“Have you considered changing your focus, or adoption?” the doctor suggested in an even, sympathetic tone when the tests came back inconclusive. Well, I had, but I didn’t know about your Daddy. He wasn’t sure. But when I suggested it to him, he agreed to go to an informational meeting if it would make me happy. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Now it’s our family history…our story, and how life changed forever the day we went to the red-bricked building with the brown and white-stripped awning to bring home our daughter.
To say I was excited about this day is putting it mildly. (I had changed my focus by going to college full-time, and that took the edge off the ache.) I was wildly excited, scared, nervous, happy, and apprehensive to think another human being, a completely dependent human being, was now going to look to me – to us – for aid, comfort, guidance, security, nurturing, encouragement, sympathy, wisdom, entertainment, warmth, understanding, companionship, not to mention catering and chauffeuring. But that’s what being a parent is all about. And that’s what I longed to be. I begged God to let me be one. Here was my opportunity; finally, my turn, and all I could do was offer up another prayer. “Please, God, don’t let me blow it.”
We went shopping at Target in preparation, and I just walked around in circles. Daddy told me patiently, “You’re allowed to be weird today. We’re going to be parents.” We bought this huge box of 90 disposable diapers. It sounded like an incredible number, but now I don’t think so. I probably changed you every hour that first week.
Daddy decided the little lamb crib mobile music box song was too fast, so he took it back to get the Teddy Bear one we had seen earlier. Then he did something I’ve never seen him do before impulse buying. He came home not only with the crib mobile AND a rocking infant seat with a little pouch on the back for wet-ones and extra diapers. Yes, we needed one, but I was shocked he bought something without me, the Family Shopper, even being consulted.
On April 10, now known around our house as “Family Day,” we arrived at Catholic Charities promptly at 10 a.m. for our 10:30 appointment. The plump, graying secretary at the front desk, dressed in a tight navy blue knit dress, took the bag of clothes we’d brought for our baby, told us to have a seat, and disappeared up the stairs. Fifteen minutes later, we were ushered into a small, cluttered office. I remember a bulletin board covered with pictures of children. Some with wrinkled red faces taken in the hospital, and some were pink and blue bundles propped up against pillows as if the photographer had to work fast before the kids slid slowly out of the picture.
You were six-weeks-old the first time I held you. I remember trembling a little, feeling clumsy, and wanting desperately to run with you now that after over three years of waiting, I finally had my baby in my arms.
You didn’t grow under my heart, as the adoption poem says, you grew in it.
You captured my heart completely and forever.
Happy National Adoption Month!