Friday, November 18, 2011
There we were. The four of us. Two boys, my miracles and my husband, also a miracle.
Life is never perfect, but sometimes it reaches that balancing point where you swear that if you could only hold your breathe forever the winds would never change. That was it for us. Our tea cosy moment.
My husband and I got a phone call. The kind of call appropriate for the lateness of night. The kind of call that made us exhale and the winds around us changed.
My mother was on the other end of the line. Sobbing. The Department of Children's Services had rung her to tell her she was a grandmother again. They'd been looking for family. My younger sister had a baby many months ago and did we want to leave him in Foster Care or think about offering him a home. There was no one else. No other family. No father. And his mother, my sister, left him.
You have to know that my sister wanted him. She did. I know that the way only a sister can. But my sister has a severe mental illness and hasn't been able to maintain any sort of support network or medication schedule.
My mother said she'd take the baby, but only if we couldn't. She's getting older. We already have a family. Boys. Wouldn't that be best? What did we think?
What did we think?
I didn't think.
I felt everything. The waves of every sadness my family has ever known swelled up around me, their wet hands pulling and pushing.
I felt for those little girls. They way they played dollies. Pretended to be mummies. Dressed up in heels and pushed their prams around. Where were they?
They were gone.
They grew up. Barely. One surviving the trauma of their childhood, the other one swallowed whole by it.
She had a baby. My sister had a baby. For days I couldn't make that thought be real. I haven't seen her in nearly two years.
And I wanted to see her. Oh how I wanted to see her. And hold her and tell her the sorts of things that every big sister should say. That everything will be okay. Because of course we will take your baby, my sweet sweet sister.
I don't need to think about that question.
I only need to feel.
My husband and I began the process of have this little one come and live in our family and we are hoping the baby will join us early in the new year. We had no baby things. Our youngest is four and we gave everything away. But people have been good and so much has already been given to us.
Our two boys are excited. Another play mate.
My husband is busy finishing renovations to meet home safety standards to have the baby come and live with us.
And I am preparing mother another little one. Sometimes I am scared by the thought of raising three children under eight years. Then I remember not to think. Just feel.
Life isn't asking about my ability, only my availability.
To my dear sister, we are available.
(thank you to everyone who has already given your best wishes, thoughts and prayers. They matter)
Posted by Tabitha Bird at 1:20 AM