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Monday
Dec082008

The Journey...Part Three

Hope.

Hope was what I clung to through a bizarre flurry of phone calls and meetings that followed after meeting the baby with dimples I knew was to be my son.

His history, both familial and medical, was complicated at best. But I was determined to see this through, determined to make this boy my own.

My patience and persistent paid off. Eight days after meeting that sweet baby, I was on my way to his foster parent's house to pick him up. I was granted weekend visitations and my family was over the moon. Fric and Frac could barely contain their glee and eagerly waited to meet this new life, a boy they nicknamed BamBam.

As I drove to the city and navigated the directions to where he was being pimped out to meet me again, I worried nervously about what it would mean to have a baby in my house again. It had been seven years since I had given birth to Bug. Seven years since I swaddled and rocked a child this small in the wee small hours of the night.

Bug was an anomaly at birth due to his disabilities. He couldn't cry because he could barely muster the energy to pull his lungs for air. Crying came when he was much older and even then it was more the sounds of a kitten pathetically mewing than the angry screams of an infant.

But Bambam wasn't like Bug. He had lungs. His cries still echoed in my ears from our one previous meeting and I worried that he would miss his foster mom, the only parent he ever knew. What would happen if all he did was cry all weekend and my older children, unaccustomed to having a squalling baby around changed their mind?

I worried about nighttime feedings, diaper changes and soothers as I drove into the city to get him. I started to doubt my instincts and myself the closer I got to his house. Fear and anxiety thrummed through me as I pulled into the driveway of the address I had clutched in my hand.

"What if BamBam doesn't like me?" ran through my head, over and over again. Walking up that sidewalk and knocking on the door, I felt like I had my heart in my throat as I waited what seemed an eternity for the door to open.

And then it did. It felt as though the gates of paradise had swung open to welcome me. My angel from heaven, BamBam's foster mom smiled at me and chuckled at how nervous I looked.

"Come in, come in, he's been waiting for you," she smiled as she turned to lead me to my miracle baby.

He sat in a baby swing, dressed in an orange and green jumpsuit emblazoned with an embroidered Tigger and Winny the Pooh on it. He was watching his foster siblings, all toddlers, buzzing around him and he was smiling.

It took everything I had not to grab him and chew on those dimpled little cheeks of his. Common sense chided in though, reminding me it'd be better not to come off as some crazy cheek chewing, baby babbling lunatic which would frighten him forever whenever he saw me.

So I knelt down in front of him and waited for him to make eye contact. Slowly, his eyes met mine and my heart burst into a billion pieces when he smiled at me and started to coo.

"He coos!" I gasped, shocked. Bug barely ever made sound at this age. His foster mom laughed and told me he was quite verbal, happy to chatter the day away whenever he was feeling good.

That hour was a blur of information quickly being tossed my way, instructions being learned, and introductions being made. I was itching to leave with him, but I didn't want to seem rude so I accepted an invitation for coffee as Bambam sat in my lap, happy enough to be held.

Finally it was time to go. His foster mom packed him into his car seat as I loaded all his gear, food and medical equipment out to my car. When I came back in to grab him, I had tears in my eyes.

"Thank you. For everything. You have no idea how much this means to me. To my family," I half whispered, half croaked as I bounced the car seat around to keep BamBam from getting annoyed.

"It is my pleasure, Tanis. I know this is going to work out. Enjoy your weekend with him and we'll talk on Monday when you bring him back," she smiled knowingly.

I practically floated to my car to strap him and myself in. I talked to him the entire way home so he'd get used to my voice. He kicked and wiggled and cooed back, ignoring my chatter and probably thinking about what he had done to be stuck with a head case like me for the weekend.

Because it was lunchtime and the kids were in school and Boo was up north at work, I drove to my best friend's house. The Dragonlady was eagerly waiting to meet this little man to see if he was all that I had talked him up to be. I was just as eager to get him out of his car seat and smooch on those adorable cheeks.

It wasn't long before we had that poor baby stripped down to his diaper, examining every little inch of him and smothering the poor thing with kisses and cuddles. The Dragonlady introduced her three young children to my BamBam and we watched with delight when he seemed to light up around the kids.

Any doubts I may have silently harbored about Fric and Frac not liking him quickly dissolved as I watched the Dragonlady's kids maul BamBam with love and his good-natured reactions.

That first afternoon was a blur of smiling laughter and baby kisses. I kept checking the clock waiting for the kids to get out of school and soon I was packing BamBam back into his car seat and heading home while the Dragonlady looked on enviously at my new little sweetheart. She was my biggest supporter since Bug's death and to see me finally within reach of adding a member to my family practically had her floating of the ground with happiness for us.

I shouted promises to bring him back tomorrow, along with Fric and Frac and waved to her through my open window as I watched her standing on the front door watching my tail lights disappear down her winding driveway.

