Her Dream Of Becoming A Mother Finally Becomes A Reality.
Story by Kathryn Lay
We had waited 7 months for that call from our caseworker. We had ultimately waited ten years to hold a child in our arms and take on the role of parents. Then, just three days before Thanksgiving, the phone rang and changed our lives forever.
“There’s something you’ve been praying for, isn’t there?” she asked. The phone shook in my hand. “Yes,” I finally gasped. “Well, I have a wonderful Christmas present for you,” she said. “Are you ready to meet your daughter?” I sat on the floor, figuring it would be better to sit than to fall. “Oh yes.” I called my husband and laughed when he yelled into the phone. “Cool it, Dad,” I said. “We’ve got to set examples now.”
Within a week, we were sitting in the livingroom of our 9 month old daughter’s foster parents. Nothing could have prepared me for the way I felt when my daughter crawled into my lap. Gayla Michelle. How perfect. My husband and I had chosen the name Michael or Michelle for our first child over ten years ago. I hoped she could get used to the name change.
“She’s beautiful,” I said.
Her foster mother smiled, the way I’d seen so many mother’s smile in pride. “Yes, and she’s very smart.”
Her smile froze and I saw her expression change. She stood quickly. “I’ve got a box of things you might want to take. Some of her clothes and a few toys and things.
I followed her into the nursery, imagining how our daughter would feel about her new room. Yellow and white, my favorite carousel pictures and figurines decorating the room. Would she love us? Would she be afraid for a while? I wanted to cry and turned to Tammy and saw that she was crying.
“I guess this pretty hard,” I said. “You’ve had Michelle since she left the hospital.”
She nodded. “She’s like my own daughter.”
We stood at the door of the nursery, sizing one another up. Did she resent me? Had she hoped for more time with the little girl who showed off for my husband in the living room?
Inside the nursery, I carefully looked at my daughter’s belongings that would come home with us. A few clothes, a couple of toys, one stuffed dog. And three carousel decorations.
“Her nursery is done in carousels,” I whispered.
“Really?” Tammy said. “Michelle will feel at home.”
“Michelle? I thought her name is Gayla?”
“It is,” she said. “But my children couldn’t say Gayla very well. We’ve always called her Michelle.”
I explained how we’d planned to name our first daughter Michelle. Tammy smiled again. She grabbed my hand. “You’ll really love her, won’t you?”
“More than my own life,” I promised.
“I have her baby book, and some pictures,” Tammy said.
My daughter’s first days had been traumatic in the life of her birthmother. But in reality, Michelle’s first nine months had been blessed. She had the love of three mothers. One who gave her life. Another who gave her a home. And the third, me, who would give her a mother’s love and dedication. And a tiny girl united two women’s hearts in a special bond of motherhood, not limited by pregnancy and childbirth, instead, with endless boundaries.