Friday, April 25, 2014

An Adopted Heartbeat: Part 2

Standing in our “baby’s room” - looking at toys, clothes, books, etc. Tears welled-up staring at the University of Kentucky baby t-shirt I’d bought years ago.  I sat down on the bed and cried.   I’d been crying for 12 years.  I’d been pleading to God.  It is time to shift gears, Tara.  After many fertility treatments, procedures, miscarriages, money washed down the drain and much anxiety, I had to move on in my thinking.  I tried to focus on OUR plan being different from other peoples’ plans.  I MUST stop crying when I see that lady at school, pregnant with her 5th, and the other 4 are not loved and taken care of.   I must stop getting mad seeing that former student of mine pregnant and without hope. God Help Me.  (He was helping the entire time.  He knew.  My lesson was still being learned. )
We signed up for a meeting with our Foster Care system.  We listened, but didn’t feel led in this direction. “It is our goal to put children back with biological families.” wasn’t easy to hear.  I thought, Blood isn’t always thicker than water. At that point, I couldn’t take more loss.  Heads hanging and discouraged, we left that meeting.  (Although now, the foster care idea creeps back in.  God trying to tell me something about my future?) 
We found All Blessings International Adoption Company and scheduled a meeting.  They were wonderful, sweet, Christian people.  Nepal was a good fit. “Sign us up!”  Home visits, fingerprints, background checks.  Bitterness would creep in sometimes… That meth-addicted lady has been able to “incubate” another precious baby???  Who will mother her 3rd baby?  Grandparents –again?  She doesn’t have to have a background check!  But, we were approved and the #20 family in line for a baby girl from Nepal.  I wore my “Wanted in Nepal” sweatshirt proudly.  Researched.  Prayed.  Planned. Fundraised.
Talking about fundraising.  My Muhlenberg County, Kentucky community pulled together!  We sold Harley Davidson Raffle Tickets.  We smoked and sold Christmas meats. A Yardsale.  A Zumbathon.  My school presented us with baby bottles jammed with money.  A Gold Rush.  My small, country town united.  I loved my people.  I love them even more now.
Teaching one day I got a heart-breaking email.  US had closed Nepal adoptions.  Again, my heartbeat stopped.  (Some illegal stuff was going on there.)  I wasn’t even worried about lost money.  I was just worried…and broken AGAIN. Another teacher came to my class. She sent me home and covered my room for the rest of the day.  My best friend showed up and poured me a glass of wine.  I licked my wounds.  Jason was wounded.  Back to square one, we kept living day by day, praying, hoping.  Tara, your life is pretty fantastic!  Isn’t it enough?  It should be.
Jason’s aunt told us about “The Home of God’s Love” originally.  I’d emailed months before, but they weren’t accepting new families.  I forgot about it.  (Defense mechanism I used to protect myself along this roller-coaster…I’ve learned.)  But, in July, our social worker called me telling me they were reopening.  The next day, I emailed and forwarded our homestudy!  Is this it?  God leading us here?  More fingerprints, paperwork, homestudy. We got on the official waiting list September 11.  We were cheesing, shaking in the knees, sick, journaling in our “Adopt Taiwan” journal, biting our nails, ON our knees.  I caught myself pulling on the reins when I got too excited.  (Defense mechanism)
Monday, November 7, 2011…what a day!  I’d taken a personal day.  My sister was home from Atlanta.  We were going to spend the day together & shop.  (God had this special day planned.  I took a personal day.  My sister was home.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.) Proverbs 25:25 “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”  Boy!  Was it!  The phone rang early and it was Ted Skiles on the other end.  What we felt that day, we cannot put into words.  She was perfect.  An 8 day old baby girl, born on Halloween!  We fell in love.  Fell to our knees.  My sister came down as I opened pictures.  I loud-cried, lost it.  So grateful she was here.  Little did we know we’d be “officially shopping” for Rossi Quinn Whitmer that day! Family and friends gathered w/ cake, champagne, balloons, gifts.  I was bubbling over and ready to pack my bags and go alone.  Glory to God!
