Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life Lesson

Tina Berry’s voice resonates from the television, "Look at this little Hispanic beauty… she's gorgeous with her olive skin and big amber eyes! If you're joining us for the first time it's our Baby Hour.” Tina quietly whispers, cuddles the baby girl and states, “You could name her Josephina or whatever your heart desires.” Barbara Marville’s voice interjects from beyond the camera, “Next up we have Caucasian boys with blonde hair and blue eyes.” The crescendo of Barbara's voice increases as she says, “This is the perfect addition for the all American family! Remember they're drug free newborns… quantities are limited.”

Looking back… I could have been watching a surreal scene from the Home Shopping Network. In hindsight, it was more like ordering a child or sofa online from Pottery Barn. Check all boxes that apply: African American, down stuffed, Biracial, foam wrapped, Native American, tufted back, drug free, French mahogany finish, male, female, and the list goes on. Looking back, I am amazed by the process and our thought process.

In the beginning… we thought intently about our life, surrounding community, friends and family. Thoughtfully considering, how we could support our future child’s mind, body and spirit. Books were read, doctors were consulted, demographics reviewed. In the end … data gathered swayed us to select a narrow group of children that would meet our family’s needs.

Life experiences are the true catalyst of change. They make you look at yourself and everyone around you in a different way. These experiences make it possible to see the world clearer and from a higher place you have never been before.

During our first match/failed placement it was realized that our child’s ethnicity could not be clearly defined until birth. It was also known that no prenatal care had been provided until the 8th month of pregnancy. As we became more acquainted with our birthmother; it was evident that her social and medical history was incomplete and inaccurate. We slowly learned that we would never know the facts from the past or the mental and health liabilities that lie ahead. Revelations unfolded and we accepted all possibilities and complications. Each time taking a huge step and letting faith guide us on our path.

Then she was born! She could have been green with purple stripes. It did not matter as she was ours. She could have had a cleft lip or club feet. We would not have cared because she was ours. We counted ten little finger and ten tiny toes. We had never looked at something so beautiful or with such pride. She was perfect and she was ours.

We all know how this story ended, but she was ours for a short while. She taught us a great deal during our brief time together. We learned how to love unconditionally and love without limits. When we gazed into her eyes all our fears disappeared. Our love for her transcended all concerns. We focused only on the present and knew we could handle whatever the future presented. She was ours and will always remain as our child in our hearts.

Our loss and failed placement taught us many things. We now know picking and choosing is a burdensome task. We understand that this is not our role. Our capacity to parent is not built around matching criteria but our ability to unconditionally love. At this point, all our boxes are checked and our only desire is to parent. We will be happy and content to receive whatever child God provides. What a great life lesson we have learned. Through the eyes of a child our world was forever changed.


Jeve (aka John and Steve) said...

Beautiful writing. Very thoughtful. Wishing you guys the best.

Kelly said...

I hope you don't mind me commenting, I just wanted to say hi! You talk of unconditional love, not caring what color or shape or anything your child will be is exactly what I told my husband when we started the process...I just wanted a baby! I hope all is going well with you in your process since this...