Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas In My Heart Comes to Life Part II

As promised, writing a little bit of my most memorable “Christmas In My Heart” Moment.

Summer was fading away. I was about to start work again as the school year was fast approaching. Excited about starting a new school year and yet a little disappointed that no child had been matched with me all summer long. A match had been made in early June, however, due to some circumstances beyond my control that match of a delightful 4 year old boy had fallen through.

The school year started and so began my work as an elementary school Speech/Language Therapist. Groups of mischievous boys and girls filled my days and oh the endless paperwork. Nothing made my heart more happy then my school children and yet this year nothing made my heart so longing for a little one as going back to work in the fall. A few weeks went by and soon the normal routine ensued.

Finally a phone call. A match. Another 4 year old yet this time it was a girl. It was exciting and since it was early October fantasies started popping up about possibly having a weekend visitation on Halloween weekend or if not hopefully for Thanksgiving! Details were exchanged, full disclosure, now all I had to do was wait for the visitation schedule. One week came, nothing. When it was almost two weeks, I called my social worker but we began playing phone tag. By the third week, I had a feeling something was off. Needless to say Halloween came and went and then my social worker informed me that there had been some glitches she hadn’t known about and it looked like there was already a relative attempting to gain custody of this child, and it seemed like the best course of action was to back out and wait again. November was already here and it was hard to keep up a thankful mood, I was highly disappointed. Of course I was very happy to hear that this girl had a relative that was fighting for her, but while I knew this was a good thing, my heart wasn’t quite in line with that thought yet. As Thanksgiving approached, I found myself dreading the month of December and I knew that it would be a very tough month to get through without a match.

Putting on a happy face, I went through Thanksgiving trying to avoid the questions of “aren’t you matched yet?” “there isn’t a child out there that needs a home”? however, the questions did come and doubt was well into my head. I ended up surviving Thanksgiving and wondering how I would survive the next month. My prayers were slightly disjointed as I prayed to be a home that a child would need yet I prayed that families wouldn’t have to go through trauma, then I just didn’t know what to pray for it was all so confusing. Christmas time looked bleak.

A mile down the road, my mother who had already started reading the new “Christmas In My Heart” book also was crying and praying to the Lord that with all the stories in these books about families finding each other and after reading the story of ‘The littlest Orphan’ was there not one child out there who could be our Christmas child? I later learned that she had specifically asked the Lord to just send her a sign that only she would know about if a child was meant to be in our family. Trying to get into the spirit, both my mom and I in our separate homes and with our separate thoughts put up the tree and sighed, after all sometimes a tree for one person and a dog could be lonely at times.

It was a typical windy cold night in southern California. I was on the way home trying to get there in time to change from work clothes to clothes suitable to attend a Christmas Concert. I made a stop to buy myself an expensive phone. That would at least keep me busy and entertained for a while when I received a phone call. It was my social worker. There was a baby that needed a home, and would I accept her? My social worker had limited information including the wrong age of the child, but in my heart I wondered, could this child be the one meant to come to my home? I quickly declined to buy the nifty expensive cell phone and got the bi-yearly upgrade instead to save money. I agreed to hear more information because while excited I was very nervous about the age…while I was open to newborns and infants, all I knew and was comfortable with were toddlers and preschoolers. As the information came together, the infant was actually younger than what was originally stated. For a moment panic set in, a baby? What do you do with one of those? They don’t talk or walk!

We agreed to set up one visit at the foster home before the scheduled day to take her home. I panicked that day after work on the way to the foster home. What if the baby cried, what if I couldn’t calm her down? Not only would my social worker be there, but the foster mother would probably be making mental notes about how un-motherly I really was. I remember seeing Christmas decorations at the home and my social worker waiting for me. Sending a quick prayer, I asked God to give me the miracle of being at ease with this 4-month old I hadn’t even seen. Walking in and sitting on the couch, I felt a sense of peace. When the foster mother came into the room with Tigger I was in awe. She placed her in my arms and all both of us did was stare at each other. Those eyes, those eyes looked and looked at me and I knew. We connected. Maybe not in that gushy “I’m so in love” way, but in a deep way as if we both knew we belonged there.

Five days later, driving in the wind back to my home with a baby in the backseat, I sang….loudly! There was Christmas music on the radio and I felt like singing. I also was a nervous wreck and thought every car, semi-truck, and tumbleweed were out to get me. Miraculously nothing did.

As evening approached, some of my family came over to help situate us. As I was taking it all in, the clothes everywhere, bottles being sanitized, humidifier bought in a moment of panic due to Tigger having a runny nose, toys, washcloths, I noticed my Christmas tree. Someone had slipped an ornament on it “baby’s first Christmas” and in that instant I knew, I knew that a Christmas miracle had happened. God had seen me fit to give a child a home. My mother knew too. You see, she had asked God for a private sign. Tigger’s name upon arrival was a name that my mother had used for her doll she had growing up. She loved that doll with all her might. When Tigger came home, we all knew…..she was the Christmas child that I had been longing for.

If you have a memorable "Christmas In Your Heart" moment (doesn't have to be child related) please share.


Karen said...

OK, you have me in tears now. What a beautiful story about how you and your daughter came to be together. It was a true Christmas miracle.

grace said...

wow i'm in tears! beautiful story, i love your heart

Jen said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm in the very earlierst stages of thinking about pursuing single parent adoption, and your story made me cry! What a joy.

Deb said...

I'm in tears reading your story.

Such a beautiful Christmas miracle.

Found your blog from the forum. I live in the same county as you. We're waiting on last set of fingerprints and then our home study interviews. Then we'll be licensed.

Mrs. Who said...

Beautiful, beautiful story. As a teacher who has seen needy foster kids and with a husband who was adopted himself, let me say 'thank you' for doing this.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. You give me hope that one Christmas we'll be matched with a child who needs a home and be able to share our homes and hearts with him/her as well. :-)