My quest for a family started in earnest once we built our house in 1976. We had two empty bedrooms and a yard perfect for children to play in. Two years later, we still had an empty yard and two empty bedrooms. During that time friends, cousins and neighbors had their first, second or third babies. Then one Sunday there was a notice in our church bulletin that the adoption agency was open to take new applications for adoption. We sent in our application and began the two-year wait for a child. In the meantime, I poured my love on my Godchildren and my friends' children. They would stay overnight at our house, but it killed me to send them back home to their parents. For a few hours my life was full of the joy of children.
Our home study for adoption moved along slowly. In May 1980, 18 months after we applied, we were finally approved as an adoptive family. My father passed away one month before we were approved. My children lost a grandpa who would have loved them to the end of the earth. Truly, Grandpa Fuss died with an empty heart never seeing his grandchildren.
In October 1980 as we marked my father's birthday, the first one since his death, we still had no word from the adoption agency. Then on December 2, I got the call at work (a pediatric office of all places!!). They had a two-month-old baby girl for us and we could pick her up on December 12. When I came back to my desk after the phone call, the whole waiting room started to cheer at my announcement. Many regular patients who had followed our journey were there to share my excitement. A quick bit of math will tell you that if she was two months old in December that the day she was born was in October. Yes, three days before Grandpa's birthday.
The next ten days were the longest of my life! Finally, we brought home a beautiful baby girl to fill our lives and one of our bedrooms and to play in our yard. When she was placed in my arms I could hardly breathe. I felt at that moment that I was the luckiest mother in the world. My heart was full to overflowing with joy. I had a child to cuddle and nurture and teach all the wonders of the world.
Adopting a baby at Christmas is magic! The Christmas carols were more beautiful, the lights on the tree were brighter and every Christmas card came with congratulations on our new baby. I can remember thinking this is what Mary must have felt like when it is said in the Bible "Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart."
|Photo of Karyn Elliott and her mother, Lynne Sobczak, at Ms. Elliott's wedding provided by Ms. Elliott.|