My Family

If you are new to this blog and want to read the entire story chronologically - please start in January with "Our Story, Part 1"

Friday, February 26, 2010

Our Story, Part 33 - Ava

Do you ever have those moments that feel surreal, like you are watching yourself from another vantage point? The rest of New Year’s Eve was like that for me. Ruth was living in a Logan, (about a 45 minute drive from where we lived at the time), so after I talked with Mykel and made arrangements for the boys, I finished getting ready and was on my way within about 15 minutes after the phone call. During the quiet drive to Logan I had time to reflect on the enormity of the entire situation. I had just barely come to terms with the reality that I would only be having the three boys, especially after the finality of a hysterectomy. I had given away every baby thing I owned; I didn’t have a crib, car seat, high chair or anything anymore, and I especially didn’t have any baby girl clothes. But those were the least of my worries.

I had no idea what the situation was with Ruth’s husband. I only knew that she didn’t invite him to the birth and that he had only seen the baby on two occasions since she was born, I also knew they were in the middle of a divorce. I had no idea if he knew I was on my way to pick up his little girl or what his thoughts were on the subject. As with the prior three adoptions, all the children were placed in my care without relinquishment paperwork signed, so Ruth (or the birth father) had the legal right to come and take the baby back at any time. Mykel and I were just assigned guardianship (basically baby-sitting).

The first night with Ava

When I arrived at Ruth and Valorie’s apartment I started shaking again, I was so nervous! I had no idea what I was going to say, (what do you really say in this type of situation?) words are basically worthless.

When I walked in the apartment I could see Ruth folding baby clothes and packing the diaper bag. We talked about the baby’s schedule, what she liked and didn’t like, how she liked to sleep, how often she ate, etc. it was all very informal and casual (even though I was still shaking like crazy).

A year prior when Ruth and I met that day in the lounge of the hospital and had the two hour talk, I had asked her what she intended to name the baby. She said “Ava.” The name actually took me a while to warm up to, but then I came to love it. So during the time that I was driving Ruth to and from her doctor appointments, and when we would discuss the baby with the boys, we always referred to her as “Ava.”

Ava's first morning with us

When Ruth had the baby she decided to name her Skylynne Dawn; her mom told me once it was because the reflection of the Sky in her eyes when she was born (I think having to do with the time she was born or something like that). Anyway, for the past 10 months the baby had been called “Skye” (she is half Native-American descent). When we referred to the baby at home, we always called her “Ava” (we ended up naming her “Ava Skye”).

I was only at Ruth and Valorie’s house for about 20-30 minutes before everything was ready for me to leave. Ruth put Ava in her car seat while I took her belongings to my car. When I came back up to the apartment I didn’t know what to say or how to say goodbye. I asked Ruth if she wanted time alone with her or if she would like to walk with me to my car. She said her goodbyes.... and then I took Ava with me.

About a week after her arrival - she is so adorable!

I was still in that completely surreal state, I felt numb, scared, and overwhelmed. I got Ava’s car seat all buckled and I started the drive home. I knew Mykel was anxious to see us and I was so excited for the boys to see their sister again! I had only been driving for about 15 minutes when she started crying. I pulled over at a gas station to get some warm water and make her a bottle. I still remember holding her and feeding her while I sat in my car, it was one of those moments I will always cherish. I was in love with her already.


  1. I actually wondered how you chose the name Ava...I love it. I am eating up your totally amazes me.

  2. Camille,

    You are AMAZING!! I've enjoyed reading your story. I actually wait for awhile before coming back to your blog so that there are many posts to read all at once. That way I don't have to wait! You are a great writer and I'm impressed by your strength and faith. Your children look so much like you and Mykel...they are definitely yours! :)

  3. April and Shawn,
    Thank you so much for posting comments (and for posting POSITIVE comments!) I stress so much about sharing this story, so your comments really help me keep going!