How do ten years fly?
I remember the phone call, "We have a newborn at the hospital for you to foster. He needs to stay in a few days so we can monitor him." Gasp! We aren't even finished with our foster/adoption classes yet. How can this be? "Can we go hold him NOW?" "You must wait for security clearance- we'll have that in a few days."
What does a newborn need? Scramble in the attic for the infant carseat. Wash everything. Can't do that- must buy Dreft first. Buy little teeny diapers. Bottles! I've never used bottles with my birth son. Formula. Have to wait to see what the hospital feeds first. Make posters, and banners to welcome you into our home. Wait- we can't remember, let alone spell your unusual names. Buy a babydoll for birthson to care for while we care for you. Call everyone we know, and they begin to make a list of who will cook dinner for us for the next few weeks. People are very soon on our doorsteps with gifts for you in hand. What else does a baby need?
An eternity later, three days, we have security clearance to go meet you. We must scrub with surgical brush and soap and wear scrubs while our hearts pound with anticipation. My husband passes you in the swing and says to himself, "Can't be him. Too beautiful!" But it was YOU. Those giant chocolate eyes, to match the huge hospital pacifier. That swirl of black hair. Those perfect cheeks, arms, legs, body, fingers and toes. That constant stare to the depth of our hearts! We took turns holding you for the next few days. The nurses told us at times you needed rest, and we should go home. Didn't they see how peacefully you slept in our arms?
I hadn't heard you cry until the day we were to take you home, and you had to get some shots to be released. Such a peaceful baby otherwise.
Then at home during feedings, you began to look increasingly more uncomfortable. Next thing I knew you had a fever, and we dashed to the hospital. Fever of unknown origin, but I knew something was up with your formula too. Thought the hospital docs didn't, my pediatric physician took me at my word and let us begin experimenting with formulas, and we found one that would work. Your birthmother was so worried for you and got permission to come see you and meet us. So young and vulnerable you both were.
You were soon able to come home again.
For two years, we visited with Momma Shannon every week until the day came she allowed us to adopt you.
Now the years have flown by, and you turn ten today. What have we done in all those years? What will we do together in the years to come? Maybe more of the same- play guitar, plan projects, build forts, soccor, swimming, flashlight tag with goats, study, cook, celebrate, travel, bike, hike, argue. Maybe something very different we've never even thought of yet. I just know I am honored to have you in my life to share in sorrow and joy. I love you my pearl.
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