Outpouring of Love

Outpouring of Love

From Chicken Soup for Every Mom's Soul

Outpouring of Love

It was 8 P.M. and cold. The rain, undecided whether to turn to snow, came down in sheets. It didn’t matter to us. Three cars filled with family found their way to the Denver airport to meet the plane that was bringing the most precious of all cargoes—a ten-month-old baby boy.

My daughter Katy and her husband, Don, were adopting this boy, who was coming almost ten thousand miles from his home in the little country of Latvia. The infant had lived every day of his young life on his back in a crib in an orphanage along with 199 other children. He had never even been outside.

The entire family stood at the end of the ramp leading from the plane to the airport, expectant, awed and barely breathing—waiting for a first glance of this child. As passengers began coming off the plane, a small crowd gathered around us. No one in the waiting group spoke. Every eye was damp. The emotion was almost visible. One of the flight attendants handed us a congratulatory bottle of wine. Even passersby, feeling the electricity, stopped, asked and then stayed to watch.

When finally (they were actually the last ones off the plane) the woman carrying our baby turned the corner and started up the ramp to us, Katy could not contain herself another instant. She started running toward them crying openly, her arms outstretched, aching to hold her baby boy for the first time. Cradling him, she started back up the ramp. Don, with their other adopted child, a two-year-old girl, started running to meet them; he too crying. And when the four of them stepped inside the airport where all of us were standing; it was as if they had stepped into a warm and soft cocoon filled and overflowing with emotion and love. Everyone was hugging them, and then each other. Overwhelmed by the power of the scene, no longer was anyone a stranger, but then, love is like that.

I stood slightly to one side of the hubbub, so I could really “see” it. This poor little boy, so far from home, was hearing no familiar words. Even his name had been changed. He saw no familiar faces. He had been traveling for over twenty-four hours straight and seemed completely dazed. He was being passed from person to person, each one needing to touch him to believe he was real.

I looked closely at him. He had skin the color of chalk, his every rib was showing, and his nose was running. I reached over and found his forehead was warm to the touch. Clearly, he was ill.

I also noticed he couldn’t hold his head up by himself or even sit alone, signs that his development was way behind. Plus, he did not respond to noise. Could he be deaf?

At that moment I knew we probably had saved his life. I also realized with a rush of feeling that I would guard him, nurture him and love him with every fiber of my being. Katy was a wonderful mother, and I would be right behind her all the way.

As we finally left the airport for home, I crawled into the backseat of the car and sat between the two car seats full of miracles. Now there were two lives dependent on this family for all things. All the way home I had one hand on him and the other hand on her. I think I was praying.

The next morning we took the baby, who had been named Zachary, to the doctor. She found that Zachary had serious infections in both ears, which had apparently never been treated. She told us that our baby would hear once the infections cleared. The doctor went on to talk about solid foods (Zachary had never had any) and his need for exercise. Sending us home with medicines to help him, she assured us he would “catch up,” with care.

And he did, as we watched in amazement! In one short week this child held his head erect, sat alone, then flipped over and crawled on hands and knees. A few weeks later, he reached the stairs, climbed up two of them, then grabbed the rail and, pulling himself to a standing position, just stood there looking at his new mom in triumph!

As the doctor predicted, Zachary’s hearing returned and rosy apple cheeks replaced his chalky color. But the most important change of all was that our Zachary began to laugh and cry.

This little boy had never cried. When crying hadn’t worked to draw the attention he so desperately needed, he quit early on. As for laughter, I doubt there was too much to laugh about.

Now when Zachary laughs, it is no infant giggle but rather a hearty guffaw right from his toes. When he laughs like that, anyone with him has to laugh too.

Once again, I have seen the tremendous power of love. No one can thrive without it. And with it, all things are possible.

Jean Brody

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