. And on this day, every year, I bounce back and fourth between spirit and flesh. Like I’m two people.
And that’s ok.
We are not TRYING to get pregnant, but we are not NOT trying to get pregnant.
Thats the answer I give people when they ask where me and my husband are with trying to have a baby.
"Oh, but I thought you were going to do the surrogacy thing?" Yes, yes we are. But that doesn't mean that my hope to magically get pregnant on our own goes away. You know, how it happens to soooooo many other couples?.
"We tried fertility for years and never got pregnant then ll of a sudden once we stopped trying, BAM! We got pregnant."
Which don't get me wrong, thats amazing. But you now fall into that category of annoying lol Just being honest. Maybe its because last night I waisted another $15 on a pack of pregnancy tests thinking I was going to be one of those women you hear about....::sigh:: only to find another big fat SINGLE pink line staring me in the face. Yes i Mcguyverd it for about 35 minutes under different types of lighting to make sure that 2nd pink line wasn't hiding...nope...single, pink, big, annoying, NEGATIVE line.
My flesh wants to literally curl up into a ball, cry, and sleep for days. Pity party for one? non smoking section. Actually, make it the smoking section..its not like I'm pregnant or anything!!
I guess my hope for this blog post is to show other women going through a similar situation that...I get it. And as much as I want to be this strong, positive, hopeful person when it comes to all things starting a family.... sometimes thats just not the way its gonna go down.
Its normal to be pissed you got another negative pregnancy test.
Its normal to be angry and frustrated at God.
its normal to think and feel that it will never happen for you.
And its normal to want to imagine punching people who get pregnant like its nothing in the damn face.
totally normal..well, maybe not that last one lol but whatever.
The truth is infertility is NOT positive. Literally! (haha, get it?) Its ugly crying, bitter betty, pissed at the world, my body hates me, if I see another pregnancy announcement I'm gonna lose my shit! And thats just TTC. (Trying To Conceive)
Imagine adding fertility medication on top of all that? merp. #CrazyPants
I think because I try and focus on the positive more than the negative on social media, people assume I don't have moments like this...moments of negativity. Doubt. Anger. And straight up bitterness.
Bitterness is a mother funker, let me tell you. I haaaaaaaate when I'm Bitter Boots Mcgee. But sometimes your soul needs it for survival I feel. lol
You TTCers know what Im talking about. When metaphorically you are just stewing in your own shitty ass hateful feelings towards every pregnant person and refusing to pull your self out of it. When every post you see on fb regarding pregnancy makes you want to round house these preggos in the throat. ::covers eyes::
"ugh, im 2nd Dr.s appointment this week"
"Im so over being pregnant"
"I love when people take my baby name"
"ugh! Why are maternity clothes so expensive?!"
"This kid needs to hurry up and get here!!!"
and the list goes on and on and on.........
don't get me wrong, I understand pregnancy is tough. I grew four humans inside of me at once. But post like this are annoying as shit- lets just keep it funky. When you have spent thousands of $ to try and start a family, to hear people complain about it...its a special kind of frustration that brews.
Its Bitter Betty. It awakens the bitter betty is my best way to describe it.
So how do you make it stop? How do you pull yourself out of the pile of bitter shit you are throwing your fit in?
I know God is in control..I know the story of Sara and Isaac in the bible...I see miracles happen every single day in the TTC community and tons of infertile couples get pregnant and actually take home their beautiful little ones....it DOES happen. These are the things I have to keep reminding myself when my emotions get the best of me. God is faithful, God is faithful, God is faithful.
Sometimes its all I have left.. to sit, close my eyes, allow my heart to hurt, and repeat to myself "God is faithful."
From shit comes flowers.
I think where other women go wrong or crazy is thinking that they are not allowed to bring their Negative Nancy to the dinner table. its OK to be pissed as shit that others around you can get pregnant like its going out of business and you can't. Its ok to have those thoughts and feelings! That doesn't make you a horrible person. Invite negative nancy out for lunch, dinner, maybe some dessert. Maybe even have that bitch sleep over a couple nights. THATS OK!!
But eventually send her home.
We all have hectic crazy busy lives and want things to be as easily done as possible but sorting out your emotions while TTC is what I have found to be the KEY to survival in this process. Its nearly as difficult as trying to get pregnant in itself, but it is a definite MUST.
Your feelings are not FACTS. That doesn't mean they don't matter, they are invalid, or you shouldn't be allowed to feel them...it just means they are not facts.
