Because yesterday I shared the heart wrenching details about Camille, I thought today for a change of pace I could share the amazing story of how we came to actually have a little girl in our family.
Once we were in Las Vegas, I went to LDS Family Services, because I figured hey they had gotten me into this mess, maybe they could help me. I don't know when I have been more wrong. Basically they said, yea sorry about that, and good luck with the wishing you were dead thing, but you only qualify for a special needs adoption and we rarely if ever have any special needs babies so there is little hope that we can help you. Have a nice day.
With that lovely advice, I decided that perhaps our family would be just fine with the two sons we had been blessed with. I did not get my paperwork updated. I sat at home and grieved.
In July of 1999, while I was preparing to go to girls camp, we received a phone call from my husband's cousin. She knew of a birth mother who was expecting a girl and wanted a family for her baby. We said that we would be interested and we hurried to update our paper work so that our file would be complete for Nevada requirements. I left my husband in charge of gathering the final references, and I went to girls camp and waited to hear for news of the baby. This would have been a designated confidential adoption.
When I got home from camp, my husband told me that the birth mother had delivered a baby boy and decided to keep her baby. Once again I felt the disappointment of having an adoption fall through. I resigned myself to the fact that we had been blessed with two beautiful sons and that perhaps our family was finished.
Because we had all of the paper work done, we decided to take it to the agency and place our names on the list of waiting couples, without the expectation of anything ever happening.
I dropped the paper work off on a Tuesday. As I was visiting with our case worker, he mentioned in passing that they had a baby girl born the last week diagnosed with Down syndrome. The agency was not sure what they were going to do with this baby, because the original adoptive couple, decided they did not want her when they heard of her medical situation.
I said "Oh that is interesting". He said to think about it because it was a special needs adoption, and call him back if we were interested. I told my husband about it, but our initial reaction was that we were not interested.
The rest of the day I just could not get that baby off my mind. Later that day I contacted my aunt to discuss what it is like to raise a child with Down syndrome as she had two down syndrome children. She reassured me that it was a wonderful opportunity.
No matter how I tried, I could not shake the feeling that this baby belonged in our family, no matter what her health condition was. The next morning, I told the worker that we would like to be considered for placement of this baby.
She called back a little while later and said "How would you like to meet the baby tomorrow, and then you can take her home." My first reaction was to drop the phone and pass out because this was just 24 hours after I had dropped off the papers.
As you can well imagine the next 24 hours were full of craziness to prepare everything. My husband got all the baby stuff down from the attic so I could wash the clothes, bassinet, and car seat.
I ran to the store and stood in the baby aisle trying to remember just what it is that babies need. It had been five and a half years since we had a baby in the house. It was all so surreal.
We didn't tell anyone not even our family. I felt as if we did tell, maybe the spell would be broken and we wouldn't really get a baby after all. During these 24 hours, I kept wondering if we could really handle the challenge of a baby with Down Syndrome. Each time these thoughts came to my mind the Spirit would whisper a calm reassuring message that I should not worry, everything would be just fine.
The very next day, we went to Child Haven to meet our potential daughter. The plan was that we could meet her and leave her there while we went out to lunch and discussed our decision. The minute they placed her in our arms, we knew she was meant for us. There was no discussion. It would have taken dynamite to pry that child away from me. We loved and adored her immediately. Those of you who have met her in real life know of her personality and love for everyone she meets. This outpouring of love was present from the day I met her. It is a gift she came to earth with and in her short 9 years she has blessed many people, especially small children with her love and caring.
The case worker was trying to obtain more of her medical information and found out that a test for Down syndrome was never done. The doctor had said at the delivery the he thought the baby looked like she had Down syndrome, and based on this statement, the original adoptive couple decided not to take her. How anyone could have held her and walked away is beyond my ability to comprehend.
Two weeks later when we took her to our pediatrician, it was decided that she did not have down syndrome. Heavenly Father found a way to send this beautiful little girl to our family. It was my very own miracle. Truly it was a blessing from heaven.
We lost Camille because her birth mom had the free agency to make the choices necessary to keep her. But the fact that we picked up Diana nine months later tells me that Heavenly Father made a plan to give me the little girl I always wanted.
After the trial of your faith comes the blessings. Something like that. I will be forever grateful for the fact that I followed a prompting that seemed illogical. This daughter of mine is one of my best friends. She has blessed my life in so many ways. One might say that I saved her from an unwanted beginning, but truly she saved me from the bottomless sea of grief and loss. Although she can never completely replace Camille, life is so much better with her than it was before.