The Journey...Part Four

Boo was charmed by BamBam. It was hard not to be sucked into loving the boy with the dimples. For the remainder of our first weekend together with BamBam we all took turns cuddling and kissing the poor kid until he was plumb worn out from love.

BamBam slept well that night.

I reluctantly bundled him up first thing on Monday morning along with his toys and his meds and whatever else his foster mom, my new angel, had sent along with us and drove him back to his home.

I worried that I wouldn't be able to handle actually giving him back to his caregiver without doing the ugly cry and blubber until I had tissues stuffed up my nose and mascara running down my face but it turned out to be easier than I thought.

When I brought BamBam back and reluctantly handed him back to his care givers I was given yet another gift. The wheels of fate had been spinning their magic and our one weekend was going to turn into many more weekends.

We were to become BamBam's respite family, taking him every weekend until the time came that we were able to permanently bring him into our family and legally call him our own little Redneck.

My excitement and glee over this new turn of events made it easier to kiss BamBam good bye and I practically floated home to phone Boo and then my bestest friend, the Dragonlady.

I couldn't believe after all the trials and endless waiting our adoption application had put us through, our dreams were this close to coming true. The pieces of the puzzle were falling into place perfectly as though it was meant to be.

It was surreal really. I finally had a small sliver of understanding for what lottery winners must feel like. I never felt luckier in my life. I kept wanting to pinch myself to prove I wasn't dreaming and I walked around with a smile so broad my cheeks hurt and cranky people wanted to slug me.

It didn't take long to adjust to our new pattern of life. Upon realizing BamBam was going to be a permanent feature in the Redneck Residence I quickly foraged for baby stuffs so our dimpled boy wouldn't have to sleep in a rickety bassinet or my bathtub. I procured a crib and a swing and more plastic useless baby toys than a disabled child would ever need.

Every weekend I'd swing into the city to pick up my cherub, kiss the feet of my angel his foster mom and whisk him back home to my little piece of paradise. He became my new sidekick, my living accessory. We bonded so tightly his foster mom said he would mope all week until I picked him up again.

Even Nixon loves BamBam

Our three-day weekends gradually morphed into four days, sometimes even five days. Nobody minded. It was hard to deny BamBam wasn't meant for us. Everyone thrived with him in our lives. Fric and Frac were stabilizing in a way they hadn't since their brother died, no longer having nightmares and Boo was home more weekends than he was away to ensure he bonded with his new little buddy.

All of my unspoken fears about bringing in a child into our home and having it turn into a miserable experience dissipated with each smile, each giggle. For the first time in years, my heart felt FULL. It was no longer the half-shrunken, shriveled balloon it resembled for so long. I felt true joy again and I couldn't get enough.

Baby drool. It's like crack for love-starved mothers, I tell ya.

BamBam went where I went. The grocery store where people would coo over how deep his dimples where. The local greenhouse where I'd just mean to run in and pick up a few annuals and end up working the register for an hour while BamBam sat in his car seat and giggled at over the customers lining up to make smiley faces and baby talk with him.

Girls night out with the Dragonlady, my best friend, meant BamBam was styled into a pimping outfit and off we'd go bowling and out for dessert afterwards. I'd even toss the poor dude into his car seat just so I could go get the mail down the road. It felt unnatural to be without him.

(Also note, BamBam is medically fragile so I was tethered to him for his own safety and health.)

BamBam loves to swim

Fric and Frac horned in on the action too. They packed him around, helped give him baths and fought over whose turn it was to sit with him and help give him his medicine or help with his therapy routines. The only time Fric and Frac abandoned him was when their nostrils started to twitch and then suddenly they'd mysteriously have to go outside or clean their bedrooms.

My kids are no dummies. They're smart enough to know when to abandon a poopy ship.

Spring turned into summer and the weeks started to blend together. I became close friends with BamBam's foster mom; my angel friend and the government bureaucrats bent over backwards to do what they could to ensure BamBam became ours.

There were legal complications to overcome but I felt invincible. Everything was going exactly how it was supposed to. I couldn't allow myself to not believe that in the end, through all the drama, BamBam would end up a permanent member of our Redneck clan.

One Thursday morning Boo had just arrived home for the weekend. We were sitting in the living room; he was chattering about his job, I was tuning him out while twittering and the phone rang.

I looked at my watch and noted the time and told Boo to answer it, I had to get ready to go pick up BamBam in an hour. I didn't want to be slowed down from picking up my dimpled baby who all but hurled himself into my arms whenever I arrived at his foster mom's house now.

Boo rolled his eyes while muttering about how twittering is not conducive to brushing one's hair and I ignored him because, really, what does the man know about twitter anyways? Boo answered the phone and after a quick hello, he passed the phone to me.

"It's BamBam's foster mom," he said as I scowled at him for interrupting my highly important tweeting.

"Hey Angel lady! How are you?" I grinned into the phone. "I'm just about ready to come and pick up the little rascal."

That's when she told me not to bother. She had received a phone call imposing a restriction on BamBam's respite and he wouldn't be allowed to come to our house for the weekend.

I was upset but not shattered. One weekend would not sever the bond we had forged with our dimpled boy. But a small part of me tweaked with worry, wondering if the magic carpet ride we had ridden was suddenly coming unraveled.

I listened to a confused Angel lady tell me what was going on. She really had no information herself other than the instructions that BamBam was not to leave her custody for the weekend. She wasn't overly concerned herself; she just chalked it up to legal wrangling and promised me she would get back to me with more information as soon as she could.

Disappointed, I hung up the phone and told Boo we had a free weekend for the first time in months. He of course, waggled his eyebrows at the thought of a weekend alone with his wife. With no baby three feet from our bed.

Laughing, I hurled a pillow at him and told him he was a pervert.

The weekend came and went and soon it was Monday morning. BamBam's foster mom and myself set out on a mission to find out why BamBam was imprisoned so suddenly at his foster mom's house.

A series of phone calls lead to stonewalling and more questions than answers. I grew more and more concerned with every minute that passed.

Finally, my Angel lady called me back. "Listen Tanis, I don't know what the hell is going on but I finally spoke to BamBam's supervisor and she told me that you aren't allowed to see BamBam until further notice. When I pressed her for a reason she told me she couldn't tell me but that you would be informed immediately."

"Hmmm, interesting," I murmured aloud. "Well, as soon as I hear I'll let you know, Angel lady. Until then, just take good care of my boy and tell him I love him."

Angel lady laughed and promised she'd annoy him with kisses and love the same way I did and hung up the phone.

The clock ticked. The day passed. And then another day. Finally, on Wednesday, the phone rang.

I jumped on it, hoping it was good news.

"May I speak with Tanis Miller please?"

"Speaking," I answered, crossing my fingers I was finally going to get to the bottom of this and not miss another weekend with my BamBam.

"Tanis, this is a bureaucrat from the department of 'We keep kids safe from bad peoples' and I'm calling to inform you there has been a complaint made against you."

The wind was literally sucked out of my lungs with each word I heard as I listened to this stranger tell me I would be unable to have BamBam in my home until the complaint was resolved.

"What do you mean complaint?" I demanded, confused and flabbergasted. "What complaint?"

"Ma'am, I can't discuss this with you. Procedure demands an investigation."

What the f*ck? AN INVESTIGATION?

to be continued....