January 14, 2019. It’s the day I saw Aubrey. There was a news video from KWTX’s Foster Care Project that my friend posted. I saw the video and my only comment was “😍😍😍”. I didn’t share it because I didn’t want anyone else to see it. Something was telling me she belonged with us and I didn’t want anyone else trying to adopt her. After calling the phone number multiple times and getting no answer, I told my friend about my frustration. She told me that she knew Aubrey’s former foster mom and said she would try to contact her to see if she could get a good number for the social worker on her case. Ten minutes later she texted me back with a phone number. Not for the case worker, but for Aubrey’s former foster momma. I texted her immediately and anxiously awaited a response. She replied and told me all about Aubrey and how wonderful she is. She told me about her challenges as well, and she also sent me a couple of photos of her. There is one photo in particular that sparked a strong emotional response for me (I won’t share it here since it is a personal photo, but it’s been on my phone lock screen ever since).
Let me rewind a little bit so I can explain.
Last April was when we found out the embryo transfer of our daughter was unsuccessful. A few weeks after that a little girl started appearing in my dreams, and continued to appear in my dreams a few times a month. In these dreams I knew she was my daughter, but when I woke up I knew that I’d never seen her before. She looked like me and I thought it was our daughter coming to visit me to let me know she was okay so I had a certain amount of peace with that. I always felt it was our daughter that we lost- until January 15. That one photo that Aubrey’s foster momma sent me- that was her. I believe with my whole heart that she was the little girl who had been coming to visit me for months while I slept. Her smile, her hair, her spunkiness. They all matched. Her birthday is also three days after our little girl would have been due. I talked to Carter about it and at first he was hesitant- not because of her specifically, but just because of my instant request to switch from adopting an infant to adopting a 5-year-old. He always says I’m the gas and he’s the brakes, but it took all of an hour for him to also be excited about the possibility of her becoming our daughter. I would also like to note that I have had a dream with her in it every night since the day I saw her photo.
So that is what we have been doing for the last three weeks. We put our placement with our private infant agency on hold to pursue adopting Aubrey through foster care. I got in touch with her case worker who told me there are other families interested, and that to even be considered we would need to be licensed to foster for the state. To do this you can either go through DFPS, or you can get licensed through an outside agency that is authorized to place children from the foster care system. Without hesitation we immediately began contacting every agency within our region. There is one in our town, but we wanted to make sure we went with the one that could get us licensed the quickest. The majority of the agencies said they could not work with us because we were too far away. We set up an appointment with the agency in town and we are now working with them to get our licensure completed. Since we already had a home study done in July of last year we thought that would help speed up the process. We were wrong with this assumption. There are also classes involved and these classes stay pretty full. The agency is gathering all of our information from our previous home study, and then they will have someone from their agency come visit our home as well. After that we have one class in March and two in April before we can be licensed. After we are licensed we have the opportunity to send in our home study to be evaluated by Aubrey’s case worker (assuming she has not been adopted by then). If the case worker feels that we would be a good match for Aubrey, then she will set up a day for us to meet her. If that goes well then we will have to foster her for 6 months with frequent check-ups from her case worker, and at the end of the 6 months we will finally be able to adopt her.
Needless to say it will be a long few months, but we are more than willing to wait. There are an endless number of variables that have to fall into place perfectly and that type of thing would usually make me crazy anxious. But not now. Not with this. With this I just feel so certain and am oddly very at peace with everything. We have already found two potential therapists for her (thanks to my sweet friends in the mental health field who were all happy to offer their advice). I have also toured the school we would like for her to go to, and had many conversations with their amazing Director of Admissions about what would be required for Aubrey to attend (one of the kindergarten teachers is a foster mom herself). I have even looked up different places for her to participate in gymnastics (which her former foster momma graciously enrolled her in while she was living with her).
So for now, we wait. Y’all know I am not a religious person, but I do believe in signs. I believe in gut feelings. I believe that everything in life happens for a specific reason, whether we know that reason or not. More importantly, I believe in this. I know there’s a reason we are fighting for her and if nothing else, I go to sleep every night knowing I will see her in my dreams.
P.S. She also loves dogs