We Had No Idea


 
Two years ago today we had no idea what we were in for.
It was a Sunday, I headed to the hospital to pick up a newborn foster baby. I remember the day clearly.  It’s strange because there are many foster babe pick-up days I don’t really remember, but I remember a lot of the details about this particular day.  I think that’s a gift from the Lord.  He knew I would want to look back at that day and remember the great things HE has done.
We had received a call from DHS on the Friday before that a baby boy had been born who needed a foster family.  The mother was a meth addict and used every day during pregnancy.  Their had been no prenatal care and the baby was born addicted, so they were looking for a medical home.  I remember calling Jed to ask him about taking the baby and us both not being so sure.  We were technically “on a break” from fostering since we had just finished fostering a very sick, high needs baby and were pretty exhausted.  We were also planning to leave in just 5 days to meet Jed’s family in Idaho for his grandpa’s birthday and a family reunion.  Drug-addicted newborn on a road trip anyone?  All signs pointed towards us turning this baby down, but somehow we didn’t.  I can’t recall how we came around to a “yes” decision; that clearly was the Lord’s gift to us as well.  🙂 
Sunday came along and it was time to pick up the babe.  He was born at our local hospital, and interestingly enough, he was the only foster babe we’ve received from our local hospital.  We usually do our pick-ups in Portland.  I headed over to the hospital while Jed stayed home with the napping kiddos.  I got there a little early, called the charge nurse phone and she let me know birth mom hadn’t left yet, so I needed to wait a few.  I had a coffee, my heart was beating fast.  I always get a little nervous and a lot excited before meeting a new baby.  If only I had known the journey we were about to embark on!  I think I would have been a lot more nervous, but a million times more excited!  
After a bit the charge nurse called and said mom had left so I was free to come up and meet the baby.  The sweet little bundle was in a bassinet behind the nurses station where he could be watched closely.  The first thing I noticed was his color.  YIKES!!!!  The nurses all quickly reassured me “He’s bruised!”  Good gracious his face was purple!  Holy bruising batman!  Still, it was clear to everyone in the room that he was a beauty.  He had striking white blond hair that looked even more blonde next to his purple face.  I asked if his mother had named him.  “His name is Seth.”  I remember being relieved.  I like the name Seth!  It’s always fun to have a foster babe with a name you like.  It’s like a special little bonus.  🙂  The nurse that discharged Seth to me was Mary, a dear family friend who was a key figure in 2 of our biological kiddos hospital stays.  Mary was the nurse to check over Ezra right after he was born, and she was the nurse to discharge us from the hospital on Christmas day when Havalah was born.  I should have guessed right then that with Mary present, God had something special in store for us.  (Shout out to Mary Musick, RN extraordinaire!!  You rock!)  Seth was discharged to me, and home we went, kids eagerly awaiting his arrival.
Seth, on the day we met
I remember walking in our house and setting Seth’s car seat down, Jed looking at him, commenting on his color.  🙂  We had no idea I was introducing Jed to his son.  What would have been different in that moment if we had known?  It’s funny to think back…we just had no idea.
Seth was a difficult newborn.  He was SUCH a poor feeder.  Ugh.  Meth babies are often poor feeders and Seth was the worst I’ve ever met.  He would suck and suck on the bottle and less than an ounce would be gone.  He simply had no coordination in his suck.  He had the shakes so he needed to be swaddled all the time.  He also reeked to high heavens. OH MY WORD.  He smelled so bad!!!  I can’t even describe it.  It’s like he was detoxing through his pores.  You know that lovely, fresh new baby smell?  Seth didn’t have anything close to that.  He smelled nasty.  Poor little guy.  Baths didn’t help.  Lotion didn’t help.  It just took time, and eventually he smelled fresh.  I’d never experienced that intense of a smell with a drug-affected baby before.  Poor stinky Seffers.  🙂

 

We didn’t take Seth in with the intention of adopting him.  In fact, when we took Seth everyone involved thought it would be a short placement because there was family involved who wanted him.  Nothing materialized with the family members and it wasn’t long into our time with Seth that we realized something was different.  Maybe it was because we didn’t have any visits with his bio-parents.  They were both out of the picture from the get go, by their choice, so that felt very different from any of our other foster experiences.  We had no contact with any family at all, so from the very beginning we were Seth’s whole world.  I remember when we first met one of his family members when Seth was about 5 months old.  It was at a court hearing and at that point we found out that the family member intended to adopt Seth.  It was a real shocker to us, and I think that helped us to realize how much we loved our boy.  The months that followed were full of ups and downs, triumphs and heartache.   It was some of the hardest times of our lives.  I wish I could go back in time and reassure my aching Mama Bear heart that everything would be okay, God had it all under control.  I remember several times when people in authority said it was impossible for Seth to stay with us and our friends prayed their guts out.  They prayed and they had faith when I didn’t.  They held up our arms, they cried with us, they loved with us.  It was the roller coaster of a lifetime.  A roller coaster with the best ending ever.

Seth’s Adoption Day!

To all of our friends who stood so close beside us during that first year and a half, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for having faith when we had run out.  THANK YOU for praying, listening to our drama, and loving us.  THANK YOU for loving our Seth!!

Seth David

 
 
My Dear Sweet Baby Seth David,

Two years ago we met for the first time and I had no idea how my life was going to be changed forever.  I had no idea how much I would love you.  I had no idea how many mountains God would move to keep you in our family.  I had no idea how proud I would be to be your Mommy.

I hope you always know how much you are loved and cherished.  I could never have dreamed I would be blessed with such a treasure as you.  I love how you take out your pacifier to give me a kiss before bed.  I love how you hug Havalah when you see her crying.  I love how much you love chickens and the trampoline, trains and cars.  I love the “whoosh” sound you make when you find one of Ezra’s light sabers.  I love your beautiful blue eyes and your stick-straight blonde hair.

Your name means “Chosen” and if I had to do it over I would choose you every time. 

Love, Mommy

 


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11 comments

  1. Ben and Melanie · June 6, 2012

    Uggggg… Im Balling my eyes out! I need a Hug, LOL! WOW!!!! Thank You!

  2. Becki Little · June 6, 2012

    Seriously sobbing! What a beautiful story!! He is one lucky little guy to have found your family!

  3. Jed and Kimber · June 6, 2012

    Ha Melanie! Consider yourself hugged- big time.

  4. Jed and Kimber · June 6, 2012

    Thanks Becki!!! We are truly the lucky ones. 🙂

  5. carolish · June 14, 2012

    WOW, I reconnect with you to find THIS!!! I was supposed to be doing my QT but stalled to read this…clearly I was supposed to read this this morning. I have tears in my eyes and goosebumps all over. WHAT an incredible journey and display of His glorious goodness! You were all clearly meant for each other! ❤

  6. Colbert Family · January 25, 2013

    I found your blog from SUYL. what an amazing story! we have one very similar to yours! we are in the process of FINALLY moving towards adopting our 17 month old! who was born addicted to 8 different drugs, like yours it's been full of ups and downs and more joy than I could imagine!! Thanks for sharing your story! The Lord is SO SO very good! -crystalwww.rcolbertreport.com

  7. Jed and Kimber · January 26, 2013

    Yes, He is so so good!! Congratulations on your adoption finally coming. I know that feeling! What a wonderful reward for such a long journey 🙂

  8. Jennie Peakin · January 26, 2013

    Thank you for sharing that beautiful story. We also have adopted 2 boys from foster care. What a blessing!!! God bless you all!

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