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Chapter 13 – Fostering to Adopt
Leroy was lying on his back in bed. It was the early hours of the morning. Dave had his head on Leroy’s chest and was snuggled up to him. “What’s going to happen when we adopt?” Leroy asked as he was stroking Dave’s hair.
“What do you mean?”
“Will we get times like this together, or is our time going to be cut short?”
Dave smiled and chuckled. “Ask Allison or Aaron, how they cope. It’s only been two months since we’ve turned in our application. They still haven’t completely cleared us for adoption.”
“I know, Dave. I want this so bad, but I’m also afraid.”
“Well Leroy, why don’t we bring that up in our session with Dr. Watts today? But tell me, what are you afraid about?”
“Yeah that would probably be a good thing to bring up. I’m afraid that our relationship will be damaged slightly. I know it’s just a fear, but I know you weren’t too keen on the idea.”
“Leroy, I love you, and it’s time that we had our own family. I can see how much this means to you, and I want it too. I’m not just saying that.”
Leroy hugged Dave. “Thank you Babe. I love you, too.”
Dave snuggled up to him a little more. “Are we going to get as much time with one another? Probably not. Is this kid going to test us and our sanity? Most definitely. But Honey, we will make it, because we love one another and we will love this kid.”
Leroy kissed the top of Dave’s head and they fell asleep. It wasn’t long before they had to be up, showered and at their counseling appointment. It was one of the last few that they will be doing as a couple. Dr. Watts told them they are more than welcome to continue, that he likes his pockets well-padded, but they have resolved most of their problems. He was happy that they were opening up to one another at home and he hopes they continue, but as always they could come back and see him, if they needed to.
Leroy’s individual sessions will continue for a little longer. Dr. Watts and Leroy agreed that they were not through. Leroy had most of his issue about his mother resolved, and he was trying to take those last few steps to walk away and not let her words affect him. There was just a little part of him that still wanted a relationship with his mother, but he also knew that she would never understand. He knew that he will have to deal with her in family situations, so Dr. Watt and he were trying to find healthier ways of dealing with her, instead of Leroy needing to blow up at her and then feeling bad about it. If they could find a happy medium then Leroy may be able to just walk away from Sue without feeling guilty.
In mid-January, Dave and Leroy were sitting in Family Services. The social worker; Lisa was showing them pictures of adoptable kids. There were tons. There were individual kids and entire families with two to five siblings. Lisa left them in her office to talk while they looked.
“Dave, what do you think?”
“I don’t think for a first time, that we should adopt an entire family. Let’s start out with one.”
Leroy chuckled, “One is more than enough right now.”
They turned the book back to the individual kids. They were looking at all the races and ages. They ran across this one picture that seemed to call out to them. He was three and biracial; he was half Chinese and half American. His name was Jason.
When Lisa walked back in and looked down at the picture. “Have you decided?”
“I guess. What do we do now?” Leroy responded.
Lisa smiled, “First we’ll have him brought here from the foster home he’s at and you’ll get to see him from an observation room. This is so you can see how he interacts with others. I hate that it sounds like you are looking at the doggy in the window to make sure he will be the right fit, but in a sense it’s what you are doing. We don’t want you picking a child just because he was available.” She looked at Dave and Leroy and continued, “Once you see how he interacts and if you are still interested, we’ll have you in the room with him for several appointments to see how he reacts to you. We like the appointments to be within the weeks’ time, so the child doesn’t get the chance to forget you. We want him to get comfortable with you also.”
“Once he is comfortable with us, then what happens?” Leroy asked.
“You take him home,” Lisa answered smiling. “This is the true test, which is why you have to foster him first. We don’t want you to adopt and find out a month or two down the road that it wasn’t a good fit and you are now stuck in a difficult situation. That is why we require that you foster them for a minimum of six months before we allow adoption. Of course we will be coming in to make random site visits.”
“When can we start this?” Leroy was nervous, but he wanted this so bad.
Lisa pulled the book towards her and keyed in Jason’s case number in the system. “I can have him here in a few days. He is on the other side of the state.”
“Where will he stay?”
She smiled at his concern and said, “He will be set up in our facility here. casino siteleri He will be well cared for. Don’t worry. He just won’t be in a family home when he comes. As soon as I get him here I will call you, so we can start the process.”
