This year our family decided that we needed a vacation for Christmas. Time alone, away from everything to just be. We have had a challenging 7 years and the past two have been beyond difficult and painful. We just needed time to....well, to just be. It was exactly what we needed and it was wonderful.
One night on vacation I had a dream that we were on our way home and we got a call from Julie, our social worker from GLAD adoption. In my dream, Julie told me that she had a baby girl we needed to come get. In my dream, we detoured over to Evansville. When we got there everything was chaotic. Nothing was organized, the baby was all chaotic and floppy. We couldn't find a car seat and we couldn't figure out how to fit her into the van with all of our vacation junk crammed in there. Weird dream right? I told Andy about it and that was about it.
Then, on Jan 2 we were on our way home from vacation. My phone rang and it was Julie. I instantly thought, "you've got to be kidding me!" Sure enough.....
However, it wasn't as simple as my dream. In fact, it was chaotic. The baby girl was born prematurely at 30 3/4 weeks and was going to be in the NICU for another month or more. She was born on December 24th and her birth mom chose us. However, among other unknown situations, the birth father was unwilling to sign off. We told the social worker that we wanted to proceed, but with caution. Considering previous situations we weren't going to uproot our family and put everyone through another loss. So, until we knew parental rights were signed off we weren't going to jump.
We kept in contact and sat on this information for weeks. Until one amazing night when we got the call that her birth father signed off. I didn't even know what to do with myself! We told our boys and family. That night our social worker sent us a picture of her. I expected to have these overwhelming feelings of love and gratitude. But instead I was met with unexpected grief, fear and I missed Malachi. What?!?! How do I see a picture of a girl who is set to be my child and instead feel pain and loss over Malachi? I didn't expect it and it was hard to process. Not only did I relive that time but it brought up the fear of loss for me. I struggled to connect to the tiny body on my phone screen.
A day later my mom came and Andy and I drove down to Evansville to meet our girl. We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House down there because we didn't know how long she would be in the NICU. Once we got down there we found out that there had been a miscommunication. Things weren't as 100% as we thought. We had a week to wait until we knew if she was going to be ours. I panicked. I was terrified. All we have known is loss and pain in this adoption process. I was scared to death. I hardly ate that entire week. We didn't tell anyone that things were up in the air because I couldn't emotionally handle talking about it. Do you know what kept me sane? The NICU staff. They were like a tangible gift from the Lord for us. Our Dr. was an amazing man. He wasn't the cerebral, hard to connect with type. He was like a big brother or a good family friend. (He totally reminded us of Chip Gaines lol!) Our nurses and the receptionist went above and beyond for us. Our first day there they had signs up for us. It was Andy's birthday and they got him a cake. They laughed with us, cried with us and taught us a lot. You could tell that they all enjoyed their jobs and being together. It was like fresh air for me. Not only that, but they took care of my baby when she had no one. They loved her and cared for her when she had no one. For that, I will forever be grateful. Eternally grateful.
On Jan 25th her birth parents rights were terminated and I could actually breathe again. The staff celebrated with us and got us gifts. Again.....I can't say enough about the staff in the St. Vincent, Evansville NICU.
On Jan 26th we were able to bring her home. Our Joey girl. I sat in the back with my hand on her to make sure she was breathing the entire time. She was so tiny in the car seat. I just wanted to get her home!
We named her Josephine LinKay Toth
Josephine- The meaning of her name is " May Jehovah increase or add to the family.
LinKay- Lin for my mom Linda. Ka for Andy's mom Karen. And, Linkay is the special name that my grandma use to call my mom. My grandma passed away this past year. She would have loved this little girl!
We have been home now for 10 weeks and we love her so much. Her brothers love her immensely and Nahum literally checks on her every ten minutes all. day. long! We all kiss her and snuggle her a crazy amount. I'm pretty sure shes never put down for more than 15 minutes. We can't get enough of her.
On April 6, 2018, her adoption was finalized.
Forever. She is ours forever. We partied as a new family of 5. They boys wanted her to have a unicorn party. So that's what we did. ;)
No more home visits, no more social workers. No more payments, physicals, background checks or fingerprinting. No more wondering if it will ever happen for us. No more. She is ours and we are hers. People often say, "She's lucky to have you." But the truth is, We needed her more than I think she needed us. She is our gift. Our tangible, kissable, huggable vision of peace, hope, and faithfulness.