Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2007

Adoption gift of love to all in family

July 12, 2007

A recent program on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon aired a lovely piece that told of Simon's recent trip to China accompanied by his wife and daughter to bring home a baby girl he and his wife were fortunate to adopt. The story hit home because our youngest grandchild, Lucas, who is now 7, also was adopted.

Listening to Scott recall the emotion and excitement that surrounded his family's big event brought to mind a similar day in our family when we received the news that my son Cord and his wife, Amy, were chosen to receive an infant son. Lucas was born in April on Easter weekend and was, indeed, a symbol of new life and the power of love given and received.

Simon recalled how his eyes filled with tears when first he saw the newly adopted daughter. However, after the initial moment of excitement, Simon and his wife exchanged glances, noting that this new baby did not resemble the well-worn photo of the little girl they thought they were adopting -- a chubby, apple-cheeked little girl in a field of yellow flowers. This baby seemed small and pale. Their older daughter noting their concern promptly reached out her arms to the new baby saying, "Oh, it really doesn't matter."

And as Simon said, he never loved anyone with a "love as fierce and true" as he did his daughter at that moment.

In the days to come when the baby was fussy, his older daughter would rub the baby's downy head to comfort her and tell her that her new daddy was silly but could be persuaded to do anything and that her mother was smart and beautiful and reassured her that she would always be her sister.

As Simon continued, he stated nothing mattered except the love that is warm when reached out in tenderness just as his daughter reached out her arms to her new baby sister.

While filling out the papers to finalize the adoption he was asked, "Why did you wish to adopt this child?"

He answered, "because we love our first daughter so much (who also was adopted) we wanted to give her a sister to go along for the ride."

I have paraphrased the above not being able to find this particular story on NPR's Web site, but you get the picture.

Last summer while visiting my son and his wife, my older grandson and I found ourselves alone with Lucas for a short time. When he asked if we would like to hear him read a book, we gladly responded, especially since I knew he was already reading beyond his level in school. However, I was surprised when he brought out a book entitled, "I Was Adopted."

My grandson and I exchanged glances but did not know what to say, especially since we were not sure if Lucas knew about his own adoption. Lucas proceeded to read the entire book to us, which happened to be fairly long and in fine print. He even read about how a baby develops in the mother's uterus (a word included in a part of the book, which according to my daughter-in-law had never before been read to him).

My grandson and I listened in amazement and were even more startled when at the end of the story Lucas closed the cover soundly, looked us square in the eye and said, "I was adopted."

After a bit of stumbling over my words and cautiously avoiding Lucas' steady gaze, I responded to his announcement by telling him how happy we were on the day we heard he was joining our family -- what a special day it was and what a lovely Easter gift.

That's how we will always think of him. He listened to my story of his birth and adoption and then quietly returned to his room to put away the book. Later, my daughter-in-law was surprised by Lucas' actions, telling us that while he did know about his adoption he had never done anything like this before. We felt privileged to have been the first to hear of this from him.

I am again reminded how often we take for granted our own children, forgetting that everyone is not fortunate to have children of their own.

What a wonderful gift then to the Simon family is their new daughter Lena just as our family has been blessed with our precocious, extremely bright, blue-eyed Lucas.

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