Friday, June 16, 2006
baby girl X
when i first saw her, she was on TV. she was abandoned and fighting for her life. encased in a glass incubator, she was thin gray, with at least half a dozen needles and monitors stuck into her dry and old skin.
i rushed to PGH and brought the antibiotics the public-service program said she needed, along with disposable diapers, a knitted cap, a soft toy, fuzzy blankets, and a stampita of the divine mercy. i peered into the most complicated incubator in the room, and there she lay, even more premature and smaller than i thought, weighing 950 grams, less than 1 kilo of porkchops.
baby girl X--it said on the incubator. and for some reason, she looked like my grandmother, mama maying, we used to call her, which was a baby's way of saying maring, a nickname for maria.
many people ask me when i decided to adopt my daughter. although i may have not known it yet, it was probably at that moment when i was astonished that baby girl X looked so much like my mama maying. for signs like these may seem coincidental to you but incredibly meaningful to me.
baby girl X did fight for her life, hard. through infections and roller-coaster sepsis levels and immature lungs, she made it out of the ICU into a regular ward (where cats and roaches settled underneath her basinette at night). i would visit her at night when my other kids were asleep, and my friend would tempt me to put baby girl X into a gym bag and whisk her away, so as not to go through the DSWD system. we weathered the bureaucracy and legal requirements of the welfare department and secured her adoption papers in time for our US immigrant petition. her legal and beloved name is selena.
selena is my light, my awesome reminder that God is good. everyone in the hospital said i could not adopt her. but obstacle after obstacle disappeared in the process. she has taught me the walking-on-clouds euphoria, that i have walked out of the county hospital with my feet seemingly 4 inches off the ground--you get only when you are in alignment to the Will of God at His precise time.
maybe i was poised by age, but adopting selena has defined my life in a way that continues to push the boundaries of who i am, what i can do, endure, achieve. we have endured uncertainty, rude questions, the gasps of people who think we have too many children. but as dr. wayne dyer said, "when you are inspired towards a greater purpose, all of your thoughts break thier bonds." there wasn't anything i wouldn't and couldn't do to adopt her. i miss this kind of clarity.
and so i start here, with an abandoned baby girl, with no name--for she brought with her an inspiration so strong, i would have been far less without it.