As most of you probably have figured out, I don’t really “do” babies right now. Two weeks ago I went to a service where there was a newborn and I couldn’t even look at the child’s mother. We were pregnant at the same time and I don’t know if I will ever be able to look at that baby or her mother without feeling pangs of sadness, resentment, guilt, etc. Really, the only babies that I’m okay with at this point are the ones in the children’s home. When I hold them, I’m so caught up in their pain, hurt and loss that my own disappears. I guess when I hold and love them and they smile and coo at me, we’re both filling a deep need the other has. To me, it’s beautiful and carries just the slightest hint of the redemption I so desperately long for.
But this blog isn’t about that, really. It’s about a phone call I got a few weeks ago. It’s about a phone call I got last night. And it’s about a phone call someone made nearly six months ago. Allow me to start at the beginning…
Right after Silas was born, Blake had to run all manner of errands trying to figure out how we could get our sweet son home for burial. He would leave my bedside in the morning and sometimes not return until late afternoon. We decided, early on, that I shouldn’t be by myself. I didn’t really need someone to sit and talk with me. I just needed someone to sit nearby while I slept, to be available to help me get out of bed and to maybe talk a little if I couldn’t turn my brain off. One night, we realized that we didn’t have anyone for the next day so a pastor-friend of ours offered to call a woman from his congregation that he thought might be free. She was, and she came and sat with me nearly the entire day. During her visit, Camila* shared that her son and daughter-in-law had lost two pregnancies (at least one was fairly late), and still had no living children.
I remember wondering how two people can keep on living after losing two babies, just as I remember wondering how I was going to survive losing one.
Fast forward five months to another phone call made by this same pastor, this time to me. He asked me if I knew of a little girl in the home named “Anita*.” Unsure as to why he was asking, I prodded a little. Then he explained. A couple in his church who had been trying to adopt had told him that they’d received notification that a match had been found for them. Since the pastor knew Anita’s name and age, I figured it was okay to talk about her. He asked what kind of baby she was. I told him that she smiles a lot and has beautiful curly hair. Still, since it’s not common practice here to place a child with a local adoptive family, I did some digging. I asked the director about Anita and her situation. She confirmed that a local family would be getting her within the month. I was floored. Wow.
About a week later, I was standing on a street corner, chatting after Bible Study, when a car drove by and the people I was talking to waved. I asked who they’d seen and they said the name of the adoptive father. I had already been disappointed that I’d never heard his name before and was, again, disappointed that I didn’t get a good look at his face. When I told the two I was speaking with that I didn’t know who he was, they said “Sure you do. He’s Camila and Franco’s* son.”
Needless to say, I was beyond floored. The same woman who kindly sat with me in the hospital as I grieved my son would be the grandmother for the sweet little baby I held on a regular basis! Just two weeks after Camila sat with me, sweet little Anita was born and left at the hospital. I saw Camila the next day and, trying to hide a smile, asked how her family was. That was all it took. She gushed to me how they’d recently learned they’d be getting a new granddaughter and how they were all running around trying to get everything ready and oh how very excited they all were. I got chills listening to her speak. The next day, I went to the home and held Anita and whispered to her about the awesome family she’d be getting and how they’d waited so long for her.
Camila called me last night to invite me to Anita’s dedication at the church. While I’m sad I can’t be there today, I am so thrilled for this family and pleased that I got to love on Anita while she waited for her forever family.
*Names changed to protect privacy