Saturday, November 13, 2010

November is Adoption Month- One Parent's Story

With Adoption month in November, we wanted to share a very heartfelt story about author Brittany Glynn and her son Caleb. Brittany is a supporter and advocate for adoption and foster care and this is their true story.

The Story of Caleb Glynn – A lesson of love and generosity

I never knew I was capable of loving anyone or anything so much until I met Caleb. It was in early December, and I watched as the social worker pulled the baby boy from his car seat. I noticed in surprise that he wasn’t wearing any shoes or jacket on this chilly winter day. His blue striped shirt was worn and far too short, as were his pants. When the social worker carried him through the door of the church where we were waiting, happy blue eyes met us from underneath long bangs. The baby saw me and my parents. My husband was traveling abroad on business at the time. The baby’s mouth spread into what my father would later describe as the “John Denver” grin.

He came right to me, and when I held him in my arms for the first time, I knew I was meant to be his mommy. Sensing my emotion, he laid his head on my shoulder and patted my back, as if he were gently saying, “It’s okay, don’t cry.”

This child had been tossed around a number of foster families since he was six months old. In one of the last foster homes that he had been in, his foot became injured and now he could only crawl. Yet, his nurturing and compassionate spirit shone through in a way that I would soon learn touched everyone he met.
Caleb, who began responding to his new name within two days, was so under weight and height for his age that he did not even register on the lowest end of the growth chart––and would not for two more years. He was malnourished and vomited often (which we later realized was due to a soy allergy and texture issues). And, for the first few months, regardless of the methods we tried, he screamed through the night. For the next two years Caleb would jump and hide whenever the air-conditioner came on, or someone laughed or spoke too loudly. 

Yet something miraculous happened when Caleb became my son. This little boy who had owned nothing but the clothes on his back and a raggedy blanket that meant the world to him, taught me lessons that some people live their entire lives without learning. One of the first times my mother and I took Caleb to the store, he let us know he wanted to get down from the buggy. He then proceeded to an elderly lady in a wheelchair. Without saying a word, he reached out and took her hand, and walked alongside her in the store. From the very beginning, Caleb recognized when people were hurting or lonely and he’s always known just what to offer them.

When I found out I was pregnant with my son Griffin almost two years after Caleb entered our lives, Caleb was very excited about having a baby brother. At Thanksgiving, Caleb told his teachers at school that he was thankful for his baby brother, because he didn’t need anything else. This leads me to one of the most important lessons Caleb has taught me. Love doesn’t come in gifts, toys, or materialistic things; love lives in the amount of time you make to spend with those who are important to you.

Caleb hasn’t always had a mommy and daddy to call his own; he hasn’t always had someone to protect him from evil and abuse. But Caleb does have a light that shines brighter when he is met by life’s trials.

I admit that in the beginning, bringing Caleb into our lives was a pretty traumatic experience for me. It took getting through some difficult nights, some frustrating tantrums, and many episodes of projectile vomiting in public.  

But Caleb has taught me one of the most important lessons I could ever learn about parenthood. You don’t have to be able to afford to give your child the best of everything. Caleb doesn’t care about designer clothing, the best schools, or even acquiring the latest toys. He’d much prefer to sit in my lap and read a book than be given something new and expected to play alone.

Caleb has taught me that all a child really needs is to be loved and have a safe, healthy and nurturing home in which to grow. I often wonder how many other children out there are like Caleb? Children who are blooming with potential? Children who are waiting for a mommy and daddy to call their own? Children who are waiting for someone to love them and give them an opportunity at life?

When I think of Caleb, who has tested at genius levels, I see his gentle spirit and passion about life and others. I can’t imagine how this world would be,  without all that he’s going to contribute to it. I can’t fathom my life without all of the rich blessings Caleb brings.

When people hear Caleb’s story they tell me how much I’ve blessed his life. But I am the one who is blessed because I have the opportunity to be Caleb’s mommy. And believe me when I say . . . I think I may be raising a future president.

Christian Author Brittan Glynn has just released her novel Dreams (release October 2010). Brittany’s love for children has led her to foster caring and adoption. The story you just read is an editorial about her son Caleb’s adoption.

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