Tuesday, May 8, 2007

My Son's Story

The boy who became my son was born fullterm and weighed 6 lbs. 7 ozs. and had a full head of hair. He was born with cocaine and marijuana in his little system. I asked his bio mother about her eating habits, and she said she ate chips and junk food! No prenatal care at all. We met him in the hospital when he was four weeks old. He was described as a jittery and irritable black male. The whole row of babies were asleep except for him; his eyes were wide open! The nurse put him in my arms, and he didn’t cry! I was so in awe of him.

The next day my husband and I took and passed an infant CPR test, and we left the hospital with our first foster baby. I couldn’t believe that nobody tried to stop us—a white couple—from leaving the hospital with a brown-skinned child wrapped in a baby blanket. We didn’t know how to pronounce his birth name, so we called him Barry.

He missed Christmas being in the hospital, so we took "Christmas" photos of him in a Christmas stocking, propped in his carseat beside a cardboard fireplace and potted poinsettias—in January. He didn’t pay much attention to what we were doing.

I was working full-time. My husband had started a home-based business, so he was Mr. Mom. Other women made such a fuss over him for being a full-time daddy!

I was so happy when Barron started sleeping through the night at three months. Well, I wasn’t happy at first. I was scared! He was sleeping in a bassinet beside our bed, and when he didn’t wake up for his bottle, I woke him up! He slept next to our bed for about 6 months. When he became more active, we moved him to a crib in his own room.

He was a pretty good baby. He didn’t exhibit the symptoms of a drug baby. Sometimes he cried for no reason, and I’m not sure if that was related. He wouldn’t be hungry or wet or cold, but he would scream, and I would cradle him and cry too and when that didn’t help, I would swaddle him in baby blankets and put him in a dark and quiet room, since my arms weren’t soothing him. Finally he outgrew that. He didn't do it all the time, anyway, thank goodness.

I was always surprised when I saw our reflection in a mirror and saw how much paler than the baby I was. He was so dear to my heart! I would cry when I thought of losing him. I prayed that God would allow him to be raised by Christian parents.

He was ten months old when we brought another foster baby, a girl, home. He liked the baby a lot! I have lots of cute pictures of them together.

He learned to walk at twelve months, and I think he was on target for everything. A normal boy as far as anyone could tell. He was affectionate and talkative and loved to crawl all over his daddy!

The birth parents relinquished their rights, and we were able to adopt him when he was 2½.

He was 7 when his father walked out.

He's 15 now, and struggles with ADHD, loves Scouting and video games and paintball, and has lots of friends. He has won photography and singing competitions. He also has some issues to work through and has been in counseling for a few years. He loves his current mentor/therapist. He's like a big brother/father figure.

I think being raised in a transracial home has helped him see everyone as the same; his friends are black, white, and hispanic. He had an Asian friend in the past, but we lost track of him. The only people he says that he is prejudiced against are racists. I'll accept that!

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