Counting Days

November 21-December 9, 1998

Once upon a time there was a mother-to-be. She had been a mother-to-be three times, but had never truly become a mother. Her babies had seemed to find her womb an uncomfortable, unsafe place to abide. Her genetics...her husband’s genetics...her body...her baby’s bodies...Always, something conspired to prevent her motherhood. Three times she had conceived, prepared the baby’s room and layette, and been disappointed.

After the third trip home from the hospital with empty, aching arms and hearts, the mother- and father-to-be decided to contact the adoption agencies in their area. Having been rejected by Nature to become parents, they greatly feared that Society, too, would find the secret fault in them that disqualified them for parenting, the fault that they and their extended families could not fathom. As the months passed, their file became thicker and richer in positive findings, and one Great Day, they were declared by the agency to be acceptable!

They began to wait, to count the days until their names would reach the top of the agency’s list and they would receive their long awaited child. Two Labor Days, 2 Halloweens, 2 Thanksgiving Days, 2 of his birthdays, 2 Christmas Days, 2 New Year’s Days, 1 Leap Year Day, 2 Valentine’s Days, 2 Easters, 2 of her birthdays, 2 Mother’s Days, and 2 Father’s Days came and went as their names slowly climbed the list. Finally, after THREE Fourths of July the long awaited call came that a baby had been born and that THEY were at the top of the list.

On a hot and humid day in mid-July, they and their case worker drove the 150 miles to town in which “their child” had been born. They arrived at the hospital and rode the elevator up to the 11th floor. As they stepped off the elevator, they were met by a tearful 40-ish woman who took the case worker aside and spoke low but intense words to her before walking away down the hall. The case worker regretfully explained to them later that the woman had been the child’s grandmother and, after seeing the baby, would not allow him to be adopted.

Another Labor Day passed and another Halloween approached before they received another call from the agency. Again, a baby had been born. This time, they insisted that the paperwork be signed by the birth mother before arrangements were made to pick the child up. Six weeks later, just before Thanksgiving, the mother- and father-to-be put the finishing touches on the now pink and yellow nursery where their new daughter would reside. They confidently drove to the agency and parked under a beautifully colored maple tree. They bowed their heads in prayer together, and asked their God for wisdom and courage to be good parents to this child they had waited so long to have. They asked Him to comfort and heal the mother who would not mother this child, as they felt they knew some of the pieces of her pain. Then, with tears still wetting their eye lashes but with smiles on their faces, they grabbed the brand new carseat with the funny handle and entered Parenthood.

HINT: Adoptive parents don't experience adoption as all sweetness and joy, either!


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