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OK - here goes. We're adopting a daughter and she needs prayers.

post #1 of 414
Thread Starter 
Boy does this confirm for me, once again, that everything happens for a reason or what?

Gary and I had been thinking we needed more space because of the cats. We hadn't traveled in the bus for several years, so we made an appointment to go look at homes.

We saw something like five homes in one day. We couldn't get into three of them because the key didn't work, and the last one was the one we live in now. Gary walked in the door and said "we'll take it!" I agreed. That felt meant to be.

Now, perhaps, I know why!

Just before Thanksgiving Gary helped out some homeless kids. It is a very long sad story, but we ended up becoming very involved with them, putting them up in a motel to get them off the street, hiring a lawyer to help straighten out some legal problems, etc. They were so reluctant at first, I mean, it was difficult to help them. But they want off the street and they're already working odd-jobs around with friends, we're helping them get an apartment....

But they have a friend who lives on the streets of New York City. They asked if they could have her out to visit them at the motel, and we agreed. We didn't meet her when she was first out.

Another long story shortened... it turns out she's a heroine addict. She just turned 19 (yesterday). She was abused as a child and fell in and out of the foster system and ended up in a half-way house at 14. She was abused there, and ran away. Her real parents have since died, and there were no siblings (that she knew of).

Gary has always been very intuitive, and knew "the minute" he met me he was in love with me and wanted to marry me (as we met in 1979 and got married in 1993, he had to wait while we both went our went our ways). Anyway, he met Naomi before I did, and came home and said - I don't know how to say this, but I think we have a daughter. He hadn't discussed adoption with her or anything at that point, he was just relating to me what he felt in his heart.

She's lived a horrible, terrible life, and it's amazing that she's alive. She was lost and forgotten by the system and has been on the streets of NY on her own since 14. She's 4' 11" tall and weighs 84 pounds. She has had to do unspeakable things to support her heroine habit, but after being assaulted several months ago, she's relied on panhandling only.

The person who assaulted her is someone she knew, and she subsequently found out that person has AIDS. We've gotten her to a Doctor, and we will find out the test results at the appointment we have this Wednesday. But our Doctor made it very clear that she is not well (duh), and that she believes that if this little girl doesn't kick heroine and now, no matter what any test results are, she wouldn't survive to Spring.

It's been an intense time for all of us, but we've built a relationship of trust quickly. She has agreed to go into detox (if she's negative or HIV positive, but not full-blown AIDS), and we've moved the Universe to get her a VERY precious bed at a private clinic - it's available to us through this Friday. If she has AIDS, we'll have to figure out what to do from there. As everyone we're working with on this says, just take it one day at a time.

But the bottom line is that Naomi has become our little ray of sunshine. I find it so difficult to imagine that this little girl who has been through so much in her life is still so sweet, so positive, and as incredibly caring about others as she is. She isn't living with us yet, but we do have to be there for the entire detox. We then enter three months of family therapy, and she has committed to a further nine months of individual therapy. We all have a lot of work ahead of us, and we all know that. (We have been through detox with Gary's sister, so we do know what's in store when it comes to that).

She's never been to a museum. She's never been swimming. She's doesn't remember shopping anywhere but little bodegas and army navy surplus stores. She is going to be very needy, and she desperately wants to be cared for, safe, and part of a family. She's been a total loner, and is amazingly well read. But she has no math skills, and her emotional development is that of about an 11-13 year old child.

Gary, who is almost a germophobe, with my help has slowly come around from his original idea of putting her up in an apartment close by after she completes detox to living in the RV next to the house - to turning what we think of as the cat room into her bedroom. Our lives are changing, that's for sure, and thank GOD we have to commit to family therapy, because we're going to need it!

So - I don't even know what to ask for prayers or positive vibes for. That she doesn't have AIDS or that she isn't even HIV positive. That she can survive to make it into detox. That she makes it into detox, and that she successfully survives and completes the program. That we can make good parents. That we can all learn to live together, as a family, and that the transition isn't horrible for her or us. That we won't break her heart. That she won't break ours. That she and the two original kids that introduced to her forgive us, because she is not allowed contact with ANY former friends after she leaves detox (part of the rules of the program).

Like I mentioned earlier, we are following the best advice, which is to take everything one day at a time.

But yesterday was her birthday, and she came out to be with us. We didn't want to overwhelm her, so we just bought a few small things. She said this was the first birthday she's celebrated ever since being on her own, and that it was the only "happy" birthday she can ever remember having.

She's still wearing everything she owns, and insists on heading back to the city every day (she has to in order to support her habit. Docs all say no point in trying to stop this as she's going into a program with support to detox this week). She smells like a homeless person, she looks like a ghost, and she has "Live Free" tatooed across her knuckles. We've had long discussions about just what "living free" really means.

But even though it's not officially legal yet (that'll take nine months to a year unless we can get it expedited), she already owns our hearts, she's already our daughter, and we've made a commitment to her, to be there for her no matter what happens, no matter what the test results - and Gary is terrified that he isn't strong enough to deal with anything other than good news. We are sleep-deprived beyond anything, and with the amount of crying he's done over the past few weeks (not too much of it in front of Naomi), he could fill rivers with his tears.