I currently feel like I'm never going to have children.
I currently feel like easy to get pregnant people are ass holes.
I currently feel like crying my eyes out.
I currently feel like God isn't allowing me to get pregnant because Ill be a terrible mother.
I currently feel like I want to punch people who have kids and make stupid ass comments about how annoyed they are with them in the throat.
I currently feel like I don't want to go to my 9-5 job because my pregnancy test was negative, I want to stay home, sleep, get chip faced, and not interact with society.
100% transparent- Thats how I FEEL in this moment.
None of those are facts. lol
The FACTS are...
That God is able
That I am so blessed beyond measure to have a wonderful marriage, job, family.
That these feelings are only temporary
That someday me and Alex will have the most beautiful children, and if not, we will still want for nothing because all things work together for good to those that love God.
Maybe you don't believe in God the way that I do and you are TTC?... Well then i really cant help you lol jk. I would do the same things but with positive life affirmations and meditation. Sit somewhere quiet, and mediate on the goodness going on in your life. And maybe right now, you like "K thanks for the advice, but I don't want to that! Im still hurt! pissed! angry! etc"
But just know that the longer you sit with negative nancy, the harder it is to make that bitch go home.
So the cribs are bought, the nurseries set up, and we are doing everything humanly possible to prepare for how drastically our lives were about to change. Me and my husband were sitting down watching a movie together and I just began to sob.. I was so stressed out and maxed out and these beautiful babies weren't even here yet. It was in that moment I realized God was giving me the answer that we had both been praying on.
And the answer was "These are not your babies.."
Now, you can imagine my resistance and complete annoyance and frustration being told this. I felt like all I hear is NO from God in regards to children by this point. HE took our pregnancies, HE took our quads, and NOW... HE is telling us that these little ones are not meant for us.
It wasn't until I actually had a moment to stop from all the preparing I was doing to actually be quiet enough to hear what God was telling me. And I was PISSED.
I let our social worker know that although we were so excited and thankful we were chosen by the social workers, there is no way we can have 3 kids all at once and have them all receive the best attention, care, and love they deserve.
Real quick... How the adoption process works thru the county... so once you are approved with your home study and everything is done, you are waiting to be matched. So the placement coordinator gets a baby, case, sibling set across her desk and says ok.. I who would be a good fit from all the approved families. Looks up in their data base according to the childs make up ( Some families only want mexican, white, asian, african american babies. Healthy, not healthy, 0-5 months, 1-5 years old etc) And then the top 5 families come up that would be the best match for that child/baby/etc.
So once they have all 5 families home studies, they notify the social worker attached to that potential adoptive family and let then know their application has been pulled for possible placement.
Then all the social workers of all the families get together, and the placement coordinators, and they select the top TWO families for that child/baby/etc. They pick two families so that if for whatever reason the 1st selected family is not prepared for THREE BABIES UNDER 2 YEARS OLD WHEN THEY ONLY WANTED ONE....they have a back up.
I hope that makes sense....
Not only were me and my husband incredibly disappointed that we couldn't take on the sibling set of 3, but we were terrified our decision to back out of being selected would make us look "BAD" to the placement coordinator and other social workers. Would they NOT pick us ever again? Would they think we are BAD parents? Would they think we really didn't want this? I mean, the anxiety was off the charts when in actuality.. we shouldn't have even been asked if we wanted to take on THAT many children at once.
But thats not what the County Adoption System cares about. They in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM care about the adoptive parents. Now, you may be thinking.. well, they shouldn't care about you..they should care about the best interest of the child/children. 100% true. However thats not what they care about either. They care about placing children/kids/babies in homes. Safe homes? Good homes? I personally don't think so. I think there are so many children in the foster care system that heartbreakingly it has become a case of just get the child into a home.
They saw how eager me and my husband were. They saw a young happily married couple that had a great and happy home, and through loss and heartache..were completely vulnerable. So lets try and give them as many as possible.
Which let me take you back to our HOMESTUDY. As much as I loved our home study worker...he pulled out red flags within the system like I had never seen. #1 according to state regulations and the LAW, each child has to have their own room. A "room" has to have a door that closes, a window, dresser, and a bed/crib.
We lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with an open office..so we were NOT equipped to legally take on 3 children, room wise. Our office did NOT have a door nor could one be put it. And I remember him asking us "So you can put a door in here right?" And my husband saying "Well its an apartment building we cant alter the building, soo?" Yet we were still approved for THREE kids anyway.
