We didn’t know it yet, but a year ago Dylan came into the world. It would be just a couple of days before he joined our family. It was a sweet surprise.
We’d come back home after a long, heartbreaking September. We were all hurting, and we took Octover November to huddle and heal as a family. The hubby and I talked it over and decided that we would give adoption one more try. But just one. If it didn’t work out the next time, we wouldn’t try again, and we’d remain a happy family of three.
But before it was final, we wanted to talk to Parker about it.
Parker had been through so much in September. At five years of age, he got a sister and lost her again after three weeks, and three emotional drives across Virginia.
We went out of our way to make sure he was OK emotionally. We spent extra time with him, and we decided to hold off going back into “the books” at the agency (where they keep the adoptive family profiles they show to birth parents) until Parker’s birthday had passed. We didn’t want anything to mar that for him.
We tried to make it clear to him that it wasn’t because of him or our family. We did everything we were supposed to do. It’s just that the birthmother changed her mind.
Because we have a “policy of honesty” with Parker, we also made it OK to talk about the loss and ask questions. We told him the story of his acoption, and talked to him about his birthmom and why she picked us, since he would be a part of the new baby’s adoption process.
We asked Parker if he wanted Daddy and Papa to try again and bring a baby brother or sister into our family, and Parker said yes. Later he told me he “wished on a star.” that another baby would join our family.
A few days ago he said to me, “Daddy, I wished on a star for Dylan and my wish came true!”
Did it ever.
The next evening, as I was leaving work, my phone rang. It was the adoption agency, calling about a baby boy, just born and just right for our family.
Five-thirty. About 10 minutes more and I’d have been on the subway. Instead, I was standing on the sidewalk outside my office building on K Street. I sat down in the middle of that sidewalk, with the cellphone in one hand, and searched through my backpack until I found a notepad and pen with which to write down the information.
I called the hubby, but he was en route home with Parker. So, I left a message and waited. (Not on the sidewalk.)
Finally, we talked. We were stunned. When we went “back on the books” at the end of November, we assumed it would take months or even a year before we were chosen again. The birth mother had all but officially chosen us, and agency was waiting to hear from us whether we were open to adopting this baby boy.
Of course, we said yes.
The next morning, after a night of fitful sleep, we got the call. Come to New Jersey and get (by now we’d settled on a name, one that I chose because of a favorite poet) Dylan.
We went off to New Jersey and brought Dylan home three weeks later; just in time for Christmas.
Now, he’s just this close to walking. (He can stand up on his own, from sitting on the floor, and manage about four or five steps before he plops back down.) And the baby who found his way into our family and our hearts is getting into just about everything else.
Thanks, Dylan, for joining our family. Daddy, Papa, and big brother Parker love you more than you know.