"Well, it's about time. What TOOK them so long to find me?"
All of the best adoption stories are worth the wait, and little Levi's is no exception. It begins about a week ago, when suddenly and inexplicably (other than he's so darn cute) my e-mail box began blowing up with a ridiculous number of requests to meet Levi.
"Of course they want the Levi. They ALL want the Levi.
Just look at how charming and debonair the Levi can be!"
Well, out of five strong and supposedly super-interested contacts (people who sent messages for days on end no less), three were no shows and a fourth kept me waiting for 45 minutes past our meeting time. Quick Sidenote: If people are expecting you, pick up a phone or send a quick message. I don't care if that person is a complete stranger, a volunteer, or being paid for their time. They definitely have something better to do than wait around for you. And the kitten that you would have killed for 24 hours earlier deserved better than to be trotted out in a snowstorm only to sit and wait for nothing... Okay, that wasn't quite so quick. But this irritates the life out of me and happens more often than you might think. End rant.
"Yeah... Levi gets bored just waiting around, don't you know!"
The fifth contact wanted Levi desperately, but probably stood the least chance going into the adoption day. The supposed throng of admirers was due to show up at noon on Saturday and our last admirer worked until 3. If a great family showed up before then, I would have sent him home by then. But great fortune (perhaps in the form of rude people) intervened.
The gentleman had asked earlier if he could call Saturday afternoon to see if Levi was still available, and if Levi was still around the man promised to do everything he could to leave work early and bring his family out to the store as soon as possible. My cell rang at 2:05 p.m. and the conversation went something like this:
Potential Adopter: Is Levi still available?
Me: He is still available. Would you still like to come out and meet him?
Potential Adopter: Yes! I can leave work in a few minutes. I just need to run home and pick up my wife first. I'm working in Romeo (editor note: a small community about 18 miles away from the store) and the house is at (redacted intersection of two main roads along the way). We can probably be there right before 3, if that's okay with you.
Me: You live at (redacted intersection of two main roads along the way)?? I live at (redacted intersection of two main roads along the way)!
Potential Adopter: No kidding. Which neighborhood do you live in? We live in (name of subdivision).
Me: We live there too! Which street do you live on? I live on (name of road which happens to be the main boulevard through the neighborhood).
Potential Adopter: WE live on (name of same road)!
The conversation continued as we discovered that this family lives just down the street from me. Our children attend the same elementary school, ride the same bus home in the afternoon, and even attend the same after school program together twice a month. Their son is aware of who my daughter is, but since she is a gregarious and crazy-loud 6th grade girl and he is a very quiet and shy 4th grade boy... she hadn't really noticed him yet while she was apparently difficult to miss.
Needless to say, we skipped the store visit entirely. I told him to stay at work for the afternoon and bring the family down to meet Levi that evening. Also needless to say, the meet-and-greet was a smashing success.
The family asked if they could leave Levi with me for the rest of the weekend in order to prepare the house for his invasion. The original plan was for them to stop by Monday after school to bring him home. And then I got another phone call Sunday night... They couldn't wait any longer for their boy. Would it be okay if they came by and got him right now?
Meet my new (down the street) neighbor.
This adoption story is a good luck tale all the way around. Levi's new family got lucky that none of the other families showed up on Saturday. Levi got lucky in that the perfect family was waiting for him all along. And I got so exceptionally lucky that I can be so close by while he grows up.
I've come to dearly love this boy during the past couple of weeks. Don't get me wrong, I've always loved him. But those of you who foster know that sometimes when you're left with a singleton, they show you personality traits that you may have never noticed before or loads of love that they normally reserve for their siblings. Once Grizzly, Bear, and Misty moved out, our previously stand-offish, independent little Levi became snuggly, friendly, and amazingly charming and extroverted. He just needed a little space to shine... and shine he did. I'll admit that it hurt my heart a bit to give him up. But knowing where he is more than makes up for it.
And if he gets a little bored and lonely at home, he knows where to find me... and how to get out to see me.
(Blogger is having bugs with uploading video as I write. If the video does not play, you'll just have to click the link to see the amazing levitating Levi instead.)
Update: Levi continues to amaze and charm his new family. They called last night to let me know how well he is adjusting (actually, he doesn't seem to have needed an adjustment period... he moved right in and claimed his spot within the family routine). He has a new name too. His new name? Ozzie. He's being referred to as "The Great and Powerful Oz", which tickles me no end.
Only one foster remains...
WHERE is Mama's family???
Could I be so lucky that they're down the road in the other direction?