About the time foster care had been placed on my heart, my dream to adopt a newborn baby with Down syndrome was also placed on my heart. I was thinking when I was 35 or 40 and either was married or had decided to start my family without Prince Charming. After completing foster care classes, while waiting to get a call for my first kid, I signed up with the NDSAN.
Nov. 13th – My foster daughter turns five and we have a cupcake party at our house. Earlier in the day, mid afternoon to be exact, a baby boy had been born in Tampa, FL.
Nov. 14th - At school I notice I have an email from Stephanie at NDSAN asking me to call her. My first thought is what did a do wrong?? She says there is a baby boy just born with Down syndrome and asks if I am interested in being one of the options birth mom chooses from. I say sure, not thinking I have a chance but wanting to always at least turn the key on every door in life. Who would pick a young single mom in Iowa - most people think we grow potatoes (that's Idaho) and cheer for the Buckeyes (that's Ohio). I mention it to my paraprofessionals at school, but don't really give it much thought outside the on going communication with Stephanie. I wasn't going to let any information about his health turn me away, but I also wasn't going to get my hopes up, because really, I am a young and single gal.
Nov. 15th - 5pm I call Stephanie back and she tells me that this baby boy is mine! That birth mom picked me over 5 other married couples because "I looked like a nice gal". OMG! I sat in the parking lot and called my mother. Then I picked my foster children to take them to their mom's for the weekend. Early on in the drive, I call a friend on speaker to share my crazy news. My foster daughter wants to know details and proceeds to inform me from the back seat that I "can't come back unless I am this baby's mommy". We talk about how this means I can't care for them come the end of their weekend with their parents. She is more than ok with that and says I should go get this baby.
Nov. 16th and 17th - I run around like crazy and only stay sane because best friend, Emily is my brain the entire weekend. It is decided that my dad is coming with me; that we are driving; and that we will leave early in the week.
Nov. 18th and 19th - Dad drives (I drove through the state of Illinois) and I sleep. We arrive in Tampa during the evening of the 19th. Exactly one year to the date of me going to the hospital to pick up my first foster baby.
God had found me CJ. CJ stands for Charles James. My grandfather is Charles Jr and my late grandfather was James. I knew Charlie wasn't going to work as his name because that is what grandpa goes by and I didn't want him to be called Jim or Jimmy. In the end CJ represents both men, and will be easy for him to say/spell/read/write!
Miss C calls him baby Charlie or baby CJ. She may be the only person who gets away with 1. calling him Charlie and 2. calling him baby anything much past his first few months of life. And I would not have it any other way!