Sunday, April 19, 2015

Highs and Lows

Thanks to everyone for your notes of encouragement and prayers. This process is tough on the heart and spirit - some days are so great I feel like I might burst, followed by days that I think we may lose this battle and this little soul.

This week we had a big update. On a whim, I sent another letter to Kim in jail. In it I told her what I had planned on telling her on the phone - that Brian and Meg would like to adopt her baby and a little about them. I also filled a pre-paid calling account to my number and told her to call anytime.

Friday afternoon I was at the park with the kids and SHE CALLED! This woman I had been thinking and praying about for months was on the phone! My heart was beating out of my chest when I heard her first words, "It's a boy. I don't know where you're getting your information." (I had thought it was a girl up to this point)

Clearly, she was ready for a fight. I took the conversation in an entirely different direction. "Oh my goodness, Kim, I can't believe it's you. You're really calling me! I've been thinking about you and praying about you for months now. I can't believe it's really you. How are you feeling? Are you getting enough to eat? Sleeping ok?"

The conversation obviously hadn't started the way she expected. After disarming her, we talked about her legal situation (how it's not her fault, of course), that she's feeling ok, and that she would like a few things:
1 - To talk to her sister (Amy), who I have been in close contact with.
2 - Shampoo and Conditioner
3 - Some money in her commissary account

We talked about baby and Brian and Megan, and she told me, "I'm not in shape to give this baby a stable environment." This made my heart soar! She's open to adoption! I talked about her other children and how this baby could have a relationship with them and what wonderful parents Brian and Meg will be. I also expressed to her the most important next step: signing the HIPPA waiver, so we can see baby's (and her) health. She wasn't keen on this, but I explained it has nothing to do with giving baby up, it's just so we know baby's health.

She said a few times that she has a big decision to make.

I promised I would fill phone accounts so she can talk to her family and I would fill her commissary account. We left the conversation on great terms, me promising to do my list and me asking her to please sign a HIPPA waiver so we can get baby's health. With one minute to go on the call I expressed how happy I was to hear from her and that she can call me anytime.

After hanging up, I was on cloud 9! I could not believe she actually called me and discussed giving baby up! She didn't tell me to go fly a kite or to leave her alone. It was thrilling! After filling Brian and Meg in I was elated, my hopes up and feeling so great.

Saturday night at dinner, she called again. I couldn't believe it. What did she want to say? Had I effected her so much that she wanted to learn more about Brian and Meg? Or did she want me to bug off? I was so nervous again.

She wanted her sister's phone number. Since I had her on the phone I took the opportunity to explain to her that I had funded calls to her sister and her mom, as well as my phone. I also sent her 2 care packages to the jail and funded her commissary account. She was blown away I had done everything I had said I would do. And in less than 24 hours.

We spoke briefly and my elation came crashing down.
1 - She might get out of jail. She's on a 90 day hold and if she's not indicted then she'll be released in 30 days.
2 - Baby is due in July, not June.
3 - She asked for snacks.

I didn't ask her the hard question, "What will you do with baby if you get out of jail?" It was on the tip of my tongue, but I just didn't say it. I don't know why. After hanging up, I was dejected. Not only might she get out of jail before baby is born, but she asked for something - meaning that she now things of me as a benefactor that wants to do things for her. Evidently, I had not made my stance of doing things to secure baby a safe home abundantly clear.

More bad news. Long story short, Amy, her sister spoke to Kim (on my dime), and they discussed an option of Amy taking baby temporarily. When Amy told me this I wanted to scream!!! That is NOT an option we discussed. Amy is a former meth-head coke addict with her own issues with DCFS. She has 4 kids aged 7-19 and is on welfare. She can't afford another baby and even more importantly, this is not the best thing for baby. Baby needs to be in a stable environment from day 1.

Brian and Meg aren't interested in adopting a baby from a temporary situation. They want a baby from day 1. A decision I 100% respect. They will eventually get a baby. If it's not Kim's son, then they will get another. I would LOVE to have it be this little boy - but if Amy wants to take custody then I need to save my own heart and walk away now.

This weekend alone was an incredible ride. A crazy high just talking to Kim, followed by just as much dejection upon hearing that Amy told Kim she is an option.

