Copy of Foster to Adopt - One Butterfly's Path to Motherhood - by Elizabeth Fontenot
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed about being a mother. My mother often tells a story about when I was growing up. I would gather all of my dolls together and talk about how I was going to have 10 or more children. Much to both my mother’s and my own heartache, I began to learn about infertility related to Turner syndrome as I grew older. I knew early on that adoption was the route I wanted to use to build my family.
When I met my husband Andy, he learned about TS, my infertility, and my desire to adopt. Once we got married and started talking about having a family, we researched some adoption agencies. Many of those agencies were expensive. and would put a big financial burden on us as a couple.
I am a social worker, so I am familiar with my state’s Department of Human Resources (DHR) and the assistance the agency provides. We decided to go through DHR for classes so we could foster to adopt. After a few months of classes, child proofing our home, a home study, and lots of state paperwork, we were finally licensed as foster parents in the state of Alabama.
On the very day we received our license, we received a call about a little boy named Connor, who was 7 weeks old at the time. When Connor finally arrived at our house that night, we didn't have a lot of the baby items we needed for him. Unlike most parents who have 9 months to prepare, we became "instant" parents. We found ourselves rushing to the store to buy clothes, diapers, a baby monitor, bottles, etc.
The first week was full of juggling long nights and time off work until daycare could be arranged. We bonded with this newborn who had been placed in our home instantly, and I was immediately attached. I remember looking at my husband and saying, "I can't give him back."
Along the way, Conner has experienced some developmental delays and has even had eye surgery. He has undergone speech and physical therapy, some of which continues today.
During the fostering process, we went through quarterly court dates, home visits, meeting members of Conner's birth family, and a lot of interaction with DHR workers.
On October 16th, 2018, after 3 years, we were finally able to adopt him!
For all women with Turner syndrome, both married and single, I am here to tell each of you that if you desire to have a family, don't give up on that dream. Adoption is a wonderful opportunity for those of us with infertility to have a family. State agencies, like DHR, DHS, and DCF make it possible for you to foster and/or adopt a child. These agencies do have strict rules for foster parents (including restrictions on posting pictures to social media, notifying the agency of any foster child travel out of state, and maintaining foster parent education credits, to name a few).
While I won't say the road to our adoption was always a smooth one, it was worth every bump along the way. Hearing my little man say "I love you, Mama" and blow me a kiss makes every hardship worth it. I may not have the 10 children I once envisioned, but I'd say I have everything I need.