Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Story of Hattie

Alrighty ladies (and gents if you're out there), I have been asked to share our adoption stories - and I aim to please!! Now, for Sophie's story, all you have to do is go back to the very first blog I did - at the time we were deciding to adopt again - and go forward. It is all here in these bloggy pages! For Hattie's, however, we have to go back a little further. OK, a LOT further!!!! I will try to keep it short, but in order for you to really get how AMAZING God is, I gotta go into some detail. So, pull up a comfy chair, grab a drink - maybe a snack - and get ready... here we go:

I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be a mom - there were times when I thought I would NEVER get married and so DENIED wanting children, but it was a big fat lie! I never wanted anyting in life more than I wanted children.
In high school I took one of those classes (can't remember the name of it) about real life stuff. The one where you get to carry a "baby" around for a few weeks and practice being a parent... I LOVED this class. I took great care in picking a name for my little sack o' flour (I named her Laurea Justin - after my aunt and a charachter in the Thorn Birds ... HEY, don't mock, I was 16!), and at the same time I picked out a name for my REAL daughter someday! I chose the name Hattie Grace - Hattie was my Great Grandma and I think my mom thought about that name for me, but it was an "old lady" name and so she was talked out of it. Grace was my grandma's name and also a Biblical term so the name fit the "one family name and one Bible name rule" and I was set. Now I just needed God to bless me with a daughter...

I realized, however, that I first needed to be Blessed with a husband. Believe you me, that was a loooooooonnnnnnnggggggg wait. So long, in fact, that my baby window closed. When I was about 30 I started having "female" issues. Actually I had had 'em all along, they just peaked around that time. I had my first surgery in April and within the next two years had, all totaled, 2 major surgeries, 2 minor surgeries and one PAINFUL procedure. All this on top of the drug therapies, tests, and doctor visits brought me to a place in my faith I never imagined. Since high school I had been "believing" God for my Hattie Grace. So, now was when the lines were tested. I prayed for Him to give me a sign. I reminded Him how very much I wanted children and asked that if I was not going to get them to PLEASE take the desire away and give me peace. Well, that desire never left - if anything it just got stronger. Finally, I came to a place where I had to just trust in His grace (Grace - ya see where I am going with this?) and do what I felt He had been leading me to the whole time. I had to step out in faith and have the "big" surgery. I had been avoiding it at all costs because I had been thinking that He couldn't give me kids if I had the surgery and then how would He fulfill His promise ... oh, silly me!
I had the surgery, effecively removing any chance of having a child - a BIOLOGICAL child. But, I believed God would bring me a child anyway.
I married my man at the age of 34 and we became foster parents. I had another conversation with God. I reminded Him that children would be passing through our house with some frequency and told Him that I did not just want to give the name away. I asked Him to please tell me when Hattie Grace arrived. And, let me tell you my bloggy buddies, He did just that.
We had heard from a friend of a friend that there was a little girl who needed a home. Her mom was a teenager and they were living with HER parents and it was not going well. They were looking for someone to adopt her. By the time we agreed to meet with them, the mother had runaway from home and left the baby there. Let me tell you, the very second they put that baby in my arms I KNEW - I felt God in my Spirit say "this is Hattie Grace" and I knew that she was promised to me. SHE was the child I had been waiting for.
The adoption plans turned ugly though - with her mother gone, there was no one with parental rights to facilitate the adoption. The grandparents were VERY anxious to get her out of their house and wanted us to "just go ahead and take her". We could not do that without endangering our foster licence though, so - in another moment of extreme faith - we had to walk away. For three long, agonizing and faith building months.
At the time we had two little guys in our home who were, let's just say "high maintenance" to the extreme power!!! We loved these guys, but they were a TON of work. One was literally afraid to sleep and it would take me up to 2 or 3 HOURS to get him to sleep at night and it was almost as hard at nap time. His brother was a reflux baby and getting him to sleep safely was not much easier. So, one Friday we were planning on taking a road trip to see my parents and I had decided that I would not bother with a nap and just let 'em sleep in the car. I had just fed em lunch and was cleaning up when I realized that BOTH boys had fallen asleep on their own! Before I had much time to fall to my knees in thanksgiving, the phone rang. It was the baby's grandmother. She was frantic because the baby had been taken into state custody. I immediately started making phone calls. I had no idea who to call or what to ask - but GOD did! I would ask a question and get an answer like "I can't talk to you, but ..." or "I can't tell you who to call, but here is the number of ...". It was SO amazing!! And let me tell you that at the very moment that I got off of the very last call, both boys woke up. They had given me enough time to track her down though and arrange to have her brought to our home the next week (technicalities mandated that we wait till then).
When she came to us she was 9 months old. The state had taken her from her grandparents because she was being severely neglected and possibly molested (thank you Jesus, THAT was not the case). She was angry, malnourished and very antisocial. There are a few things that we are still dealing with today because of the neglect, but she is soooo worth it.
That was in November of 2004. It was a long, bumpy road (mom came back into the picture and knew how to "work" the system) to get to the point where we could adopt, but it finally came. On March 8, 2006, two years ago today, she became our daughter LEGALLY. This was significant because we were told that the adoption process could take up to six months. Ours happened in less than two. It also happened two days before Hubby was scheduled to be layed off from his job (if it hadn't happened then, we may have lost her because of the no job thing), 3 weeks before we moved to Michigan and the day before her big bro Steven was scheduled to leave for bootcamp. And the really cool God touch ... March 8th was my Great Grandma Hattie's birthday. We did not request that date, God just gave it to us because He likes to be creative like that!!! MAN, He is so good aint He?
I hope the story wasn't too long ... I hope that you found it worth the time. I hope that you recognize the God prints that are all over this story. And, I hope that, someday, I can tell this story to Hattie and she will see that there was never a more wanted child in the world and that, from the very beginning, God had a plan for her! Praise Him!!!!!

Hattie Grace - March 8, 2006

Glory to God! Oh how I love this child!!!!!

8 of ya left some love:

JanMary said...

Beautiful story - not too long at all. Thanks for sharing :)

Pam said...

Absolutely beautiful and totally God. Thanks so much for sharing the whole story.

She is precious and so pretty.

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Our three girls were adopted through foster care, so I just love to hear others' love stories.

Thanks for sharing it!

Jenn said...

That is an amazing story. You trusted and He was faithful. I'm so happy for you.

Cheri said...

God is just so good. What a beautiful story, one that reminds us that there is a God. Beautiful family!

Amy Wyatt said...

Wow... Our God continues to amaze me everyday! Beautiful story.

Outnumbered 4 to 1 said...

Just always remember. She may not have grown within your womb but by the GRACE of God she grew within your heart!!!! You will also be able to tell her that like God chose us, YOU chose her! How incredibly special is that! May God bless y'all!

Beloved MaMa said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing :o)