I have such respect for people who work in this kind of environment and can stay emotionally ambivalent. My heart is so invested in this baby and his welfare. And I'm just so disappointed in Amy. We had talked at length about whether or not she wanted this baby, and the answer was always No. Now she's willing to take custody? What is this change of heart? Why is this something that hadn't come up before? I feel so blind-sided.

I'm not giving up yet. Ironically, Brian is the most wonderful resource, he talks me off the ledge regularly. He and Meg have been through this twice before, just to lose a baby. I can't imagine doing this waiting and "what if" game over and over. They have built a thick skin and are good at being guarded - I'm just not. I feel guilty when he coaches me on what to say or do next, but in the end, this is for them.

Our next step is to wait for the HIPPPA waiver to be signed. We also assume Kim will reach out when the money runs out. Either the phone calls or the commissary. At which point we'll ask for some skin in the game from her.

This whole process is infuriating, frustrating, elating and crazy. This child has affected me so much, but dealing with the adults around him is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Keeping my real thoughts and feelings to myself and "making nice" with this woman is SUCH a challenge for me. But maybe that's why this has been set in my path.

I told Kim this, and I have to believe it's true: there must be some kind of divine intervention here. Something that's brought us together - Kim and I - for me to be on this crusade that's really none of my business. To spend this kind of energy and to have this much sustained passion. This can't be just me, there must be more to it. And I'm not dissuaded. I'm moving forward. Maybe changing my strategy, but I will not give up on this little man. Not until I know every avenue has been exhausted.

Thanks in advance for your prayers.

Love - K

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Family Reaches Out

So I'm writing this because I can't concentrate on anything else. I should be at Costco, or writing a paper for Marketing, or doing Finance homework, or writing a marketing plan for my new client.

But I can't get this baby girl off my mind.

It's been a LONG road, but an information drip has started to become a sprinkle. I pray that it becomes a downpour soon.

In February, my sister in law, Megan, told me about her cousin, Kim. Kim has three children whom she does not have custody of. She's a drug addict and pregnant in Texas. Kim's family knew this baby would need a home and reached out to see if Megan and Adam could take her. But Megan just had a baby in November. They can't take another in so soon.

My dear friends, Brian and Meg, are the most loving, wonderful people and are in the adoption process right this minute. They would make the most wonderful home for this baby girl.

So I started a crusade. And in typical Kara fashion, I haven't stopped.

To say the process has been frustrating is an understatement. We "lost" Kim for a while (turns out she is in jail in Texas), then we tried to set up a meeting with the family that didn't happen. It's been pretty stressful, full of highs when new information comes in and then long bouts of silence. And every single day this baby is on my mind. It's like she's with me everywhere I go. Just like when I was pregnant with my girls.

Last night and today was a HUGE breakthrough.

Brian, Meg, Eric and I spent hours on a letter that I sent Kim last weekend, so we assume she's gotten it by now. In it I ask if she will allow me to be her child's advocate - and that I have an option I'd like to discuss with her. I also spent over an hour on the phone with the mental health director at the jail to understand the process if Kim says yes.

Kim's family had been eerily silent while I was collecting information, trying to find her, understand baby's health, etc. Yesterday her sister, Amy, reached out for the first time.

The short story of the very long version... Amy is going to reach out to her sister on our behalf today and Kim goes in front of the grand jury tomorrow. There is a slim chance that she may be set free, and more slim chances she could be extradited to IN or IL where she is wanted for other crimes. The justice system is very confusing when it comes to inter-state jurisdiction. The biggest IF is what happens if she has to stay in jail until baby comes? There are so many options and individuals involved... our main goal is keeping baby out of Texas foster care.

But the real breakthrough today was that someone... a real person, her sister, is going to talk to her about us and the wonderful family her child could be a part of. For the first time, someone is going to speak to Kim and find out what she thinks and how she is feeling about this child.

My heart is overflowing with joy at this development.

Please pray for us. For Kim, for this baby girl, for Kim's sister Amy, for Brian and Meg, Eric, and for me. To have the strength and courage to do the right thing for this baby. To help ensure she is in a safe, warm and loving environment from the moment she is born. Because every baby deserves this, and if we can save this one little girl, this one pure and innocent soul, we will have done what God asks of us, to help the weakest and the poorest. And we will have done a great, great thing.