Today is an anniversary of sorts. Thirty-eight years ago today, invitations were mailed out for a baby shower for my older son. Now that, in itself, is not so remarkable EXCEPT there was no baby!!
Having applied and having been approved for adoption, we'd been told in February that we could realistically expect to have a baby by Thanksgiving. Enter sister Evelyn who said she'd have a baby shower for me in the spring or the fall but not in the summer--my choice. Hmmm, no baby until November? Really? So I said spring would work, so Evey made all the invitations by hand with the verse "Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, yet still miraculously my own; never forget for a single minute, you didn't grow under my heart but in it." (I don't know who to give credit to for those words; they aren't mine and they weren't Evey's either.) She mailed the invitations on Mother's Day, even though the forecast for a child could be months away.
Then the miracles started.
The following day, in the middle of a conversation with a friend, the operator interrupted the call to say that Family Social Services was trying to contact me. Did I want to end this call to receive theirs? To this day, I'm not sure I said goodbye to my friend. The agency had previously told us that we'd have 2-3 days' notice before picking up a baby; that was not going to happen. They wanted us to pick the baby up the following day on the other side of the state. We were not really ready for a baby yet...so much to be done. My husband worked first shift and had weekends off; for the first time, he was scheduled off in the middle of the week--Tuesday and Wednesday.
Friends and family volunteered to get things set up at home, while we prepared to leave and drive halfway that night. We were scheduled to pick him up @ 1 PM the next day. Getting to the agency, we met our son for the first time. I can't begin to relay the feelings. We discovered a unique coincidence--our caseworker at home was named Sharon Hawkins--the other caseworker was Maggie Burns; my great-grandmother's name was Maggie Hawkins!
We headed for home with the formula they'd prepared--the old-fashioned Playtex bottles with the plastic bag liners. We needed to stop to eat, so I held the last formula to give him before we stopped at a restaurant. Right. In transferring the formula to the bottle, I managed to spill it all in my lap. Now I had a hungry baby, no formula, and wet pants.
And we weren't stopping to eat--so add hungry for me to that list too!
We ended up stopping long enough to buy formula but waited to get home before trying to fill the bottle. Family and friends had assembled the crib, washed baby clothes, etc. to prepare for our homecoming. They'd all gone home and our baby boy (3 months) was put down for the night. He slept the entire night and, when I went in to pick him up in the morning, the crib collapsed as the mattress fell to the floor--and he'd slept the whole night on it. I could add that his Guardian Angel has been busy through the years.
Technically, the following year was my first official Mother's Day. I had friends calling about the shower saying they weren't aware of the fact that we had a baby...little did they know the events of the previous two days and our joy-filled journey to parenthood. Truth be told, my son had already been born in February--before they told us it could be Thanksgiving before we had a child.
God is good...so very, very good!