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FEATURES Jan 17 2013 7:14PM
Lisa and Becca strike a pose on vacation.

Her Name is Becca Carol: Lisa's Journey to Her Daughter

I have always felt that adoption would somehow be a part of my life at some point. I grew up in a home with a mother who decided to adopt six children and then I met my husband and his parents had adopted two and fostered several. It was great to meet someone who shared the same background. So, when we married and started our family, it was always in the back of mind that it would be natural for us to the same, but I just did not know when it would happen. Our first child was Forrest. He was born healthy, strong and beautiful. I fell deeply in love with my son the moment I saw him and knew he would own my heart forever and ever, and after knowing him for four seconds, I could not imagine my life without him in it.

Child number two was, Ennis. He was a "surprise." I found out I was pregnant with him when Forrest was only 10 months old.  I was in shock, but rolled with it and later learned there are no accidents or surprises. God knows what He is doing, always. Ennis was so different from Forrest. They were different pregnancies and Ennis has a very different temperament. I remember wondering what was it going to be like to share my heart with another son. How would that work, and then my baby boy came, and I looked at him, held him and nursed him, and my heart just opened wider—and there was plenty of love to go around. It was Lisa, Gordon and "the boys" for a long time. My boys, 19 months a part, were inseparable. Ennis followed behind his older brother. He could walk at 10 months, because he had to keep up. Forrest helped to potty train Ennis. They loved dinosaurs, Rugrats, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, Mommy's milk and Daddy's tickles. Life was pretty darn perfect.

Then, in 2002, I found out I was pregnant again. I was so happy, over the moon.  I just knew that this would be my baby girl. I told everyone in my life, and I prepared my body and my mind for my baby girl—Carol's Daughter's daughter.  At about 9/10 weeks in, I went to the doctor for a sonogram and found out that my baby had no heart beat—too tiny to even know if she was a she or a he. I did not even know that type of  miscarriage was possible. I always assumed there is pain and spotting or bleeding, but there was nothing. I felt fine. I was instructed to go home and let "her" pass. It would be better for me and my recovery if I let things occur naturally. So, I did just that. I went home and waited for my baby to leave my body. I was alone when it happened and grateful that I was so that I could cry without scaring the boys. I was sad, but the love of my families got me through it. I got lots of hugs, kisses, cards and flowers and though it hurt, I still felt "God is good."

For a long time babies, especially baby girls would make me misty. I would be fine, standing on line in Target, and a baby would coo at her mother, and I would start to cry. Then in 2003, my mother died, and I thought the world was going to end. I had no idea that I could feel that alone with so many people still around me, loving me. I could not comprehend how this woman was no longer in my life and that I was still breathing. The thought was incomprehensible. I prayed, I mourned, and I continued to breathe and to live and eventually thrive.  Time was healing my wounds. There were no pregnancies, no babies and people said that I should go see a specialist if I wanted to have another baby, and I just could not do it.  It felt wrong to take extraordinary measures when I had two beautiful children who were healthy. Maybe that was all I was supposed to have.  So, I asked God to help me to let it go, to help me to move on.

One April morning in 2006, I was asleep and dreaming. My mother visited me in this dream. I had not seen her in my dreams in a long while, and I was so happy.  She leaned into my ear and whispered, "Her name is Becca Carol." And I said, "Who, Mommy." And she said, "Your daughter, now wake up." I woke up in a jolt and thought, "Daughter? I don't have a daughter, and I am not pregnant.  What is Mommy talking about?"  Within a day of that dream, Gordon told me about a friend of his and his wife, trying to adopt a baby. They had been through foster care, they were on waiting lists for various international adoptions and I thought, adoption, maybe now it's time. That must be what Mommy was talking about.

So, the research began.  The universe opened doors and connected me with people whom I had not spoken to in years.  And I started my research.

Adopting a Chinese baby was out of the question for us, and while intriguing, adopting a baby from Ethiopia required a time commitment to travel to Ethiopia at a moment's notice for weeks to make all of the arrangements and with my business, I could not leave the country for that long. Also, the idea of paying so much money to adopt a child, when there are children here who need families, I knew what we needed to do. My mother had gotten my brothers and sisters through the foster care system and so did Gordon's mom and dad. That felt like the right and natural path. I connected with an adoption coordinator at a foster care agency and found out that things had changed in the system since my mother had adopted children. I was told that the law now requires that Foster parents work with birth parents toward reunification. I understood the need for the changes, but did not know, how I could do that. I cannot fall in love with a child, hold her, love her, care for her, let her know she has a mommy who loves her and then let her go. I was honest about how I felt and told the woman I would get back to her.

