This is the story of the life of one little boy whom I will always believe that God gave to me.
It was a sunny time of life filled with the confidence of youth, and the meaning and importance of giving love. And I was a mother who only and simply yearned to have a large family. We had so much love to give, and, it seemed, not quite enough children to share that love with.
The comprehension and compassion of our family was enriched and transformed forever with the coming of this tiny son and brother.
Our family was embarking on a mission for God, adopting this baby, though we had no idea of that, at the time. We were leaping into thin air with joy and anticipation, eager as dancers in a ballet, to which the moves had been long practiced, and endlessly worked on. I was adopting a baby sight unseen. I had always adopted sight unseen, because as a single mother of disabled children, I could not leave my family to go and bring my children home from other states. But most of my children had come to us quite a bit older. To receive a darling baby was an incredible thrill to the entire family.
The day had come at last!
The van was overflowing with our family on the way to the airport to meet our new baby. We were a family transported with honor and excitement; everyone eager to hold him, to touch his baby skin, to be the first to coax a smile from his beautiful little face.
We were the proud owners of a few photographs, sent by his foster parents, and the one picture from the book of children waiting for adoption, where we had found him.
I knew he had severe and lifelong problems and challenges, but it did not matter. He was the very exact baby God had picked out for me. I knew it absolutely. I knew it, because with every adoption, I laid a "Gideon fleece" before God. Adopting is a real challenge, when you are already blessed with a large family. Many things can prevent it.
The first and foremost thing that can prevent it is a a family with two parents. That is as it should be. Every child who can, should have two parents. Then of course, if a childless, or smaller family wanted the child, they were usually chosen. The size of our family had grown to be a handicap of sorts by this time. But I still knew there were children out there who were destined by God to become ours. And I knew that our family was perfect for another child. Happy, smooth running, and full of love and peace, we had a place for another child, and we knew that God had one out there for us.
The children and I were a team. The oldest ones were very interested in the books of waiting children, and would pick out the ones they were interested in, while I was doing the same. It was a very mutual joy.
I always prayed that if it was the wrong child for us, or if we were the wrong family for the child, then something would stop the adoption, and we would not get the child. And this happened many times over the years. There were endless things that could prevent us from being accepted.
But if all the things that could go wrong did not; and we were the family chosen, and the child was allowed to be flown to us, because I could not leave the family and go to get the child, then I knew it was God's will, and the very child He had chosen for us.
Turning the page, the fertile seed was sown,
for after other hundreds, there you were!
At once I recognized you as my own;
no moment's doubt, my heart was firmly sure.
My love and dreams for us but swelled and grew;
I knew that there was only one of you.
How slow the time, 'til paperwork was through;
and you were mine, the months of hope come true!
An airport lobby was my birthing place,
where months of waiting slipped into the past.
Here was your little form and precious face;
my own son placed into my arms at last.
Your eyes gazed steadily into my own
Oh dearest one, you have at last come home!
©2004 Rosemary J. Gwaltney
This particular precious little soul entered this world on a sunny summer day. No one knew he wasn't going to be just like any other baby. He was created by God, for a special purpose, and he arrived surrounded by God's love.
He had no name, for he was given up for adoption by two unmarried college students, who hoped the best for him, and, I am certain, loved him very dearly. They left his naming for his forever parents. So we got to name him. We named him Travis Andrew.
He didn't suck very well, and his head was a little small, but no one guessed that anything was wrong at first, and he was sent home to his foster home - a wonderful loving family, who kept him until we found him, and adopted him.
But very soon he began to show signs that all was not well. He developed seizures, and a CAT scan was run at the hospital, finding that he had virtually no brain. His head was filled with very little else than spinal fluid. He was diagnosed with having hydranencephaly. This long word meant that sometime in his first beginnings of life, in utero, the main arteries that should have fed into his skull so his brain could grow, became blocked, and blood flow could not occur. Without normal bloodflow, his brain could not develop. So instead of developing brain tissue, his head filled with cerebral spinal fluid. (To the lay person, water.) He was not expected to live very long.
This was very hard news for the foster family to take. They had had over two hundred normal newborns come into their home, and be adopted from it. They felt sure that no one would want Travis, and though they were not in a position to adopt him themselves, their bond with him grew very deep. It is certain that he was dearly loved all of his life.
They had no idea that we were out there, many states away, searching dozens of books filled with pictures and descriptions of thousands of hard to place children awaiting adoption, all over the United States.
I had been adopting disabled children, at that time, for fifteen years. I had been carefully trained in many medical procedures, and was specifically searching for a little one who had medical needs which our family could meet, and who needed a family.
When we saw his picture, which his adoption agency had placed in one of those books, it was love at first sight! Who could not love that beautiful little face!
I knew in a moment that he was the baby I wanted. So the long process began, of paying a thousand dollars to the adoption agency in our state; going through yet another exhaustive home study, and praying that all the interstate requirements would be approved. Above all, praying to be accepted by Travis' caseworker's supervisor, and his adoption agency in his state, to be his forever family.
At last the magical day came when that "silver stork", as we had playfully named the airplanes that brought our children to us, carried our precious Travis, and at last he was in my arms, and became my very own son!
Overwhelmed with intense joy, and flooding tides of mother-love, I held that priceless little baby in my arms, and knowing he was my very own. I hadn't thought I would ever have another baby. Most of my children had been adopted at older ages.
His foster father had brought him, and I will bless him, and his loving foster family forever, for the album of wonderful pictures they gave us! An album, and bits of a journal. I didn't lose a bit of his life. From beginning to end, I knew how his life had been. That was very unusual, and wonderful.
So we went home in our van, with my darling new baby son, and within a day, it seemed that he had been with us forever. I couldn't imagine him ever having not been with us. He was a gift from God, and I thanked God every day for His marvelous gift.
© 2004 Rosemary J. Gwaltney ~