77: Right from the Start

77: Right from the Start

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Best Mom Ever!

Right from the Start

A daughter is one of the most beautiful gifts this world has to give.

~Laurel Atherton

The babies came out of the back room one at a time. Kind orphanage workers carried them to their new moms. They were dressed adorably in colorful garments, but they were screaming and crying. The chorus of crying babies and the faces of the smiling, but anxious parents created an unforgettable movie-worthy scene.

A woman called out my new daughter’s Chinese name and my heart jumped. I walked much too quickly to the front of the room as my wife followed. A woman handed me a cute baby wearing blue pajamas and said, “Look, she’s not crying!” My wife held the video camera and captured the moment.

We took the nineteen-month-old baby to the back of the room and sat on a bench. Our daughter grabbed hold of her new mother. My wife smiled for the first time in months and then her eyes filled with tears and her mouth quivered. My legs weakened and I sat down, wiping my own eyes.

My wife held our baby tightly as I filmed them. And just like a movie, it was love at first sight. The baby in the blue pajamas had found her mother, the woman who would raise her and always love her. My brave wife, who had just recovered from open-heart surgery, had found her daughter, the child who would make all her days meaningful.

Yes, I captured the entire scene on camera, but I don’t actually need to replay it because the moment is always with me. It is a moment that lifts me up when I’m down. It is a moment that inspires me today and tomorrow — my favorite moment.

Yesterday, when my wife came home from work, our nearly eleven-year-old daughter ran to the door. The preteen girl and her mother lovingly embraced, just like they were reliving that first meeting nine years ago. As I watched them my legs weakened and I sat down and wiped my eyes.

~Louis De Lauro

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