I will never, ever forget the day I met my 2nd daughter.
It was a beautiful Fall day. B and I had joined Peanut’s pre-school class for their field trip to the local pumpkin patch. The air was crisp, the sun was shining, and the tractor was ready to pull us to a field full of pumpkins.
We were standing there, amidst twenty-something 3-year-olds, when my phone rang.
It was the call.
The call we’d been waiting for and dreaming about for years. The call where we were told precious few details about a baby girl and had five minutes to decide whether or not we’d take on the awesome responsibility and privilege of being her foster parents. And hopefully one day, just her parents.
B and I had already made our decision but before we called the social worker back, I stood in that pumpkin patch and called my Dad. I told him what I knew about this baby and shared how scared I was.
Scared of falling in love with a baby I could lose.
Scared of taking this huge leap of faith.
Scared of the infinite unknowns.
My Dad wants nothing more than smooth sailing for his kids. He’s not afraid to take a risk but he would never want to see one of his loved ones in pain. He listened to my fears and he knew they were real. Part of me expected him to say “Be careful” or “Think carefully.” But what he actually said, I”ll never forget. After a moment of quiet reflection, I heard him say,
“Baby, just jump.”
The rest of the field trip is a bit of a blur. There was Peanut running around, gathering pumpkins. There was B and me, staring wide-eyed at each other. And there were the pre-school teachers, wondering why I was overcome with emotion on the hay ride.
We knew we needed to get Peanut in the loop before a baby magically arrived. I pulled Peanut aside, crouched down eye-to-eye with her and told her that there was a baby girl who needed a family. That precious 3-year-old leveled me with her wide eyed response, “I know, Mommy…..WE could be her family!”
Four hours later, I laid eyes on Pumpkin for the first time.
And let me say this: the love I felt for Pumpkin in that instant was no different than the love I felt for my biological daughter when she was handed to me in the delivery room. It wasn’t a different kind of love. Or a different flavor. It was exactly the same love. The kind that takes your breath away and you know you’ll never, ever be the same.
Today, just a few days from Pumpkin’s 2nd birthday, I look back on that day in wonder. When Pumpkin came home, we didn’t know if she’d be with us for a week or for forever.
And I had no idea what we were about to go through…
I had no idea how hard it would be to live, for well over a year, in the white-knuckled fear that we could lose her.
I had no concept of the simultaneous fury and relief I’d feel that no one but us was fighting for this little girl.
I couldn’t have guessed what it would feel like to be forever connected to a woman I’d never know.
I thank God every day that we jumped.
Those in the adoption community hear all the time, “He/She is so lucky to have you.” But we who have adopted know the truth – we are the lucky ones. The blessed.
Pumpkin’s adoption announcement couldn’t have said it better:
A man recently stopped B and I as we were walking with the girls. He eyed B, Peanut, and I (all fair-complected), then turned his gaze to our honey-brown Pumpkin.
“What is she?” he asked.
I knew he was asking about her racial make up. And I ignored him.
But today I can answer that question entirely truthfully:
She is a survivor.
She is mine.
And she is perfect.
I’m linking up this post with the Show Your Work linky!
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