I wanted to take some time here at 3AM to write down my thoughts before all too soon when I forget how I felt that day a child was to become a permenant member of our family.
In the most significant way, it won’t change a thing. Zoe has been home with us her whole life anyway…she is already my child in ever sense of the word. Except through the state of PA of course.
I was speaking to my mom lastnight in tears and couldn’t figure out what my problem is. I am overjoyed with a happiness you could never understand unless you have lived this, but at the same time there is a little fear that things won’t go smoothly…..because this whole process teaches you that things rarely go as planned…so your body and mind can’t help but to fear.
But more than that, there are these feelings of overwhelming emotion that I didn’t expect. More than two years ago, I got the call to pick this medically fragile baby up from Einstine Hospital’s NEONATAL dept. Of course I went. While there, they had to train me on her machines and bagging her. She had almost died 3 days prior along with many times before that during her 3 month stay there.
Somehow there was peace for me that day…no fear. God was there. They finally took me to see her and with all the babies in the room, at first glace I knew which one she was. Still hooked to oxygen and monitors, I reached down to pick her up, layed her on my chest and that second she was my daughter.
The next year of her life brought about many many sleepless nights. Many many episodes of times I wouldn’t wish on anyone…..when she would turn color, stop breathing and nearly pass………her brain was trying to reaborb the blood from hemmorage and many transfussions, tests, infections, under delveloped lungs, RDS, etc etc………and her teeny tiny body was fighting for life.
How could a mother sleep, when watching her breathe was all I could think about?
Well over 340 hours of therapy followed in the next years, not knowing how extensive her brain had been damaged. Trips to Phila CHOP and specialists for her care on a bi weekly basis………….writing this reminds me of how long ago it seems now, though it wasn’t. She is only 30 months. Her body has healed beyond ANYONE’s expectations….mine, however, has taken a bit of a toll.
I have been blessed….but is hasn’t been an easy road. Court dates every few months, scares of losing her to someone else, scares of losing her to death. I do not walk away from today the same person I walked in.
I am older, wiser, more compassionate, and able to give more of myself than ever before. I am also more scared as I learned first hand how fragile life really is. I am more aware of how much work needs to be done within my family and within the system of family services in PA. I am far more open to children with disabilities. I am quicker to stand up for my kids. (Go ahead white lady and "pet" my child's hair...I am so over being quiet and these are just the little things that will grow into big things as they grow and need me to stand firmly behind them) I am more anxious and less organized…..the house is probably a little more messy. I am more in love with my husband than I have ever been and more proud of my other 5 children than i ever thought possible.
Most of all, I am in love for the 6th time to this beaitful gift from God who has taught me more than I could ever repay, blessed me more than I could ever return, and who has without reservation given to me the gift of her unconditional love, which is priceless.
Today she became
Zoe Sindisiwe Thea Stengel
officially and FOREVER. Today is one of the best days of our life as a family.
Thank you Lord!
BTW Thandi, I thought of you in the court room!! You should've heard the judge trying to pronounce her middle name!!! heehee, it was funny :)