Sunday, October 28, 2012

the road to birdy {part 2}

If you are just tuning in, please see {PART 1}!

Tuesday October 9 was a busy day!  I was on the phone with our agency pretty much all day trying to get paperwork faxed and details to our home study worked out.  I also had to make several appointments for our family.  We were able to get our cat vaccinated, the entire family in for physicals, and our FBI fingerprints done in a matter of two days!  I also sent out emails to all of our friends to get the word out that we needed STUFF!  And because they are wonderful, all of our needs were met in about three days time.

Friday October 12 our agency went to court to transfer guardianship over to them from CPS.  It all worked out in our favor and was actually a very easy trial.  Everything was going exactly how it needed to in order to get Birdy into our home as soon as possible.  That evening our director called and asked if we could come on Sunday evening to begin our home visits.  We were so eager to meet her that we gladly wiped our week clean so we could be in Tyler for the whole week.

We met Birdy on October 14.  We arrived at her foster mom's home and were greeted by our director in the yard.  She told us that she had brought a professional photographer to capture our first moments meeting our daughter.  I was so excited to hear that!  That way we could just enjoy the moment and not have to worry about documenting it.  Then she shared that the photographer was involved in various ministries around town and brought along a homeless woman with her.  And that said homeless woman was wearing a hat made out of newspaper!  John and I looked at each other and said, of course there is a homeless woman here in a newspaper hat on the day we meet our new daughter!  Because that is just how our life works!  And it makes for a great story afterwards, which I always love!  I have to add that her paper hat was not your standard George Washington style.  It was really intricate and had paper rosettes stapled to it.  I was very impressed!

Back to Birdy.  She was very shy when we first met, and I was overcome with emotion.  It was like there wasn't a sound or another person in that room.  She warmed up to us very quickly and loved sitting with Moonpie.  We spent about an hour with her that night just soaking her up and trying (but not always succeeding) to give her some space.

The rest of the week went the same way.  We would spend time with her daily in her foster home.  John would leave with the big kids, and I would stay for most of the day.  I loved getting to see her with her foster mom and learning all I could about her.

Her foster mom was wonderful!  We learned that she is friends with some friends of ours- crazy small world!  But this little connection made things feel instantly comfortable.  She and I hit it off very well, and were able to be very transparent with one another.  We were able to say things like "this is really awkward" or "this is really hard".  We even cried together several times.  In the midst of that week that was very long and emotionally difficult I think about the sweetness of God.  How He worked it that two women who would actually like each other would be able to team up for this sweet child.  He didn't have to do that.  She could have not liked me and allowed me an hour a day in her home.  But that's not how it was orchestrated.  I am so thankful for the friendship that we forged in that week.  It also allowed us to be especially sensitive to her needs that week.  We are eternally grateful to this lovely woman for the love she put into Birdy's life.  Our happy girl is who she is because she felt loved from the very beginning.  How can you ever stop being thankful for that?

On Wednesday, October 17 we took Birdy to the zoo for our family outing.  That day sealed it for us.  We moved from feeling like visitors peeking into her life, to knowing that we were her parents.  She napped on my chest and allowed me to feed her.

It was a wonderful afternoon, but so bittersweet.  We knew that we would need to bring up the subject about us going home the next day.  It was a hard conversation to have.  Beyond hard.  But we all knew that we had the Birdy's best interest at heart and all decided that the next morning would be best.

So on Thursday, October 18, we woke up, ate our hotel breakfast, and headed to our adoption agency. We had to sign placement papers and receive counsel on what our early days at home should look like. Our agency is wonderful.  Such loving, patient women.  They had great wisdom to pass onto us and we were grateful for it.

After signing papers we went to Birdy's foster home to pick her up.  Oh, this was another bittersweet moment.  It was so hard to see her foster mom- my friend- feeling so broken.  We all cried and said our good byes.  And then it was official.  There were three kids sitting in that backseat together.  Our three kids!

Now we are just living our daily life together.  We are learning all about this little person that is new to us, but comes with memories and experiences, because she's not new.  She has experienced heartache and pain that some people never have to face in their whole life.  She has overcome obstacles that are debilitating to some.  I am so awed by her resiliency and her happy demeanor.  She is a girl that is deeply loved and my daily prayer for her is that she knows it,
she knows it,
she knows it, 
down into the depths of her soul.


Cheryl said...

Oh Mandi - This is such a beautiful story! <3

Amy Robertson said...

Mandi, geez louise...I can't handle it.

I really love you guys, and Birdy, too.

Becky said...

the picture of your three babies in the back seat - it got me, a few tears. i can't wait for that and i'm so happy for you. so, so happy.

Traci said...

Mandi, I am just in tears reading your expressions here! I suppose it tugs at my heart to think of what my birth mother may have said or thought about me. My mother is not as expressive or emotional as you are and I relate to that kind of person. My mother loves me and shows it her own way that I treasure but does not have a record of photos when we met or her thoughts about my future. Don't underestimate, this foundation is priceless. Birdy will forget her heartaches and embrace what God has given, I know it. Thank you for sharing..I love it! And now, doing giveaways all soulemama like, c'mon, does anything slow you down??

Traci said...

I am in tears reading this! YOu are so expressive Mandi. I believe, Birdy will forget her heartaches and treasure what God have given...and look at you, giveaways all soulemama like? Does anything slow you down?? Thank you for it.