Thursday, July 9, 2009

Leah's Adopted Birthday

In the past we celebrated two birthdates: the born-into-this-world one in February and the joining-our-family one in July, precisely the 9th (which is also Argentine Independence Day! ¡Viva la Argentina!)
This year we decided the first one did not bring happy memories for her, so we chose to settle with only one celebration, the second.

So, today we will have a cookout, or should I call it a 'Koch-out' ?

The photos are fairly recent, closer to the time of birthday # 1. Leah busy doing the mother-thing. I had a hard time finding photos of her alone.

Five years ago I wrote this poem:

Thirty One Years Ago…

A bonnie lassie joined our family
Well, actually, a wee baby
No, not so wee, already five months old.

A few months earlier,
A visitor knocked on our second floor apartment,
I left the ladies gathered in our living room,
And when I came back, announced:
“We’re having a baby tomorrow!”

They could not believe their ears,
Nor their eyes, I was not showing yet!
Perhaps this would be a German stork delivery!

By the next day friends had rallied with supplies.
It was not to be, however,
as our promised baby girl
had developed digestive problems.

We could watch her through a glass,
The only baby in the bleak hospital nursery,
Lying on her back in a sterile crib,
Playing with her hands.

We waited and waited,
Eager and anxious.
“More testing,” they said,
“perhaps the university hospital would be best.”

We decided to travel to the US as planned,
Perhaps after a few weeks
she would be ready to come home.
We could hardly wait!

But the doctor was not so sure.
“Do you really want to adopt this child?
“She needs a home,” we said.
“She may not live long,
there seems to be a heart condition.”
“You’re right, she needs love!
I’ll eat my hat if there is something wrong with her,”
Said Daddy Mike.

A few days later, on a hot day in July,
We piled in the car:
Two year old Stephan had a new toy,
Mommy Rita brought along two outfits,
One German style, one American,
(How would the German nurses want to dress her?)

Stephan fell asleep during the excitement.
The nurses, so befuddled, used both outfits on the babe!
Soon we were on our way
with the baby sister Stephan prayed so long for.

New family, new home,
But, please, don’t change my routine!
Every four hours baby Leah cried demanding her tea!
She soon learned to roll over,
And even smiled...after awhile.


“Lovely Lu,” our Leah Margit,
has brought many strengths to our family circle:
insightful, sensitive, and compassionate
she helps us better understand others, herself
and even how animals think.
As an artist, she loves to decorate her environment,
But can be melancholy too.
A strong survivor, spirited and independent
She has weathered many a storm in life…
And still hangs on.

We love you, Leah.



☼Karen☼ said...

I wish I could have been there to celebrate. Love you, Leah!

Darla said...

that is so sweet. what a wonderful family she was blessed with!