Little E joined us two years after Little J’s arrival and she continues to bring us so much joy.
Parked outside a Verizon Wireless store, tears sear my cheeks, slip off my chin, stain my shirt. From the passenger side I watch through blurred vision as Big J exits the store, opens his car door, slides across the gray leather seat, and inserts the key in the ignition.
He turns to me and grabs my hand as I laugh at the absurdity of the situation.
We have stopped here to make a return on our way home from a meeting with the adoption agency. In a whirlwind of conversation and questions the case worker told us we are matched. We have been chosen to parent a baby whose existence we have just discovered, and this baby is due to enter the world in six short days. As I pondered this fact waiting alone in the car it hit me. Boom. No warning. I am madly in love.
The fact that I am crying is nothing new. Tears are my release. Yet the severity of my passion for this child overwhelms me, this child I will soon meet, soon call my own. Will that be possible after only knowing of this life’s existence for a handful of days?
I cry because our wait, our journey into parenthood the first time around was ten years long and repeatedly painful, because our current home study was approved just twenty-four days ago and we never dreamed the second time around would progress so quickly. I cry because my son will have a sibling, because I don’t know how to prepare for this arrival in one week’s time. I cry because I am thrilled at the thought of becoming a mom again, because I am terrified that I don’t have more time, that the timing is all wrong. I cry because I want so desperately to know that my baby is healthy, whole.
But most of all I cry because I know how miraculous this child’s life is, this baby whose birthmother didn’t ask for her world to be set off-kilter. This child who was chosen to be mine before the foundations of the word. I know this baby will be strong in spite of, because of, the journey into being even before taking a first breath. I am overcome by the suddenness and completeness of my love.
Nine days later I will meet her, not knowing until she is brought into the room, a splash of pink ribbon in her hair, that she is a girl. She has all her fingers and toes, round apple cheeks, a full head of hair and she is beautiful.
It will be more than five weeks , an eternity of time divided between my inquisitive toddler and Big J, my own need for sleep and caring for my family, time for me to adjust to a fierce and feisty baby, before I begin to feel like she is truly mine and I am hers. It is a slow burn, embers fanned to flame before my heart warms, while I recover from the shock of her arrival. This time around I don’t have the luxury of focusing all my attention on her, napping when she does, gazing uninterrupted into her sweet face. But somehow in the midst of sleep deprivation and endless bottles and diaper changes, waiting for that bond to grow, I remember that my love for her ignited in a parking lot waiting for Big J to return a data card to a wireless store.
grace for each moment, one moment at a time