Happy Birthday!

My little darling spitfire Miss M is 2 years old today.

A little over two years ago in June/July 2010, we had just accepted 1-year-old Y, 2 year-old C, and 11 year-old D into our home.  We had never had children before.  I was staying home during the day with the little boys and was struggling mightily with C's enormous tantrums and everywhere I turned for help I got NONE.  Shortly after the boys were placed with us we heard that their bio mom was pregnant.

I knew they'd ask us to take the baby. They have to; after all we had all the siblings and technically we had the room.

Bio mom asked us to take the baby. The state asked us to take the baby. I begged my husband to take the baby.  She was due in November, but often had her babies early so September/October was looking like the more likely time for birth.

In my heart I knew, I KNEW that I could not do it.  I was barely getting by trying to be a stay-at-home mom, keep up on my work for our business, etc. I struggled to leave the house, often having to carry both little children back to the car after an outing (thankfully they were both small!).  Sometimes we'd get out of the car, tantrums would start, and I'd load them right back up and drive home in tears. Y had just begun to walk regularly at 13 months.  There was no option for baby sitters due to the state's rules, my husband worked hard during the day to provide for us. Bio mom missed at least one visit a week and during those visits was my one respite, my one chance to run errands and accomplish all the things that I wasn't able to do with the kids at home.  Could I do all of these things in a sleep-deprived state after being up all night with an infant?

So after weeks of tears, I finally admitted that there was just no way that I could do this.  No way.  I'm sure we would have all been fed and clothed, but it would not have been good. It would have been surviving; not living.  My sanity would probably have taken a big hit.

Oh how I cried over this decision. I cried the day Miss M came into the world, I cried over how uncertain her future was. I cried for her bio mother, who never got to take her baby home from the hospital and had to hand her baby girl over to yet another stranger.

Then I got another phone call.  They wanted to know, could I care for Miss M during the day while her foster mom was at work? She was too young still to go to a normal daycare.

I said yes, that I would care for her until she was 6 weeks old and then we could reevaluate at that time.  I'm quite sure it was a moment of insanity but I just so wanted to be a part of this child's life, to help her know her brothers, to give her as much love as I could and in some small way, to make up for not being able to care for her.

When her foster mom brought her to my house for the first time, I was amazed at how tiny she was. She had been born at 5 lbs, 6 oz.  I'm sure she was bigger by then, as it had been a few weeks since she was born, but still! She was tiny!  I was slightly terrified of caring for a human being so small.  But I also knew this might be my one chance ever in my life to care for an infant; since I couldn't have babies of my own I just couldn't bear to let the opportunity slip by.

And so, during the week during the day I cared for her. She basically lived in the Moby wrap, cuddled up against my body. That was the only way I could get her to take naps.  It was a cold, cold winter that year and she was my (almost) permanently attached heater.

Fast forward almost 2 years - Miss M moved in with us in May, and we are waiting to finalize the adoption hopefully in December. She will get to live with her brothers, and though she can not be with her biological mother I will try my best to be a good mother to her. And I got my wish too, expecting our very own baby in April.  Miss M will be a big sister!

Yesterday I took her to the doctor and then out to McDonald's for lunch. When it was time to leave, she climbed underneath the table and screamed and I had to literally drag her out and then carry her to the car.  She is a girl that knows what she wants and she makes sure everyone else knows what she wants too!  She is growing up so fast, so smart, so pretty, and I am so thankful to have her in our lives.

Happy birthday, Miss M.

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