It felt strange to pull into my driveway, get out of my car and lean into the backseat to unbuckle a child. It had been almost three years since I have had to do that and a weird sense of deja vu settled over me.

I had just barely got BamBam settled into his bassinette before Fric and Frac hurled into the house like two little rockets. They climbed over with each other with excitement, practically pushing one another out of each other's way while asking where I'd hidden the baby.

I laughed and put my fingers to my lips to shush them and then crooked a finger, beckoning them to follow me into my bedroom where BamBam was playing with some crib toys, drifting in and out of slumber.

They tiptoed quietly over to the window where the bassinette was set up and peered in to catch their first glimpse of this new little ray of hope in all of our lives.

In that second I felt my heart expand and I knew everything would be all right as they gently introduced themselves to the blue-eyed baby staring up at them.

"Can we pick him up, Mom?" Fric asked, holding her breath, half expecting me to say no.

I nodded yes and helped her lift him out of his crib and placed him in my daughter's arms while watching her face light up like a Christmas tree.

"He's so tiny! So light!" she breathed as she went to sit on the couch to hold him, Frac not far off her heels.

I agreed and as they gently examined their new little friend I explained the challenges he faced, some similar to their brother Bug and some very, very different. None of my medical speak phased them, they were too thrilled that he smiled and laughed with them when they made silly faces for him.

It turns out all my fears about re-entering the world of babydom were unfounded. BamBam was happy to be the center of attention and to my delight, at eight months old he slept through the night. I woke up to the soft sounds of a baby cooing. Both Nixon and I were delighted.

It was a magical weekend and it seemed time accelerated the way it always does when one is having fun. The ache that haunted me since Bug's passing was still there but it was far off in the distance. Baby giggles and Fric and Frac's delight drowned out any shadows of grief that threatened the horizon.

There was only one black cloud that marred our family's perfect weekend getting to know this special little boy. My husband Boo was at work and was unable to make it home to meet our prospective new son. I was a bit heart broken about this. How can one commit a family to an eternity of loving another when the beloved father had nothing to base his opinion on?

Sunday morning quickly came and as much as I anticipated waking up and spending another day with my darling new buddy, I was all too aware of the minutes and seconds ticking past to the hour I had to return BamBam back to his foster parents.

I lay in bed that morning, refusing to open my eyes and start the last day of our first weekend together. I wanted to savor the knowledge there was a little bundle of joy not three feet away from me, who could possibly become the next little Redneck.

With my eyes squished tightly shut I listened to hear if the baby was awake or if Fric and Frac had snuck in to steal him out of his bed as I slumbered on. I knew something was different. Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog Ever, was sitting at the edge of the bed with his ears perked instead of his usual position of having his butt in my nose.

Raising my head I peered at him to see what was up.

Boo smiled back at me, standing at the end of our bed cradling BamBam in his big arms and breathed, "Happy Mother's Day, Tanis. The kids and I wanted to surprise you." Then he picked up little BamBam's arm and waved it at me, while whispering to the baby, "I think I couldn't have imagined a cuter kid to call my own, right Mom?"

It was the best Mother's Day gift I could have ever wished for. My husband meeting his son for the first time.

To be continued....

« The Journey...Part Four | Main | The Journey...Part Two »

Reader Comments (163)

Aww Tanis, what a fantastic story. I'm so glad to hear things are working out. Bambam looks like he fits in perfectly.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermargaret

I'm beyond happy for you!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramandashea17

Wait...MOTHER'S DAY? Damn girl, you can keep secrets! So glad it's working out!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Sugarpants

You already have him?

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

He has the fattest, most adorable cheeks.
HUGS.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLoralee

Awesome. Just awesome.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKyla

Well, make sure you kiss Boo for me too...what a man! and what a little man BamBam is too! My best to you.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

This is awesome. I'm so happy for you!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPerksofbeingme

Oh, my dearest friend. You know how this is breaking my heart? I still have the pics of him that you sent me; your overjoyed e-mails; copies of my own messages back about how this WAS MEANT TO BE, about how we both had our babies.

I still have his pictures.

I don't know what else to say, how to say it, without muddying your comments section.

Just this:

I adore you so much, you with your brave, brave soul.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHer Bad Mother

Congratulations Rednecks!!!! Now I have to wait impatiently for the next instalment!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy Wieck

Whoa, Mother's Day?? That's over 6 months ago. So what is Bambam up to now?

Can't wait to hear more!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCT Mom

XOXOXO

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCharmingBitch

MOTHER'S DAY??? DAMN. I sure hope that this happy feeling complete with happy tears is right...and he's in your arms or his little bassinet or crib right now letting you listen to him sleep or coo. ;-)

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTug

Your journey has been so wonderful. I hope it continues with out any bumps in the road.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

what a beautiful family! and a beautiful story - thank you for sharing it with us :-)

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElisa

I have a feeling this is not going to end the way I want it to. HBM's comments and the mention of a holiday that passed 6 months ago marking the arrival of the Bamster make me a little uneasy. I wish you would just spill it already! I feel a little stalker-ish checking your site for updates multiple times a day, ya know?