Time passed.  Felt like years. Hourly, I’d slide that iPhone button over and hold my breath.   Madwoman checking her email again!  Phone literally “slept” beside me.  There was process, paperwork, Taiwan court...  Kept telling myself, She is loved Tara.  She’s well-taken care of.  You get pictures and updates monthly. She has blankets and stuffed animals that we’ve slept with for smells.  She has 2 books with our voices and pictures.  But, we needed HER smell, her touch.  Months went by.  I literally fell to my knees in a teachers’ meeting when I got the email to come on.  The teachers ordered cakes.  Cried with me. (I’m telling you, this small Kentucky town is really something!)  
Ready to put our hands on our daughter, we loaded the plane in Nashville.  19 hours – no problem!  We got there early, opened the front door of the orphanage (trembling, praying, smiling, crying), and there she was, sitting on their kitchen table!!!  We’d never seen anything so beautiful. I hugged her immediately.  Her hair was so thick and soft. Cradling my hands around her head, She’s so much smaller in person.  Her almond eyes looking up at me swelled my heart.  That smile and those full lips were perfection.  Momma and Daddy were in love.  We’d just stare at her and then smile at each other.  Pinch me!  She’s in my arms!  At first, she was scared.  Wasn’t long, she was smiling and giggling.  Holding her, I just couldn’t get enough of it.  Her night nanny smiled and said, “I love it when these babies can just get held for no reason at all!”  I planned to hold her forever! God is so faithful.  Rossi was born for us, I have no doubt.  Our little Wildcat is OURS!  OURS!!!! Let’s take her to Kentucky! And we did.
 Family picked us up at the airport full of excitement, hugs, and tears.  “There she is!!!” they squealed as we walked out of the terminal.  My sis-n-law was scolded by security for getting too close.  Our caravan of love headed home.  Muhlenberg County was full of excitement.  They surprised us with our Sherriff leading a parade.  I’m thinking, Oh My!  This CAN’T be happening.  Off the exit and all along the few miles home were loved ones.  People jumping up and down.  Rossi signs seemed to jump, too.  Plum bows tied to signs and trees.  Our house was painted with loving posters and plum bows. Rossi even made a billboard in Central City! Muhlenberg County had gripped onto this 12 year, heartbreak roller-coaster with us.  Now, they celebrated God’s Plan with us.  I’m so grateful.  I’m just so grateful.  Rossi’s Plum Tree was the centerpiece for our family picture.  We put her feet in the Bluegrass.  Momma carried her… answered prayer, daddy’s little Wildcat, her DAUGHTER in her new “Home” that is also filled with “God’s Love”. 
I could type another 2000 word essay just on our Rossi. (OK – 2,000,000 word essay)  How I cry many times just holding her.  I thank God daily.  His timing was perfect.  From the November 7 phone call to us being in a position where momma gets to stay home from work and love/raise our miracle.  She is mine.  I couldn’t love her more.  We giggle, snuggle, read books, play chase in the yard, take bubble baths, etc. etc. etc.  I have never loved anything on Earth more.
Our forever gratitude to God and The Home of God’s Love Orphanage in Taiwan…  I could type another story about this place.  Selfless, God-serving people who dedicate their lives to the parentless children of Taiwan.  Words honestly can’t tell you how God moves there and how we were moved by being there.  Prayers always to you THOGL!
Again – Thank you to Muhlenberg County Kentuckians! more of our journey. 
“MY Momma’s Heartbeat” children’s book will be published in 2014.   - follow us. (Proceeds will be donated to various orphanages, adopting families, etc.)
A phrase from my book…
My momma’s heartbeat gives me life…
            Across the ocean and halfway around the world, her heart… and mine created lonely sound waves reaching for each other.  Momma’s heartbeat and mine playing solos, but not for long.

1 comment:

  1. Crying my eyes out as this post brings back memories of our journey to Spencer. Thank you for putting into words so perfectly the pain, struggle, and elation that comes with infertility, failed adoptions, and the moment when everything changed (for us it was a phone call). Can't wait for your book!