We made the decision to adopt in February of 1997 after 8 long years of trying to get pregnant. We looked at several agencies and decided to apply to Mercy Ministries in Nashville, TN and Catholic Social Services in Lafayette, LA. We filled out all the paperwork, got fingerprinted, had friends write awesome things about us and had a complete stranger tell us that we would be good parents…… and sent it in with pictures of us, our home, and our lives…. It was a very humbling experience. And we waited…… And waited.
Making the decision to adopt also meant that we had to morn the death of a dream. We had to morn the fact that we would never see a “+” sign/ we wouldn’t be able to go through 9 months of preparation. There would be no childbirth classes, no labor and deliver. No seeing our baby on a screen and hearing his heartbeat. Non of the things that most parents experience. Adoption does not cure infertility. It did, for us, fulfill our desire for children. Our mourning was soon replaced with rejoicing.
I told you that this felt like the longest part of our journey. It did, but during that time we had hope. We had added onto our little house the year before. When the decision was made to adopt, we fixed up the nursery. This was the first time that I allowed myself to do this. I had been saving up a bunch of baby items that I would buy here and there. I love elephants, especially Dumbo, so if I found a baby item with an elephant, I would buy it and stick it in “the box”. Friends and family would buy items for the box. That box grew to several by the time I started unpacking it all. Our friends, Brian and Dawn also in the adoption journey, came over and we put up the border in the nursery, set up the crib and hung things on the wall…Then I closed the door… after a few months, it was hard to even go in that room.
In September, my best friend told me about a lady that she knew who adopted from an attorney in Baton Rouge. We called them and applied with them in the hopes that maybe this was it. We told Brian and Dawn about them. They had applied to a home that this attorney was affiliated with before, but they also decided to apply with the attorney.
We waited together.
Brian and Dawn got the call first, their son was born in November and we all rejoiced! What an exciting day it was. Adoptions do work! People do get babies! We were told that we would have to wait YEARS!
And we waited….
1998 and James and I celebrated 9 years together! 9 years of growing together, of growing up together, of loving each other and walking a hard road together.
I had settled into a routine. I was a stay at home wife. It was a decision that we made when J graduated from college. I had worked off and on while he was in college and then retired. All my life, my dream was to get married, have kids and stay home. As I got older I knew that I wanted to home school. I waited 9 years for a baby and I wasn’t about to send them off to school when they were 5.
We got a call from some friends of ours who knew a girl that was pregnant. The birth father had Turrets and it seems that nobody wanted her baby. We spoke to her and she said she would get back to us. The agency called us and told us that she chose to parent her baby.
Mercy called, we were couple #2 to a baby already born. The birth mom gave birth early and the bills were going to be higher than normal. They had contacted the #1 parents and were waiting to hear back, but they wanted to give us a heads up just in case they said no. They said yes.
February 1998. My typical Friday consisted of me getting ready and meeting J at the door. He would change and we would go out to eat and watch a movie or visit with friends. I didn’t want to be home. But the first week of February was different. I had called our agencies on Tuesday and did my “every couple of months check in” Mercy informed me that lots of girls looked at our file, but none chose us. The attorney had no available babies, they were all spoken for. I was depressed. Friday rolled around and J came home. I was in my jammies on the sofa. He got the hint. We settled down with J working on our taxes and me flipping through the channels. 6 o’clock at night the phone rings. J picks it up and says “oh hello Tina” Tina? The lady from the attorney’s office?? He then proceeds to say that Yes, we can meet you next Tuesday. WHAT?????? They wanted to “go over our file” that is what they told Brian and Dawn when they found out that they were getting a baby!!! Talk about going from Rock Bottom to Walking in the Clouds!! We called my parents and J’s mom and friends and asked them to pray.
