Can you rel8 to this?
My Noah (pictured above) came to his forever home (in my heart) at the age of 10 months. The minute I saw his face, I knew he was mine. I would liken it to the moment a baby comes out of the womb and the doctors lays him/her on the mommy’s chest. Less the gooey after-birth, it was as if the Lord laid him on my bosom and presented him to me. The bond was instantaneous and it has intensified over the years. The entire adoption was 9 months and some change – a full term pregnancy. And every up and down – physical and emotional that comes with bearing a child was present in my experience. Not long after we met, I began to journal. I knew it would be important to later share with Noah details of his experience and there is no better place than on paper to recall.
I want to share with you a few of those entries. I hope you don’t mind:
March 20, 2005
It’s been almost a year since we saw your face and chose you to be our son. God is so incredible. You seem to understand that. It has been have an overwhelming pleasure being your parents. You are the funniest little person alive. We have watched you grow up right before our very eyes. It’s hard to imagine life without you. It feels like you came straight from our loins, although I know you did not. I no longer feel like I am missing anything.
Today you are 20 months and 5 days. That simply translates into a year and eight months. To recall in numbers helps people understand where you are supposed to be developmentally. You Noah have defied the odds.
April 21, 2004
This was the first day that we laid eyes on you. We had gone into the office of Black Adoption Parenting Research Center (BAPRC) because we had completed all that we needed in order to proceed with selection. I was so nervous. I didn’t know how long this process was going to take…a day, a month, a year…who knew. Nana had told me that we would know you when we see you. She was right. We were flipping through many books with wonderful children in need of homes and we had yet to find you. There was one final book that I decided to look at – although I was certain I had looked already. As soon as I got to the page where you were, I gasped for breath. “Who is this,” I asked. Ms. Jones said, “Oh that’s little Devante. I think he’s been chosen by a family already.” I kept staring at you. It had already happened. You had jumped off of that page and leaped inside of my heart. I grabbed Poppy’s hand and said, “Look at him. This is our baby.” Ms. Jones persisted that, “He has been chosen.” I asked her to make a copy of his picture for us and to check out the details. In the meantime, Poppy and I were done with our search. I called Nana, Grammy and Audrey and had them go into prayer – quickly. A couple of weeks later Ms. Jones called and left a message on our home phone. She had good news. For some reason, the family that she thought had chosen you hadn’t. You were still available. Glory to God! She said that she would still get more detail but we could plan for a debriefing and finally a visit. Talk about nervous. In one day, God had managed to unit us.
Tuesday May 25, 2004
The first day we met you. Poppy and I drove to San Francisco to Human Services. We met Ms. Sykes, who was your caseworker at the time in the lobby and twiddled our thumbs until it was time to go upstairs. When we got to the floor, my heart began to pound. Poppy didn’t say much, but I knew he was excited. The elevator opened and we exited, traveling down a tight aisle with open faced cubicles. I peaked inside one and saw an Asian woman holding a little person. My heart leaped. I knew it was you. Shortly after, Ms, Rosenburg escorted Ms. Lin in with you in a stroller. Your cheeks were so full and red. You weren’t wearing any shoes. You had a head full of hair, a windbreaker jacket and some sweatpants. Ms. Ellen took you out of the stroller and handed you to me first. I could do nothing but hug you. You hugged back. She was instantly surprised. She said that you were not fond of strangers. When Poppy took you in his arms, you instantly kissed him. That’s when it dawned on me to start taking pictures. It was something to behold. Poppy handed you back to me and we went on a little walk. It was so RIGHT. When we came back, Ms. Maxine wanted to hold you, but you weren’t too excited about it. You became very fidgety. She said, “I can’t believe this, he already knows his parents.” They were impressed at how we had already bonded. Ms. Ellen wrote down a list of things you like, eat, and schedules and gave it to us. She said, “He’s ready.” Then you began to cry. You were sleepy. She put you back in the stroller and pulled out a bottle. That’s when I gave you your first bottle. You weren’t holding your bottle independently, so I held it for you while you suckled.
The visit went so well that they said we could move forward with overnight visits. I was so bummed because we were going to LA that weekend to a wedding. I couldn’t stop thinking about you that weekend. I took pictures of you and showed you off to everyone I could.
Tuesday June 1, 2004
I came to pick you up. You wore a little Lakers sweatshirt and purple sweatpants that were a little snug. I took you to Wilson Prep to meet everyone. I then took you to our then home so that you could get familiar with it. You took a quick nap in your new bedroom and by the time you awakened, it was time to get you back across the bridge to go home. I knew that wasn’t going to last too long – me going back and forth across the bridge. I was in love.
Now granted, much has changed since Noah’s arrival in 2004. I now ride solo and Noah has limited visits with “Poppy.” No one could have foretold the story that now lays as the backdrop of our lives but the bond between mother and son is irrefutable. Noah has my back. When times have been tough, he has been so in-tuned to my pain – sometimes walking over to simply rub my hand and say, “Mommy…be happy! You happy Mommy? Be happy!” At THAT moment, I was happy. I’d weep – with joy. He knows me and I know him and I’m so happy he is my first – yes I want more. But this one thing is true, whoever that man is that is going to step inside of our nucleus, separate Noah and I so that my cleaving it appropriate and help us enlarge our family…boy howdy…he is going to have to be a special man because Noah is a special kid. He is a dynamic person. His appreciation for things uncommon is what makes him – him. I can go on with his love for music and the arts, his ability to love HARD, etc…but being a parent is definitely the best thing in the world – especially to be Noah’s parent. I love him.
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