Tuesday, January 20, 2009

goodbyes and hellos

We said goodbye to Baby last night and boarded a plane for home early this morning.

We will always, always, always cherish this week with him, getting to know him all over again and discovering all sorts of new things about him. He is such a darling, darling boy. There's an unmistakable sparkle about him. Strangers everywhere take note of him and see just a glimpse of what we know about him and it's enough to charm them. Like magic.

We spent nearly every day of the last week with him, early morning to early evening. What a gift it was. More than anything, it let our hearts see that he is okay. He's safe and loved.

The thought struck me on the plane today that along this path we've taken it would have only taken a single "no" to change its course. We could've said no to the idea of foster care. After training, when we realized the challenges even more clearly, we could have certainly said no, this isn't for us. Right? And then when we got that call, we could've said "No, not yet. We're not ready". Any of those no's would've erased him from our life.

And if he were never in our lives, we'd probably still live fairly happy lives, continuing in our little boat for two merrily down the stream.

But we said yes. We shocked ourselves with it. Yes, we can be foster parents. Yes, this is for us. Yes, we'll take care of a little baby with a broken arm.

And with that sweet little word, yes, we forever changed our lives and our hearts. We redefined happiness. Our hearts are swollen with love for one little very special baby.

More than that, our hearts are stretched big. Big and ready to love more.

I have a memory from years ago to share with you. We were all piled in the station wagon, my sisters, my brother and me, picking my father up from work. Everyday at about 4:00pm, after the mill's whistle blew, it was the same routine. My mother drove to the same spot, and, once parked, slid over to the passenger's seat. We'd all look expectantly at the gate, waiting to see him, soot covered in overalls, come over the hill.

One day one of my father's work friends poked his head through the window to get a good look at all of us children piled in and he said "Good God, John, you must have a lot of love to go around." And my father replied simply "You got it all wrong, man. The love's not divided...it's multiplied."

Tomorrow, I have something to tell you. It's a matter of muliplication.

29 comments:

Peggy. said...

I'm so happy that you got to see that he is doing well. You sound more relaxed if that is possible to tell from a blog post. I know with my girls if I didn't get to see them and know they were ok it would be so much harder to be without them everyday.
It is amazing how much love your heart can hold.

Peggy

MaryCatherine said...

Aww Amy! You get me all choked up every time...I'm so glad you got to see him once again. I know you and Rich will both always remain in his little heart too...Can't wait to read tomorrow's post!

Mary said...

ohohohoh! i can't wait to see tomorrow's update. i had a feeling more than one kiddo might be coming... what a wonderful visit and i'm sure knowing baby is safe gave your heart much peace. i'll be checking in tomorrow!

Jane said...

These posts have really lifted my spirits lately! The story of your father is one of the most beautiful things I have read in a long time. I just love dad stories like that!
Thanks so much for sharing these slices of your life with us.

Maddie said...

oh my goodness... I am so excited for you.. so funny really since you don't know me and I don't know you and yet some how we are all connected.. our stories are teh same and differnt all at once. Whatever comes tomorrow I wish you well.

Maddie

Amy said...

as always, you brightened my day! will be checking in as soon as the sun is up tomorrow, can't wait!!!

Anonymous said...

i can not wait to hear your news!

Tami said...

I've so enjoyed reading about your first foster experience with little baby boy. I'm glad that it had a happy ending. It must make you feel good knowing that he's safe and sound in his new permanent home. Hmmm, I'm wondering what tomorrow's news will be? :-)

Saucy said...

I love you, Amy.

Holly said...

I've been a reader for years, but never left a comment. I'm a paramedic and I took care of a little boy with a broken arm a few nights ago. He was "my" baby bird with a broken wing. I hope and pray that he has good loving foster parents like you and Rich.

I can't wait to hear about your exciting news tomorrow!

Lisa said...

Happy to hear you had a wonderful visit and safe travels. Can't wait to hear your news tomorrow!

ASHLEY said...

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh girl. can't wait!

Anonymous said...

