Raising Emma

February 13, 2009
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An instant pain appeared in my chest as my heart dropped. I have always wanted a dark-haired, fair skinned little girl who I could call my own. My dreams started looking impossible to achieve as they gynecologist explained that I was as infertile as a 90 year old woman with cancer.
'There are other options if you, and your husband, are still wanting a child, I can give you a packet on this wonderful adoption agency that has a decent selection of amazing children of all ages,' explained the doctor, after seeing the shocked look on my face.
'And you are absolutely positive that there is no possible way that I could conceive my own children?' I asked her for the third time since she broke the news to me.
'There is a 0.01% chance that you could conceive a child,' she explained, 'but that is almost impossible.'
I thanked her for her time and was out of her office just in time for the tears to start. They didn't stop until I got home and started eating my 'Bunny Tracks' ice cream.

About a year later, I went to the kitchen to get ready to make my scrambled eggs and bacon, when I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a stack of papers. I scooted myself over to them and picked them up. On the front of the packet in big bold letters were the words 'Children and Families of the World.'
I started flipping through the pages, seeing al the beautiful faces of children that don't have a permanent home. I felt so bad for these wonderful kids that don't have a chance, that I called my husband, Lucas, right away and asked him if he could come home immediately from work.
When he arrived home I asked him if he was serious about adoption and if he wanted a child that wasn't his.
'Of course I want a child, whether it is my own or someone else's that couldn't take care of them, I will love them all the same.'
His reply was like magic to my ears. As I was wiping the tears from my damp cheeks, I jumped into his arms and gave him the tightest hug, while whispering in his ear, 'I Love You.'

Two years later, Lucas and I had completed the adoption process and had a two year old beautiful girl, Emma. Even though she wasn't biologically mine, she still had my chocolate brown hair and my fair skin. She had eyes the color of the ocean on a bright summer day.
On the morning of Lucas' big job interview, Emma was nowhere to be found. We searched the house from her princess bed to her favorite hiding spot in the cupboard under the stairs. Just before we were getting ready to call the police, I heard her contagious giggle from the kitchen. All worry immediately left my mind as I went to gather her in my arms and give her a big bear hug. As a mother of a two year old, you know that the innocent smile on her face isn't so innocent. I asked her what she did, not really expecting a reply.
She giggled, walked over to the garbage compactor, peeked her little head in it and, squeaked, 'Opps! I didn't mean to Mommy.'
Even though I still had no idea what she did, I scooped her up and handed her to Lucas. I asked him to go get her dressed so I could examine the damage that she caused. In the garbage compactor were bits and pieces of silver that looked like they could be Lucas' keys. I walked over to where Emma was eating her cereal.
'Emma, did you throw daddy's keys in the trash?' I questioned.
'Ya, but I didn't mean to. They slipped.' Emma explained.
I didn't know how to respond to that, so I quickly gave Lucas my keys so he could get to his big interview and told him I would find the spare set of keys later so I could take Emma to daycare.

It was the biggest day of any toddler's life. It's the first day of Kindergarten. Emma was so excited to be able to spend all day with her friends. When I woke up that morning, I promised myself and Lucas that I wasn't going to cry, especially not in front of Emma. I got up and decided to make Emma a really big breakfast. It included her favorite juice, bacon, and blueberry pancakes. I went to wake her and when she woke, she had the biggest smile on her face that I have ever seen. She looked so excited that I broke my promise and the tears started falling.
'Mommy, why are you crying? Today should bet the happiest day of your life. I'm getting out of your way for the whole day.' Emma remarked.
That made me cry even more. 'It is the happiest day of my life. It is also the saddest, because you are going to school, meaning you are growing up.'
I finally wiped away the last tear and got Emma ready for her first day. She walked down to the kitchen and sat at the table. I handed her the breakfast I had made, sat down, and watched her eat.
When she was done I took her plate to the sink, got her school bag, and gathered up her stuff to go to school.
Pulling up to the front door had to be the hardest part. Emma turned to me, 'Mom, are you going to be okay today without me?'
'Of course, sweetheart. I will be fine. Plus, I'll be waiting for you when you get home.' I answered while choking back more tears.
'Okay! Bye Mom. I Love You.' She whispered to her back as she was running to meet her friends.

'Mom. I'm not that bad. Some of my friends are worse.' Emma tried to convince me while she was driving home from volleyball practice. 'Why won't you just let me go get my license like all of my friends?'
'Mostly, because you are my child. Not only that, you are my only child and I love you too much.' I honestly replied.
'Fine, but you're eventually going to have to let me get it.'
This argument went on the entire way home from volleyball. She didn't understand that since was not biologically my daughter that I felt like I had to watch out more carefully. I ended up letting her get her license the next day. She was so excited that she told me she didn't want a car for a while and a part with just her closest friends would be fine.
That night, while I was laying in bed with Lucas, I turned to him, 'How did we end up with such a wonderful daughter?'
'I think because she realizes what great parents she has. She must also know that she has the best life she could possibly have considering where she came from.'
'That's probably it. I just couldn't believe that she didn't want a car.' I replied amazed by what Emma had told me earlier that day.
After having that question answered I snuggled up to Lucas and fell asleep in his arms, and had the best night sleep ever.

It was the biggest day of any high school students' life. It's the day they get to walk across that stage and finally be able to say, 'I am no longer in high school.'
Although we already had Emma's graduation party, I still didn't feel like she was going to be out on her own in just a few short months.
I woke to the sound of a hair dryer blasting, Emma's crazy music playing, and the occasional water running. What is that girl up to? I drug myself out of bed and walked down the hall and saw Emma, as beautiful as can be, curling her hair for graduation. Her pink and silver halter top dress hung on the hook behind her just waiting to be worn.
Thirty minutes later, I caught a glimpse of the most beautiful girl to ever walk down our steps. I had promised myself, yet again, that I wouldn't cry. Once again, I broke my own promise and started crying at the sight of her.
'You are so beautiful. I don't know how we ended up with such a beautiful daughter like you.' Her father declared while watching Emma's face start glowing.
'Dad,' Emma whined, 'you're making all my make-up run. My face is going to look streaky now, but thanks Dad.'
I let Emma drive her car to graduation so she could leave whenever she wanted to, but after she left I broke down and started crying yet again.
'You do know that you promised me that you weren't going to cry today right?' questioned Lucas.
'Yes, I know that, but it is really hard not to cry when your one and only child is leaving the house and starting her own life.'
'Okay. I'm sorry for bringing it up. You can cry as much as you would like. We better get going if we want to get a good seat.'
We grabbed our cameras, coats, and any other item we thought we would need and started heading to the school.
When we arrived there, most of Emma's friends' parents are already there sitting in their seats. We look around and find Emma's best friend, Rose's parents.
The procession began with the high school band playing 'Pomp and Circumstance.' My little angel was right in the middle of all of her classmates and when she saw us, she got the biggest smile on her face. If my eyes were correct I think I might have even seen a tear leaking out of her right eye as she passed us.
'Emma Renae Kennedy. Daughter of Lucas and Blaire Kennedy.'

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Katie R. said...
Mar. 18, 2009 at 3:37 pm
This story is beautiful. I hope to adopt someday when I'm grown up and married. I hope I can be as wonderful of a mother as the mother in the story. Thank you for writing this!
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