That July, while on vacation with Gordon and the boys in the Florida Keys, I prayed every day. I asked God to let me know what I was to do. I could not imagine I had been sent on this path for naught. I remember standing in the ocean on July 26 asking Him to please show me how I am to get my baby girl. I wanted the ocean waves to bring her to me to my arms. My message from spirit that day was to have faith. I had to walk in my truth. I took that to mean that regardless of the risk, I have to try.  Mothers never have a guarantee on when their babies will come or how. We wait and we see and we do the best we can to have the best outcome and we have faith and we pray. So, I did. In September I spoke to the woman from the adoption agency. She told me that she had just received an order from a judge to find a pre-adoptive home for a healthy baby girl and she wanted to know if I was still interested.  This baby girl had been abandoned by her mom in the hospital, she was born on July 26, the day I asked God to bring me my baby girl across the ocean waves, and she needed a Mommy. I knew this was my daughter. I knew that this was Becca Carol.

A lot happened between that phone call in September and early December 2006, when Becca Carol came to live with us. Details that I don't feel are correct to share publicly, until Becca herself is old enough to fully understand her story and how God brought her to us, but suffice it to say, it was all good. My family was ready and not ready.  Gordon was nervous and unsure for about 10 days. He was not sure if he was ready or able to be a dad again at almost 50. He did not want to look like Becca's grandfather when she went to preschool. He got past his fears for me. He knew how much I needed and wanted this little girl. I also think he was a little bit afraid that I might follow in my mother's footsteps and that there would be many other children to follow Becca. I assured him, that while I am like my mother in a lot of ways, that was not one of them. The boys were very happy and excited and could not wait for her to live with us. They were helpful with her—very. She could not have asked for better big brothers.

Our daughter went from Baby Girl (her mother's surname) to Becca Carol Price officially on June 18, 2009, just about one month before her third birthday. We were all there, Gordon, Forrest, Ennis, myself and Becca. We welcomed her legally into our family and all of us, except Becca cried that morning in the judge's chambers. Becca is not an easy child.  She is willful, and sassy.  She can be a bully sometimes, and she gets quite a bit of time outs, but I would not change one minute with her or change anything about her. She loves fiercely and as much as she is sassy, she is even more loving and sweet. She is funny and brightens up our lives and our house. She calls me either Momma or Mother.  Most of the time it's Mother, which I find hilarious coming from a 6-year-old, and she has done that since she was 4. She has never called me Mommy. She has been and still is attached to my hip. I am her touchstone. She loves her Daddy, her brothers and her auntie, who lives with us, but there is an intense need she has to know where I am and not be too far away that I can feel, even when I am not with her.

I have recently, in the past year, begun dialog with her about where she came from. She was asking me questions about my "pregnancy" with her, and I did not know how to answer and I did not want to lie about it. So I told her that some mommies grow babies in their stomachs and some grow them in their hearts—and I told her I was the mommy who grew her in her heart. It worked. She could grasp it somewhat. Over time the story has continued and there have been more questions. Once my daughter realized that a heart was too small to hold a baby, I had to explain that there was another Mommy, the one who grew her in her belly. She had so many questions once she realized that there was a whole other person involved whom she has never met, and I had to breathe and stay calm so as not to cry or frighten her. It was one of the most intense conversations I have ever had in my life. But, like everything else, we got through it, and as she matures, I know that I will be able to help her understand who she is and how she came to be. As she tells me all the time, "I know that you love me Mommy, because I came from your heart."

Baby Becca welcomed by her brothers, Ennis and Forrest.

Yes, you did baby girl. From my heart, my prayers, your Daddy's love, Grandma Carol's whispers, my dreams and through the open door your unborn sibling left behind for you to come through. While there are days I ask myself, "What have you gotten yourself into with this little girl?" I cannot imagine life without her in it.  She is my sunshine, my reflection, my mirror, my checks and balances and my strength, because while she is my baby, in some ways she is tougher than her Mommy. My baby don't take no mess, and she will tell it like it IS. So, if you are like me and you want to open your heart to what may seem improbable, unlikely, crazy, impossible, remember, "Her name is Becca Carol."


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