That was the longest weekend of my life!! We arrived at the attorney’s office and sat down with his assistant. She began to tell us about a girl who was due February 17th… 2 weeks away!!! She was having a boy. Here is where God was all over this. She begins to tell me that when I call Tuesday all the babies were spoken for. Then, the next day they get a call from the couple that was supposed to adopt this boy saying that they had just arrived home from California with a baby girl and that they would not be able to adopt the boy. So, everyone at the attorney’s office and the lady in charge of the home got together to pray about this boy’s parents. We were still on Tina’s mind while they were praying. The lady from the home looks up and says “what about the Quebedeauxs?” Tina told them that I had just called and that we were on her mind all day. They present our file to the birth mom and she agreed, we should be her son’s parents. Tina, gave us a few details about his birth mom and told us to go home and pray. PRAY? We have been praying for 9 years!!!
Now if you are following this story, then you will realize that it is now exactly one year from the time we decided to adopt. ONE YEAR!! We were told the wait could be years.
We knew that we wanted to name him Aaron. J’s parents had lost their first son when he was just 6 months old and his name was Aaron. During the whole time of us trying to get pregnant I prayed that nobody in the family would use that name. We knew that our first child would either be an Aaron or an Erin. We hadn’t decided on a middle name yet. We were leaning toward Michael (not after Mike…can’t have him getting a big head)
J’s dad was in the hospital in Baton Rouge battling cancer. We decided to stop in and tell him our good news. Due to the type of cancer that J’s dad had, he couldn’t talk. When we told him that we were getting a baby boy, he just clapped and smiled. Then we asked if he would mind if we named him Aaron, he cried and gave us a big nod. I honestly think that Aaron’s birth brought about healing in his life.
February 17th came and went. The attorney kept us up to date on her visits and told us that she was going to be induced on March 2 if he didn’t come by then, Two weeks past his due date on March 3rd and little baby boy was born. I received the call while eating lunch with my mom and sister in law. We were on our way to buy newborn things. Things that I would need right away before our shower. My 5 year old niece was with us and coloring when we got the call. I borrowed a color and a paper napkin and wrote 10.5 lbs 21.5 in long, born by C-section. Their jaws dropped. So much for newborn clothes!
They would let us know when they would be released from the hospital and call us to come and get him. We got a call a day later, his birth mom had developed a fever and would have to stay in for a week. This was a hard week, having to wait, knowing that we couldn’t see him until he was released into our care.
We were talking about names. We had his first name down but the middle name was harder to decided than we thought. Then it came to us, David, after my dad. My brother had 2 girls and this was my daddy’s first grandson. Possibly his only and our only child. Aaron David Quebedeaux. Aaron meaning, Strong and Exalted and David meaning Beloved.
We got a call Sunday that they were going to be released from the hospital that afternoon and that we would need to be at the attorney’s office Monday morning, March 9th 1998. I don’t think I slept a wink that night. We got up early and left…and arrived super early. We talked to the attorney for awhile and then they moved us to the inner office when they arrived. We sat in that office for what seemed like an eternity. They wanted to give her time to say goodbye.
They led us into the living room and there he was. It took all I had not to run forward and grab him…and run… but I was composed and I sat near his birth mom. I never realized how hard it could be. Here was this 17 year old girl giving us her baby. She was making a decision that I just don’t think I could have made. My heart ached and still aches for her. She gave us part of her. The first thing that I noticed about her were her eyes. He has her eyes. Dark and piercing. Then her height. She was a tall girl. Her mom told me that every man in her family was over 6 ft. We made small talk, we told her how honored we were, that we would tell him all about her when he got older, and that we would never forget her and always be grateful for this precious gift that she was giving to us. They told her it was time and she handed him to me. Our son, he was ours now. She said her final goodbye. There was not a dry eye in the house. I cry every time that I think about what she sacrificed for us and her baby.
We loaded our precious cargo and headed home. A Family! No longer 2 but 3. He was the most perfect baby. Black eyes and black hair. Perfect!! We asked our friends and family to give us a few hours to just enjoy the moment. To look over our baby and just enjoy this wonderful little bundle that was ours. I love being a mom and I thank God every day for allowing us to experience being parents to a newborn. A year later, we stood before a judge and he declared him officially Aaron David Quebedeaux and us his parents. Happy Day!
Aaron, 2 Weeks Old