Saturday, June 25, 2011
The Call~ Years Later
I was the co president of my neighborhood association and was running a Halloween Party. My neighbor and good friend was the other co president but she was "off" that day. I couldn't figure out why? She wasn't helping me, usually she & I worked so well together, but she seemed to be hiding in her house. Then she called me over and told me, she was pregnant. This would usually be a joyous thing, but she was due to go to China in just a few months to pick up a daughter. She had wanted three children and already had a boy and a girl. After a miscarriage she had decided she wanted to adopt her third child. Finding out she was pregnant was a big surprise and she was trying to process it all, four kids, two very close together. Wow, this wasn't the plan. This party couldn't be on a worse day, she needed to be with her husband and talk about all they were feeling, but we had a hundred people in our yards all dressed for Halloween. There was food to be served and small talk to be made. Our life was crazy, filled with therapists coming to our house daily to work with our disabled daughter. We also saw about 12 specialists for her many medical needs. Besides that we had an active son and an in home daycare my husband and I ran together. I felt for my friend, the baby they were adopting had a hole in her heart and would need surgery once she was back in the states. The delays had been many in the adoption process and I had cried along with her with every setback. We had already fallen for this baby from pictures and a video. My son was especially excited. One day a setback on paperwork had us all very worried and Beau asked for the "silver shovel." What he meant was the adult shovel that I used in the garden. I asked why and his response was "I'm going to dig my way to China and get the baby." Tears still fill my eyes thinking about how sweet & innocent his intentions were. I got him the shovel and he dug in the sandbox for hours. I broke down in tears when my friend told me she was pregnant, I was terrified this meant the baby waiting in China was not going to happen & how would I ever tell Beau? Her response was "absolutely not, we will still get the baby." So with that relief, I ran the party as best I could, not sharing our secret and trying to give her time with her husband. I was trying to keep things running smoothly but was in a bit of a fog when the strawberry blonde walked up to me. She introduced herself as a new neighbor and then said "I don't know if you recognize me, but I was the ultrasound technician who worked with you at the hospital?" I will never forget my response, all I said was "I threw up the whole way home!" What a way to greet someone, one of my most memorable responses ever, for sure! Luckily I had plenty of time to redeem myself, she lived down the street and we ended up becoming friends. Mark & I cared for her youngest son and we had another thing in common also. Her oldest son had had cancer years earlier and his hearing was damaged from the chemo. Teale is mildly deaf in the low frequencies and profoundly deaf in the high frequencies. Both of our kids wear hearing aids. I remember standing with her in my front yard during the chaos of the party and finding it unbelievable that she now lived just houses away from me. Why had she been so good to Mark and I when she did the ultrasound, were those doctors pushing abortion as hard as I remembered them doing? Questions I had often wondered about but never thought I would get the chance to ask. Had our birth been a fluke, all the specialist had said it was the best of all the situations it could have been, yet it had not gone well. Well, we talked then & have many more times since. She said she learned from our experience and no longer looks at a baby with gastroschisis as an easy fix. She also confirmed the doctors were harsh and pushing abortion. As I sit here typing, I wonder what the plan was in all this, why my friend got pregnant when she was hoping to "just" adopt one more child? Why Mark and I were blessed with the challenges of Teale? Why I often cross paths with people who are just simply amazing and change my outlook on life? And why my daughter often teaches, even the most educated people?