Perfection and Perspective

A good friend of mine is adopting a little girl. It's a process that has taken more than a year of interviews and classes and home visits and waiting, and on Friday, she should be their daughter for good. She just turned 12 years old, the youngest of seven kids who have all been abandoned by their parents.

My friend has two grown sons by his first marriage. He's in his early 50s, been happily married to his second wife for more than 10 years, and for all intents and purposes he's done raising kids. Except he knows he can afford, both financially and emotionally, to give another child a happy home. He wants to experience the magic of a father-daughter relationship. And he wishes to fulfill his wife's dream of motherhood. I think it's amazing for everyone involved. I mean, a prepubescent girl?! He has no idea what he's getting into. :)

That friend was on my mind this afternoon as I lay there in the darkened ultrasound room, watching my unborn son on the screen above me throwing elbows into my bladder. We were there, as you know, to hear whether the abnormality picked up on the last ultrasound was indeed something worrisome or not. We'd gone through a genetic counseling session right before the ultrasound that admittedly made me nervous. There's something about the way a healthcare professional lays out all the possible complications and probabilities of problems and tests to come, that makes even the calmest, most faithful parent start to sweat.

I had been calm, cool and relatively collected until then. I'd been praying for a healthy baby, telling myself that it was a prayer lifted because I didn't want to see a child of mine suffer. I wanted only happiness, for his sake. But let's be honest -- a parent prays such a thing selfishly as much as selflessly. I don't want to suffer. I want only happiness for my family. Parenthood is hard enough under the best circumstances. When it comes to your kids, it's extremely difficult to pray that "Thy will be done."

But something switched again in my heart when I saw that tiny spine wriggling on the screen, and I realized I never really cared what the doctor had to say. It was completely inconsequential. In my head I heard my friend, the way he already says "my daughter" this and "my daughter" that, even though they've only known each other a few weeks, even though he's only vaguely aware of the psychological problems and emotional scars and insecurity issues she's bringing with her into his home. Into their home.

Because once you open your heart to a child it doesn't matter -- deep, deep down it truly doesn't -- what's to come. And as such, Evan is already perfect in my heart. Nothing the doctor could see would alter that view. No further testing on this fact was needed.

The doctor didn't find the abnormality that the first ultrasound had picked up. And for that, we rejoice and thank God. However, he did find that one of Evan's kidneys is larger than the other one, holding more urine than its counterpart. This, apparently, could be a normal variant in pregnancy, the way different organs develop differently. But because enlarged kidneys can also be a soft marker for Down syndrome, and because my "advanced maternal age" slightly ups my chances for a baby with Down syndrome, the doctor wants to take another look at Evan in about a month to see how those kidneys are developing.

Another glimpse at my perfect boy is fine with me. It doesn't matter what that doctor sees; I already have my final diagnosis.

(Thanks so much to everyone who has been lifting prayers on Evan's behalf. He sure is a blessed little boy.)


Babs Koch said...

Yes! Great news and I'm with ya on the greatness of being able to "see" him again in a month. What a blessing.
Thanks for the update.

Kim said...

There you go...making me bawl my eyes out again. Can't wait to see Kostyn and give Evan a little rub in just two days!!!

Heather said...

Evan was perfect even before he was conceived, because of you. I love you, Robyn.