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbrklyn

Wait a minute....Mothers' Day? You've been holding out on us? Hurry up with the installments!! And more pictures!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

Well I was overjoyed for a minute. And then Her BM's comments seem dour. Now I'm sad, thinking that maybe this didn't work out. Or is it just that you've had to wait a long time? Our best friends adopted from Russia and had to come home after meeting their son and wait three months to go back and get him, so I know how taxing these things can be, timewise and emotionally. Whatever happened -- you are amazing. Truly a person I look up to.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternadine AKA scarbiedoll

As an adopted child, I can only imagine the way my mum felt after her son died. Thank you for giving me an insight into what it must have been like for her.

We're so thrilled & excited for you all

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob & Tori

This is the only way I can send a hug off to you...

You're hardcore, sweets.

Go on, kill us with your words, babe. Hugs and smiles to BamBam. Let's pray he becomes a Redneck soon! And Boo sounds like a dream father!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPallavi

Absolutely the best story yet! You rock Redneck!

Merry Christmas To All the Rednecks and her readers.

BamBam - perfect name for a Redneck.

After reading Her Bad Mother's comment, I don't know what to say, so I'll echo her comment:

I adore you so much, you with your brave, brave soul.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEarth Girl

MOTHER'S DAY??? Oh, please, I have to know MORE!!!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDevan

You sly little minx! Mother's Day?!

(Honk, sniff, honk) Sorry, had to stop and blow my nose, wipe my eyes.

Absolutely beautiful.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIrishGumbo

I think the smiles say it all.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdeb

Beautiful. Simply Beautiful.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

I'm so happy for you!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

best thing about this whole story is he'll get to look back eventually and read this and see the amazing love you had for him...

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPAPA

Wow. Just wow. You guys were meant for each other. Your beaming radiance comes through in your words. Thank you so much for sharing your special story and your precious prospective Redneck.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbikerchick

...

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

Damn woman, I need more!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWhitney

and now i don't know whether to be absolutely thrilled for you or sad that something didn't go right... but whatever the case, i shall echo: you are amazing. absolutely amazing.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkarishma

I'm another one who is a little uneasy reading HBM's comments.

Please let this end well. I am so nervous for the next chapter of this story.

I cried with joy reading this chapter. I'm hoping/praying the next is happy as well. You deserve it.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelody

Awwwww!!! That is the sweetest story ever! I bet you were high off all those baby fumes, and I hope you get another fix real soon!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterO'Neal

Crying....good for you Tanis. I hope the story has such a happy ending. Those cheeks were indeed meant for snacking...he's lovely even with a big heart on his face....

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Stiletto Mom

Not too many things make me cry. This did. The good kind of tears.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn @ Juggling Life

oh, my heart is breaking.

i don't want you to keep telling this story, but i will read with breathless anticipation when you do.

xo

b.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjust beth

Hmmm, reading more comments now has me sitting here crying even harder ... Please tell us more of the story ... What happened? How did it all turn out? I get the feeling it isn't all roses after all ...

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob & Tori

Gah! You're killin' me with this To Be Continued crap.

Great story, but I want the rest! :-)

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeadless Mom

Words can't describe how happy I am for you and the rest of you "Rednecks"! BamBam is one lucky kid to have you as his family!!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

OVER THE MOON! I have never been so excited to read a blog post in all my life.

And this explains all the lack of adoption bureocrat posts since May . . . you sneaky little vixen!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

I was practically cheering until I read the Mother's Day part and some of the comments. Now I want to curl into a ball onto the floor. I'll just say this: I hope you know that those days were magic for him too.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFairly Odd Mother

What a beautiful story. You made me tear up! (And crying is NOT my thing!!) I really can't wait to read more!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Lee

over the moon sweets! my goodness..you look..whole? like he was missing.

love to you and yours....merry christmas!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdora

MOTHER'S DAY! YOU EVIL, EVIL WOMAN!!!!

I'm sitting here in tears!

And HOW could you TEASE with a glimpse of those CHEEKS! NOM NOM NOM NOM!!!!

You are beautiful, my friend. Your whole family. Congratulations!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJozet at Halushki

Beautiful.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkd@abitsquirrelly

I'm sticking with my, "You're killing me." comment. I've been much too stalker-ish myself checking multiple times for updates during the course of the day. Damn it woman. Why can't I quit you?

Oh wait.

Er.

Nevermind.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

This sounds great!

(Listening for the other shoe to drop)

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdaysgoby

To be continued again? This reminds me of those old Batman shows with Adam West, but with fewer shots of the protagonist in tights (sigh).

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFather Muskrat

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