The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

Dying Day

An interesting thing happened on the way home from work the other day. ~ I’m gonna lose some readers with this ~ I was listening to NPR radio when something got my attention so much that I felt I was meant to blog about it.

Now for all of you that are going to comment on how it is a sign of old age that I am listening to NPR on the way home instead of something to help me unwind, relax. Don’t worry–I am already afraid of this.

The story was on ‘All Things Considered’. It was on a Winter Song List of people who wrote in on favorite or most inspirational songs and NPR got to pick a winner. The collage of songs caught my attention. The winning song, and story behind it, made me take notice and actually pull over to write down the author, the title to the song, and the winning contributor so I could follow-up when I got home.

The winning song was Brandi Carlile’sDying Day.” It’s an upbeat acoustic song about a writer longing for her love that is far away while she is on the road. Its a real catchy song in its own right but it is not what drew me in. Take a listen while you read on . . . .

You see the author of this winning story on NPR was locked in an adoption. She was going to adopt a darling 5 ½ month little girl from Ethiopia. She was on an international adoption trip where she had the opportunity to meet the potential baby she wanted to adopt.

For those not familiar with international adoptions, usually you sign on for an adoption program, you state what types of children you are willing and not willing to adopt, factoring in everything from race to birth defects to parental drug use and so on. Everything. The agency eventually matches you up with a child and you have to make the long trip to meet the child to see if each one is compatible with the other. Then you talk to the government agency, fly home and wait to hear if you have been approved or not.

The potential mother was Joanna Woodbury of Wauwatosa, Wis. and I’ll let her take it from here or you can listen to the episode here:

“It was awesome, and probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, all in one,” Woodbury says. At the time, the little girl the couple was applying to adopt was just 5 1/2 months old. “We got to be with her for about 45 minutes. I held her for 20, and then she fell asleep. We had to put her down and leave the room, and then take a 4 1/2-hour bus ride back to an Ethiopian court and say, ‘Yes, we want to parent this child.’”

A few days later, they were back in Wisconsin, where there was nothing to do but wait to hear that the adoption had been finalized. It would be a trying 11 weeks before word came through — and during that time, Woodbury says, she found a new appreciation for “Dying Day.”

“I was in the car listening to this song, which has always been a favorite of mine, and all of a sudden the lyrics just meant something different,” she says. “The lyrics are, ‘I just want to kiss you, and I’m going to love you till my dying day,’ and that I should be there to take of you and I can’t be. … It’s all about longing and a little bit of hurt, and just waiting until you get back to that person. And that’s how I felt.”

Meet ‘Nettie’ — short for Netsanet, an Amharic word for freedom

Meet ‘Nettie’ — short for Netsanet, an Amharic word for freedom

I got it. I knew exactly how she felt. In fact, I couldn’t even listen to that song without tearing up a bit. If you are a parent you probably know too. Now, if any of you are followers of my blog you have to know how I feel about my two little girls. They are a gift from God that have far exceeded my expectations of what being a Dad and raising two toddlers could have ever been. But I think only a few may have guessed by now that our kids are adopted.

My ‘Dying Day’ moment, similar to  Joanna Woodbury, was not pre-adoption though. We met our potential birthmother in a meeting prior to the adoption She was beautiful inside and out, as was her mother that came with her. We waited another 10 days ourselves until we found out we were finally going to be parents.


Parents with 10 days to prepare!

But it was so much more before those 10 days. I found out in my early 40′s that we could never have children; Think about it, could never have children. Ever. We tried the IVF procedure several times and while hopes and prognosis always started off high they always ended in tears and silence.

And so, sitting in my car, on the side of a busy roadway, I knew exactly how Ms. Woodbury felt. When we finally were able to receive our new daughter, then about 2 ½ weeks old, we were the happiest people on the planet. But as all you parents know, the magic is only just beginning at that point.

Receiving our new baby girl. The answer to our prayers!

You see I got to stay home on my company’s FMLA plan, to be Stay At Home Dad for the first time, actually seven years ago next Wednesday. I was left with our new beautiful daughter who just slept and ate and pooped and occasionally smiled. And I knew I was going to love her until MY dying day.

Actually, in reality my song was Jimmy Buffett’s, “That’s What Living Is To Me”. The lyrics went,

“..the world’s too big to understand.

Be good and you will be lonesome.

Be lonesome and you will be free.

Live a lie and you will live to regret it.

…that’s What Living Is To Me.”

 We had this new tropical DVD version of this song at the time, possibly one of the most scenic videos ever.

We had just gotten back from vacation about 3 months earlier and I was still riding the tropical high. Knowing that my daughter was going to grow up loving Jimmy Buffett just as I did (she has little choice living close to the beach) I would play the scenic DVD for her as we passed the days at home. And when this song came on I would pick her up and hold her gently close to my chest until I could smell her baby’s breath, slowly dance to this song, and quietly sang in her ear,

 “That’s what Dylan is to me.

That’s what Dylan is to me.”

So, like Joanna Woodbury, we found our little girl(s), or did they find us? We will continue to love them until our Dying Day. Being flesh and blood means very little to us. These girls are a precious gift to us from God and some very special Angels. That’s what Dylan and Skylar are to us.

“…Oh I miss you

and I just want to kiss you

and I will love you till my dying day.”

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8 thoughts on “Dying Day

  1. Thanks Karen. I hope you are doing good. Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Beautiful.

  3. I know, right? It still kinda makes me tear up a bit when you go all the way back to the first year. Yes! Come see us! We will make some new videos and memories….

  4. I meant cause I was so old and nerdy listening to NPR on the car ride home. 🙂 That is not the play list of an exciting blogger…like you. It gave you shivers? In a good way? It is actually an old blog post that I lost some how but always one of my favs. So I didn’t lose you as a follower then? Great! As always, thanks for dropping by Susie! Have a great weekend….

  5. This gave me shivers! I would think you would gain followers!

  6. johnm983 on said:

    I really enjoyed the video, just as much as the first time I saw it. Ever since that one visit to see Dylan and you played the “live from Anguilla DVD, I always think of Dylan and Skylar when I hear “Chansons Pour Le Petite Emfants.” I have that CD/DVD and I keep the CD with that song in a portable player in the kitchen. Whenever i do chores in the kitchen/house or in the yard I play that CD. I will have to try to get down to see you all this summer…..

  7. Thanks for your kind words Dr. Lynn. This is actually an old post from a few years back that I had lost somehow. But, yes, the sentiments still hold true today. Yes, what wonderful plans and journeys God has for all of us! And what a great story about you getting your sister. And also on your new father delivering you. We got Dylan a book on what it meant to be a big sister when we found out we were selected again for our second adoption. She took and continues to take it seriously. ~ Thanks for your great comments Dr. Lynn. Have the best weekend too! Thanks for dropping by….

  8. Aw…what a great piece of writing. Adoption is near and dear to my heart since my parents picked my sister and I to be theirs. My father actually delivered me (he was an OBGYN). I should write about that sometime.

    …and my mom and dad had ONE day to prepare for me. Up until the very last minute my bio mom was saying she was going to raise me herself. My dad was her OB and had talked about not having children of his own. Thank God and wonderful miracles she keep to that decision. Right after I was born, she asked my dad if he wanted me. Lol…he made a phone call home to see what my mom would say.

    5 years later, I insisted they “get me a sister.” Ha. I always took my responsibility to her seriously since I felt she was there at my request!

    In the meantime, keep up the wonderful blogging. Sending you wishes for great days!

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