It’s been a long time.
I have tried to start this post so many times, but how can a handful of paragraphs accurately depict the miracles and upheavals, the pure, deep joy and the heart faltering terror, that became an everyday part of our lives so suddenly? They can’t, and so I’m going to have to just try to give you a patchy description of the last few months.
In February, after twelve years of (sometimes agonizing) waiting, Kohl and I were able to start the process to adopt a baby girl. It was a miracle, pure and simple. I’ve always believed in miracles, but I don’t really expect them to happen to me. I tend to view them more as faith affirming stories to help bolster my strength. This time, in the middle of one of the most desperate times of my life, emotionally speaking, the miracle happened to me. With me on dialysis and no discernible way to move forward with our adoption wishes, we were contacted by a birth mother who knows my sister-in-law. I talked to her over the phone, and by the end of the conversation, she told me she wanted to place the baby with us.
I have seldom spoken with someone whom I admired as much as I admire this woman. Her entire desire was for the happiness and welfare of the little soul she was bringing into the world. She knew exactly how hard it was going to be for her, but she was adamant about doing what she felt was right, and she has blessed so many lives through her actions. I truly love her, and my daughter will grow up hearing the story of how her angel brought her to our family.
Two weeks after that first conversation, Kohl and I were flying down to Arizona to pick up our little girl. (Kohl likes to call her Two Weeks’ Notice.) I have never felt so exalted or so terrified. I vacillated between holding her soft head to my cheek while my heart overflowed with the only perfect happiness I have ever known, and a paralyzing panic when I stopped to think about the awesome and awful consequence of being responsible for another being’s life. I had a lot of conversations with my mom and my sister, and thankfully they had felt the same way and reassured me that I would get to a point at which caring for this precious little bundle of bliss would feel doable. They were right.
Our dark-eyed Little Bird is the delight of our lives. Kohl is especially enamored, and I often have to chase him away so that he gets his projects done. He gets more time with her than many dads do, though, because he takes care of her while I’m at dialysis. Three times a week he gets four hours of pure daddy-daughter time, and sometimes more when I come home feeling especially weak. For the most part though, caring for our girl is easier than we thought it would be. She is a happy, sweet natured baby, and I can spend time with her lying next to her on the bed just as well as if I were jumping around with her.
However, I long for the day when I don’t have to leave her for hours at a time and come back weak and tired. I dream about getting a transplant and doing all the things with her that I am unable to do now, like swimming, long bike rides, milkshakes and fries, and, most of all, knowing that I will be there whenever she needs me.
Unfortunately, there is some doubt about whether I can get a transplant at all. With all the transfusions I’ve had to have, my antibodies are very high. I only have a chance of matching about 2% of the population. My brother is being tested, and he has a better chance than pretty much anyone of being a match, but there is also the possibility that he won’t be compatible and that, and this is my nightmare, I will have to spend the rest of my life on hemodialysis. There are not many things that frighten me, but the thought of never being able to escape the prison that dialysis makes my body skewers my heart with icy horror. I’m honestly not sure I could do it.
This is the point, then, at which I currently find myself; balanced between the hope and light that my daughter has brought to my life and the dark, lonely despair of sickness without relief. Please, if you feel so inclined, send your thoughts or prayers my way. I know that they help.
And maybe, if it’s my path, I’ll receive another miracle.
Oh Chris, I can’t tell you how much I love that picture of you with that sweet little angel girl. Her smile is magic. I am overflowing with prayers and hope for you.
She is magic, isn’t she? No matter how bad I feel, her smile, her laugh, even her little scowls delight me. She is the heart of our world.
Thank you so much for the update. I ran into your mom after the Westwood graduation so she was able to fill me in. Of course our prayers are for you always and your new little family! She is adorable and you make a beautiful mother!
Thank you for the prayers; I honestly do feel the power of all the kind feelings and positive thoughts of those who love me, and it makes a difference.
Chris, I love this post! Now yours gets to be the miracle story that bolsters others’ faith. More prayers a-comin!
Let’s hope that’s the case! I was astonished when everything fell into place so miraculously, and it made me realize how unlikely I had thought a miracle would be. Hopefully now I will look more positively at the possibilities.
Christa, you couldn’t have said it any better. We’re all hoping and praying for a miracle for you and Kohl and Aven.
You are probably my greatest example of faith in miracles. Just a few weeks before we found out about our Little Bird, I remember talking with you about how discouraged I was about our chances of adopting while I was on dialysis, and you told me we needed to pray for a miracle. I’m pretty sure I told you that I believed in miracles, but I didn’t expect one anytime soon. I think about that conversation all the time, and I realize that if something this astoundingly wonderful can happen so quickly, what other happinesses might be just around the corner? I need to trust my mom and have a little more faith.
Chris, I will definitely keep you in my prayers. I’m so happy for you and this little angel, but know you will need more strength to take care of her in the months and years to come.
Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts. I know it’s doable, but sometimes it does feel overwhelming. Knowing there are people in my corner helps a lot.
Christa, I don’t know you or your husband but I do know something about your situation and have a pretty good idea of what you’re going through. You come from a great family and I admire your courage and resilience. You have a great mother that inspired me while I was on my mission. I don’t know your dad all that well but being an old fart from Douglas I think hes a pretty decent guy too. I think it’s wonderful that you were able to adopt such a beautiful little baby for your family. I’m sure you will be a great mom. Keep your head up and may God bless you. You will be in our prayers have a great day. Dan Staples