I grew up as an only child. It was lonely and I always told myself I would have more than one child. When Andrew was 14 months old we opened our home for another child. We had a few calls but none that felt right. Until one afternoon our worker called. She said that there was a baby but he wasn’t a newborn and she knew we wanted a newborn. But I listened to her tell me about him. He was 3 1/2 months old. The worker who was placing him wanted to personally choose the family rather than let the resource worker (who I was speaking to) choose the family. The birth mother was on home incarceration and he was living with her husband (who had just found out he wasn’t the birth father) at his mother’s home. There was concern for the health of the baby. They thought that he had sleep apnea. And something wrong with his lungs. I knew then. He was ours. I called my husband and he agreed.
The next day we took Andrew to daycare, went to purchase a second car seat and to pick up the baby. He was beautiful. He had the biggest eyes and sweetest face! He was also tiny. At almost 4 months old he was in newborn clothes. We were in love!
We picked up Andrew from daycare and he was surprised to learn he had a baby brother. At 16 months old he was still a baby too and wasn’t sure he was ready to share Mommy and Daddy. He soon found out that we could hold two babies and that worked for him.
Johnathan reeked of cigarette smoke. We bathed him a few times that first day to try to get it off his skin. He coughed like he had pneumonia and I swear I smelled smoke when he coughed. It took a couple weeks to get his lungs clear. Turns out that he is allergic to cigarette smoke. There is nothing physically wrong with him. Just people smoking so much around him that he was choking.
Our experience as his Foster Parents was so different from our experience with Andrew. We had only one visit with his birth mother and she didn’t seem interested in him during it.
We adopted Johnathan at 17 months old. It was such a happy day for our family!
Today our sweet baby boy is 7 years old. He is a caring, helpful, gentle, loving soul. He has hurdles to cross due to his birth circumstances. It makes me both sad and angry that someone could flippantly hurt an unborn child and change the course of their life however if his birth mother had done things differently we may not have him in our lives. Everyone needs a Johnathan in their life. He sees the best in moments and people that others would disregard. He shines his exuberance on tiny, everyday moments. He is a joy.
Contact Robyn at Robyn@theneighborhoodmoms.com