I’m flying through life at the speed of light when the call comes. The social worker (who I plead with me to call ANYTIME) calls and says she needs me to take a baby born today – tomorrow. Wait until you see this one, she says.
I could not even figure out how to be home to receive my visitor. We had commitment after activity scheduled and my thoughts flew to all I had to do. What about Gavin’s teen group in Princeton and Sean’s impending surgery? There was a playdate scheduled, a meeting to attend and a list of phone calls to make. I wondered how I would get the piles of laundry done, and could really I keep up with everything that needs done around feedings every three hours, diapers and cuddling. It doesn’t matter that I’ve done it before. It always seems more hectic than last time.
I get a little nervous and doubt my abilities to juggle everything. Butterflies take up residence in my stomach and wonder if there is something wrong with me. But since I can’t resist, I say yes.
I keep a box of a dozen newborn outfits in the attic and a flannel blanket. I run around, sweep floors, throw the clothes in the laundry and grab a basket to stick all the accessories in. I clean and wipe and organize until I feel a little better.
The social worker stays only a few minutes to deliver the little package. He comes complete with a dozen tiny bottles of ready-made soy formula and I get his schedule from her. I marvel at him for a few moments, I dub him ‘Romeo’, and she tells me that they will probably call the family in about 24 hours. A short stop for this little traveler.
Then, things just roll on like nothing even happened. (Can someone remind me of that next time I freak out?) He sleeps and the boys and I finish some academic work we were in the midst of when he came. I make dinner and bake cookies with a tiny spectator.
This baby has some type of magic. He plants my feet directly into the here and now and I can only do what’s in front of me – because nothing else really matters. Gavin and Mikey both take their turns getting some baby-love and Sean makes sure that I am reminded that he is, in fact, the baby of this family. He sits on my lap and hangs on my shirt. The night wears on exactly like it does every other night.
I stare intensely at him each time I change his diaper. His miniature parts remind me that what matters most is food, and warmth and family and love. It’s in the fore front of my mind for these blessed hours – and that’s really nice. When I feed him, I am amazed at how it is he is in my living room. I think of a bible verse in the book of Hebrews that says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”
I study his face for any indication.
I pray often for his birthmother during our brief time . I pray that she finds peace, somehow, in her selfless plan for her baby. I wish all types of wonderful things for her. I hope that something in her whispers that what she has done is good and right. Because it is. People often ask me why a certain baby was given up for adoption. I never ask and I am never told, but I don’t believe there is a reason that is less worthy of another. Adoption is good
At 3:30 a.m., I whisper to him, ‘Where did you come from?’ I don’t mean his delicious, warm little body, but the him that is inside, the mystical that makes us ‘us’. His baby soul. I wonder where he was before he was here – here on my couch and here on the planet. But that’s too much for 3:30, so we do soy formula, and spit up, and cold wipes and too big, smallish diapers.
He left quickly and unexpectedly due to some health issues that needed to be checked out. I didn’t even get a good-bye kiss. But better than that, I got a beautiful text of a picture of his parents holding him with huge smiles on their faces. They saw it too. He’s magical.
Aren’t they all.