After meeting Josiah, and hearing the rounds from the doctors, it was determined he could be released that day if: he passed the car seat test. Since we wanted him circumcised, that would also delay discharge for an extra hour or so. WE knew at that point, expected release time would not be until late afternoon. We were also informed that, the very next day, we would have to bring him back to Norfolk for an appointment made for him at Children’s Hospital next door. As we were released, they cautioned us that we must make two appointments for sure: audiologist to check his hearing, and most important to see a cardiologist.
Ray decided he was going to drive home that night, so we went to rent a second vehicle for him to do that. The business, being so new to us, needed him to keep things moving in a good direction.
Josiah got circumcised, passed his car seat test…and we were on our way. Ray and I went back to the house, and he said his goodbyes. That began one of the worst twenty four hours of my life to this point.
The baby did not sleep well, as the circumcision was fresh. Eli and Benjamin by now had had enough of being away from home and they saw their Daddy drive away.
In the am. , we had a great visit with Joanie, then proceeded to the doctor visit. Benjamin had melt down after melt down. Strangers in a strange town were saying loudly, “you are a terrible parent, you need to take charge of your son…” They also were saying mean things to Shyloh as she was calmly trying to keep him safe. The doctor’s visit was more of a health type clinic. Tons of people, packed in like sardines in a waiting room with multiple rooms. Eli was fine until Benjamin kept throwing himself on the floor and crying. Then Eli began to lose it. After a very long wait, and seeing two doctors; one a cardiac specialist …once again the caution…see a cardiologist as soon as the baby gets home…
Gathering the kiddos into the van, with a huge sigh of relief we started to head north and could not find anywhere to stop for lunch… we took a few exits that went into the bushes even though they had the promised big McDonald’s sign at the exit, all we saw was shrubs and trees. Ben is now screaming as was Eli. We stopped twice in ninety miles to get the baby out of the car seat and feed/change or just give him a break… Then I had enough. We pulled off where there was a motel 6 and quit for the night. Since there was a Hardies close, I at least got french fries for Benjamin and all seemed as peaceful as it was going to get.
My nerves were shot from all of Benjamin’s fits, and I was very weak emotionally, and physically…that is when things got even worse…
Something woke me. I cannot even tell you what it was. I believe it was God. The baby was quiet, too quiet…I went over and touched him..he was very still…too still. I stripped off his clothes, no response. He had very shallow breaths. I ran my hands along his length roughly, scraped the bottoms of his feet, ran a warm rag around his face….and a slight response. He looked a bit blue under his bottom lip and his nail beds at the bottom were bluish. And he was not reviving as quick as he needed to. Strong one that I am, I promptly threw up and got the shakes. I could see he was doing a bit better, but not picking up color as good as he should have. I called the agency. I was hysterical, she was saying calm down, I said, “I don’t know if it is safe for him to leave the state, maybe you need a Virginia family!! I was a tad screaming… she asked, “are you disrupting this adoption? “ and I said…”yes, he needs a Virginia family, I don’t know if we can ever get him home.”
Yeah, Go Esther, so strong right?? It was quite humbling how weak I am without the support structure I need…no Ray, not around my pediatricians, nurses and doctors…children struggling….and yeah I was giving up…I was completely terrified and exhausted, and not thinking straight at ALL.
I had called for an ambulance. I had no idea where the closest hospital was, or anything. I called and they came to the door…I could not go with the baby since I had the kiddos in a strange place in a hotel 6 with no adults. I just could not do that to Shyloh. I handed the baby to the EMT and he was insistent someone had to come, but there was no one to go. The baby became Mr. XH; Because no one was there to identify him.
I called Ray, and he said, “ of course we are not disrupting, let’s take one step at a time.” And He called Nicole and set things straight, and our supervisor called him and all was well again with the agency. The hospital called and they wanted me to get down there asap. So I repacked the van with a lot of help from Shyloh, Benjamin was melting down again; put Eli, Ben and Shy in the van and found our way to the hospital. The baby was doing well by now, Benjamin was not. I have never seen my poor son this way. He was hitting, clawing, throwing things, scratching his own face and just a complete puddle …. For about four hours while we waited for admission. AT one point I asked if we could go. I was driving them back to PA and Ray was meeting me and he was going to take the kids back home.
Permission was granted when they saw Benjamin really needed to go. Sooo… back to PA with the kiddos and we had to leave Josiah in a hospital in a city very far from home…
The day ended but not before I joined Benjamin crying on the floor…telling him how sorry I was and so wishing I could fix what I could not…looking myself in the mirror and seeing weakness and not strength, totally crushed; completely humbled and knowing I had lost my way somehow…instead of remembering my source of strength, I had tried to depend on myself and yes these feet are made of clay.