Monday, January 18, 2010

Continue Down Memory Lane

As requested, I am continuing down memory lane.  I left you hanging.  For the first portion, go here.

So let's see I met Ken in 1998.  I literally met him the day that his dad went into the hospital for the first time suffering from cancer.  We dated for some time when Ken began to get serious.  At first, I told him to find someone else.  You see, Ken was only 22 years old when I met him.  I was 32 years old.  I never dreamed that he was serious about me.  I honestly thought that it would be a short time before we split up.  To this day, Ken swears that he fell in love with me on sight.  His words:  "You were this vivacious girl who seemed to love life but you had a sad streak that I could see that combined just held me spellbound."  As you will see, we do fight like cat and dog sometimes.  But he is my best friend.  I love him unconditionally.  See more about this here. 

You see, we started as friends.  We became best friends.  There isn't anything that I can't tell him.  But the difference is that we bicker.  Most say that we are fighting but honestly I can only remember four major fights in the 11 years we have been together.  Thats pretty good in my books.  I know others that fight constantly.  I believe that life is too hard to include fighting with it.  Communication is key, my friends.  Talk about what is bugging you and it will be so much better for you.  I know that when my kids are grown and gone from my house that we will still have our friendship and our love.  I wish the same for each and everyone of you.

So we dated for four years.  We actually bought a house together in our second year of being together.  Yes I am a sinner.  I lived with Ken before I married him.  But you have to realize that I didn't plan on marrying him.  I didn't plan on having a family.  On the other hand, he did.  He kept telling me that we could adopt.  I never had an issue with adopting.  NEVER.   But the thing is that I have a brother that I love dearly who raised his wife's children.  Today he wishes that he had his own.  I always worried that would happen with Ken.  Every once in a while that little demon will sit on my shoulder today.  What about that little boy that Ken doesn't have?  You have to understand that its just a factor of not being able to have children.

In 2001, Ken asked me to marry him.  I accepted.  I was in love with him.  He was assuring me that he was not interested in children and that we could adopt if we wanted.  I so desperately wanted to believe that.  We were happy and planning our wedding.  When his father started getting sicker.  He was such a gentle man.  So loving so much the kind of grandfather that I would want my children to have.  He was delirious one night when he looked over at me and said I was pregnant.  I know in my heart that he didn't mean to hurt me.  But it was like a knife going through my chest.  He said that I was pregnant and going to have the next Ziegler Boy.  They all assured me that he didn't mean to hurt me like he did.

I went into a depression.  I was pre-menopausal.  I pushed Ken away.  I told him that I couldn't live with the fact that his father's dying wish would not be granted.  I pushed him out of my life.  Or I tried too.  At this point in our relationship, a friend of my past came back in my life, Marsha.  She is one child that I helped raised since I had dated her father at one point.  We spent time with her and her new children.  Ken and I were fighting constantly and broke up in January 2002.  Just a little over a month before our wedding.  Well, he got drunk and he was angry.  Needless to go here, Faith was created.  He told me everything.  I accepted whatever was to come when Marsha approached me to tell us that she was pregnant.  She told us that she was pregnant with Ken's child.  She said that if he didn't take it.  She would abort it.  We had no choice.  To kill a child is against Ken's religion and against anything that I could stand.  We told her that we would take the baby.

Ok so its one month until we got married. Now I was really conflicted. Part of me was overjoyed because we would have a child to raise as our own. Well his. I was, also, furious for the same exact reason. I knew that it had happened. When we had gotten back together, my husband had told me about that night. But I didn’t expect to have this happen. I love my husband to death. And things happen. I had forgiven him or the wedding would not have still been happening. I couldn’t hold this against him. He had believed that we were over.  And trust me, he had every reason to believe so.  I was very firm on it.

Since we knew ahead of time, I started spending more time with Marsha. I wanted to make sure that she ate right for the baby. We knew that she did not want the baby. We were very afraid that she would not do what she needed to do for it. We were allowed to name her since Marsha wanted no part of it. We named her Faith since she is our blessing. We brought Faith home from the hospital and she has been with us every since.