The wait was killing Leroy and it had only been a day. Dave would smile, even though he knew not to laugh at Leroy because it would only make him angry. Dave decided to call Aaron and Allison over to try to distract Leroy a little while he was at work. He thought that maybe bringing their families over, having dinner and talking would help Leroy’s anxiety.
Both Allison and Aaron with their families came that evening. They even brought dinner with them. Dave stated that Leroy hadn’t been eating because he had been too worried. When they knocked on the door, Leroy opened the door to nine smiling faces. He just shook his head and let them all in.
The five nephews and nieces all hugged Leroy, and then the four adults each took their turn. “So Dave says you are beside yourself,” Allison smiled.
“So is that why I’ve earned this visit?” Leroy smiled back and shook his head. “Yeah, I know I’m being ridiculous, but we are going to see the kid and what if he doesn’t like Dave and me?”
“Leroy, he will warm up to you or he won’t. He is either the one that was meant to be or he isn’t. You can’t force it. Just wait and see how it goes.” Allison responded.
They sat around the kitchen table. Leroy got out a card table for the kids to sit at and they had pizza. Afterwards, Leroy put on a Disney movie for the kids and the adults moved to the living room to talk. “See, Leroy. You already know how to entertain a kid. How many Disney movies do you own?” Bridget asked.
“Too many,” Leroy smiled. “Anytime any of you would allow me to watch one of the kids, we would beg Dave to take us to the store before he left for work, and we would buy a movie or something else.” Leroy chuckled.
“Yeah, we had to deal with your something else’s, Leroy. By the way, paybacks are hell.” Aaron responded and everyone but Leroy laughed.
“Hey, you have to be nice to me; I will be a first time parent.” Leroy laughed.
“Oh we will be nice for the first month. Then you are getting paid back for all the playdough, markers and whatever toy that you thought would be great for our children to sneak into the house and destroy something with.” Allison responded with the other three agreeing.
“I love you guys, too,” Leroy answered back and gave them the most pathetic look, at which everyone laughed.
Dave came in for his dinner at that moment. “What did I miss?”
“Only that we will get a month before they will start giving our child, toys that could destroy our beautiful home.”
Dave looked at them. “Please at least give us three months so we can move to Florida,” Dave laughed.
“Funny, Dave. We may give you a little more time, but as we told Leroy, paybacks are hell,” Aaron warned.
Dave walked into the kitchen to see what he could scavenge for dinner, saw the pizza on the counter, grabbed up a few slices, and walked back into the living room. “Honey, I got the call on my way to work. They will have Jason for us to observe at nine, and then if we want, we can meet him at one.” Dave looked at Leroy and smiled, “Are you going to say anything, Babe?”
Leroy nodded his head and closed his eyes for a minute. “That is wonderful news,” he choked out; he didn’t want to get emotional in front of his siblings. His emotions had been a wreck since they found out that they had been approved, and it was been driving him nuts.
After a bit, Dave went back to work, and his siblings decided that they needed to get the kids home to bed because the littlest ones had fallen asleep in the chairs. Leroy picked up everything and got ready for bed himself. He wanted to be fresh for when they saw Jason in the morning. When Dave came in he was surprised that Leroy was already in bed asleep, so he just stripped and snuggled up next to him.
When the alarm went off at seven that morning, Leroy was up and heading for the shower. Dave just groaned and rolled over. Ten minutes later when Leroy came out, Dave was snuggled deep in the blankets and Leroy ripped them off the bed. “Dave, come on we have to get ready and be at the agency at nine.”
Dave looked over at the clock and groaned. “Leroy it’s seven-ten. It only takes ten minutes to drive to the place, so give me the covers back and let me sleep just a little longer.”
“Come on, Babe. Just get ready for me. I will get you some coffee.”
Dave sat up on the edge of the bed. He knew that Leroy was anxious, so he did what he was told and went to take a shower. When he was sitting on the couch at seven-forty, he was trying not to laugh at Leroy. He just shook his head because Leroy was running around straightening things just to keep busy.
“Can we get going now?” Leroy asked. It was eight-thirty.
Dave just smiled, stood up, hugged and kissed Leroy. “Yes, Babe.”
When they arrived at the agency, Lisa was in the lobby. canlı casino She smiled at Dave and Leroy, “Jason is here and in the observation room, so let me take you back there now.” She guided them back and opened a door. The room had a glass wall, and they saw Jason running around playing with a few other kids. They had cars and toy blocks. Both Dave and Lisa looked at Leroy. His eyes widened, he smiled, and he just stared at Jason. “Dave, Leroy, you two might as well get comfortable. Have a seat and watch him for a bit. I will come back in a while to talk to you.”
