Sunday, October 28, 2007

Be Tough

When I was little, if one of my sisters or I fell we were told to "be tough." There weren't a lot of tears, it was just "be tough." And it wasn't just if we were hurt. If we were on "high adventure" and were scared it was, "be tough". And we were. We were some of the "toughest" little girls you've ever seen. It didn't come so much from Mom as it did from Dave. Not that there was anything wrong with it, or that it scarred us or anything. But I think that it definitely shaped an attitude of "toughness" in all of us. I have always been "fine" when asked if I was okay, even when I clearly wasn't. This morning when Mom asked if I was okay of course I responded "fine" and when she said, "you know it's okay to cry?" I thought, "since when?" But I should explain.

We have been in contact with a birthmom and her family. Lots of phone calls and e-mails have gone back and forth between us, them, attorneys, facilitators, etc. We knew from the beginning the situation would be difficult and that it would most likely end in family court, but in the end we had to make the decision to back off. There was still a small chance that the birth father could have a change of heart and there has always been of the possibility of CPS getting involved. But no luck.

Malea Ray was born on Friday around noon. It sounds pretty, but I don't like it. It means "uncertain" in Hebrew. She was scheduled for a C-section due to some complications, but she wouldn't have it. Luckily, she was caught by a nurse after a few hard contractions before they could make it to the delivery room. She was 6lbs 7oz and 18" long. I got this information after I couldn't stand it anymore and had to call Fran. (Fran is the grandma and a saint.) I had to know if she was okay. She is in the NICU for observation, but she will be okay. I had to ask if she had lots of hair, and she does. Lots of black curly hair. I bet she's beautiful. I've dreamed about this little girl. She even has a name. But I'm not her mommy. It was close, but not this time.

Friday I cleaned out the car, installed the carseat, and packed a diaper bag just in case. I got a message from Inez (a her0!) from Chicks in Crisis, and when later in the afternoon I didn't get a call, I drove to Elk Grove to deliver some diapers and other things this organization needs to kill some time. Yesterday we went to Lake Tahoe for the day with some friends to kill more time. And this morning, I broke down and made the call. She was born. The dad was on his best behavior while at the hospital and our mom will probably be discharged today. But at least I know she is okay. At least for now. I will spare you the yucky details, but trust me when I say it breaks my heart to think of this little girl being raised in this family. The best we can do now is pray for her safety and pray that she can be the catalyst for change in these people's lives. I'm going to leave the carseat and diaper bag in the back seat for a few more days just in case. CPS will be doing an investigation and there is still a small sliver of hope that they will think beyond the definition of the law and do what is right by this little girl.

Through all of this I don't know if I can say I've learned any more or what the purpose is, but I know the same two things I've always known. #1. There is a God #2. I'm not Him. In the mean time, I'll "be tough". Just please don't ask me if I'm okay.

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