Story: Baby AJ Post #3

by Cat on January 13, 2010

by Designing Mom Liberty

This post about AJ has been a long time coming, but I’ll be honest – for a while it was just too painful to write.


A few days after I sent Cat the last email post – wherin I included all of our deepest hopes and dreams for AJ to become part of our family, we had a wake up call to the challenges of the foster care system. AJ – though he’d never met them – had half siblings in the “system” and someone in the county literally changed their mind about him being with an adoptive family vs. being with blood. We received a phone call on a Monday afternoon telling us we had to drop him off the next morning at another (AJ’s 6th) foster home. This one was not an adoptive home – it’s simply another holding place, and though we’ve offered to be the temporary caregivers for him just to provide stability – according to the County Social Workers involved, we are “no longer on the case.”

Talk about a trial by fire. Our little family was rocked by our first taste of the foster care system – and this isn’t even any of the details! Though we have done all we can to try and let everyone involved know that we desire to adopt AJ – and we haven’t completely given up hope, we haven’t exactly been holding our breath for him coming back to us. Once again a family of 4… we hug each other a little tighter and talk about our feelings a lot.


We’re still committed to the idea of foster care – with the goal to adopt eventually. We just have a little more perspective as we prepare for the next round of the roller coaster. My husband and I went out to see “The Blind Side” and I wept like an inspired foster mom throughout. I watched the true story of a woman (a designing mom, really!) who was unwilling to look at a kid as just another number or a risk. She saw him as a beautiful person worth risking everything for… and Jay and I walked out of the movie re-committed to the risk ourselves.

We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything, but in the meantime, I thought I would share a piece of artwork – a collage – that I did in the first week that AJ was gone. I was struggling with my emotions and turned to artwork to help me articulate what I felt. This collage came out of it.


The other photos are precious to me. The one where I am holding AJ in front of our fireplace was the last morning that we had him… I intentionally held him in front of the picture I’d created for our mantel – as a point of remembering. Another was taken in church the last day before our phone call to transfer him came. The final pic is our family as we are this holiday… without AJ, but feeling close and still joyful, nonetheless.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacey January 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm

As a creative mom with two little ones, I've followed all of your posts and your revelation this time is absolutely heartbreaking. I am so sorry. Your strength and perseverance are inspiring, and I truly hope your dream of having AJ home comes true. Take care.

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erika at Delphine January 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Oh, Liberty. Sending you and your family lots of hugs.

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blahblah January 13, 2010 at 11:05 pm

I can't imagine what you must be feeling now. My parents went through the same thing 4 years ago when they tried to adopt. No matter what they say, the court system really isn't set up in the best interest of the child.

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Our Designing Moms January 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Liberty, you and your family's love and courage are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing such a deeply personal story with all of us.

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Whimcees January 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I am so sorry to read of this sad news and I send you my love and respect and hope for the future.

I have been battling another system with my oldest developmentally disabled son, now an adult and needing a group home.I have been battling this system in his behalf for so many years that I find I don't have the energy nor the stomach to continue much longer.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Please do continue to be a stable and loving foster home for a child needing these things and I hope that your dream of adopting one of these children will some day be a reality for you.

Barbara Diane

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libbydibby January 15, 2010 at 12:57 am

thank you everyone. as we entered into 2010, we've gained courage to try it again. Though we still hope to hear a miracle about AJ, we're feeling ready to start preparing for a new baby to come as well.
Today, it seems, our agency has the same feeling – and though we did actually decline for scheduling reasons, they called to offer us a baby after a few months of breathing space.
J and I talked and we'll hopefully have some good news to share in the next few months about trying for this again.
We SO appreciate your kindness, good thoughts and prayers.

liberty and family

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