HUGE RED FLAG!
But me, being naive and eager... thought "hey awesome! more babies!"
Another HUGE RED FLAG... during your home inspection everywhere is going to be searched. Obviously to make sure your home is suitable for children. No dead bodies under the bed, no rats in the closet, etc. Makes sense right? Thats why for days leading up to our inspection I made sure to clean out every single one of our walk in closets and organize it Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous status! I mean these closets were Bloomingdales worthy by the time I was finished with them. And as OCD as it sounds.. I couldnt wait to show them off during inspection.
See! Im a good organized mom! Look at my amazing closet!.. thats how my mind was thinking.
Yet to my surprise.. our closets were never even checked. WAIT WHAT?! So not only do you NOT want to check out this massive closet that could be a room and see if I have neighborhood kids stolen in there... but you don't even wanna look after the days of work put in?...ok... SMH. RED FLAG!
Didn't check under the beds- could of had riffles and bleach bottles under there...but ok.
When asked where our First Aid kit was....i looked at my husband like, DAMN! OMG! we are done for! I cant believe I totally forgot to get a 1st aid kit!! Thats it we failed!
"Show me a pair of scissors and a pair of tweezers." the home study worker said
So I frantically gather both of those things from my make up drawer..
holding both of them in my hand..
"There you go! You have a 1st aid kit!" he said while checking off the approved first aid kit check box.
"Do you have a car seat?"-he asked...
Oh yeah, its in the car! Want me to go get it to show you?
"No, thats ok i trust you."- he said.
Again, it wasn't until our awful experience was finished that me and my husband realized all of these warning signs.
So our home passes inspection and we are signing all our licensing paperwork and I see we were approved for THREE babies/children...
I whispered to my husband and pointed it out to him what the paper said and we both just looked at each other like...HUH??? How is that possible? But then again, just figured we were lucky.
Fast forward to after I told our social worker we were not able to take on the three little ones..
i immediately noticed a change in her attitude. Almost as if her quota was no longer being met because of our decision. And ill never forget crying on the phone to her and asking if we were going to look bad or if this was going to be held against us and she told me
"Well it might, the other social workers might not think you are ready to be parents."
My hearty completely broke in that moment. Looking back on it now, I know it was all apart of their manipulation to-pardon my french- but have us by the balls.
Id like to say that was the only time that we were "chosen to be parents" to more than 1 child which is what we agreed to but it wasn't.
Two months pass and I receive another phone call from our social worker saying, CONGRATS! You guys are selected to be the parents for a sibling set! a 3 year old and a 2 year old.
Again, with a little more frustration we reminded our social worker that we were not in the position to take on more than 1 child and our age range was 0-5 months old.
Fast forward to a week later and Im at work watching the news when I hear that our county we are adopting from- foster care system is being investigated because all these counts are being brought up of foster children being placed in homes and being neglected. Sadly, one child even passed away from being starved to death.
Sadly, I wouldn't put it passed the county to be negligent in such a way. I mean, look at all the red flags WE experienced?
So the waiting game continued for another 6 months, until April 2nd 2016 when I received the most beautiful phone call I have ever received.
I had just emailed my social worker that morning once I got to work, checking in and asking if anyone was showing interest in us as a family for placement when she told me "No, not right now."
5 hours later I'm sitting at my desk and my phone rings... its my social worker..I grab my phone and run outside to answer..something in my heart just knew this was it.
"Angelique?" she said
"Yeeess?" i replied
"I have some news. There is a little girl, she was born 2 days ago, she is a safe surrender baby. Perfectly healthy, half mexican half african american.." she began giving me details
then said the most beautiful statement I've ever heard...
"And we have selected you to be her mama, if you are willing."
All I wanted in that moment was her. I didn't know where she was or even what she looked like...but...I was hers and she was mine. I instantly felt completely different. My entire life in that moment had made sense. I remember not being able to catch my breath and crying what seemed like slow tears that you see in the movies.
My heart had physically been aching ever since I lost our quadruplets... but in that moment when I became her mom, there was no pain anymore.
So in two days we would make the drive up to Victorville, CA to the hospital where she was and take our baby girl home.
This was it, our family was now going to be complete. After all the unbearable heartache everything was finally going to make sense, our Happily Ever After was finally here and her name was
Violet Antoinette Robles.
