On April 5, 2013, the adoption of a beautiful one year old little boy was finalized in Des Moines, IA. A young couple, who have inspired me with their love and commitment, adopted their nephew, who had been in their custody since he was just a few weeks old.
Kelsey and Jeff were married on June 4, 2011 after many years together. Their marriage was a beautiful celebration of love, which I was – - thankfully – - able to witness through the wonders of technology. I’m certain that if anyone had asked them if they would be the adoptive parents of their nephew less than 2 years later, the answer would have been a resounding, “NO!”
They had only been married 10 months when they and Kelsey’s family received the shock of their lives. I will let Kelsey tell the story from here, in her own words.
My brother, Colby used to be involved with the family (Holidays, birthdays, etc.) but over the last two years, he really steered away from coming around. His excuse was that he was always working, and nobody questioned that, ever. It wasn’t until Christmas of 2011 when we really saw a change in him. He came over, late, on a motorcycle (in the dead of winter), and just wasn’t quite with it. He was falling asleep while sitting on the floor, and his words were slurring pretty bad. I asked him what was wrong and he yelled at me “MYOB!” Yes…those acronyms for “mind your own business”. Keep in mind, he’s 28 years old, not 6. The whole family knew then that there was a deeper issue, and that his “job” he was always working at, was probably related to drugs.
My sister, Jordan, rented a house to Colby and went over in March 2012 to collect rent. When she knocked at the door, a very pregnant woman answered. Shocked, Jordan asked for my brother and was told he wasn’t home. My sister was extremely confused and called my brother, who just then mentioned he had a girlfriend. When Jordan asked if she was pregnant, Colby simply answered “I don’t know..”
I called Colby on April 1st to see how he was doing. I asked him if his girlfriend was pregnant (keep in mind, nobody knew he had a girlfriend until a few weeks ago). He said “yea..” and I asked when the baby was due and he said “yesterday..” I kind of laughed it off and said, “Oh, so she’s past her due date?” and he said, “No, she had him last night.” I thought it was an April Fools joke, but it turns out he was dead serious. Ky was born on March 31, 2012.
On April 7, 2012, my husband and I had traveled to Arizona for business when we received a call from my mom explaining that DHS (Department of Human Services) took the 2 week old baby away from Colby and Tiffany.
DHS received an anonymous call requesting a welfare check on the baby. When the DHS supervisor arrived to their house, she looked through the window and saw Ky on the floor (just a week old) and an Alligator crawling around him. Yes, an Alligator. DHS called the police who knocked the door down to find Colby and Tiffany passed out in their bed.
Anytime DHS is called, they run a background check. When they ran a background check on Colby and Tiffany, they found that Colby had a possession of meth charge on him from 3 months ago, and Tiffany currently had a nationwide warrant out for her arrest for a forgery charge. Colby and Tiffany refused to take a hair test (a way for the state to identify whether or not drug use has been present in the last 6 months). Sometime later, when she did submit to a hair test, her score came back at 22,000. A person who uses meth daily, on a regular basis, has an average hair test score of 7,900. Her test was 22,000….yes….22,000!!
When a child is removed from it’s parents custoday, DHS contacts immediate family first, so my mom was the first one called. Ky went to live with my mom until we knew what the next steps were going to be. That following week, I had to travel to Dallas for work (April 13th). I received a call on the 16th of April. My husband and I were given temporary guardianship of Ky. I left Dallas early on the 16th and Ky and I arrived at my house right at the same time. We became a mom and a dad overnight. Instant and unexpected parenthood.
When I first met Ky (Kyrin is his full name), I was in love and so was Jeff. Of course we were, it was a brand new baby and as everybody knows, they bring such joy into lives. However, we didn’t know that the love for our nephew would grow to be a love for our son.
We heard that we were a possible match for Ky while he was living with my mom for that week. Jeff was a little taken back because he didn’t know anything about being a father. Although, I had never been a mother before, I have nannied and babysat my whole life so I knew what it took, at least. We had a few discussions about it and knew that if he didn’t get to live with us that he would either be in foster care or he would have to live with my parents who are older and just wouldn’t have the ability to raise another child. We of course didn’t want him going to a foster home, and to be honest, we would do this for ANY child, but since it was family, it meant a little more. The decision wasn’t a hard one to make…here was this innocent 1.5 week old baby who didn’t ask to be brought into this world and because of that, the decision was pretty easy to make.
Adjusting to parenthood was difficult at first, but as any new parent’s do, we adjusted and made it work. Jeff and I thought it would put some strain on our marriage because we didn’t have the 9 months to adjust or to plan for a baby coming into our world, and we thought we weren’t ready for that, but the truth is, Ky brought us closer than we ever have been. We had a LOT of support from our family and friends who gave us a lot of things (swing, crib, changing table, bouncy seats, clothes, diapers, bottles, etc.) you name it, they gave it. We even had a friend’s sister who lives in Wisconsin drive down a Chicco car seat and matching stroller for us. There are unbelievably generous people in this world and we are so grateful for each and every person who helped us out along the way. Without the support, I believe it would have been a completely different transition into mother/fatherhood.
The process was extremely long (about a year) for Colby and Tiffany to try to get their son back. The bottom line is, they were still using and didn’t take the necessary steps to get him back. They lost parental rights and we were granted the opportunity to adopt Ky. Because Ky had been with us since he was 2.5 weeks old, our home is the only home he knows. The adoption was finalized on April 5, 2013.
Please join me in congratulating Jeff, Kelsey and Ky on becoming a family. I am so inspired and touched by this family and their kind, generous and giving hearts.
Blessings to you all,