I have many warm and wonderful, happy, fulfilling and satisfying memories of that week over 40 years ago today After the phone rang on that Wednesday afternoon and Mrs. Wilson said "We have a baby you may be interested in." I could hardly wait for your Mother to get home from school. She was teaching math at Edgewood Academy and it seemed like an eternity waiting for her old ’58 black Ford to come around the corner.
When she was almost 5 minutes later than her usual arrival time, I called the school. They assured me she had already left. Another 3 or 4 minutes of waiting and I called again, sure that she had returned to the school. I was contemplating a call to the Alabama Highway Patrol or the sheriff’s office when she finally came.
I must have looked like a nut to the neighbors if they saw me. Running up the driveway to meet her, I was jumping and yelling, "We’re going to have a baby! We are going to have a baby!" I laughed and cried. So did my sweetheart.
You see, we had been awaiting that day for a very long time. After the initial six-month long and thorough investigation which included medical exams, interviews, credit checks, interviews, references and more interviews, we were finally approved by the state of Alabama to be adoptive parents. Even though we were told the average waiting period was two years, we hoped and prayed that it wouldn’t take that long. And I called Mrs. Wilson almost every week.
Joe Graham was a deacon in our church. He was also a member of the governor’s cabinet and he arranged a meeting with Governor Brewer for me.
"What can I do for you, Dun?" he asked. I explained our desire for a baby and that we had been waiting for such a long time – over a year. If there was any way he could encourage the adoption agency to hurry, we would sure appreciate it. And we’d vote for him as long as he ran – for any office. I did stop short of promising to name our child for an "Albert."
But it was still a year before that call came. Because Albert Brewer, Mrs. Wilson nor the state director of the adoption agency were not in charge of this operation. God Himself was and we knew it. And we constantly prayed one prayer: "Father God, please give us the baby you want us to have."
I remember driving over to Wetumpka, the county seat, to meet Mrs. Wilson. I remember laughing and crying and the excitement your Mother and I shared. I remember that she asked me if it was a boy or girl we’re going to get. For the first time it struck me that I had been too excited to even think to ask Mrs. Wilson what you were.
I remember that she told us you had blue eyes which really turned out to be the most beautiful brown I have seen before or since. And she said we could see you on Friday if we wanted to.
Wanted too? We wanted to so bad we couldn’t sleep the next two nights.
I remember the shouting and laughing and crying in that Baptist church that night when I announced that we were finally going to get a baby. I believe that had someone overheard our church that night they would have thought we’d gotten a dose of Pentecostalism. I wonder if they have ever carried on like that since. They hadn’t before.
But they had been waiting and praying and wanting a baby for us just about as much as we wanted one ourselves. Did we ever have a prayer meeting that Wednesday night! But we didn’t have youth choir practice. I was supposed to lead that and we did have a meeting. But it wasn’t choir practice. It was a name-the-baby contest. We had long ago chosen the name Julieann for our daughter, but had no name for a boy.
I remember two frantic days of excitement as we tried to get ready for your arrival in our home. The speed with which the ladies of the church arranged the biggest baby shower in the history of Alabama should tell you something of how excited everyone was. We were invited to the church at 7 P.M. on Thursday and arrived to find the fellowship hall decorated in baby-boy blue and literally packed with laughing, singing and rejoicing people. You would have thought that every child there was going to get a brand new baby brother of their own. The women giggled and even the men laughed and joked about me changing diapers.
And we found a mountain of gifts all especially bought and wrapped just for you. There was a stroller and a crib, bottles, diapers, blankets and towels. There were toys and trinkets and the fellows on the high school team had even gotten you a football.
I remember your Mother teaching the last day of her career and coming home at noon to get ready to go meet you. She was so ecstatic that instead of hair spray she used bathroom deodorant. I brushed my teeth with Brylcream (men’s hair cream) and forgot to put money in the parking meter. That $3 ticket was the first and only one I have ever paid with a big smile. Because I got to tell everyone at the police station that we had a boy!
I remember that after they told us all about you they finally brought you to us. More excited than a kid at Christmas, I remember my first sight of you was your distorted form seen through the glass door.
And then they brought you into that room. Your face lit up and when you looked at your Mother you broke out in the biggest smile I ever saw on a three-month old. I remember the words of an old song: "Beautiful, beautiful, brown eyes. I’ll never love blue eyes again." It may sound silly but that is what went through my rejoicing mind. I remember you laughing. And I remember your Mother cried. Again.
I remember driving over to your Grandpa’s house and for the first time since I’ve known him (which is all my life), your Grandpa cried. Your Grandma cried and Mrs. Meeks came over about that time. And we took all your clothes off and counted your toes and just held you and laughed and rejoiced.
I remember everyone in the neighborhood was there when we finally brought you home. Since I couldn’t sleep anyway, I had spent the night before stringing a clothes line across our yard. Putting a big blue letter on each diaper I had spelled out "IT’S A BOY!" They even put a picture of it on the front page of the Montgomery Advertiser.
I remember that it was late before the last excited friend had finally left our home. Your Mother and I took you into your new room, dressed you for bed and knelt on the floor as she held you in her arms. And there as simply and as sincerely as we knew how we thanked God for you. And we dedicated ourselves to be the best parents we possibly could be. And we dedicated you to the Loving Lord Jesus Who had given you to us.
I remember all these wonderful and happy events like they were yesterday. But I also vividly remember the fire that flashed in your Grandma’s eyes one day not long after that. She heard someone speak of you as an adoptable child because you were "not wanted" by your birth-mother. It kind of hurt my feelings but it made her lightning-flashy mad. I can well remember the blistering tone of her voice when she rightfully declared that "THIS IS THE MOST WANTED CHILD IN THE WORLD!"
And you still are! In fact, now more than ever