Parental rights termination paperwork complete. Discharge instructions reviewed and signed. Turkey-Man is loaded into his car seat. For this week’s Wednesday’s Wild Chronicles we are homeward bound!
With six and a half years to dream of this moment, six months of working in a neonatal ICU and another couple of years as an ER nurse, one would assume I would have this whole taking care of a newborn thing down to a science. Well, a funny thing happens when it is your child, a sudden amnesia sets in! I was not just responsible for a 12 hour shift taking care of a baby, I was suddenly thrust into a role that is responsible for every aspect of this child’s life. I was equally elated and terrified with my new position of motherhood!
Our friends and family rallied around us in our newfound roles. Tears of joy were a common occurrence! Two days after we brought Turkey-man home, I happened to have a doctor’s appointment. My physician and therapist are in the same office so they know me quite well. I had seen my therapist the week before and given that we were still a month away, it was not anticipated that I would be showing up the following week as a mom. So, when hubby and I walked into the lobby with our little six pound surprise, crying and hugging ensued!
I remember our first Sunday at church as a new family of three. Our minister stood in the pulpit, ready to begin his sermon and he looked over at us and said, “I believe this is the first time (Turkey-man) has joined us at church… and that’s all I can say about that because I am going to start crying if I say more.” His simple presence affected everyone who knew us.
Probably the moment that touched me most was when Chris’ grandma met Turkey-man for the first time. She was 91 at the time. Through tears she kept repeatedly saying, “I was not sure I would live to see this day.” That memory still makes me tear up!
Many times we questioned whether it was wise to be so open and transparent about our struggles. At times, when it seemed like a continuous stream of bad news, I cringed when people asked about how things were going. I got tired of never having anything upbeat to report.
Once Turkey-man arrived in our lives, I knew we had done the right thing. I am not sure I can ever explain to you or especially to him, how much joy his one little life caused. God was praised over and over for His faithfulness in answering our prayers for a family. We had allowed people to share in our heartache and got to witness them now sharing in our joy as well!
Motherhood felt awkward at first, feeling that constant sense of uncertainty that comes with the role. After nearly four years, I finally get the idea that doubting yourself is a fairly common phenomenon for mothers. I have no idea who coined the saying, “Behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it all up” but that is 100% truth!
In between the times of insecurity are moments of pure joy. I remember in the first week home having to do laundry at ten at night. Merely a week earlier that would have never even been a thought, let alone something I would enjoy doing. My newborn needed some clean clothes and it did not matter what time of day it was, I was doing something that MY CHILD needed from me. It struck me as odd that I would feel so much joy over something so mundane, but to me it represented motherhood – something I had longed for since childhood.
The tears of joy in our circle of family and friends were unmatched by the ones that fell at home behind closed doors. I could not believe Turkey-man was my child. I stared at him in awe, often crying as I rocked him. I was beyond overjoyed with the gift I had been given. Even today, nearly four years later those same tears fall often enough that he understands the concept of “Happy Tears.” It was terrifying, but he was also the most beautiful thing that had ever happened in my life!