Dave told her thank you, but Leroy didn’t hear anything. He was focused on Jason. Leroy would smile when he would run by the glass or play with the blocks, building a tower and letting it fall. Dave had to pull up a chair and get Leroy’s attention to get him to sit. What Dave and Leroy didn’t know was while they were observing the child, they were also being observed and could be heard.
“Leroy, what do you think?”
Leroy looked over at Dave. “He is perfect. He has a lot of energy though.”
“Well he is a kid, Leroy. Of course he is going to be full of energy, but you will be fine.”
“Will he like us, Dave?”
“Honey, you worry too much. Let’s just take it one step at a time. We get to see him now. Later we get to be in the room to see if he will warm up to us. Then we will go from there.”
Dave and Leroy just sat there and talked a bit, but Leroy was more watching Jason and seeing what Jason was getting into. They didn’t realize how much time had passed or that Lisa had come back into the room. When someone came and took the children out of the room, Leroy asked, “Where are they going?”
Dave looked at his watch. “Leroy it has been two hours.”
“Dave, Leroy?” When they turned Lisa was smiling at them. “Why don’t you two go to lunch? They just took the children to have lunch themselves, then they will nap for a bit. If you could come back at one, we’ll introduce you to Jason.”
Dave thanked her and pushed Leroy to the door. When Dave got Leroy out to the car, he just hugged Leroy. “Babe, it’s okay. We will get to see him in just a few.”
Dave cut Leroy off, “Leroy, stop worrying. Everything will work out.” He was still holding Leroy in a hug and he pulled back and rubbed Leroy’s cheeks. “If this is meant to be, it will work. Please calm down. Let’s get some food in you. We’ll have almost two hours before we are due back.”
Dave opened Leroy’s door and then went around to his side. They ended up at a diner not far from the agency. Dave ordered for the both of them. Leroy couldn’t decide he was too nervous. When the food came out, he just pushed it around his plate. “Leroy, if you don’t eat something, I will refuse to take you back.” Leroy got a shocked looked on his face and Dave smiled. “Honey, please just calm down and eat.”
Leroy started eating. He didn’t say anything because he knew Dave would tell him he was worrying too much. When they finished lunch, they had thirty minutes before they were due back at the agency. “Can we just go back?” Leroy asked.
Dave just nodded. When they arrived, they were greeted by a receptionist who called their social worker and told them to have a seat for a few moments. When Lisa came into the waiting area she smiled at Leroy. “Leroy, you can relax.”
“I keep telling him that. He is a nervous nelly right now.” Dave and she laughed. Lisa then led them to a room similar to the room in which they observed Jason in with toys and chairs. She instructed Dave and Leroy that they probably would want to sit because of their height might scare Jason a little. “I never thought about that. All our nieces and nephews are just used to our height,” Dave responded.
At that moment, another worker whom they had seen earlier in the room brought in Jason. He was very timid when he first saw Dave and Leroy sitting there. He was holding a blanket. The worker that brought him in said he was still waking up. Jason walked over to Leroy and looked up at him, and then the most wonderful thing happened: he crawled up into Leroy’s lap and snuggled up to him. Leroy sat there in awe.
“Well, Leroy, you don’t have to worry too much now. If he can walk up to you and snuggle up, I think you are going to do fine.” Lisa squeezed his shoulder. “I’ll be back after a while; Melissa will stay here the entire time.”
Both Dave and Leroy thanked her as she walked away. Leroy sat back in the chair and held Jason. Leroy took Jason’s blanket from him, spread it over him, and rocked him while patting his back. After a few minutes, Jason sat up and looked at Leroy, and Leroy looked down at him and smiled.
Jason slipped off Leroy’s lap, grabbed his hand, and pulled him. Leroy laughed. “You want me to play with you?” Jason nodded and when Leroy stood to his full height, Jason looked up at him, smiled and raised his hands up. “You want picked up?” Leroy asked. Jason nodded, so Leroy bent down and picked him up. When he pointed to the blocks over in the corner, Leroy walked over and got on the floor with kaçak casino Jason and they played. Dave just watched and smiled.