I've been lurking for a long time. As the mother of an adopted daughter, I just wanted to let you know how amazing you are. Not everyone can give the dept of love that you have given and manage to let them go. I know I couldn't do it.

I just thought of a neat idea. Why don't you video tape yourself reading a good night story to baby. My friend did that for her nieces and nephews, so they would get to know her. It was really cool.

Oh, and I have an idea of what your surprise is going to be.

~elaine~

Barbara H. said...

I've enjoyed your letting us in for a bit of your journey with Baby. I just loved the paragraph about your dad.

Sonja said...

This post has it all. A wonderful update about baby, a sweet family story, and then a cliffhanger! Ooh, can hardly wait to hear! So glad you are both home safe and happy.

Melanie Farrell said...

I just wanted to say that I love your blog and have quickly become addicted. Your foster story warms my heart and makes my eyes well with tears - you are obviously such a good person and it's nice to see some of those! Thank you for your stories and art!

Lisa Brown - Vintage Sweet Peas said...

O my..I look forward to hearing what you have to tell us tomorrow! I'm so happy that you had a safe trip and that baby is in good hands. I know that only by seeing him now, could you truly be sure of his happness! Be back tomorrow....:)

calicodaisy said...

I'm so glad you were able to share this happy time with your boy and share with us, too. I was keeping up with you all year, and I thought my heart would break reading your pain. It is good to see that you are able to enjoy his new good life and know that he is happy and loved where he is. By your words, I imagine you have something big coming up. Now that you have more peace and assurance about your first boy, I hope your heart is ready for your next assignment.

My husband was the youngest of five children and an infant when they were dropped off for foster care way back in 1962. The foster home was the stuff the horrible 20/20 stories were patterned after. For eight years, they lived in this terrible foster situation, and only the oldest and the youngest, my husband, were able to manage any sort of "normal" life. At 8, my husband was taken in by a wonderful family who raised him as their own all the way through to being the grandparents to our children.

That story has so many more details, but the important thing is that we never know the impact we have on others, and being "ready for the call" to do something hard for another - with no promise of anything good for ourselves - is an amazing place to be.

Debby Schuh said...

True wisdom in what you said! I'm inspired to say more yes's!

Anonymous said...

Stranger friend~
I have 5 myself!!! It is all about multiplication in our happy little home! I love you and Rich.
Cheers~
Stranger friend from Vermont.

Sonya said...

OhWeeee! Multiplication is a good thing, A VERY GOOD THING! I am waiting with bated breath!!!

Huge Hugs Amy!
Sonya

Lisa said...

Your posts are always so filled with love. Glad sweet baby is doing ok.I can't wait to hear your news.

Claudia said...

I am so happy to hear that your time with Baby was all that you wanted and needed it to be. How gratifying to know that he is happy and loved by so many.

I can't wait to hear your news! More than one on the way???

Amy said...

Amy--I'm so glad you had a special week with Baby. That fills my heart with joy!

I have a gift to send you. Would you mind e-mailing me your mailing address?

-Amy from Petaluma
(bibanon1@gmail.com)

Chic Cookies said...

I'm new to your story and completely hooked. Thank you so much for sharing, and with such eloquence and significance! I'm sure your tales of Baby mean something different to everyone reading, touching something specific in our own lives merely by reading something specific in yours. (For me, it's my decade-long struggle with illness, having a child, and my little miracle. The emotions you convey stir all that up for me.) Again, thank you for sharing!!

Li said...

Inspiring and loving person, that's what your are.
I'm a reader and inspired by your story, by the love you fill.
Like a mom as well I fill the same enormous love for my litle 5 months baby girl.
I'm glad that I found your blog, I'm glad that you share your stories.
I can't wait for tomorrow morning.
Thank you.

An inspired person from Atibaia.

laurie - magpie ethel said...

Am glad you and Rich had a wonderful visit with the little guy. I have followed your blog for quite awhile and have lived thru all the love that you have showered upon baby and had tears well up when you shared your pain thru your blog. Looking forward to the "matter of multiplication"....

bari said...

Oh, Amy! What a beautiful story. Now I'm in tears!

Celia said...

Lovely!
Touching