It was a very rainy evening when we made the trip to the adoption agency in Allentown where Rosey’s birth mom would present her beautiful infant to us. Rosalina, Rosey’s mom , was a courageous and selfless sixteen year old who knew how difficult it would be to care for her newborn daughter in light of all the medical issues the baby was facing. Rosalina was alone , and as she introduced us to Rosey, I sensed in her a profound sadness, a grief for the loss of a child she had helped to create, grief that most likely would find an eternal place in the heart of this young mother. (When we arrived home and changed Rosey’s diaper for the first time, we discovered a note in her sleeper. The note, written by Rosalina, said,”I love you. Mommy.”) We could not have our joy without her sorrow. This is this because that is that. It is with deep humility and gratitude that we received Rosey into our family.
Rosey was off to a fast start; In her first week with us, Rose took a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo, went shopping at the Springfield Mall, and then met and was held by the Phillie Phanatic at a “fun day'” at Fair Acres nursing facility in Delaware County. It was life in the fast lane and she didn’t even have a driver’s license. It was “baby’s day out” everyday.
We would soon discover that our sweet little rose from heaven was not without a few thorns. That first week, after her whirlwind days, she slept like a baby each night. Then the party was over. During the nights that followed, Rosey cried like a baby, drank like a very thirsty baby, and was awake all night, just like a newborn baby. Dexter and I were sleep-deprived . We took turns tending to Rosey in the night. At times, she was inconsolable. We took her for long midnight drives or literally walked the dark streets with her. What we thought was an insatiable appetite was actually an insatiable thirst. It would take until July 25th to ascertain that something was awry with the little rose. Blood tests revealed high sodium levels caused by a medical condition called diabetes insipidus. This was just one effect of many related to her underlying condition, Septo Optic Dysplasia. The diabetes insipidus was also the cause of the unquenchable thirst. The pediatrician called and strongly urged us to get Rosey to the emergency room as soon as possible. We took her to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and so began a two week hospitalization. She was poked and prodded, scanned inside and out, right side up and upside down. She was stuck for blood draws every fifteen minutes. After all that, we learned that our little Rose would most likely never see, never walk, suffer seizures, and basically be a hot little mess, a little baby “freak” who would fit right in at “Freak Haven”. There’s no contracts with God. We were given the blessing of this heavenly flower. She was a miracle to us, but one whose prognosis was becoming more grim as the days went by.
From day one, we believed Rosey came to us by way of the intercession of Saint Therese of Lisieux aka “The Little Flower”. So, we placed an image of Therese in Rosey’s hospital bed and commended her to the saint’s guardianship. In time we learned something that was indiscernable to all the medical scans and testings. Rosey turned out to have angel wings. She continually reminds us that “all the way to heaven is heaven”.
This entry was posted in Marriage and Family, Uncategorized on September 12, 2014.
The Napkin Notes and Coffee Thoughts blog is an uplifting glimpse into the family story of Kathie and Dexter Lanctot, cofounders of Epiphany House, Inc. an organization that promotes adoption of children with special needs. It is told from selections of their correspondence via napkins and small notebooks. It is a story they have been repeatedly been urged to tell.