I called my husband at work and could barley get a word out over all the tears. Of course after blowing up his phone 10 times cuz we all know husbands don't like to EVER answer their phones when its something important! haha
He finally answered and I was able to speak and utter the words
"We have a daughter!"
I could hear the smile through the phone and imagine his handsome smile just beaming!
I went back into work looking a hot ass mess but I couldn't care less! I shared the news with my co workers and everyone began to cry and get excited for us.
How does one sleep knowing that somewhere in the world your precious baby girl is waiting for you.. you don't! lol. The longest two days of my entire life let me tell you!
When the day finally arrived It was like a dream. Imagine the most exciting day of your life...now add Christmas morning, your birthday, winning the lottery, peace on earth, and being crowned Miss Universe! Thats what that morning felt like as we packed up the car to get ready to meet our daughter.
I can remember holding my husbands hand on the entire drive up to Victorville- which wasn't un common because we frequently hold hands in the car. But something felt so incredibly different...in an amazing way. It was almost like we both knew these were our last moments of it just being us. We would no longer be a family of two, table for two, just the two of us. We would now in a matter of hours become three. Three of US. The feeling was almost euphoric. The air had never smelt so fresh, the energy had never felt so peaceful, and most of all... our hearts had never felt just peace.
We arrived to the Children and Family Services Office car seat and diaper bag in tow ready to meet our daughter. But of course I was instantly brought back down out of the clouds on into the reality of the situation when we had to go over paperwork, have a presentation meeting with 3 other social workers, etc etc.
During a presentation you are given ALL the information that the county has about the child you are being presented with. Any information they have about the birth parents, the child/baby, the health of the child/baby, temperament, physical appearance, parents education I mean EVERYTHING.
Her name: Babygirl007 (seriously, the social worker at 3am that was called named her this SMH)
Birth Father: Mexican
Birth Mother: African American
Birth Mom is young, healthy, not ready for a baby due to the fact that the father is abusive, does drugs, doesn't want anything to do with the baby.
Birth Father is 30 years old but medically has some sort of reason why mental capacity is that of a 15 year old. Knows about the baby and doesn't want anything to do with her.
Baby 007 (smh) is perfectly healthy passing all newborn tests with flying colors and has ZERO DRUGS found in her system. (Normally with safe surrenders thats not the case)
Birth Mother never held the baby or had any physical contact with the baby and was discharged from the hospital already.
From the beginning we made it VERY VERY VEEEERRRRRRY clear that we wanted a LOW risk adoption. What that means is:
Some couples are fine with having the chance or risk of losing the baby at hand- either the parents are in rehabilitation and looking to come back into the babies life, or the situation is only temporary etc etc. But chances are HIGH RISK that the baby will be taken away and given back to its biological family... thats high risk.
LOW RISK is where its done deal, no one wants the baby, there will be no fight, no fuss, very low risk of anything going left.
Back to our presentation meeting...
So we are told that this baby...baby 007 (smh) was 99.99999999999999% LOW RISK. Meaning the ONLY thing we had to worry about was the mom changing her mind. In every case like this, the birth mother has 14 days to change her mind and get her baby back. After the 14 days tho, her right are terminated. So the birth mom and the baby have to wear this ID bracelet for 14 days, and after that you can cut it off and rest easy because that baby is YOURS.
This is something they DONT go over in your adoption classes. But I mean hey, we were being told that this Birth mom wants NOTHING to do with the baby, the dad wants NOTHING to do with the baby and its the perfect situation... so lets do this!
After presenting cllllll the information they had about Baby 007 (smh) and her birth parents they asked us if we needed some time to think about it...................... everyone stepped out of the room to give us some privacy as we discussed...
everyone left the room for no reason because we already had our minds made the funk up that this was our baby! lol... either way :)
So we signed the paper work, and she was ours! We drove a couple blocks away to the hospital to where she was and were escorted back to the room she was in.... and that was it.
We were hers and She was ours...
And They All Lived Happily Ever After...
Until 17 Days later.
Jessie James Decker-Mama Wrote You A Lullaby
I still remember right after we lost our quadruplets, maybe a week or two later the adoption comments started flooding in. The "Aww, don't worry, you can always adopt." saying seemed to be peoples go to choice of condolences. Which I'm not gonna lie, used to infuriate me!
