The Locomotive Adoption Trip

Kara and Me

I continued to struggle with raising Kara.  Nothing I did was right.  I felt like a complete failure as a mother.  I don’t know who suggested that another child would lessen the strain between Kara and myself, but I did decide to adopt again. 

Laura was my social worker again.  This time she was more than willing to call on just about any child I found on the “Waiting Child” lists.  I found a 14 year old girl in South Carolina and wonders of wonders, her social worker liked my home study and approved me for adoption of my second child, “Kim.”

The one thing I didn’t take into account was something no one in adoptions ever mentioned. “Do not twin adopted children!” Because Kara was only legally 12, I didn’t think too much about the girls being the same age developmentally, when in reality Kara was at least 14 or 15 biologically.

Train on Track

I do not like to travel by airplanes, so I decided to go by train.  I usually love trains and always feel that it is a great adventure.  I had a sleeping car and was expecting to enjoy my trip.  Kara stayed with my mother and dad, so I had no worries about what she was doing.

The day after my train left Salt Lake City, there was a railway engineers strike.  In the middle of the night, the engineers quit driving the trains and supervisory personnel took over.  Because they weren’t engineers, the trains could only go 50 miles an hour.  I thought we’d never get to Chicago.

Once in Chicago, we had a layover and the train we were scheduled to take was no longer running, so the Railroad switched us to another train where the only available space was to sit up all night. 

This train would go from Chicago to Philadelphia where we would connect to a “Day” train line that would take us to Washington, D.C.  From D.C., I would catch a bus to Charleston, South Carolina.

My Daughter Kim:

This was Kim and me connecting

(I don’t have a picture of Kim I’m sorry to say.)

I arrived in South Carolina and had to call Kim’s social worker to come pick me up.  She was gracious and took me back to her office. 

Kim was brought in and we had a chance to decide what we would do next.  The social worker took me to a car rental place where I rented a car and then I found my hotel where we stayed for the next three days while the paperwork was completed. 

In the meantime, the social worker gave us some funds to buy Kim some new clothes; she was so excited to get something new.  We happily shopped for hours.

I had a chance to see some of the places in South Carolina that I wanted to see in person.  We visited Kim’s home neighborhood so she could tell some of her friends goodbye.

Once all the paperwork was out of the way, Kim and I climbed on a bus headed back to D.C.  We arrived in D.C. about 10:00pm; of course her luggage was missing.  It was on another bus scheduled to arrive around 11:30pm. 

We couldn’t get to the train depot as it closed at 11:00pm, so we were stuck in the bus depot.  The security guards wouldn’t let us sleep. I had to stay awake and keep Kim awake until the train station opened again in the morning at 6:00am

We made it to the train station only to find out that the next train to Chicago wouldn’t be leaving until 3:00pm.  We sat on some benches and I kept an eye out while Kim slept a few minutes. 

About 8:30am, I decided to take a quick tour of Washington, D.C.  What a kick!  We saw the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and everything around the Mall area.  We passed all the buildings of the Smithsonian. 

At 3:00pm it was time to board the train.  We had a sleeping car and we just crashed we were so tired. I slept on the bench and Kim curled up in a couple of blankets on the floor.

From Chicago we boarded another train to Salt Lake City.  I called my sister and suggested that if they met the train in Ogden, Utah, we’d get home quicker since there was an hour layover in Ogden before the train left for Salt Lake. 

Myra agreed that would be great and everyone was happy to see us.  Kara hugged me and said she missed me; that was a first.  Kim tried to engage Kara, but she was having no part of it.  I was just happy to be home.

Kim and I had a great bonding experience and I liked her very much. She was so different from Kara.  I hoped the three of us would settle down and make a wonderful family.

I should have known better; almost immediately Kara and Kim began quarreling.  There were times when I would go to my bedroom and lock my door against the girls.  I kept trying to make it work, but was not having much success.

Kim and I had a lot of similar things we liked. She was a good kid. I felt really bad for her as Kara began to attack her like she attacked me. The situation became almost a war zone.

I wasn’t prepared for disrupting my second adoption, but it happened. The next blog post will explain the whole mess.

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Published by annla1441

Adoption Social Worker. Lived in Utah

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