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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....
« The Journey...Part Five | Main | The Journey...Part Three »

Reader Comments (162)

And so we come to it. My love as always Tanis. For what it's worth, I'm proud of you.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWill

I'm reading. I'm weeping. I'm holding my breath.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Screw the bureaucrats! It infuriates me when they do this kind of thing to good people. I'm sorry you had to deal with this, but more than that, I'm sorry for BamBam. He deserves you.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMomo Fali

I'm praying this story has a happy ending. I'm can even begin to imagine how horrible that phone call had to have been.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKendra

What a rollercoaster ride, Tanis. A complaint? Why? I hope you post part five right away because I'm all worried and scared for you. This has a happy ending, right? Right? Did the complaint have to do with your blog? Ah! You need to tell me. Email me. Something.

Off to go take a shower. Or a valium. Or something. Maybe I shouldn't have had so much coffee this morning. You think?

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWalking With Scissors

My stomach is in a tight little ball...I have my fingers and toes crossed for you and your family.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSadie

What the fucking fuck?!? Sorry, but I'm all beside myself here, and I cuss like a trucker when I'm upset. *whimpers*

I don't know where you are at this point in your journey, so they may not be needed, but huge, squishy *bewbie hugs* to you.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChibi Jeebs

Whoever complained is a fucktard of epic proportions.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBackpacking Dad

I second Backpacking Dad's sentiments.....and think that will be my new word for the week......f*cktards.....

Sitting here, WONDERING what in the hell happened.....please post the next part by the time I get off work!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngel

Oh, Tanis. I'm keeping fingers, toes, and everything else crossed for you. I don't see how anyone could think that this child wouldn't be completely and totally loved.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

I'm going to ditto Backpacking Dad
"Whoever complained is a fucktard of epic proportions."

I'm still praying this turns out well.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelody

Ah shit. I totally cannot believe this. I know I have to wait until the end but I am all ready to head up north to kick some complainer's ass. Seriously. You know me - I'll bury the MF in a frozen lake and think nothing of it.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBennie

Well that's just horse shit. I'm going to be honest and tell you that I'm so angry that I almost have those anger tears and I don't even know. Oh Government how fucked up you truly are!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLovingDanger

Yikes. This was NOT what I expected to happen in this story!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Lee

I think we can all copy BPD's comment and paste it in our own. EPIC proportions.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMr Lady

Oh no. Nononono! This cannot be happening. Want happy ending for you and BamBam!


December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Are you serious??? Oh no... we can't end a Friday like that!! Okay, I'm going to be checking back everyday until I find out what happened - I pray it turned out okay.

What can I say that hasn't already been said?? But WTH?!?!?!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJacquie

I'm going to go one step further and say that they are MFFucktards.

Please don't make us wait too long for Part 5. We're all holding our collective breath and turning blue...

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAndi

Oh Tanis...My heart aches for you all. I hope it turns out like it should. It always amazes me how messed up out child welfare/adoption and foster systems are.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkd@abitsquirrelly

You're killing me. I'm trying to be patient because I know this must be hard, but I so want to hear the rest of the story. I'm still thinking happy thoughts for you and your little man.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary Helen

Nooooooooo! This is killing me! Ok, breath, breath.


December 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkris

Noooooooooooooooo!!!!! I can't stand the suspense!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBill

What? god i hope everything turned out okay.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

THIS is what I remember from Twitter. I'm holding my breath that said complaint was found to be a bunch of baseless shit and you will be grinning like the cat who got the canary when you hit the "Publish" button on the last installment of this series. Fingers crossed.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFairly Odd Mother

I don't think I can take much more of this.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer McKenzie

ah, you're killing me! I hate the suspense!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatrina

WTF? Do we need to form a posse and go punch someone in the boobs?

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThumper

What?! I sitting on the edge of my seat...

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnnabelle @ Christian Momma

Okay, more tears again! WTF is happening? You guys are like the perfect family this little angel! Please, please, please tell us the ending and let it be good! I can't take the suspense much longer - I've turned into a stalker of your blog, checking every couple hours for an update :-)

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPam S

OOOOOHHHHH I am soooooo angry...I understand they do what they have to do....but come on...seriously.....

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternoah's mommy

Oh no!!! Please don't keep us in suspense!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenera

Oh for crying out loud! I'm all for serializing a post, but to do us like this, over a WEEKEND!?!

I really hope this turns out for the better.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSciFi Dad

In my community the CPS people have a tendency to ignore real complaints and go on witch hunts for innocent people, babies die around here because of their politics and decent hard working families are torn apart...

Common sense tells me that you came through this OK because you're such a strong shiny person and you're still out here telling your tale but my illogical heart is pounding in terror for you and this cliffhanger...

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterjGrrl

What the F&*k!!!!!! You know how many crappy abusive parents are out there and they are messing with you over a complaint!!!

And you really know how to leave us hanging!!!


please tell me there is a happy ending

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterqutecowgirl

As someone who has been yanked around in the adoption process before, I am just filled up with anger about this! I hope you are long through this journey and am anxiously waiting for a good ending. Geesh - what is wrong with people!!!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDawnS

Awww hellll naw! Puh-lease tell me there is a happy ending before I get all pissy and ruin someone else's day!

Seriously though, I don't know WHAT in the WORLD anyone could say to complain about you. But then again, it comes with the level of awesomeness you've achieved. Haters are your biggest fans!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterO'Neal

Augh! Anxious to hear more.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

This story needs to end with the complainer's head on a bloody stake.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

crimony woman, dont you know i'm going out of town this weekend? I'm going to be in KNOTS (not to mention hogging my folks computer) waiting to find out what happens!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterfidget

Your writing evoked a mood or feeling from the beginning of this post that there was about to be a hitch in the plan. I hope this is just the middle and the end result is the Redneck+BamBam. I'll be waiting for the next post and hoping for good news.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Oh my, I expected something not cool, but NEVER this. I'm holding on to hope that this turns out positively!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn @ thatpsychofamily.com

Oh, hell to the no! As we used to say in my old neighborhood, "That's f**ked up, y'all!"

No way, no how. Tanis, I gots my fingers (and toes) crossed. Please give us a Kodak moment!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIrishGumbo

Who the hell could possibly complain? And now you leave us hanging more...

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKei

Surely this is a ploy to keep me addicted to your freaking blog, because what kind of fuckhead would file a complaint against you?

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMinnie

That SUCKS ASS!! Now I'm on pins and needles waiting to hear the rest of the story.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

NFW!!!! You cannot leave it this way...not today...not on Friday....I hate social workers and this is why! Children being beat to death everyday with no response from the SS but spank one once and it's off to jail with you. I so hope somebodies head rolled on this one!

And Ditto to BPD! I am going to try to use that in a sentence today! Since I am finishing my Christmas shopping tonight it should not be hard.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCindy and Co.

What the?!?!? I am sucked into this story like all those Twilight freaks! Please tell me they didn't take that baby from you, because there's a whole internet that'll come up and kick their bureaucratic asses!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJill

Oh Honey... Still praying for you. And hoping you posted this on a Friday because you have some baby love to attend too!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Totally with Backpacking Dad. Are they kidding? WTF???????????????????? OK, waiting patiently for the next installment. But I may have to come up north to kick some beaurocrat in the balls.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJean

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