Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Story of Joseph - Loving Joseph

IF I had been caught off guard by Sherry's question then I imagine she was even more surprised by my answer. Even if I had not been so unprepared for the question I still think I would have said no. After all, we had a plan and adoption was not part of it.

When Jesse and I got in to foster care we told out placement worker that we never wanted to have a child who was going to need to be adopted placed with us. We said very emphatically that we were not getting into foster care with the intention of adopting. We wanted to do a couple of years of foster care, then take a year or two off and then have children of our own. That was the plan and we were sticking to it.

So when we were asked if we would adopt Joseph it never even entered my head to say yes or to even consider saying yes. "No" was the only answer that made any sense.

And it's not because I didn't love Joseph because I did. Of course I did. You don't care for a child as long as we cared for Joseph and not love them. I loved him and I cared about him and I worried about the kind of life that he would have. For my own sanity and well being though I had to hold a piece of myself back. From the time we first got Joseph we had been told "He's going back soon! Get ready to send him back! Any day now! Soon he'll being going home! Next week maybe!" I was prepared to see Joseph leave. I was not prepared to see him stay.

As soon as I got off the phone with a befuddled Sherry I called Jesse who had exactly the same reaction I did. "What?! No! Of course we won't adopt him!"

I called Sabrina and told her about the phone call and she was shocked. "What!? I can't believe they asked you that! I'm going to make some calls." She got off the phone with me so that she could call the group home.

Twenty minutes later Sabrina called me back with a little more of the story. Apparently after Jesse and I were late picking Joseph up from his weekend visit Julie told the group home supervisors that she didn't want any more visits with Joseph and that she wanted him to be adopted. They told her that if she surrendered her rights to Joseph then she would have to leave the group home. Julie said that was fine and that she was going to go and live with an aunt of hers in another state and that that's what she had been wanting to do for a long time anyway. Then she packed her stuff and left.

All of the sudden all the plans that the system had for Joseph were just blown away. It was set in stone that he was going to go live with Julie in two weeks. What would be done with him now? Sabrina told us that first they would see if Joey or Julie had any family members that would be a good placement for Joseph. If that failed to produce any results then we would have the "fist shot" at adopting him. "But I know you guys don't want to adopt him and that's ok!" Sabrina said. For some reason hearing her say that made my heart drop a little bit. The next step would be to find Joseph an adoptive family. Joseph could be with us for months and months while this all happened.

The timeline concerned Jesse and I. Our lease was ending soon on our apartment and we were leaning more and more towards moving. I wanted to be closer to my family we weren't crazy about our current neighborhood. The problem was that if we moved to where we wanted to then we would be out of our current county and we wouldn't be able to take Joseph with us. That meant that Joseph would have to go and live with another foster family before being put in yet another home as a pre-adoption placement. The situation was upsetting to both Jesse and myself but we didn't know what we could do about it.

Then one night, about a week or so after Sherry's phone call, Jesse and I were sitting on the couch talking about what might happen to Joseph. There had been this crazy little idea fluttering around my brain for a couple of days but I was afraid to bring it up knowing how Jesse felt about adopting Joseph. "What if......" I said timidly "What if .... we kept him?"

Jesse didn't say anything but when I looked over at him he had a huge smile on his face and tears in his eyes. And with that, everything changed.


Eile said...


Enter tearish happy ending. its it amazing when you just decide its right. so many things start to fall into place.

You write so beautifully. Thanks for keeping up with the story, I have been checking back every break I have had all day...

LOL Eile

Sam said...

YAY!!! From my corner of teh innernets, it looks like you did the right thing.

Meredith~Sebastian~Milo said...

Hi! I was directed to your blog by a friend and have spent the last two days (while "working":)) reading the story of Joesph. I just wanted to tell you that #1 it is not too long and you were so right about every part of the story being important and #2 I have throughly enjoyed the entire story....you are so funny and so honest, it's refreshing! At the risk of sounding cliche, I really do think you are amazing and i can't wait to read the rest!

shyestviolet said...

WOOOOOOOOO! HURRAH! oh, weepy happy souls, unite! :)

Cathy said...

Awe - so sweet!

Alison Wonderland said...

Awwww, it's a happy one. YAY!!!

Laggin said...

This one made me smile.

Stimey said...

Oh, I'm ridiculously happy!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I am so glad to have been able to follow it.

The Laundress said...

The rollercoaster you were on woman....

You are one strong chick.

Jen said...

eile - I'm glad you're enjoying the story. Now we're getting to the happy part.

sam - I think we did. I think it every day when I look at my boy.

meredith - *blush* Thank you for your kind words!

shyestviolet - I promised a good payoff didn't I?

cathy - Yeah, I kind of think it's sweet too.

allison - Ha! Yes, finally a happy one.

laggin - It made me smile too. :)

stimey - It all makes me happy too. Writting this made me remember all the not-so-great parts so I was happy to get to the good stuff.

wheelsonthebus - Thank you! You were one of the people who inspired me to write this all out.

laundress - Oh stop! I am not strong, I just got very, very lucky that this wonderbaby just sort of fell into my lap.

nell said...

Hooray! That makes me smile. I'm still smiling. I might do it all day.

MommyCosm said...

Ohhhh...new reader here.

Made me cry a little, but in a happy way. I'll be back to read more.

Laura said...

Wonderful, wonderful :)