You may have noticed the newly posted slogan (motto? caption?) for Adahlia’s website. It used to be: “Life is” – which is true. But the new slogan is more specific to Adahlia, to the day of her birth. It is a very interesting story, a bit of synchronicity, which I now wish to share.
I created this site back in March of this year. It was 7 months exactly since we first rushed Adahlia to the Peds ER in August, our hearts pounding but our exterior calm, because we are the sort of people who have been extensively trained for crisis situations. After stopping at home to grab the breast pump, extra diapers, and organic swaddles, because her pediatrician had just gravely told us she was in danger of heart failure at any moment and to rush her to the hospital, we did just that. We knew nothing but the fact that our own hearts were in throats, and so I had quickly also packed bottles of frozen milk and a couple changes of clothes for us all. Something deep within me had started whispering that this, whatever it was, wouldn’t be solved in a matter of hours. The terrible thing I had suspected since her birth (“Something is wrong!“) was indeed true.
Whatever it was: This was it. IT was starting.
And then we were in the ER, and immediately rushed into past the waiting area and the heads that swiveled towards us, because they were expecting us (her pediatrician had called ahead to warn them of an incoming infant with a hemaglobin of 1.9). Teams of nurses started coming at us from all angles, and placing monitors and IVs on and into Adahlia. She started screaming, screaming, screaming, trying to crawl up my chest and away, and so the nurses plucked her off me, and her dad I stood, standing like the eye of a hurricane, if the eye of a hurricane had yet another, invisible eye within its still eye, where it blinked, watchful of the furious swirling activity around it, feeling more than a little bit scared, and yet strong, and very protective. We spent five days living in the hospital. And we left with no answers. No diagnosis. They only told us that they expected a genetic disorder, and that we should expect to be in for a marathon, not a sprint.
We knew nothing of DBA. We had not even heard of bone marrow failure.
Yes, it was seven months since that incredible, life-altering, and life-saving day.
And approximately six weeks before that day, Adahlia was born on the full moon of July. Her birthstone? A ruby, naturally, the color of blood.
When Joe went back to work, two weeks after her birth, his coworker brought him a page from her little desk calendar. It was from the date of Adahlia’s birth. The coworker’s calender offered various quotes or sayings that were supposed to be business-related and inspiring to the businesswoman’s daily grind.
But the page from the date of Adahlia’s birth seemed particularly interesting to her, so she had kept it, and wanted us to have it.
The picture accompanying the saying depicted a scholarly scene of an ancient, traditional Chinese elder acting as a teacher. Of course, I found that interesting because I am a practitioner of Chinese medicine, an acupuncturist, and I had spent the last four years learning from ancient Chinese texts.
But what the coworker had thought most interesting was the message:
“Your presentation will be inspirational for anyone actually listening.”
Being a very spiritual Christian, this co-worker had found the quote significant, a sign of something profound about Adahlia. She gave the page to Joe, who gave it to me, and I put it on the fridge. At the time, Adahlia was only 3 weeks old. Sure, she was beautiful, but she was only a tiny baby. What could it possibly mean? At what point would she become “presented” to the world? And why? How would her “presentation” inspire others?
Six weeks later, the hospital.
Seven months later, this website.
And so amen, I say: Let this child be an inspiration. May many, many people be capable of listening.