Here are some other little facts that cause goose bumps. When we held J in the NICU...ready? Cati was a few beds away. Can you stand it? Here's another amazing thing. Cati was born when they called us for J. It all was timed so perfectly that only our God could have orchestrated it; all so that I could put these words here now. Because God gets the glory. All of it. And here is a final bit of info that may make you sad. Five days after Cati came home they called to ask if J could come to our home because he had been released to regular foster care. Although Cati was embedded in my heart, it was the hardest "no" I ever said.
Guess what? Her name was not Cati. Not even close. It was actually another first and last name. I so wish I could tell you what it was but I need to protect her in light of all the specifics regarding her foster care and adoption. I would also love to share with you her name that was finally told to us a few days after she came home. Again, I must protect my daughter. The first part of that name, the first 4 letters is spelled C-A-T-I which is why her name is Cati and why it has such an unusual spelling.
That night when she came home, it was late at night and there were 4 other children in the van on the way to their foster homes. I remember peering into her seat and seeing her. Oh, she was so teeny, tiny in that car seat just sleeping so peacefully. But the woman transporting all these kids was on a schedule so I got her out of the seat and kind of held her one armed like a football. I was carrying her folder in my other hand and as I carried her into the house I was shocked at how comfortable I was holding her like that. My other shock was that the moment I held her I knew that letting her go would make Anthony seem like a cake walk. She was the child of my heart.
I am a little panicked that it has her full name on it but I am counting on the fact that you are not a super hero and can't read it. But here is what we put as our prayer request...
1. To have radical faith
2. To adopt Cati, our foster child
3. To overcome infertility and conceive a child
Now at this point, I was seriously trying to figure out what I could do to be the naturally impregnated girl God was telling me I was going to be. So I decided to stop the infertility study and lose weight. I had been struggling with my weight most of my life and I was close to 200 pounds...the heaviest I had ever been. So at this infertility clinic, they had a weight loss clinic. Drastic means to lose weight but with drastic results. I lost close to 60 pounds. Here are my before and after pictures... Lord God, help me to remove the idol of vanity so that this testimony can bless others...
Whoa. So hating that I am posting this pic of me but whatever. Glory to you, Lord!
How mad do I look here? I lose weight and gain an attitude. Geesh, simmer down skinny chic.
Must tell you I so don't look like that now. I was a running fool then and consumed next to nothing. Now I run occasionally and enjoy an occasional donut. Much more chipper now.
My cycles regulated and after considering buying stock in ovulation kits, I realized I was ovulating. God is so good.
Then, around June of 2007, we find out that Cati's birth mother is ready to do her case plan and bring her daughter home. She wants a visitation, the first one since she came into care. What a punch in the gut! She had so many issues but a few months back we had heard she received Christ as her Savior while incarcerated. My prayer had been that if it was genuine then she deserved her daughter back if she would love her and give her what she needed. I prayed for God to make this come to pass if that was to be the case.
She had her visit with her and it went fairly well. I made her a photo album of Cati and told her how we prayed for her every single day. The following month she did not show or call for the visit. We never heard anything again.
OK. If at this point you were thinking of taking a break you must not. If your spouse's hand is stuck in the disposal, the damage is already done. So sit tight. The children may look pale and grayish from lack of food while reading this post for the last 30 minutes but just throw them a piece of gum and keep reading. It is too good not to...
Oh, alllll right. I will write about it in the next one.