McKenzie's new forever home

In late 2012 / early 2013 my wife wanted a third child, which I was not originally a fan of. After some deep thoughts on the matter I told her I would only do it through adoption.  She had rough pregnancies, and we could give a kid a life that needed one. It took about a year and a half, and in June 2014 we were matched with a 13 month old that we took into our home, and became our son. Love the little guy. He’s actually the most like me of my kids, which are now 9,6,and 5. I can't imagine life without him now.

So, life is going on, and in November we get a phone call from DCF. It turns out bio Mom has a new baby girl (early September birthday) that was removed from the home. They are going through the process of terminating her parental rights, and there is no identified father. So the judge mandated to DCF that they must contact us as a priority placement. So DCF calls and says “Want a new baby girl?”

My immediate gut reaction was “NO. . HELL NO!” But after calming down from the shock factor, and getting bombarded by thoughts from all directions, I was really torn.  

In the end, we asked DCF to assist us with Day Care costs we would move forward.   It took some time of pressing for answers and were finally told “We don’t do that.”.    It was with a heavy heart I decided that risking the financial well being of our family long term outweighed the call to bring her to her brother and into our family.

So in May of this year, I told them we had to unfortunately take a pass on the adoption. My wife took it very hard, and I hoped we would have some closure when she was matched and placed elsewhere. Unfortunately the Guardian Ad Litem on her case contacted us in early July that due to a good number of violations, one of the private contractors for DCF in Hillsborough County was shut down. This essentially fired 30 some odd case managers, and they took all the adoption "specialists" off their cases, and assigned them the work that other entity was doing. All adoptions were put on hold until a new group could hire new case managers, and bring them up to speed to get the old work. The guardian said that it would delay her adoption, and give us the day care voucher longer if we again wanted to move forward.

This just added to my wife's feelings, and fear that the little girl would not be appropriately taken care of, and that she would be even older when she made it to your adoptive family. I still hoped things would work out, keeping my concerns that adding a fourth child to the family was going to add all sorts of stress and conditions on us. I told her I appreciated the call, but we were still unfortunately going to pass at this time without the additional aid for the day care.

Well, another 6 weeks go bye, and my wife keeps telling me that she is having a really hard time letting this go, and she is constantly thinking about her, and where she is going to end up, and she thinks that we made a mistake in turning her away, and this could end up being her biggest regret of her life.

I am really, really torn. Now out of the blue, my nine year old has been on a tear that she wants a baby sister, and keeps asking me. I just felt constantly bombarded.

Well, this past Sunday night, have a long discussion with the wife, where I tell her we can reach out, and see if she was still available, and could look at pursuing. We called the Guardian Ad Litem, and left her a VM to please give us a call to talk.

Monday morning we receive a group text from the Guardian, that while things are on hold, they tentatively have a family they are looking into with background checks. I text the Guardian back privately that my wife is going to be upset to hear that news, and that I guess we missed our window. She replied back to me that what they had was tentative, and that if we were interested, she would still champion us as the best fit. We might have to fight with DCF because we had already said no citing financial concerns, so they may try and block the adoptive process. She asks me if I can confirm we are really all in before she does this, and we have to be fine with the fact that as soon as we adopt her, the day care voucher goes away, and it's on us.

At the same time I am reading this my wife calls me breaking down in tears that we missed our chance, and she just doesn't know what to do she is so upset. I calm her down, tell her I am texting with the Guardian and will see if anything can be done. I text the guardian back that we understand about the voucher, and want to move forward.

About 20 minutes later the Guardian texts back to the group (my wife and I) that she was in court while I was texting her. Specifically, she was in the middle of the little girls check-up hearing. Apparently she read my texts to the judge. She said the judge was the same judge that oversaw our son's adoption 4 years back. She said the judge immediately smiled, said she remembered us, and thought this was great news. Said the judge went on that the thought of bringing sister and brother together in our household "just made her happy". She then ordered DCF to work on a transition plan to move custody to us in a timely manner.

It got really real; really fast.

 . . .. I guess I have 4 kids now.

As a member of the best football message board, some of the members suggested I start a gofundme to help with some of the expenses that come with suddenly having a 1 year old dropped off at the house.   Any funds donated here will go to diapers, day care expenses, and if there is anything left, to remodeling the new room that two sisters will share.


Thank you,
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Thomas Nelson 
Odessa, FL