We started going to different meetings about adoption. International adoptions. Orphanage adoptions. Private adoptions. We discovered that the waiting lists were very long. The criteria was very strict. The costs of some of these options was astronomical. We were not financially able to do this. We were devastated!
I started being involved in a church outreach program that housed homeless families. There was a family there that had five children. They were adorable. I started taking a couple of them home with me on the weekends. Every weekend we would arrive back at our home and my weekend of bliss would begin. I enjoyed getting clothes for them and fixing their hair. We would go to the park and play for hours. During that summer they would stay for weeks at a time. I fell in love with those children. I knew that they were not mine. I knew that someday that they would be gone from our life. I was just not prepared for how bad that would hurt. The couple moved out of the outreach center and left no forwarding address. To this day, I still wonder what happened to those babies.
I started brainstorming on how we were going to adopt our own baby. I went to a local business and had t-shirts printed. The front of the shirts said "Wanted Newborn Baby" and the back said "To Adopt and Love Forever". I wore those shirts everywhere. I wore them to work at my Dad's store. I wore them when I went to the grocery store. I wore them to the beauty salon. I am sure that people thought that I had lost my mind. I did not care. I was determined.
The first relative that had decided to leave us while on our honeymoon came back into our lives after a death in the family. She needed help with her two children. She was not able to take care of them. We, of course, said yes! We enrolled the oldest one in kindergarten and the baby was now eight months old. Yes, this was the baby that we almost adopted. We had the honor of raising them for almost a year. I got to celebrate their birthdays. I got to be a room mother at the school. I got to enjoy all the joys of watching the little one learn to walk. The arrival of the first teeth for him. The losing of the first teeth for her. We were having all of the blessings and all of the responsibilities of parenthood but we knew that it would change. I still was not a mom. I was "Aunt Cindy", not "Mom". Allen was " Uncle Allen", not "Dad"! And when it did, it was devastating! Our hearts were broken!
I continued to wear my shirts. I continued to tell everyone I knew that we were wanting to adopt. Mind you, this whole story, up to this point was only two years. A roller coaster of emotions for two years! Then, one day in June 1989, our phone rang and it was my hairdresser. She said " Hey, Cindy! Are you and Allen still wanting to adopt?" . My heart skipped a beat as I answered "YES!" She said "Would you be interested in a baby that is about a year old?"
........................To be continued on my next blog!