For my husband's sake, I have not delved into detail about the major "why" behind our rejected Home Study back in January. But the time has come to talk about this, because last night I was absolutely flabbergasted by just how insensitive and cruel a group of "volunteer" firemen could be.
On January 26th, 2010, my DH was arrested. Long story short, his volunteer fire company accused him of stealing money from the banquet hall account, which he had been in charge of. (What actually happened is that the money was put into a money market in another bank, to yield a higher interest.) The town cops came to "speak" to my DH about the allegations, and then with no warning, arrested him. We got him out on bail that same evening, but our world was literally flipped upside down. (That night, I had my first out of body experience. It was not good.) Our Home Study was rejected with our adoption agency, and then when I looked into Foster Care, they couldn't even let us proceed because the situation is current.
If your mouth is gaping yet, close it back up, because it's about to get a whole lot worse.
The firemen went on to ask my FIL (current President of the fire company) to step down as President, so that none other than P. Me.lick could take over as President. PM was the one behind this entire thing, which we have learned is largely POLITICAL in nature. PM is a Town Committeeman, while his father Geo.rge is a Freeholder. Then, on February 11, 2010, another fun surprise: On the FRONT PAGE of two County papers, is an article about the situation!!! Apparently the fire company had taken a vote on whether or not to put it in the paper, and the vote was "yes." So there, for our entire community to see (including DH's business clients, my NaPro Dr, my supervisor and co-workers, all my clients, and anyone coming to our Infertility Support Group in the Diocese) was an article, mentioning DH by name, his father by name, misrepresenting information about DH (stating he was a member for only 2 years when it was actually 6), and then going on to QUOTE P. F'ing Mel.ick, "Town Committeeman" Extraordinaire.
We were crushed. Twice. Once with the Home Study rejection, and twice with the humiliation-factor. (Not to mention we got wind of many horrible rumors spreading about DH all over town by G. Mel.ick.)
But DH's lawyer quickly looked into something called PTI - pre-trial intervention. PTI is basically a way to "settle" affairs like this without muckying up the court system with MEANINGLESS B.S, therefore this situation was a perfect candidate for it. It would mean that 1.5 years after PTI was obtained, this would not be on DH's permanent record. Finally, a glimmer of hope for us!! In about 2 years, we "may" be able to start all over with adoption!! Hey, not much, but it's something!!
Well, the fire company caught wind of this, and THEY (or maybe a certain TWO members) decided to write a letter to the D.A. asking them to not offer DH PTI, because they didn't feel it was a "harsh enough punishment." Not harsh enough?? Are you kidding me?? Being ARRESTED for opening an account to earn more money FOR the fire company, and subsequently being rejected on your ability to adopt isn't harsh enough???
(Close that mouth again, there's more.)
I decided something had to be done. Because DH was forbidden by his lawyer to speak to anyone in the fire company, I stepped up to the plate. I wrote a letter to the Oldwick Fire Company, Oldwick, New Jersey, which my FIL presented to them last night, in the hopes of having them re-vote to rescind their decision.
Below is my letter:
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is TCIE. I am R's wife of four years, and these four years have been both the best and the worst of my life. They have been the best because I have had the amazing privilege to be married to one of the best men I’ve ever known- generous, selfless, charitable, dedicated, loving, and forgiving, this is the man I married in R.
But these four years have been the worst of my life for many other reasons.
When R and I got married in August 2006, we were so excited to start our family right away. My ultimate goal and calling in life is to be a mother. I knew this from the time I was a young child, and even graduating Valedictorian from my High School and graduating cum laude from Middlebury College with the world at my fingertips, I still knew in my heart that what I most wanted to accomplish in life was motherhood.
So when I did not become pregnant right away after our wedding, just as my mother, grandmother, and sister had before me, I immediately became concerned. We sought help for my health issues in November 2006, and have been seeing countless Drs all over the country ever since. That is almost FOUR YEARS of Dr’s appointments, invasive tests, blood draws, ultrasounds, surgeries (I’ve had three), and procedures. All the while my amazing husband has been by my side, more supportive than any husband could be. You see, our infertility is completely on my part. It is my body that cannot conceive. And it kills R that he can’t do anything to change that.
