Levi and Khloe came into our lives in April 2009. Khloe came straight from the hospital where she was being treated for strangulation to the point of her limbs turning blue, and Levi came from a friend of the family’s where he had been starved for days. Khloe quit breathing on us the very first weekend we had her and we had to call 911. They were able to get her vitals back at the house and thankfully we had very little problems with Khloe after that as far as medical issues.
Levi on the other hand, came to us at 16 months old and 9 month old clothing was falling off of him. He had bald spots all over his head from being neglected and an extended tummy from being starved. He could not walk, talk, or even crawl at 16 months. This is not what we had signed up for…. or so we thought. Integrating them in to our home was a challenge at times because even at such a young age both were in survivor mode. Swaddling and cuddling didn’t help calm Levi as he was used to bad touch or no touch at all. We went through surgeries and bad news, one after another, from doctors who said his prognosis was not good. All the while, however, we chose to believe our God is greater!!!
A year into the case, CPS decided they wanted to terminate parental rights and Levi and Khloe’s court advocates were on board as well. We had not yet decided we wanted to adopt, but at this point could not see our lives without these 2 beautiful children either. Also at this time, however, their biological parents suddenly decided they wanted to fight for their children and get them back. The judge granted an extension on the case, biological parents started to complete their services and it looked grim that we would be able to adopt these children after all. This was very painful as by this point we had decided we indeed did want to adopt. After a year and a half of bonding with the children and emotional ups and downs, we headed for a termination hearing. We started with mediation on 3 different occasions and didn’t get very far.
When we thought all options had been exhausted, including us, their birth mom relinquished her rights because she felt like we were the better family after hearing us talk about the children and how much we loved them. Khloe’s father had criminal charges against him for her strangulation so his attorney recommended he do the same as he would not be able to achieve custody of his daughter. The whole story seemed like a happy ending but then Levi’s father, who had no idea he was his father until 2 months before trial, decided that he wanted his only son. The court and attorneys had no objection to this and we were devastated. We began to speak to him concerning all of Levi’s medical issues to start the transition and better help him understand Levi’s needs. During this process, he decided as well that he could not remove his son from us as we were his parents. We had built a relationship with him where he was able to see that he could trust us with his son and with a custody agreement.
We still have contact today with Levi’s father and the relationship is great! After 2 and half years of prayers, crying, and patience (that we didn’t even know we had) we consummated the adoption of Levi and Khloeon September 16, 2011. It was one of the best days of our lives. We had never planned on adopting and did not get into foster care to adopt, but God knew what we needed even when we didn’t. He knows where all of our children are and in His timing He gives them to us. It’s a beautiful thing to know our children and lives are in His hands. By the way… almost all of Levi’s medical issues have been healed and are gone!!! Praise God!!!!!