*TIP-When talking with friends/family/strangers/ANYONE dealing with infertility, or child loss...Don't say "You can always adopt" or "Have you thought about adoption." You are liable to get round house kicked in the throat. :)
So the adoption comments came rolling in and It wasn't until about a year or two after our babies passed away that I actually started to do more research. Turns out there are MANY options when it comes to adoption. Its not like you used to see in older movies (crybaby, annie, problem child) where you go to an orphanage, let them know what you are looking for and BAM, you take home a baby. Oh how I wish it was that easy.
I actually reached out to a beautiful adoptive mom I followed on IG who had the most precious little girl. FifiandMo. Christina was so open hearted with sharing her journey and any information she had that would help. She shared her journey with infertility and how they chose the route of open adoption. She pointed me in the right direction and from there our adoption journey began.
We decided to start with an agency - i cant recall the name- but i found them on line and we attended there free informational class in New Port Beach. Long story short, this agency handles everything you'll need in the process for the small cost of $30,000. Oh sure, NBD. lol. Oh, but if you decided to adopt internationally, that doesn't cover the cost of flying God knows where to actually pick up your baby.
Looking back at it now, and my husband feels the same way. To avoid the heartache we would soon endure..id much rather shell out the $30,000 and just be done with it and not have to worry about someone taking our baby away. But we will get to that part soon.
So with the cost being so high,private adoption just wasn't in the cards for us. So we carried on with our lives hoping and praying someday it would magically happen.
Then one day my husband comes home from work and tells me he had a conversation with one of his coworkers about adoption. "He has adopted 5 kids babe, from the county...and it doesn't cost anything!"
Say what now?! Come again?! It doesn't cost nothin??? Lets go right now!!!! haha.
knowing that my husband does in fact have a listening problem (all husbands do) I decided to contact his coworkers wife and get all the details. There is NO way a free adoption exists out there and I haven't heard about it. So I give this woman a call and sure as shit (lol) they have adopted SIX kids from beautiful San Bernardino County (merp) all ranging from ages newborn-5 years old.
All you have to do is attend adoption classes, and do some paper work and VOILA!
So immediately after hanging up with her I called and signed us up for orientation! About a month later we would be sitting in a room with all the other struggling future good mom and dads soaking up the information and steps to finally being able to bring home our little one.
I remember the day of the orientation, i was SO nervous! I remember ripping my closet apart trying to find the best "#1 Mom" outfit! Nothing revealing, nothing to flashy, nothing with holes or stains lol
I just wanted to serve them Amazing Mom Pick Me PTA Most Beautiful Mom that makes the best lunches REALNESS.
Too much? haha
We arrive to orientation and I literally thought I was volunteering at a homeless shelter. It was BAD y'all. People with slippers on, bleached crazy clothes, just rolled out of bed, do-rag realness was being served. Me and my husband were in shock. There was about 50 people there, and maybe 4 couples looked like us? Not trying to sound judgmental, but I mean Cmon. You only get ONE chance to make a first impression. And nothing says trust me with a baby like sweat pants and a t-shirt with a marijuana leaf on it, right?
So the orientation is serious business, I mean the amount of information given to us was just astronomical! Nearly every answer we had going in was covered and even some that we were in no way expecting. Ill never forget they handed out a double sided sheet of paper and said "If you have any of these on your criminal record, you will NOT be able to continue in the process.."
I couldn't wait to read the paper! I mean, I don't have a criminal record but once you decide your going to adopt your entire life's choices go through your mind and you think "Man, I hope that doesn't stop us from being able to adopt." Things like, your credit score, do you own your home, you got suspended from school in 11th grade, un paid speeding tickets, lol i mean literally! For me, it was like I wanted this so bad, I had to think of every undesirable thing that ever happened in my life that maybe they would hold against me lol.
So I begin to read this list..
"Endangerment of a child"
Say what now?! LOL. And the second they handed out this paper, you should have seen the hands fly up asking questions.
"So what if you went to prison 10 years ago for child abduction, but you served your time."
I SHIT you not, someone asked that. SMH.
Needless to say, we were in the clear and able to move on in the process.
So we submitted tons of forms, waited in line to get our finger prints done, then signed up for our "Pride Training Classes" which would take place in about a 2 months..and be every Saturday, for an entire month, for six hours. Before the classes start you had a mountain of paper work and things to get done. Dr.s notes, letters of recommendation, health records, work verification, etc etc i mean, it was like a full time job running around getting all this paper work done. But hey, it didn't cost us $30,000 and we would end up with our baby at the end right? Totally Worth it.
