after my little lulu's birth in oklahoma, we were unable to take her home to arkansas after her release from the hospital. we had to wait until an interstate adoption compact passed through the legal system, which generally takes a few weeks. we settled in at my parent's house, in my little home town of bartlesville, to wait for the adoption red tape to peel.
although it was not your traditional baby homecoming, it was a truly magical time. it was the week of christmas, and all my old oklahoma friends, and my parent's friends i'd known since birth, stopped by to catch up, and of course to meet our early christmas gift. everyone who visited brought a little treasure for her...from monogrammed blankets & silver spoons to a pair of tiny hot pink ostrich cowgirl boots. every present was so touching in its own way. one gift in particular was so perfectly personal that i wanted to share it.
one evening, some old family friends were scheduled to stop by. we go way back, as my dad and mr. king have been law partners for decades, and i babysat their three precious boys many moons ago. mrs. king is an incredibly talented artist, and my parents have some of her gorgeous paintings proudly displayed throughout their home. i was delighted to open their present to lucy. the kings had compiled a collection of children's books that had been their all-time family favorites. inside each book was a beautifully written message to lucy explaining whose favorite it was and why. after opening up the first few covers, i found myself fighting back tears. i had a sudden vision of lucy and me, sitting in the rocker, reading our books together. i guess it suddenly hit me - this was really happening. she was really here. i was finally going to read "goodnight moon" to our daughter!
the books' pages are a bit dog-eared now, as they have become some of our family favorites, and lucy loves to hear the messages written to her five short years ago. it truly was the ideal gift: sweet, simple, personal & everlasting....my very favorite kind.