The Journey...Part Two

My heart raced as I listened to the woman, who was about to make my dreams come true, tell me about my son.

I could hardly pay attention to the voice on the other end of the phone. My heart was thumping in my chest and my ears were buzzing with a thousand little butterflies flapping in my stomach.

I listened to this angel from heaven lady tell me all about the little baby boy who needed a family. I could hardly believe my ears. He sounded too good to be true.

"Would you like to meet him?" she asked, making my fantasy reality. It didn't take me long to jump all over that offer.

"Absolutely! When can that happen?" I asked eagerly.

"Well, he's currently in the hospital right now, why don't you come tomorrow to meet us?"

The first thing I did as soon as I got off the phone was run outside and do a happy dance with a little war whoop call my husband.

At first he didn't answer the telephone. But I am persistent. So I called back. No answer again. No matter. I'd just keep pressing redial until he finally stopped ignoring me and answered my phone call. I'm thoughtful like that.

"What?" he growled into the phone when he finally answered on my fourth try. "I'm working."

Ignoring his snarls (I've learned over the course of our marriage he's all bark and no bite) I launched into my story telling him about the phone call and barely taking a breath in between words.

"SLOW DOWN Tanis, I can't understand you!"

Taking a deep breath, I repeated my sentences and then waited for his response. I was a little nervous because over the course of our adoption quest my husband had insisted on only one thing. He didn't care what sex the child was, how many medical challenges faced or even how frail the child was. He only insisted the child not be a baby.

Boo was hoping for a child at least three years old.

Me? At this point I'd adopt a two-headed Chihuahua so I was not exactly fussy.

"EIGHT months old?" he repeated. I could tell the wheels in his brain where spinning like windmills.

"That's right. And he's really tiny too. He's not even 12 pounds."


I held my breath, knowing that he had every right to refuse to even consider adopting this child since he was so very young.

Sigh. "I suppose it wouldn't hurt to check him out. He sounds perfect even if he is a tad young. But I'm not saying YES, Tanis, I'm just saying go find out more about him so we can discuss this rationally."

Since I was expecting a flat out NO, I was over the moon. I had visions of baby rattles and diapers dancing through my mind. The loud ticking I had heard in my ears constantly for months, finally quieted at the thought of loving another baby. A baby to call my own.

It was one of the longest nights of my life. The anticipation was killing me. I felt like I was 6 years old again and waiting for Santa to drop through the chimney with a bag full of presents for me to tear through. Morning couldn't come soon enough. I tossed and turned the entire night.

Finally, daylight broke and I started getting ready to go meet this mysterious child. At this point, I hadn't said anything to Fric and Frac. I didn't want to let them down or disappoint them if for some reason this didn't work out.

Soon enough I found myself walking through familiar hospital doors. Memories of Bug washed over me and I pushed them out of my way. I didn't want to be bogged down by reliving that nightmare once again. It's still tough for me to go back to that hospital. Even years later, memories are triggered by the sound and scents of the hospital, inviting my 30 pound angel to sit on my back like an invisible monkey.

I stood waiting in a pediatric waiting room, eyeing my watch and anxiously holding my breath every time someone walked by. I was trying not to get my hopes up, trying not to paint a mental picture of the baby I had learned about. I was desperately trying to remain calm and logical.

Which, if y'all know me, is like asking a child to eat brussel sprouts instead of candy. It doesn't happen often or very easily.

And then she walked in and smiled a huge grin. "You must be Tanis," she said as she extended her hand.

"Hi." Suddenly I felt like I was 12 years old and my mouth was cotton dry. I was so nervous.

We sat down and got to know one another. We talked about the weather briefly as the universal icebreaker and then moved onto talking about a mutual friend. Then we talked a bit about Bug and my family history before she finally opened up about the little boy's history and health.

And then, finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she asked, "Would you like to meet him?"

Anticipation buzzed through me as I followed her into the little boy's hospital room. He was in a crib with metal bars, the same crib I used to call Bug's jail cell. He was so small he took my breath away. He looked so very different than my biological children.

As my new friend chattered away about his family life and his medical records, I barely heard her. I was too busy drinking up this little baby boy with my eyes. He had the prettiest blue eyes and rusty brown hair. His skin was golden, marred with needle pricks and tape residue from i.v. lines.

