Archive for June, 2009

January 30th, 2009, was a very special day. It was the day that I would be bringing Anika to our home, permanently! Doug stayed behind so he could shuffle the children to and from school, while I drove to Tampa to pick up our new daughter! It was a day of mixed emotions. Although I would be bringing home our child to adopt, which had always been a dream, I would also be taking her away from the people that had permanently cared for her for 3 ½ years, and that she had grown very attached to! I had no idea what to expect.

On the drive over on that beautiful sunny day, I prayed that God would give me strength to handle what ever was going to take place. Trying to prepare for the worst, I imagined that I was about to enter into labor and childbirth. To bring my other 3 children into the world was certainly no easy task, why should I expect that adopting one should be any easier! In case things didn’t go well, we didn’t want to bring our other 3 children along. We didn’t want them to possibly witness their “about to be sister” fight not to come home with them!

As I drove closer I envisioned the social worker shoving Anika into the car while she was screaming at the top of her lungs, “No”, “Please, please I don’t want to go with her”, “I just want to stay with my Nanny and Papa”. “Please don’t make me go”!!! Her Great-grandparents would be hysterical, Anika would be hysterical and I would be hysterical. Then, I’d drive away and try to calm down and calm her fears! Man, what an exhausting, traumatizing way to begin a life together. The more I thought about it, the more I tried to prepare for the worst.

Anika had already visited with us, stayed in our home, and she really seemed to like it. But, she was attached and bonded to her Great-Grandparents who after all had loved and cared deeply for her most of her life! They were going to be dropping her off and meeting me for the first time. I tried to imagine what feelings and emotions they would be having.

I had already arrived and was going over paperwork with the social worker when they walked in with Anika. The three walked in hand-in-hand. Anika came up to me and gave me a big hug. Her great-grandparents and I introduced ourselves and the journey to our new life began. Anika couldn’t wait to take me outside to see her new bike that she would be bringing! It was in Papa’s truck along with her things.

Nanny, Papa and I visited for a while. We all went into a room where we could talk. I assured them that we would be in touch and that Anika would be very loved and well taken care of. Walking out to see her bike and transfer her things to our car, was a bit awkward! Nanny and Papa were trying to be respectful of my position and I was trying to be respectful of theirs! Someone needed to hold her hand, but none of us actually did!!! There in the parking lot was Papa’s green truck that I’d heard so much about from Anika. (During the week that she spent with us I got to know just about everything about Nanny and Papa).

Because all of Anika’s belongings would all be going with her, I had to walk down to get our car. While I was on my way, from the distance I thought I heard them all calling me, as I turned around, there was Anika running after me!!! She wanted to ride with me to bring the car around! We put Anika’s belongings into the car, Nanny and Papa fought back the tears as best they could, after a quick hug and a kiss, Anika joyfully got back into the car, buckled herself up and we drove off! I was prepared for the absolute worst, but it went better than I could have ever dreamed. Compare that to actual childbirth? There is no comparison!

For the first 3 to 4 weeks with us Anika did have a difficult time. She spoke of Nanny and Papa in almost every sentence. She cried for them, she mourned for what was lost. It was a mourning process that she had to go through and will continue to go through (though not as severe) in some ways during certain points in her life. We love Anika deeply and have tried to make this adjustment as easy as possible for her. Because continuing a relationship with her great-grandparents will benefit Anika, we call and see them regularly.

During these past 4 months, we’ve really gotten to know each other. Anika’s Papa wipes tears from his eyes pretty much the entire time he is with us. I know he deeply cares for Anika, they both do. We have a mutual love and respect for each other. We are eternally grateful that they sheltered and loved Anika during those years that she was not with us. Because keeping her was not an option, they are eternally grateful that she has us as her family. If her Nanny and Papa had not stepped up to care for her, Anika would most likely have an attachment disorder and trust issues. Instead Anika came to us emotionally whole and able to fully embrace and fall in love with her new family.

The State of Florida felt that removing Anika from her g-grandparents home was absolutely in the best interest for Anika, and Doug and I can sleep very soundly knowing that it was the best thing for her. Many of the reasons for removal were beyond her great-grandparents control, however, they were ever-present. Toward the end of the 3 ½ years of caring for her, Anika’s biological parental rights were severed and she then became available for adoption. Her great-grandparents age, health issues and overall ability to care for Anika played a major role in the decision for removing her from them and placing her into an adoptive home. There were also other important factors which were not overlooked. Anika’s past family history belongs to her and will be hers to share once she is older if she desires.

We are excited about sharing what her new life has been like here with us. How being adopted has affected her, the new ups and downs of life as a Powell! We hope that by sharing her story people will feel inspired and enlightened. Even in just 4 months Anika has a story to tell that will melt hearts and change lives!

Anika’s adoption video up next!

Angela

Comments (2)

My Uncle Lane Morgan is having open heart surgery on Monday at 11am Central time. Please pray for him.

He is a grandfather of 2 soon to be 3.

He and aunt Paula used to take care of my brother Chad and I quite a bit when we were little. Uncle Lane ran the Moody Broadcasting radio station where I grew up for decades. He is a true Man of God and please remember him and aunt Paula in prayer on Monday.

Thank You
Doug

P.S. We have been very busy lately. We have an adoption video that is nearly complete. I had one done, but … =)
Angela promises to start updating more often. So lets hold her to that.

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