Saturday, November 21, 2009

National Adoption Day

Almost five years ago 
I woke up at 2:45am and shot up in bed
as if someone had just banged a gong 
an inch from my head.


Sam had just been born,
nearly a thousand miles away-

and less then two minutes

Only I didn't know-know  that then.

And yet, I knew it too. 
I tell Sam his cries reached me all that way away.
And told me to wake up-since my motherhood
had been born today. 

And a girl needs a few hours to get ready for that! 

About three hours later, the other gong struck- 
the phone.


And that is when I answered the most important 
phone call of my life-
at 5:30 am.


Catherine, this is Beth from MAPS...


The birth mother gave birth to a healthy and big baby two hours ago.
And she wants you to call her now.

Now? She wants to talk to me? She changed her mind about
having a closed adoption?


OK. I have to scream now OK?


(scream) How is he? How is she? Where are they?
What do I say? When can I go to him? Is he fine?
How big is he?
Phone number? OK .
I have to make some calls and buy the airplane tickets




Take a deep breath. Go get a pen and paper.
Call me back in a few minutes OK?

And I did. And I still have the piece of notebook paper
with the number of the hospital,

and his weight, (8 lbs 15 oz.) and every little thing
I needed to know to get myself from that moment
to the one where my son would be in my arms.

I'll leave out the part about the storm system
forming over the great lakes, and the west coast,
and how they would collide over
every airport in the U.S. for the next thirty some hours.

I ran around the apartment and screamed a lot-
which is Sam's favorite part of this story.

Then I called her.

And she called him "Fatso" and sounded so beautiful
and tired and urgent. I could hear him whimpering

and as he likes to say, telling me to hurry
up and grab him up.
And all she wanted to know was
when I would arrive.

I can not begin to imagine the landscape of the
inside of her heart that she battled through to
make that request.

Our adoption journey began before this moment,
and continues into each keystroke here.

But for today, as I type and cry and type
I am thinking of all of you who are waiting for the call.

Maybe it is a real call.

Maybe a call in your heart to consider adoption.

Maybe it is a call towards foster parenting.

Maybe it is a call to heal a part of you, and
celebrate all of you.

Happy Adoption Day.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Catherine: You brought tears to my eyes. This, on a night of profound speakers at Catholic Charities' 30th Anniversary Celebration, in which we heard the following people speak: An adult adoptee from Korea who is now a mother herself. An adoptive mother. And a birth mother who, in 1977, made an adoption plan for her daughter. She was so strong and sure of herself in her speaking, and she exuded strength, beauty, confidence, vulnerability. I thought of her as I read your post. And of course, I thought of me, too (being one of those parents waiting for the call to come)! Thanks to you and that birth mom for reaching out and touching a deep part of my soul and reminding me that we--birth mom, adoptive parents, kids--are all in this together.