Can we keep her?

"Can we keep her?" was all I heard all weekend.   "Mamma, can we please keep her?" was the question my youngest, Josie, would repeat.  Not only did she ask me during the day but she  woke  me in the middle of the night to ask same question. "Mamma, can we please keep her?"   I would give her the only answer I had at the time and that was...."this is just for the weekend." The same answer I had given her every time she asked.    In that 10 year olds mind that was not a good enough answer. It was not the answer she wanted to hear.  But it was truly the only answer that I could give.  Because it was only for the weekend.

Let me back up and give you a little insight to the Whelchel family.    Husband Dave and I had adopted 4 siblings through the foster care system. Add in our two biological children and we had a total of 6 children.  Josie was the youngest of the adopted children, the baby of the family.

You see Josie was very excited to find out she had a baby sister.   Her 1/2 sister. The 1/2 sister of all of the adopted children.  To make a long story short, we were contacted by the children's biological grandma.  She explained that the there was a baby born that was the children's half sister and she was in foster care  about 35 minutes from us.    A quick call to the state did reveal that their mother had indeed had another baby in foster care.  I was told that the foster family was interested in adopting her. 

After the conversation with the caseworker I was relieved to know that the baby had a permanent placement.   I told her that if at anytime the family needed daycare or respite to let us know we would be glad to help.  A couple days later the phone rang and it was the caseworker.   She explained that the family needed to have respite for the weekend. Would we be interested in taking care of  her?  Well, of  COURSE!  Then the case worker said," I need to disclose to you that the baby is 1/2 black."  My response was, "okay?"  She went on to say, "It makes a difference to some people,  so we have to disclose that information."  I just laughed and said,  "Well, that sure does not matter to us. a baby is a baby."  (I mean really!)

We were all excited and could not wait until Friday afternoon came around so we could go pick her up.   Well maybe everyone but  Dave.  Dave kept saying all the way into town,  "We are not keeping her right?"  "We do not need another baby."  I reassured Dave over and over, "It is just for the weekend."

When we got to the house and saw that precious beautiful baby,  Dave, I repeat Dave,  was the first one to pick her up. The same man that kept saying,  "We are not keeping her, right?"  Dave carried her to the car, leaving me to carry all the baby supplies.  After I lugged the car seat and diaper bag to the car, I finally got to hold her long enough place her in the car seat.

We all fell in love with her!  Josie especially  was taken by her, hence the repeated questions morning, noon and night.  "Mamma can we keep her?"

Monday rolled around and we knew we would have to take her back to her foster/adoptive family later that afternoon.  We were all dreading her return but we were happy that we got to spend time with her.  The phone ran that morning and it was the caseworker.  I assumed she wanted to see how the weekend went.   I was shocked to be asked if we had any interest in keeping her.  What?   Apparently,  the other family had some problems arise and they were not sure that an adoption was possible at that time.  What?   It took me two seconds to answer yes, yes, yes!!!!!

 Kayleigh never left our house after that weekend.  She is now 8 years old and an absolute joy!  (well most of the time, LOL)  We cannot imagine life without her!

Josie was excited to get to keep her baby sister. Well, until..... A month had passed and she missed being the baby of the family and asked,  "  Mamma, do we have to keep her?'

Nebraska Prairie Girl


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