The baby quilt you see in this picture was made by the loving hands of my niece, Kathleen, over 16 years ago. She was only 15 and put hours of work into making it just right for a baby that never came. Unable to have children, my husband and I had applied for adoption and were anxiously waiting to get the call that our baby girl was here. We already had a boy from my husband's previous marriage, so requested a girl, even though we told ourselves it didn't matter and we'd take any baby, as long as it was healthy. Our son had a multitude of physical and mental disabilities and the thought of another such child with such problems seemed overwhelming. We had high hopes.
After almost 4 years of waiting, even though we were told the average wait was under 2 years, we finally got the call. They had a beautiful little boy for us. But before we could agree to be his parents they needed to inform us of his birth mother. She was mentally delayed and they feared it may be genetic. The child they were offering us was not only not a girl, but may have a disability. Our hearts were filled with joy, even though we knew the road may be hard. We told them yes.
Putting aside all the girl names we'd picked out, we brought our little boy home to a nursery decorated with pink carpet and pink gingham curtains. The bassinet had a pink bow and Minnie Mouse decals adorned the walls. In the closet were pretty little dresses and the dresser drawers were filled with pink little booties and Onsies that read "Daddy's Little Girl." I spent the next few days lovingly replacing the pink with blue and relying on friends and family to scurry around collecting needed "boy" things. My sister threw a baby shower so we'd have boy clothes and a name was picked.
Joshua Edward. Our pride and joy.
As the years have passed, the crates filled with all those little girl things have slowly dwindled as friends and family have brought little girls into their homes. With each new addition, I've given more and more away, slowly giving up hope that we'd get our little girl. Each time, the tears came and went, even though we never regretted the decision we made to bring Joshua into our home. Not even when he was diagnosed with Autism.
This week, my niece brought a precious baby girl into this world.
She is the most beautiful little gift from God I've ever seen. As this is Kathleen's 6th child (third girl) I thought it was time to return her gift. The quilt she so lovingly made remained in a box, unused, for all these years and is the last item of hope I clung too.
At 47 years old, I think it's time I let it go. But it's not that easy.
I've spent the better part of the morning fighting back tears, knowing our home will never be graced with the giggle of little girls or invitations to tea parties. I will never braid her hair or buckle her shoes for church. There will be no boy friends coming to court and no asking her daddy to give her away. And since our oldest son, Steven has passed away and Joshua will probably never get married, there will be no granddaughters to spoil in my golden years.
So, today is a tough one. As grateful as I am for a wonderful life and two precious boys, I have to let my hope of a little girl go. Life has been good to us and even though I still struggle with this one thing, I know that the Lord's will is in all things and that someday I will understand the choices that were made on my behalf. But for now . . . we welcome Rachel and hope that she will live a happy and healthy life. Thank you Kathleen for this precious gift. As much as I regret having to return it after all these years, it is time. Cling to this little one you hold in your arms. She is a precious gift and you are blessed to have her.