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...