Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Seven Years A Few Weeks Ago, But Still This Month

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll have seen this entry, and this entry, and this entry. It’s all been leading up to this one.

June 2, 1999

I call my mother at seven in the morning. “Ask me what I’m doing today”, I urge her. She obeys. (She’s like that.) I take a deep breath.
“Going to pick up my son.”

I lose the address to the foster home on our way to Social Services to pick up the consent to adopt that B’s birthmother signed on June 1. Our social worker isn’t in when we get to Social Services, so we have to wait until she arrives because foster family’s addresses cannot be handed out to just anyone. This makes us late.

I call the foster mother from the car, on the cellphone. “I’m so sorry we’re late” I say, and I start into a long explanation. The foster mother’s gentle chuckle interrupts me. “He’s not going anywhere else. He’ll still be here.”

I start to believe this will happen.

The radio announcers voice breaks in. “And now for today’s power verse.”

I turn to TechnoDad. “That’s nonsense. The Bible is the Bible. If it’s powerful today, it’s powerful yesterday, and tomorrow.” I’m still ranting when he reads out Joel 2:21b. “Do not fear, rejoice and be glad. Surely the Lord has done great things.”

I shut right up.

There are flowers blooming along the sides of the walk, and the house is clean and pretty. The foster mother is warm and welcoming. We’ve known about B for a few weeks, but we’ve never seen him. Five weeks seems so old to me, ten pounds so big. I worry that he will feel like a stranger’s grown up boy that I am babysitting.

But there he is, my beautiful black haired boy, with his big dark eyes, and his watchful face, and he is tiny and perfect and breathtakingly beautiful and he doesn’t mind that we are late and although he will spend the next several weeks wailing forlornly at every new thing, already he is calm when I am holding him. “He still looks a baby!” I exclaim and everyone laughs at me.

We pick A up at the babysitter’s. A remembers March, and asks “When will we know if we get to keep him?”

“If he’s still here on the next church day, he’s ours”, I tell her. I always knew that as a mother, there would be times when my child would be facing potential heartbreak that I could do nothing about. I just didn’t think it would happen when she was 3 ½.

The first thing I do when we get home is take off the brand-new red and white Snugabye sleeper the foster mother dressed him in before we got there, and put on the baby blue Peter Rabbit sleeper I bought in February. Years later, I will read a short story by Angela Hunt in a book called The Story Jar, and the part that will make me cry and cry is the part where the mothers at the airport, meeting their Korean babies for the first time, kneel where they are to dress their babies in their own dreams.

He never wore that sleeper again.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I had no idea I'd gotten so far behind on your blog! Yikes! For days, I'd click on it, and all I'd get was "perfecting the jerk" and now you've gone and written all this beautiful stuff while I was distracted!

Thanks for this - I'd never heard the story of picking him up before. I think I was too overwhelmed with the part of the story we were part of. :-)