by Kimberly Gehm
We have a unique story when it comes to meeting our daughter for the first time because we were able to "meet" her twice. Promise was brought into care two times and each time was a different experience.
We were chosen to be her foster parents because we were adopting her older brother Malachi. At one of the final meetings for Malachi's case before it was moved to adoption, the case workers had mentioned that the birth mom was pregnant again and they will most likely be removing the baby once born. Upon hearing this, my husband, being the one at the meeting as I was home with Malachi, started to pray "Lord protect that baby girl." Crazy thing is no one knew the gender of the baby. No matter how hard my husband tried to refer to her as just "baby" he physically couldn't. He knew without a doubt that she was a girl. So. for the next few months we prayed protection and safety over that baby girl.
On August 6th 2014 a baby girl was born. She had some obstacles to overcome but overall she was healthy. Two days later she was brought to our home. Receiving that phone call we had been anxiously awaiting for the past several months and hearing that the baby is a girl was surreal. We were so excited that Malachi would get to meet his biological baby sister and potentially get to grow up with her. She was identical to him in every way as a newborn. A full head of dark hair and chocolate brown eyes. We could have dressed her up in his newborn clothes and not have known any differently. The next few weeks were perfect as a family of 4. I had loved this tiny baby as if I had given birth to her. Praying for a child for months before actually getting to meet her connects you in such a deep, indescribable way. She was ours in every single way.
Then on August 29, 2014 because of extremely unfortunate circumstances she was returned back to their biological mom. Services hadn't been worked, no progress had been made and we had to hand our baby girl over to an unsafe environment. The system had failed our baby girl and ultimately her big brother. We tried everything in our power to talk to the right people and fight it, but no one wanted to get involved. We were devastated. We debated closing our home all together but decided to take a small break before jumping back in.
In January 2015 we reopened our home and waited for our next placement. A month went by and not a single call, which was so strange because we were getting multiple calls every month before she was born, but we waited and prayed for the right child to be brought to us.
On February 5, we received the call we never expected. Our baby girl was brought back into care and they would be dropping her off within an hour. Talk about major freakout mode! The house was a wreck, we were a wreck and recovering from the flu all week. We were all napping when I got the call. We immediately jumped into action mode. Clean up the house and clean up ourselves; cry, or really sob, and prepare our hearts for what was about to happen. We were so thrilled for her to come back home, but heartbroken because a child doesn't come into care unless there has been trauma.
An hour later, the investigator came to our home carrying a dirty car seat that was covered in a blanket. She placed the car seat in the middle of the room. I took a deep breath as I lifted the blanket and underneath the blanket was this huge 6 month old girl. Big brown eyes, what little hair she had was starting to curl and she gave us the biggest smile. Our daughter was home. She had grown so much and looked so different. I honestly wouldn't have recognized her if it wasn't for the little blood vessel blemishes she had on her nose when she was born. They were still there. It is such a surreal feeling to see a baby that you love so deeply but is a stranger to you.
For the next several months we struggled to learn each other all over again and bring her back to health. Her case was a constant up and down battle and we thought we would lose her again. However on November 10, 2016 our precious little girl was forever sealed by adoption into our family.