She (and we) could really use your prayers and positive vibes.

She did let us take one pic. She "prettied herself" up, and removed all of her many, many piercings for it. The pic makes her look SO MUCH better than she actually does - fatter, fuller - but believe me, she is the very definition of "waif."

Naomi - you HAVE to make it! You HAVE to be OK!
post #2 of 414
Laurie & Gary,

What can I say! What a wonderful thing you two are doing. You are all in my thoughts that this will work out well. Best of luck to her, with restarting her life.

post #3 of 414
I'm overwhelmed, and really don't know what to say, except that I really hope this works out the way you all wish it to. Bless you for giving this girl a chance.
post #4 of 414
Wow. What a story... that's so great that you're helping this girl out and I hope everything goes well. Good luck to all of you, and please, keep us updated!
post #5 of 414
Laurie, you and Gary and this sweet girl will all be in my thoughts and prayers for a long time to come! Please keep us updated on how things are going, ok?
post #6 of 414
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by pinkdaisy226
Wow. What a story... that's so great that you're helping this girl out and I hope everything goes well. Good luck to all of you, and please, keep us updated!
First of all, I thank everyone that sends good wishes her way!!!!!!!!!! Boy does she need them!

And as to keeping you updated - Apart from being out of touch during detox if we make it there and through it, I expect there won't be much else going on in our lives for quite a while! (Though we are in the middle of getting new licenses so that we can get back to work! And we are going back to work for our old firm, and we're finalizing contracts now. *Phew*!)
post #7 of 414
Oh, goodness. Honey, you, your husband, and most of all that sweet face in that picture are all in my thoughts. I hope everything comes out well for her, and for you, and that she makes it clean alright. getting there though, is only half the battle. Staying there is the other half. Fingers crossed for you, and my heart goes out to you and your new daughter, and all that she can be if she can just get over this last big hill. Have her read white oleander, or you ought to, one. It may speak to you both.
post #8 of 414
Naomi = "my delight"

"The name may mean "my joy," "my bliss," but is perhaps better explained according to the traditional interpretation as "the pleasant one.""

Best wishes and prayers for your daughter.
(I know she's 19, but her hard life has left her needy--almost as needy as a newborn. Expect long nights and lots of crying. But smiles too...)
post #9 of 414
Wow Laurie...I don't know what do say other than my heart is just full thinking about how wonderful you and Gary have been for Naomi. You two are such rescuers at heart. I only wish all of you the absolute best in the world, and of course you have my thoughts and prayers for everything you asked for and more.
post #10 of 414
Laurie and Gary,

What an inspiring story. I wish nothing but the best postive vibes for you and Naomi. You two are truly amazing people for what you are doing to help these kids. I hope everything works out for your 'family'.
post #11 of 414
Bless you two for reaching out a helping hand and offering the love of family to a girl in need. I'm praying that she will be OK, and that things will work out for all of you.
post #12 of 414
Wow Laurie, you and Gary are truly amazing people not only to adopt a child, but one who's life has been so troubled. Naomi is blessed to have you two in her life; God really does move in mysterious ways. If you were still living in the RV and hadn't started helping homeless kids, who knows where she would end up.

My prayers are with you, Gary and Naomi, that everything goes well and you have a wonderful *long* life together.
post #13 of 414
Laurie, your and Gary's generosity, love and spirit have me sitting here in tears. You two definately are angels.

Sending lots of good news and good health vibes for Naomi, Gary and you. Please, let us know how things are going.
post #14 of 414
Look... I honestly, do not know what to say... but LDG, your post filled me with tears and has melted my heart into such a state that I do not remember feeling like this any time recently.

I can't even start to say what you and Gary are... lets just say you are true angels. I look foward to someday meeting you. You are true heroes. May God help Naomi on her struggle to get to a better life.
post #15 of 414
I wish the best for all of you.
post #16 of 414
My prayers for your wonderful family Lauren.
post #17 of 414
Wow, words alone can not express how great you two are. I really hope everything goes the way you hope and plan. I will hope as hard as possible that she is HIV and AIDS negative. Please do keep us updated, and if you ever need recipes for home cooked meals we are all here definately! BTW, what size clothes does she wear? I have two garbage bags full of clothing that is WAY to small for me, from when I was skinny and wore smalls and some mediums. If she needs any of it I can go through it and see what might fit her.
post #18 of 414
I'm speechless, Laurie! What a wonderful thing you are doing for this little sweetie. Many thoughts and prayers coming your way. I do hope it all works out well for all of you. We'll wait eagerly for updates as and when you can, but of course understand that you'll be rather engrossed in this commitment.
post #19 of 414
My cup runneth over...stories like yours restore my faith in mankind.
post #20 of 414
Wow, what a wonderful thing you are doing for a stranger. This may be harsh, but have you done a background check on her?

