This is the day things got real. This is the day that I adopted the most loving, cute, charismatic, smart, polite, outgoing and affectionate little boy: Jayden Tazz!! This was June 29, 2015.
|The judge who granted the adoption on June 29, 2015 - My mom and Snooty (my niece) attended|
Jayden's story has a horrible beginning prior to him entering my life. Jayden was a product of date rape. At 2 months old, he was detained from his birth mother because of multiple rib fractures, (12 rib fractures) and a hematoma. His birth mother’s boyfriend denied hitting him or knowing how he got hurt. His birth father was presumed to be in jail. Because of the physical abuse he received from his mother or mother’s boyfriend, he had hydrocephalus which is water in the brain. He has a shunt in place that drains the water and it goes to his spine and disappears. At 2 months old, he was taken away from his birth mother and placed in foster care. Parental rights were terminated. From the time he was 2 months old, he lived in a medical facility because of hematoma and shunt in his brain. This is also called a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
I had started the adoption process in 2011 by attending an orientation class. You only have 6 months after you attend orientation to submit paperwork to get a Community Care license. You need this license in order to adopt/foster any child through DCFS. Well, because I was a procrastinator, then I got sick with bronchitis, I had to re-take the orientation class in 2012. Jayden was placed in Foster care in January 2012. So, 2012 was the real beginning of me actually starting the adoption process. There are a lot of things you have to go through to adopt through DCFS. You have orientation, have to take several classes (PS-MAPP), get First Aid and CPR trained, get TB shots, FBI scans, have home inspections, meet with several social workers, school advocates, lawyers, etc. I had no idea what having a child with a TBI really meant, so I had to take medical classes. It was a lot! But, when you really want a child, you do what you have to do.
Initially, I wanted a baby. But, there are so many people on the waiting list that want to adopt a baby, that I would have been waiting forever. I was told that I should raise my age limit, so I put down that I would take a child from 0-2. At the time that I was contacted about Jayden (October 8, 2014 to be exact), he was 2 years old. So, this was perfect!!
I finally got to meet him on November 14, 2014. His birthday is November 4, so I took him cupcakes to celebrate his 3rd birthday. I was so excited!
|The first time I met Jayden|
After I met Jayden on November 14, he spent 4 days with me over the Thanksgiving holiday, and he was permanently placed with me on December 5, 2014. My life hasn't been the same since. Now, it has been a roller coaster! I didn't truly know what it meant to have a child with "special needs." To me, Jayden was just like any other child, so I treated him as such. Also, imagine a 3 year old that has never been disciplined, told no, and has been able to do whatever he wants to do without any consequences. That would be Jayden. The first couple of years were tough. And, I don't associate it with his TBI. This is a result of lack of discipline. And, I don't mean physical discipline...I mean being told no, having consequences for bad behavior, being put in time out, etc. I'm not gonna lie - there were a couple of times that I didn't know if I could handle it. Thank God, my best friend Quencie, was heavily involved. I don't think I could have done it without her. All of my family is back in Memphis, and we live in Los Angeles. So, Quencie was my true back bone. She is affectionately known to Jayden as Tee Tee and is also his Godmother. We came together as a tag team. So in the areas where I lacked, she definitely picked up the pieces.
|Quencie, Jayden and I (Tam)|
What I also love is that Jayden instantly clicked my family. He was placed with me on December 5, and was on his first plane ride to Memphis for Christmas. My mom adores him and he adores her. My whole family LOVES him!! It was absolutely meant to be. It was like he's been with us since the very beginning.
Jayden has come a very long way. He still has therapy (occupational) because he has to play catch up and is a little behind with other kids his age. But upon meeting him, you will fall in love. There are no signs of him having such a traumatic experience as a baby. You would never know that he has a shunt in his brain. He is a very special and loving little boy who will do great things in life! I am forever BLESSED!!