On a spring day many years ago, Crystal was about to leave the hospital after giving birth the day before. We’d recently met through an adoption agency, and we’d suddenly bonded when she went into labor two days prior. She spent the morning teaching me how to change a teeny-tiny diaper as her four year-old son looked on. I was full of excitement and self-doubt. Tessa, this precious newborn, was clearly Crystal’s baby — you could see it in the bow of her lips, the shape of her eyes. I was about to leave the hospital with another woman’s baby (with her permission and blessing, of course).
Two years later on another spring day, Michele placed her baby boy, whom she was not in a position to care for at that time, into my arms during an Entrustment Ceremony in the conference room of the adoption agency that we’d both consulted. His tuft of fine blond hair, the same color as hers, emphasized the fact that Reed was hers. Would forever be.
Many years ago after we’d run the gauntlet of infertility diagnoses and treatments, we set out on a new and daunting journey, that of adoption. We thought that meant waiting in a long line until our number came up, when an agency would call us with news that we’d gotten to the top of the list and our baby was available. We’d live happily ever after, never to think about adoption again.
Turns out all that was wrong. There would be no line, no list, no adoption-be-gone. Instead, there would be an expectant mother considering adoption (and possibly father), and our fate would be in HER hands. Further, she/they might want to be involved in our lives now and forevermore.
You may recall that I am one of the most bawk! bawk! chicken-y people around (remember the double-dose of Xanax I needed to get through a simple LASIK procedure?).
I am on a quest to bust through some of my limiting beliefs, like the one that says I don’t get along well with water, especially wild water. So earlier this month when we took a family weekend in Colorado Springs and the others wanted to go whitewater rafting? I resolved to model for my kids how to be brave, how to “feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Gulp. I don’t much like being cold, being underwater, or proving the existence of gravity.
When we checked in, the owner approached my husband and me to ask if we were first-timers (I was) and if we’d agree to provide a testimonial on camera when we returned. I balked. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to. Endure was about the best I could hope for. I told the owner I’d let him know after I returned.