Monday, May 16, 2011

adopting a dream

I came across this story in Chicken Soup for the Mothers SoulIts such a neat story and could be interpreted a few ways. One could be never give up on your dreams, or never lose hope. But I really think it means...all in God's perfect timing. We may have a plan but God has a bigger one and if we sit back and allow him to work miracles do happen. I hope you enjoy!

Michael or Michelle.

Before Richard and I married, we agreed that this would be the name of our first child. We had it all planned.

Two years later, Richard walked across the state to receive his college diploma. It was time to make our dream come true for our family.

For the next two years, we prayed that I would get pregnant. Yet month after month was filled with disappointment, until one day in the spring of 1985, I was so sure I was pregnant that I made an appointment to see the doctor.

With a smile, he said, "You're pregnant." 

I wanted to dance around the room. My due date was set for the first week of November, "around the third," my doctor said.

The next six weeks were filled with preparations. We did everything but take out an ad in the newspaper. Richard began preparing the room that would be the nursery.

We tried to imagine what our son or daughter would be like. My thoughts were consumed with the child grownig inside me. 

"I'm concerned that we haven't heard a heartbeat," my doctor told me on my third visit. 

A half-hour later, I cried in his office when he explained that a blood test showed no sign of my ever having been pregnant.

"A false pregnancy," he said. "Your mind wanted it so badly, your body believed it."

Little Michael or Michelle didn't exist. There was no baby to mourn, yet we grieved.

So began nearly a decade of infertility tests and watching enviously as oru friends and siblings had babies. My heart ached as I forced smiles when they talked of their children.

More pregnancy tests. More pacing and praying. They were always the same. The dream died again and again.

We plunged into our work - Richard into his teaching and I into my writing. Yet our desire for a child was strong, and in 1992 we attended an adoption orientation class.

I looked around the crowded room of nervous couples. Could our dream really come true?

I was afraid to hope.

"this is our chance," Richard whispered.

We began our required parenting classes. Every Monday evening for 10 weeks we listened, role-played, and discussed the joys and trials of parenting these children who needed new homes.

With all the work came the joy of preparation. How long before our child arrived? Would he or she come with a broken heart and spirit? How long would it take to bond with the child, and he with us? Would our child be anything like the one I'd imagined so long ago?

Together Richard and I prepared our extra bedroom. Would it be a nursery or a child's room? There were so many plans to make, yet so little information to help us. Lovingly I placed bottles of lotion and powders beside bibs and books, inside dresser drawers.

Often, I sat on the floor in the yellow and white room and dreamed of the child who would sleep and play there. I bought a few toys and stuffed animals. They waited quietly for small hands to hold them.

Then, on November 3, 1993, the phone rang and our lives changed.

"Kathy, is there something you've been wanting for Christmas?" our casework asked.

I could almost hear her smiling. I clutched the phone and whispered, "Yes."

"Well, we've got some good news." 

Then she told me about an eight-month-old girl. A baby girl! Would I awake and find it just another dream?

"Her name is Theresa Michelle. But her foster parents call her Michelle," I was told.

I was stunned. Michelle. Eight years ago, we'd dreamed of our Michelle. Then it hit me. It was November 3. If I had had that child in November 1985, "around the third," my doctor had said, he or she would have been eight years old. How wonderful God was to us, how our prayers had been answered!

I tried to imagine what it woudl be like holding this child. 

Within two weeks, we began our three days of visitation. I looked into my daughter's face. She smiled and held her arms out. I held her and breathed in the scent of baby powder and milk, as sweet smelling as a garden of roses.

Our Michelle had arrived.

On November 23, she came to live in our home and hearts. Every day our love for her grows. Nearly four years old now, she loves to hear the story of her adoption, of how we waited and longed for her.

Hopes and dreams don't have to die. We watched ours come back to live and call us Mama and Daddy.

Kathryn Lay


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