Friday, April 13

taylor is my first-born.
may 16, 1984.
as with my other birth mothers,
i visited robin in her hospital room
to remind her that she could change her
mind.  that we would do whatever we could
to help her.  that no matter HOW much we
longed for this beautiful, darling little boy,
we wanted God's best for him and robin.
 
two hours later, will and i walked in,
and with tears streaming down her face,
she wrapped him tighter with the little
blanket i had brought to bring him home in....
and then robin lifted him to me, and said,
"ann, i carried him just for you!"
 
the sun broke away from a cloud.
the earth glistened.  the flags waved.
the children sang.   the world
laughed and cheered and clapped.
and will and i took home the baby we had
so longed to have.  as with his brothers, we
drove away from the hospital 24 hours after
his birth.  the balloons painted the sky,
and God had finally, after so many losses, started
what we call 'family'.   laguna street. idaho falls, idaho.
 
the little town of idaho falls may not excite most              
people, but all four of our sons were born there.
for us, it is what you call a 'treasure'!
 
taylor jenkins anderson.
named after ken taylor of the Living Bible.
all our children have sur-names of great men we
longed for them to emulate.  being a first-born
is no easy journey for any baby.  as parents, we
all somehow believe we are going to do it better
and finer than anyone else.  taylor was the most
beautiful and brilliant baby the world had ever experienced.
 
though completely inexperienced in child-rearing,
will and i felt like pros.  we were going to do this right.
taylor would stand taller, be smarter, conquer every obstacle
in ways no other child had ever achieved.  the fact that
he was precocious made us look alot smarter at this
endeavor.  when he was seven, he was doing all of will's
payroll.  i shudder when i remember getting up one night
to check on the children, and found taylor's bed empty.
i found him in the basement with tears in his beautiful, blue
eyes.  "mommy, daddy is going to be upset with me.  no
matter what i try, i can't get daddy's payroll to balance."
 
that will would give a little boy such a task infuriated me,
but i smiled, and assured taylor that daddy would completely
understand, and he was coming back to bed with me.
 
i remembered that on a rainy friday morning, i had stopped to
drop taylor off at his first grade class, in a hurry to get everyone
else to day care on the only day i went into the office.
 
"mommy, will you walk in with me?"
"oh, honey, mommy is in such a hurry.  you can go in
by yourself.  you are a big boy, and i know you can do this." 
 
taylor was relentless.
he somehow could not face his class all my himself.
he was so sweet.  so unaware of his brilliance.  finally,
i turned the car off. locked the doors and took taylor's hand,
and approached his classroom door.  i suddenly noticed
that tears were streaming down his face.  until that moment,
i hadn't understood that this was a hard day for my child, and
i fell to the floor in the hall, and pulled him into my lap, and hugged
and kissed him and told him how sorry i was to not understand
better.  he began to wipe his tears away.
 
"mommy, are all my tears gone?"
i weep, as i am right now, every time i remember that morning.
how profoundly i loved my child.  i want to do that day all over
again, and get it right this time.  i don't think anyone should talk
about parenting unless they have a few years of it under their
belts.  i think with each new child, we become less demanding
of performance.  more relaxed.  not so worried about what
people are going to think of us and our children. 
  
story of taylor continued tomorrow.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting that Ann! My husband and I recently adopted a little girl from China and they now believe she has downs syndrome. I have struggled to come to terms with my expectations and yet somehow just be the mother she needs ... the one God created me to be. Your words hit home.

    Karmen
    www.babybernacchi.com

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  2. Karmen...I too am a mama of two adopted girls. They both have special needs but we didn't know it at the time. When the days are hard, I think back to the court room when we finalized the adoption. The judge looked at us and asked us if we accepted full responsibility through sickness and in health. I remember feeling a mama bear determination and exclaimed firmly, "Yes I do." There is still the grief process, the down days, but intermingled is a blessing that God had designed for our babies and for us in putting us together. He picked you to love your special baby. Bless you sister!!
    Sheri
    zcoffeegirl@gmail.com

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  3. I love these posts so much!

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