Today is a very good day.
Today a newborn and a new mom are basking in the glow of patience, faith and destiny.
When my friend Justine first approached us about our experiences with adoption, we were encouraging, but realistic. And while we couched our words with “but this is just what happened to us; it might be different for you,” we didn’t pull any punches.
“Yes, as a single woman you will have a harder time adopting.”
“No, there is no “best case” scenario, only “meh, that’s not that bad” ones.”
“Yes, it’s good to be open, but if something doesn’t feel right, there’s probably ‘crazy’ in the air.”
Throughout her 2-year journey, she would check in with different questions, concerns, and of course, situations:
Like the woman who called her daily “just to chat” but refused a referral to a birth parent counselor to discuss her options, including placement. (Surprise, she didn’t.)
Or the birthmother who begged Justine to be present at the birth – a four-hour drive – then changed her mind at the last minute. (Been there, done that. It sucks.)
Or the birth family who read her profile, saw dollar signs, then, a couple grand later, decided to parent. (Again, been there, done that…and done with that.)
Through it all, we told her, as we had told ourselves, that the right baby will find her.
It just takes time.
And the first time that you hold that child, you will wonder how this moment came to be…how you ever lived before this child came into being.
But, every now and then, you will wonder…about the others…
When Gabe was six months old, we attended an open house at the adoption agency. We wandered through the halls, reconnecting with families we hadn’t seen since the required adoption classes, and connecting with newly-expanded families like our own. Nick enjoyed himself immensely, even though we lost him a few times since he seemed to think that the entire building was his personal playground. And Gabe, while not as mobile, made up for it with his non-stop baby babble, apparently seeing the entire event as his personal soapbox.
Just before we left, we struck up a conversation with a family who had a son, about the same age as Nick, and a daughter, about the same age as Gabe.
“She is too precious,” I cooed, marveling at her color-coordinated and heavily accessorized ensemble. She was a vision of frills and lace – two items that have never seen the inside of our house. So quiet, so demure this child. And they all seemed such a lovely family, if a bit reserved. So while we traded stories about the difference between one child and two – “it’s not just double the work…it’s exponential!” – it was clear that we had very different children and very different approaches to parenting.
As we talked, more details emerged about their little girl, her birth family, and her placement story.
That’s when I put two and two together.
This was the one we didn’t get.
We had been one of 3 families being considered by a young woman and her boyfriend. On paper, it had seemed like a perfect fit. They had loved our profile, our creative bent, and, of course, the future big brother, Nick. But after a week of deliberations, they had chosen another family with closer geographical ties.
We were devastated, ready to resign ourselves to life with one child.
But then we got a call…and the rest is Gabe’s history.
In the car ride home – after we tracked Nick down – I shared my discovery with Lori.
“Oh my God. How weird is that? Wait, why didn’t you tell me inside?”
“What was I going to say? And how? It’s not like you speak Spanish.”
“Yeah, and you don’t speak pig latin.”
“You mean, ouchetay.”
“Please stop, or so help me God I will jump out of the car.”
“Sooooo not our kid.”
“Not even close.”
Our kids, god love ’em, are quirky, boisterous, compassionate, obstreperous, independent, fun-loving, carefree spirits.
In other words, they are perfect…and perfect for us. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
To those who are seeking those seeking to be sought, know that it will happen. Know that when it does, it will all be worth it…just to hold and behold perfection in your arms.
As a child of the 80’s, I have to close this out with the song that has found me shortly after each one of our children has found their way home.