Soon Jason was giggling and Leroy was laughing. Jason took one of the blocks he was playing with and gave it to Dave. Dave smiled and told him thank you. Jason started bringing more over to Dave, then finally took Dave’s hand and pulled him over to sit next to Leroy. They all played with the blocks until Lisa came back in and said that their time was up for the day. Melissa walked over and took Jason by the hand and he waved and said bye. Both Dave and Leroy smiled and waved goodbye to him.
Once Dave and Leroy got up from the floor, Lisa smiled. “Can you be back here tomorrow at nine to interact with him again? And if you would like you can even go with him to our little kitchen and feed him… well, really watch him eat. Then you can have a few hours in the afternoon again.”
“Sure,” both Dave and Leroy replied.
“Leroy, you are doing fine. I would suggest that you go out and buy a car seat,” Lisa stated. Leroy just looked at her. “Leroy, it looks like it’s a good match. I believe you will be able to take him home really soon.”
“Why do I feel like the biggest drama queen right now?” Leroy asked, to which both Dave and Lisa laughed.
“Honey, having a child has been something that you have wanted for a year and a half now. So your emotions are tied up in it. I love you. Everything will be fine.” Dave and Leroy thanked Lisa, and they walked out to the car.
“Do you have to work?”
“Yes, and I’m going to be late, but I informed my Sergeant that I would be a few hours late. Why don’t we go to the store and pick up the car seat and a few toys.” He looked at Leroy smiling. “A few toys, Leroy, not the entire store. When we get Jason we can take him to get some more.”
“Okay, okay.” Leroy smiled as they got in the car to go to the store.
Later when Dave and Leroy got home, Dave grabbed his uniform, kissed Leroy, and left for work. Leroy walked into one of the spare bedrooms and looked at it. There was a full-size bed and dresser that he had painted blue last year. He was thinking it would be perfect for Jason, and it was right across the hall from their room. He sat the toys down in the room. He had left the car seat in the trunk of the car.
Leroy was still a nervous wreck. He was thinking of all the reasons that the Agency could say to pull the rug out from under their feet. He started cleaning again. He had stopped in the baby department and bought the plug covers, so he went around the entire house plugging them into the empty outlets.
He walked into their room and almost freaked when he saw the box of toys that they have just sitting next to the bed. He checked around the rest of the room, picked up a few toys that had dropped and rolled under the bed, and put them in the box and high up in the closet. He was debating if he should put the lube up as well. When they did get in the mood, he didn’t want to have to go looking for it, but he did run into the living room and family room and retrieve what he had stashed there. Talking out loud to himself, he mumbled, “Our sex life is going to take a huge hit.”
“What was that Leroy?” Leroy didn’t hear his dad come in.
“Hey, Dad. Sorry I was just mumbling to myself.”
Lee smiled and hugged his son. “Yes, your sex life won’t be the same once you bring home the child, Leroy,” he said, laughing as he looked at the lube in Leroy’s hand. “So is it getting to be that time? Allison said you were going today to see the boy.”
“Yeah, we even were able to sit and play with him today. His name is Jason, Dad. He is cute as a button and we are going back tomorrow to see him again. I’m so nervous, Dad. I don’t know what’s going to happen and it scares the shit out of me.”
“Leroy, that is how your mother and I felt the day we brought you home.” Lee smiled and laughed. “Dave and you will be wonderful parents. Just be patient and stop worrying.
Leroy and his father talked for a long time before he left for home. Leroy was glad he stopped by. He had put a lot of his worries to bed, but Leroy still had quite a few and was still anxious. He couldn’t wait until Dave and he could see Jason again. He finished looking for anything that they had hidden around the house for when they got frisky, and put it away in the box.
Leroy didn’t even realize the time when Dave came walking in from work. Leroy was still cleaning and straightening up the house. He was currently in their bedroom, so Dave walked down the hall stopping in the spare to see that Leroy had cleaned and set the toys out for Jason.
“We need to buy two toy boxes: one for the family room and one for his room,” Leroy said when he saw Dave standing in Jason’s doorway.
Dave turned around, smiled, walked up to Leroy, hugged and kissed him. “One thing at a time, Leroy.”
The next morning when they were waiting in the room for Jason to come in, Lisa saw how nervous Leroy still was. Again Jason came in with his blanket. “We had a late start this morning,” Mellissa stated. “He is still sleepy.” Jason saw Leroy and immediately crawled in his lap and closed his eyes. Leroy did what he did yesterday by covering him, rocking, and patting his back, while Dave and he talked.
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