The case has to go to court, now, because the mother (wisely) won't sign relinquishment forms if the father is so unwilling. The court will decide if the baby can be placed for adoption or if the mother will parent. It is my understanding that, in most cases where one parent refuses an adoption plan, the judge rarely rules against the parent.
And so, the baby has been placed with a wonderful foster family to take care of her while the court decisions are processed. I don't want to reveal names for the sake of discretion, but I will tell you that the mother, in a way, named the baby after Taylor and me.
I have made her a little hat for Christmas, and Taylor and I will likely go meet her at the foster family's home before we leave for the west coast for the holidays. We will hold her and bless her and remember her face forever, even if she is not meant to come home to us.
And so, a sweet little girl has been placed into our lives, and is in our hearts if not in our arms. She is one week old today. I have been taught so many things about parenthood since starting the adoption process. We are not legally responsible for any children yet, but there are so, so many in our hearts, in our thoughts, whom we lift up in prayer each night.
Isn't that what parenthood is about? There is, of course, the daily grind: the feeding, washing, changing, wiping, crying, laughing, squishy loving, and sleepless nights. But the little I know of motherhood tells me that every moment, regardless of the age of the child, regardless of his presence in the home, a mother "holds all these things and treasures them in her heart" (Lk 2:19).
Today, on this feast of motherhood, as we remember St. Anne's joyful conception of the Theotokos, I think of all our children, those we know, and those we do not yet. I hope they are safe, and loved, and happy. Especially this new baby. I can't wait to see her. Even if it's just once.
Today the bonds of barrenness are broken,
God has heard the prayers of Joachim and Anna.
He has promised them beyond all their hopes
To bear the Maiden of God
By whom the Uncircumscribed One was born as a moral man,
Who commanded an angel to cry to her:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with You!
Today the universe rejoices,
for Anna has conceived the Theotokos through God's dispensation,
for she has brought forth the One who is to bear the Ineffable Word!