Luckily there was a silver, no scratch that, GOLDEN lining. We had always planned to adopt, even before we got married. We assumed we would adopt our youngest child after having biological children. But our infertility steered us to begin the adoption process sooner than we had originally planned.
And so we began. We filled out piles and piles of paperwork. We got fingerprinted. We had blood tests and urine tests. We compiled several letters of recommendation from friends and neighbors. We sat through long interviews with our Social Worker, where very personal questions were asked of us. The entire process was just as invasive as our infertility treatments and tests had been, and left us just as exhausted- mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. We were literally at the end of our rope when the end of our 6-month Home Study was drawing to an end. There was finally an end in sight! Once we were Home Study approved, we would officially be “waiting” to be matched and placed with OUR CHILD!! We would be “pregnant on paper.” We would be parents, in just a matter of time. All of the waiting, all of the testing, all of the pain and suffering would be so worth it.
And then came R’s arrest, January 26th, 2010.
At first, we felt completely defeated. This was it. Our Home Study was rejected. We would never again have the opportunity to adopt a child. After four years of never conceiving, and being told by 9 different Drs that we have less than a 2% chance of conceiving, there was no hope left that we would ever become parents. Ever. In any way.
But in answer to fervent prayer, God gave us a glimmer of hope where all hope was lost. Pre-Trial Intervention, PTI. It meant that after a certain amount of time, R’s permanent record would not be tainted, and we may once again be able to pursue adoption, and he would finally be able to make me a mother and finally become a father himself. We hesitantly put all our eggs in the PTI basket… because there was literally nowhere else to put them.
And now? We are being threatened once again with a future of childlessness.
Gentlemen, I urge you not to do this to us. Your decision will not only affect R, but will affect my life, and affect it DRASTICALLY. I ask you to remember the day your wife became a mother for the first time- remember the look on her face as she stared at the tiny face of her child- the tears in her eyes – the joy in her smile. Remember how your joy of being a father for the first time was magnified by the joy of seeing just how fulfilled, just how complete your wife looked in her perfect new role as “mommy.”
R is sorry and remorseful. He knows that he made some poor choices, and he wishes he had the opportunity to speak with you all himself. However, he is under strict advisement from his attorney to not discuss the matter at all. He will be returning all funds to the fire company, and PTI will require him to do this, as well. Ask yourselves if the alleged crime is worth ruining two young people’s lives. Ask yourselves if you could endure seeing the joy of parenthood (or the joy of the promise of parenthood) ripped away from two people who value life so much that they have devoted their lives to helping and serving others’ lives. I find it difficult to believe such honorable gentlemen who volunteer their time for their community could make such a decision.
Our immense suffering has lasted four years already. Give us a chance to move on with our lives. Please, don’t make our suffering last a lifetime.
My FIL spoke briefly after presenting the letter to them, telling them that he hopes for the opportunity to have grandchildren through his only son, so that his family name may be carried on.
And after asking my FIL to leave so that they could "discuss" the matter, a vote of 14-4 remained in favor of prolonging our suffering over a lifetime.
....Aaaaaaaaand NOW you may insert the expletives.
I am mostly upset that these animals (let's face it, they are not the "gentlemen" I presume to address them as in the letter) could read this heartfelt letter from a young woman they have NO personal, political, or any other connection to, and could still be so blatantly VISCIOUS. Am I wrong? Is this not the most cruel and unusual thing you've ever heard of??
I know that publishing this on my blog will not do much of anything, except inform my readers of what's been going on. What I really want to do is get THIS in the county papers, but I will wait for advisement from DH's lawyer (who is on vacation for another week).
I am dumbfounded. I truly am. I may have failed to mention that a) DH and FIL built the fire company their brand new building for NO profit, b) the member that decided to go "tattle" to the Me.licks instead of asking DH straight out what happened with the $$ was the same guy who wrote one of our adoption reference letters, and c) DH's bff from childhood is the son of a VERY prominent NJ woman, who has never politically supported the Mel.icks.
We prayed a rosary last night, me, DH, and MIL, while my FIL was presenting the letter. Sorry, Prayer Buddy, but last night's prayers were for us. Apparently, it doesn't matter if I'm praying for us or if other people do, because prayers offered for our intentions never seem to be answered.