Back in October, we were contacted by someone who had a granddaughter she wanted to be adopted through His Hands. We were excited to speak more with this lady and meet the baby who was already 7 months old. We had never had a referral for a baby of this age so we didn’t know what to expect. I still remember the night Holly and I went to meet the grandmother and have her sign the papers to release the baby into our care. As Holly and the grandmother talked, I held the baby and played with her, trying to keep her calm. I could tell she really liked toys and wanted to play with anything she could get her hands on. She was a beautiful (and chubby) girl.
On our way home I told Holly that I wanted to keep the baby at my house for the night just in case the baby had any problems (we didn’t want her to be scared being thrown into a nursery full of other babies). I was so excited to show her to Sara, but when I got home, Sara had already gone to bed. The next morning, I brought Sara into my room and surprised her with Anna (that is her name now). Sara could not believe that we had a new baby at His Hands…and one who was already 7 months old. Sara brought her out to the living room and set her on the ground. We very quickly realized that she could crawl around and get into many things. She was also a very happy little girl. She seemed pretty advanced for a normal 7 month old so we were even more impressed with her because she had not had the most ideal care for the first months of her life. Somehow, over the next few weeks, she ended up staying with me. Through the stages of sending her referral to her adoptive parents and the many steps that followed, I ended up caring for her the whole time.
When I think back to that night when I saw Anna for the first time, I never would have thought that I would be her “mommy” for the next three months. She has grown so much in that time and developed so quickly. Many days I struggled to keep up with her and her busy-ness. Anna Banana was always looking for something new to explore or some new mischief she could get into. I realized that I would not get much else done with her around so I focused on just taking care of her. There were many frustrating times of not even being able to walk out of a room for 1 minute because she would have gotten into something she wasn’t supposed to have. But there were also SO MANY laughs and giggles that made the tiresome time worth it all.
As last Friday approached and I prepared myself to hand Anna over to her adoptive family, I felt very calm. I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I was really looking forward to a break. I honestly thought, “this hand-off might be easier than some of the other babies we’ve had.” Boy, was I wrong! Thursday rolled around and it hit me. I had to say goodbye to my baby girl. Oh my, the tears started flowing. This little girl, who could be so mischievous and frustrating, would be going to her family in less than 24 hours. I could no longer remember the frustrating times…all I could think about were the good things about her…her smile, her giggles, her chubby legs, her loud babbles, the way she would giggle when we sang “Jesus Loves Me”, how excited she would get when I threw her up in the air…the list could go on.
It was amazing to see how well Anna went to her parents and immediately started playing with her brothers. They are the perfect family. There are lots of transitions they are going through right now but they will soon forget what life was like without Anna.
For myself, it’s hard to remember life without Anna. That baby, who I was constantly saying “no” to, completely stole my heart. I didn’t think it could happen like it did. I’ve loved all the babies who have gone through His Hands, but Anna was special. I love you, Anna Banana!!