When Faith was 12 months old, she began to get sick and stayed sick. I was literally terrified. My precious little baby was capable of having hand, foot and mouth, strep throat and ear infection at the same time and act like it was an every day occurrence. Did I accept the doctors telling me it was normal? No, I did not because there was something wrong with my baby. I wanted to solve the issue. We realized that she couldn't stay in preschool with her being so ill. I chose to stop working outside the house and come home. I didn't work for over two years as we fought to make her better. She had her adenoids, tonsils, and tubes removed by the time she was 18 months old. She saw top specialists. She had more blood work and tests than you can imagine. Still I didn't stop.

My baby girl was almost 2 years old before she weighed 20 lbs. We were told that she probably had cystic fibrosis. Let me tell you hearing those words were like a cut to our hearts. I was so upset but then I kicked myself in the butt and said get up and find a way. I did my research on the internet. None of it was good but I was determined that my daughter would live a happy normal life. We would just change things to accommodate the illness. The illness would not be her life. It would simply be part of it. The doctors were wrong. She did not have it. She had a very bad immune system which really wasn’t surprising since her biological mother did not tell good care of herself while she was pregnant. We fought for several years with her health. But today she is a healthy seven year old girl. She is rarely sick. During her illness, Faith barely spoke. While she was sick, she would bang her head against the wall. We tried to stop her whenever we saw it. But we knew something was wrong because of it. It was so frustrating for me to see her frustration by it. I just wanted her to be able to communicate with me. By the time she was 2 years old, she spoke 10 words.

Marsha was never around to see her.  We had hoped to have some kind of relationship with her for Faith.  She wasn't dependable.  At two years old, Marsha was pretty messed up with the wrong people.  We made the decision at this point for me to adopt Faith.

At the same time that we made the decision for me to adopt Faith, Marsha got married to Joey. This is the first time she has been married. Shortly into the marriage, she became pregnant with Jason. Joey became abusive. They ended up with Children Services being called. Jason was sitting in a pile of broken picture frames when they came. Children Services told Marsha that she could keep him if Joey left for the night. Joey returned that same night. Children Services came and took Jason out of the house. Jason was then placed with Marsha’s aunt, Paula.

Life was good again.  We settled into a routine.  Faith was adopted through step parent adoption.  She was getting better when one day I was out looking at the aunt's myspace to get pictures of Jason.  I always tried to keep pictures of all of Faith's siblings for the future.  Faith is one of four.  She has an older brother and sister and then Jason.  So here I am looking at the aunt's myspace and low and behold she is asking for help from people to call Children's Service and tell them that they were wrong and to give him back.  Jason was now in the handles of Children's Service.  I was shocked. 

Ken and I talked about it.  We couldn't let Jason fall into the system.  We knew that Faith would one day want to find him.  Now I will always wonder if I pushed my husband to adopt him through foster care.  He was happy with just Jason.  Read more about that here.  We started the process in August 2008 and finally ended up adopting him in March 2009.  We were very lucky to have him.  Honestly he completed the family.

Now you know why I call this blog, Hearts Makes Families



Emmy said...

Wow oh wow! Your life could be a movie! Seriously. And it would be a good one because it has a happy ending. So glad you were able to help both of your children have the life they should.

Flory said...

Thank you for sharing this story. You are an amazing woman!

Noel Giger said...

Wow - what an inspiring story of love and redemption and LIFE and family! Thanks for your transparency :)

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

What an awesome story and testimony! My oldest is mine through step parent adoption and although it has been a difficult road at times, it is a road I have never regretted.

Mindy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a follower of your blog now and look forward to reading more!! Have a great week!

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing your story. You are such a strong woman!

Anonymous said...

Mornin' darling. I'll be back to read later today as I'm off to work. Just wanted to say hello.

Karen said...

This is quite a story. Very inspiring. And I'm sure if you hadn't added Jason to your family that you always would have wondered if it should have been.

Hearts do make families.

CountessLaurie said...

Wow, what an amazing story. Thanks so much for sharing it. Your strength is inspirational!