Our classes began and like they told us at the orientation, "We have you do a lot of paper work and foot work to weed out the people who are not serious about fostering or adoption."
...All of the eccentric people? Is that a polite way of saying it? Well all of them had withered away so there was no more of that going on. (You know what I mean)
There was about 30-40 people in the class total and we all sat (In couples) at tables for about 10 people total. It felt like the 1st day of school! haha They even had those rectangle paper name tags for everyone to write their names on, then fold in half so its stands up right in front of them on their table.
I thought about writing "Angelique-Pick me 1st" on mine, but my husband strongly advised against it.
As class began one of our 2 "teachers?" had everyone go around the room and introduce themselves. That took like an hour, but seemed to break the ice. Then we all were given our HUGE notebooks with homework, class work, tons of information, phone numbers, i mean..this book was THICK.
I wanna say it was like a 3 inch 3 ring binder?? It was intense.
Class went on for about 4 Saturdays- 6 hours each. And at the end of the class we had a big pot luck to celebrate us "Graduating" from our PRIDE training. Someone in our class made a FB group for everyone to join so we can keep up with each other on our journeys. Im still in it to this day, and I think I've seen that 4 couples have been placed? Not sure.
Looking back on it now, I can see ALOT of red flags in the process. But when you want something so badly, you tend to ignore the things that don't seem right. For example, every paper work we filled out we said we wanted 1 baby, healthy, 0-5 months old. Open to a sibling set if our home was approved, but would prefer 1 single little healthy perfect newborn baby. Literally, probably wrote that down at least 10 times.
just keep that in mind for later..
So our next step after finishing these classes is to wait to hear from our social worker who would be scheduling our 1st interview/meeting. But due to the fact that there is only FOUR social workers in ALL OF SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY..... it might take some time so "Please Be Patient."
So we anxiously waited to hear from our social worker and in the mean time did as much research as we could on this thing they call a HOME STUDY. (Dun Dun DUN!!!!)
Throughout this entire process you hear the word HOME STUDY about a billion times. Its made out to be this big scary investigation into your home to see if you are fit enough to have a baby. I mean an old woman with glasses, white gloves, pencil skirt and ruffled collard blouse is going to barge in, clip board in hand and just start inspecting your home like the health department!! Making blood red check marks up and down her list! Leaving no cabinet un turned! No Dust Bunny will be takin alive!!!
This is what i pictured in my head the way they drilled this scary HOME STUDY process into me.
When after having 3 interviews with our social worker- we finally were greeted with the sweetest little man who would be inspecting our home, and wouldn't even fully check it and approve us for THREE children. In a 2 bedroom apartment......Oh, but don't you worry... we will get to THAT part later.
I remember the 1st meeting with our social worker. My home had never been more spotless, and I had never been to home goods more times that week in my entire life! Everything had to look and feel perfect! The flowers, the candles, the photos, i mean it all had to say PICK US! GIVE US OUR BABY! Right???.
With my good mom eye brows on, freshly baked cookies neatly plated on the coffee table, and my husband actually clean and looking like someone loves him (He climbs utility poles and dig underground for a living, he gets dirty) we welcomed her into our home and put our best face forward.
It all went flawlessly and she absolutely loved us. It was in NO way as big a deal as I made it out to be in my head. And she didn't even eat my cookies... merp.
You could totally smell our desperation tho. Thats one of the many things I would say I would go back and change if I could. You know when your going to buy a car and you see the one of your dreams, yet you are not supposed to act excited?? Cuz then they will try and high ball you? Its sorta like that.
Every meeting with our social worker I would jokingly ask her if she had our baby with her yet and you could just totally tell how desperate we were for this to happen. So desperate that the day our home study finally got approved, our social worker called us and told us that there were THREE babies that needed a home and that we were approved for.
A sibling set of THREE babies.
1-2 year old boy
1-1 year old girl
and a new born that had been born 4 days ago.
All siblings, all needing a home. And guess what?!? WE are the lucky winners!
Like, ok.... if this entire time I've said we only want 1 baby, why would you even pull our profile for 3?
i'll tell you why... because they knew we were desperate enough to say yes.
Which I did. Right there, not even thinking, just dying to start a family with the man I love, on the phone.. I said YES.
and immediately began prepping my home, buying more beds, cribs, car seats, bobby, poppy, moby, what-the-hell ever you call them. Like a crazy woman, completely outside reality, I was gearing up to take on THREE babies under 2...
Sleeping Beauty fair,