I was cleaning out a desk the other day and stumbled upon something my dad wrote about a year or so before he died. At the time, I needed an article for the Adoption Choices newsletter and asked him to write something. What follows is an excerpt from that article. I thought it would be a fitting post for this month. With thanks to the man who gave me my love of words…
I remember how excited my daughter and her husband were when they told me they were planning to adopt a baby. My feelings and those of my wife were a bit more complicated. We were excited, of course, but we were also anxious – not worried, but anxious. The baby was going to be born in California. California’s a long way from Massachusetts; we just thought so many things could happen.
A few months later, my wife and I got a phone call telling us the baby was about to be born. My daughter and her husband got on a plane and hoped to arrive in California in time for the birth. We waited for a call to let us know they had arrived safely, and we waited for the call to let us know the baby had been born. When those calls finally came, we were very relieved. Baby K was born; she was healthy, and from what we were told, she was beautiful. With our other grandchildren, this call would have resulted in us driving to the hospital to verify this information ourselves. K was our sixth grandchild; we had quite a bit of experience with these things. But this grandchild was 3,000 miles away. There would be no drive to the hospital. We would have to wait, and so many things could happen.
We waited and waited to meet K. For over two weeks, we waited. We thought if they could just get home, it would be okay. Finally, on day fifteen, they boarded a plane headed back to Logan Airport. My wife and I drove up from Connecticut and were there waiting to greet them when they departed from the plane. We looked at K and said how beautiful she was. And yes, my daughter had told me this two weeks earlier but a grandfather likes to see for himself.
In anticipation of the many visits K would make to our house, my wife insisted the baby needed a crib there. We bought a crib and although winter was at least six months away, we also bought a gorgeous pink snowsuit. The snowsuit seemed big to me, but I trusted my wife’s expertise in this area. Well, three winters came and went before K was ever big enough to fill that snowsuit but she used the crib quite a bit. I remember the visits after she started walking. She would lead us all in a never ending pots and pans parade around the house. With the precision of a parade Grand Marshall and the temperament of a drill sergeant, she led us around and around. Ignoring our requests for relief or respite, refusing to accept any letters of resignation offered, she marched on and expected us to follow suit.
K is a young lady now. She has been the source of many stories I tell my friend. She’s the leader I envisioned when I followed her around my house banging my pot and pan. She is healthy. She is happy. She is beautiful. And she is my granddaughter. Yes, so many things can happen when you adopt a grandchild.