A Leap of Faith

February 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Posted in Family, Me | 25 Comments
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Thousands of miles and 16 leap years ago, a little boy was born in a hospital in Houston, Texas. He lived and died and knew love in those short 24 hours of February 29, 1952.

He was the second baby my grandparents lost.

The second baby born with lungs that just couldn’t do the work they were meant to do. The second baby my grandmother birthed without meeting, holding, touching. The second baby my grandfather buried under the pecan trees in their town’s small cemetery.

Their children would never live, that’s what the doctors told them.

They went home. They carried on. They tended their crops, darned their socks, and made fresh cornbread. They tried not to imagine little fingers that would never know the satisfaction of a little patch of fertile dirt. Little feet that would never shuffle across their floor. Little mouths that would never holler for second helpings from their kitchen table.

For 448 days, they carried on. 448 days.

Then, they took a leap of faith.

Unblinking, they looked right at the rigid, unspoken, stifling definition of a family in the American South of the 1950s. And they found the courage to look beyond it, to rewrite it with the words their hearts had never stopped whispering.

They adopted a baby girl. My mom.

They dressed her in bonnets to keep the hot Texas sun off her fair skin. They took her on pony rides. They held her and hugged her and savored the scent of her sweet blond curls.

They loved her like she was their own.

Because she was. She is. And so am I.

Have you ever taken a leap of faith? Ever found courage you didn’t know you had? Ever been awed by the strength of those you love?

25 Comments »

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  1. /tear

    That was a beautiful entry Stacia.

    I am often awed by the power that those little people have over us. When we see something that reminds us of them and how even the silliest commercial can bring a real tear to our eyes. I wouldnt change it for the world.

    -John

  2. Heartbreaking… but beautiful! So sad…. but a lovely, happy ending.

  3. Beautiful, heart wrenchingly and heart warming and full of love.

  4. So well-written, Stacia. What a beautiful piece of your family history…

  5. I love this story and the way you told it. Thank goodness for the men and women in every generation who are willing to do things a little differently.

  6. You are amazing…I love you more than words can express.

  7. this is amazing. gives me a lot to think about….

  8. What a lovely story. Adoption is such a wonderful thing.

  9. Thank you for sharing this story, I’m sure the worst of times and the best of times for your grandparents.

  10. So beautiful. I love how adoption brings people who need each other together.

  11. This is such a beautiful post and it’s so nice that you have that wonderful old photo.

  12. So beautiful. 🙂

  13. This brought tears to my eyes, and those tears rolled down my cheeks. Wow. I’m speechless. Love you.

    • I couldn’t help but think of you when I wrote this, and I hoped it would help you see your own amazing strength. Love you, too.

  14. Oh, Stacia, thank you for sharing this story, it’s so incredibly touching!
    Knowing you and your beautiful family, I realize even more what a wonderful gift adoption can be, making a difference not only in one child’s life, but also in the lives of future generations who, otherwise, might not even be.

  15. “My mom.”

    ‘When someone loves you, the way they say your name sounds different.” – annon

    You say her name like she is family, like she belongs. Because she does. Because your grandparents chose her. They wanted her fingers. They knew one day her hands would hold you, and send you M&M’s while you were in Romania.

  16. I am so sorry for the grief your grandparents had to go through. For every parent who has ever lost a child… Your mother was adorable! So glad they found each other and made a loving family.

  17. Oh the love I feel in the post. It’s wonderful.

  18. What a heartachingly beautiful story. Such strength and courage – I don’t know how I would have gone on and yet they did. And here you are…

  19. Aw – I have a lump in my throat. Just beautiful. I love this story.

  20. So I must have been blinded by my tears the first time I read this post. I’m just realizing now that I never commented. I love this post. I love them all. I imagine your grandparents’ hearts just burst with their love for your mom and you and yours.

  21. So, so beautifully told. I teared up, my heart in my throat. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

  22. Powerful. And it made me well up in tears.

  23. Didn’t realize I had missed this amazing post. Just beautiful, Stacia. A couple of good friends of mine adopted children, and you always wonder what amazing force brought that child to those parents, and because of that they’ve become who they are and their family is what it is. I love this post.

  24. How beautifully written. Thank you for sharing that.


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