I have my experience with drug addicts as my own son was one for over 10 years. He would say anything to elicit pity from others to get money or things he could sell for drugs. He stole my car, computer, family heirlooms, anything that could be sold or traded. He wrote checks against my checking account forging my and my husbands names.

Please, please be very careful as my son also brough other people into my home to steal from me. Make sure she has been telling the truth about her history, check with the police department in the city she is from as well.

I hope everything turns out well. I just fear for you and your husband's safety.
post #21 of 414
Well I'm puddling up...I have such respect for your honesty, your courage to open your hearts so, and I can only say God bless you - all 3.
I do believe things happen for a reason, and I hope that for Naomi, it's to have the support and unexpected but so needed love to kick this, to change so she can live. She's a pretty girl, but I see such tiredness...it looks soul & bone deep.
post #22 of 414
You are both so kind and are angels.
I see lots of people with heroin up the street here in frankfurt right outside the mainstation and i see them jabbing those needles into their arms and how skinny and boney they are. And it is hard because nobody wants to help them and then it seems like they dont want help anyway.

Naomi looks very sweet. But i would do just a backround check up on her too just to make sure. It just breaks my heart as i am 19 this year and she isnt so much older than me and how she be pulled so far down with drugs

But apparently people who are on heroin have a better chance to quit compared to alcoholocs.
I wish you all the best
and all the positive vibes
post #23 of 414
Wow, you and Gary really are special. I was thinking along the lines of Dragon Lady and a few others. Be cautious, and I am sending all the best that everything works out for you, Gary, and Naomi.
post #24 of 414
Laurie, please be a bit careful about your emotional investment in this situation. As I said in my last post, I'm overwhelmed by your commitment, but --- having been in a very similar situation 14 years ago, and knowing others who also made the effort, I think you really have to "steel yourself", because all your hopes and efforts could come to nought. I sincerely hope they won't, but the possibility is there. My husband and I, plus another couple (a co-worker and her husband), took a heroin addict under our wing, and invested an awful lot of emotion and hope in her. Yvonne went through drug rehab 3 times, and was "clean" for over two years, and went back to school. Everything seemed to be going well until her ex-husband was released from prison. He was out for just a few months, and Yvonne was back on drugs, prostituting herself and committing thefts. She got pregnant, and had a back-street abortion in Holland. To make a long story short, she developed septicemia, and died. This is a story I don't tell people, because I always feel like such a failure, but I think you have to be prepared for all eventualities.
I'm not saying don't try, just that no matter how much you want things to work out, there's always the possibility that they won't. I think the only thing that the four of us managed to convey to Yvonne was that somebody cared. I hope that at least meant something.
post #25 of 414
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
My cup runneth over...stories like yours restore my faith in mankind.
Ahh, iwas going to say the same thing...

God Bless you, and best wishes!
post #26 of 414
It's a wonderful thing that you and Gary are doing for Naomi.

Please tread carefully. I don't want to put a downer on your act of generosity. Nor do I want to discourage you. I guess I don't wat to see you or Gary hurt.

I really do hope for a happy ending for you all, especially in a world as such. I hope that you never return to your home to find belongings missing or worse.

Naomi does look pretty, though she looks older than what I feel at times.

I hope everything turns out to be what you wish for.
post #27 of 414
You and Gary are two wonderful human beings. The others are right sadly and many don't make it through this whole process. It will take a lot of time and effort. But, please do know that you at least tried when no one else would have for her. She at least knows she is loved now. Good luck. I'll say a prayer for you!
post #28 of 414
Wow,,I have just had to contain my tears of joy. Joy at learning that people like the two of you do exist. You are the most amazingly selfless people. I am so taken aback by your acts of generosity. I hope that I can make just a fourth of the difference that you guys make. Congrats and God Bless. I am honored just to be a member of a forum with such amazingly wonderful people. On a more warning note: I am studying school psychology and have counseled abuse victims and addicts. Be careful and patient. Remember that no matter what sweet Naomi has been through she still has a strong sense of pride I am sure. It will be hard dealing with this in small strides. And ofcourse you do not want to strip her of this pride but rather re-focus it in a more positive manner. All she knows is the life she's had and she probably feels like she is the object of your pity. Teach her to love herself and then everything else will come with time,,,GOOD LUCK,,and May God be with you through this awesome journey!
--With all my deepest prayers----Stevie
post #29 of 414
As someone who years ago tried to help a down- and-out mom and her kid, by taking them into my home, giving them clothes and food and getting the mom a job, my reward for my efforts was Wanda stealing me blind one afternoon, taking off with all my money I kept in my home, most of my food, stealing my car and taking my ATM card. It was months before I sorted out the mess left behind. So be careful, heroine is not an easy drug to kick, and there will be ugly moods and fights along the way-

Hope it turns out to be everything you wish it to be and not your worst nightmare~
post #30 of 414
Hissy and the others are wise to offer caution. In the end, she has to want to be free from drugs. It is not enough for you, your husband, or others (including all of us at TCS) to want that.

At least you're giving her the opportunity. I hope she takes it. Best wishes and do be careful...
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