After experiencing four years of marriage, three of which we were trying to conceive, we were blessed with three of God’s greatest gifts. One could only imagine going through life just the two of you, and then, within a 45 minute time span, your world being completely transformed.
We always wanted to adopt and after watching, Home for the Holidays, a Dave Thomas Foundation Program, I knew it was time to take action.
We researched adoption agencies and talked to families who had adopted. In the end, we decided to take adoption/fostering classes through the state office of children and family services (OCFS). After completing our classes, we became certified parents! This is always an ongoing joke because now we have a certificate saying we are certified parents!
A few months after completing our classes and home visits from the state agency, we started receiving phone calls. All of which were hard to hear because you realize the reality of children needing homes.
The one call that made our lives change for the best came at the end of a school day.
I was teaching and unable to answer the phone, so I quickly returned the call once school ended. It was a call for a week old baby boy who had been born addicted to opiates. The call came because he was supposed to be in the hospital for another week, but had been recovering well. He was healthy enough to go home. I questioned how much time I had to make a decision. I was told this baby needed a home in the next 45 minutes!
This was scary because I did not know what we were walking into, but the desire to have children was overwhelming. We left this situation in God’s hands and followed our hearts. My husband and I literally left our schools and met at the hospital to pick up our baby boy. We were quickly initiated into parenthood with a list of things we needed to do to care for our child.
We started the day making copies for our students and ended the day taking a newborn baby boy home.
Excitement, gratitude and fear were emotions that whirled around us for the next few months. Fear of loosing such a precious little gift because there was no 100% guarantee he would stay in our forever home. The excitement of having a newborn and the gratitude for the overwhelming amount of support from our family and friends were mind-boggling. We had everything we needed to care for our baby boy the next day; thanks to our family, friends, and the state agency.
Our roller coaster of a journey began. Our home became filled with joy and people. Our schedule filled up with visits from family and friends, doctor appointments, and much more. Our three-bedroom house was consumed with baby swings, toys, etc. The holidays and being a certified parent now took on a new meaning. One I will cherish forever, and one that grew six months later when we received another phone call.
This time it was for two precious girls, ages 3 and 5.
Summer had just begun. It was the Friday before summer school started. A foster family was lined up to care for the girls, but they were on vacation. Considering our love for children, we thought it would be suitable to welcome these two precious girls into our home and give them a weekend of comfort and love. That weekend of comfort and love quickly turned into two weeks, a month and now a lifetime. Our growing family called for many adjustments in our finances, vehicles, schedules, and personal lives. I refer to our journey as a roller coaster because there were times when we were on top of the world with our many blessings, and other times of doubt, worry and grief. Therapy, hard work, love for one another, and endurance has truly bonded our family like no other.
Our children came from God in a different way than most, but in the end we are still a happy and thankful family.
The whole fostering and adoption process for our baby boy took 2 years and for our girls, it took 2 ½ years. Once all the children were adopted, it was a sigh of relief and a cascade of internal joy. We knew nothing could come between us. All the extra paperwork was finally over. We could finally continue our journey as a family, wearing and signing the same last name. On the final adoption day, our home became more than a home for a holidays. It became a home for a lifetime!
About Jamie Fonseca
Jamie was born and raised in Rayne, Louisiana and currently resides on the Northshore with her husband and three children. Jamie received her Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and teaches 7th grade science and 8th grade Louisiana History at a local junior high school. In her spare time, she likes to take pictures of her children, visit with family and friends, and help with extracurricular activities.