“Good afternoon Mrs. Archangel, we are wondering if you and your wife would be willing to care for a 4 month old African American male.”
On an unpredictable November afternoon is when we received a call that would inevitably be a life changer … AGAIN. You see this call was not unfamiliar to us as we had already fostered 4 kids and adopted one. Jazz and I made a pact in order to start our family. Our path to start a family was foster to adopt and eventually IUI or IVF. That miracle came in the form of both pathways on that November day.
This day was special; this day was different and will forever be an unforgettable November day. My wife and I had just left the doctors’s office in high spirits with the hopes of being biologically connected to the “precious cargo” my wife would grow in her body. We were walking to the car when we received that special phone call. Immediately we looked at each other smiling with the unspoken thoughts of “what the hell are we doing,” as it could very well be a baby in my wife’s tummy. We laughed and talked through all the “what ifs” and eventually accepted the placement, Thomas.
Upon his arrival, we were informed of some medical concerns causing him to possibly not be able to walk (if you’ve seen Thomas in person, well keep reading …). SHOCKED, SURPRISED, and WORRIED if we were the “right” place for him. Every possible question ran through my mind.
“Would we be able to provide him with the services he required?”
“Our family is a mobile family, how will we include him in family activities?”
WHOAAAAA, he is only 4 months old, and we have plenty of LOVE and PATIENCE to support Thomas with what he needs. We were determined to provide him with any and every needed support inch by inch, piece by piece until he would function to the best of his ability.
We fought long and hard for him to receive the BEST therapist and specialist.
You see, as a foster parent, you really do not have rights because the child is the ward of the state. No ma’am, not on our watch. We learned to develop cooperative and respectful relationships with people from the agency to advocate for Thomas.
The hardest part about this special case of Thomas, besides waiting, was fighting for the best therapist. We didn’t have the family visits which can be confusing to a child in foster care. We didn’t have to meet in unfamiliar offices with “strangers.” We didn’t have to wait in those dreadful courtrooms. We didn’t have to fight a family for him, which angered me at times because Thomas is one strong and amazing little dude, who wouldn’t want to fight for him?
Through it all, HE was worth the almost 2 year wait.
Worker after worker, relocating with him, possible family visits (thankfully they never happened), therapy appointments, and just the scares of “what if” his biological family decides to care for him. We were all he knew. He had an unbreakable bond with his older brother.
We knew the goal of foster care is reunification and to heal families, but Thomas was special and no one was fighting for him. Or so we thought.
To Thomas’ birth parents ::
We don’t know each other and all I know are your names. We know you wanted him but knew he needed a fair opportunity at a better life. Thank you for wanting to fight for him. Guess what, you all WON. Thomas is getting a fair opportunity at life. We may never meet in life or hear the sounds of each others’ voices. We are told he looks like you, his birth dad. I often think about you all as Thomas has quite the personality. He hugs everyone he comes into contact with; no one is a stranger to him. You all created a child with such an overwhelming, spectacular personality who loves people. I want to thank you both for being selfless and allowing Thomas to have a healthy and happy life. If I could talk to you all, I would tell you how he loves giving leg hugs, how he loves jumping, how he can run super fast, how much he loves any sport, but most of all I would tell you all how loving and caring he is at the young age of 2. It is my wife and I’s hope that you all understand our depth of gratitude and respect for the both of you. Thank you for an early Christmas present.
To Thomas ::
Momma and Mommy know it was you we were supposed to carry in our hearts after our failed IUI on that November afternoon.
We officially adopted Thomas in September 2017 making him the official little brother to his older and also adopted brother Lane.
See Thomas’ Adoption Day HERE
Want to know about Lane’s adoption? Click here.
To learn more about foster care in Louisiana, click HERE.