He watched me; curious to whom this woman was before him who wasn't wearing nursing scrubs. I reached out with one finger and stroked his tiny little hand to say hello. And he broke into a huge grin.

I melted into a puddle of maternal goo right there at that very moment. All logic and ration and reason flew out the window the moment I laid eyes on those dimples. They were so deep and adorable.

Looking up from his toothless grin I looked at his foster mom and smiled, "He's beautiful. I didn't expect that."

She laughed and admitted she hadn't wanted to tell me he was cute. "Some people can't see past the disabilities or his disfigurement, so I thought it best for you to see him for yourself."

I didn't see his bent feet or his misshapen hands. I was too busy being dazzled by his cherubic smile and the way he wouldn't take his eyes off me.

"Would you like to hold him?" she grinned.

I practically lost my head nodding it so vigorously as she carefully lifted him out of the crib, careful not to yank on any of the wires or tubes attached to his body, and placed him into my arms.

Where he immediately morphed from a cherubic angel into a shrieking demon from hell.

I didn't care. Babies cry. And this baby had more reason to cry than most. I drank his scent in and cuddled him close, while talking with his foster mom about legal details and future plans.

I didn't want to put him down, but soon it was time to go. I placed him gently back into his crib and took his tiny bent hand into mine. "I'll be back little dude. I promise." He just blinked and yawned at me.

I practically floated out of that hospital room. I was excited and ecstatic but trying desperately hard to be rational. This wasn't a sure deal. You don't just walk into a hospital room, see a baby and say SOLD! There were legalities to wade through, hurdles to overcome, permission to be granted.

And a family to tell.

So I left with thoughts of baby on my brain, trying to wade through a myriad of conflicting emotions. Suddenly, with the reality of a new family member I was saddened by the thought that Bug may have a brother he would never know. There would be a boy in my family who only knew of his big brother by the dusty photos on my wall and in my scrap books.

It was weird, I won't lie, to be pumped up with excitement at the thought of adopting this baby while desperately missing another. I worried what my kids would say, what my husband would think.

So I did what any girl would do while waiting for her kids to get home from school and her husband to wake up. I drove to my best friend's house and spilled the beans. If we were going to depart on this journey it was important to me that I have my best friend's support.

The Dragonlady a.k.a my best friend, was over the moon. She has a legal background so it was great to bounce off my worries about any legal complications with her savvy mind. I showed her pictures I had taken on my cell phone and we cooed over how cute he was. I passed the afternoon with her, waiting anxiously to be able to go home and talk to my family.

Then the hour came to finally be able to go home and share my news. With the kids on one phone, me on another we called their father. I told the three of them at the same time all about the little blue-eyed baby in the hospital.

We decided long ago that any decision about an adoption prospect we would make together as a family and Fric and Frac would have an equal say. I didn't have to worry about them though; they were more excited than I was, practically drooling over the pictures on my cell phone.

After hearing about a possible new sibling for themselves, they retreated to celebrate by playing video games, leaving me to talk with their father alone.

"Well, what do you think?" I asked hesitantly.

I could hear clicking on his computer. He was looking through the photos I had sent him. "He sure is cute," Boo slowly replied.

I waited, biting hard on my tongue, scared to push him into agreeing to proceed with adoption plans for a child he had yet to meet. If we were going to do this I would need to know it was what he wanted.

Silence as Boo thought and I fidgeted. "He's awfully young. And so little."

"Yes, he is," I carefully responded.

"He's got the same cleft in his chin that I do," he murmured. Yes, yes he does, I agreed.

"Well Tanis, to be honest, I didn't think I'd ever agree to a baby but this kid sounds like he is ours."

Hot damn, I thought to myself as I pumped my fist into the air. SOLD!

"Do it. Go ahead and tell them to start with whatever they need to do to bring him home. I trust your instincts." Words could not describe the elation that coursed through me.

Suddenly, there was a prospective new Redneck baby number four.

But would the government go along with his foster mom and our plans for adoption? Doubt and worry plagued me as bureaucratic red tape wrapped itself around memories of our adoption application.

I wasn't naive enough to believe that suddenly the government was going to pat me on the head and say 'good job' as they hand me a baby and a bag filled with diapers.

But suddenly I had something I hadn't had for over two years.


To be continued...