My father-in-law is visiting us for a week or so, and I thought this would be a nice time to re-run this post about him (and my husband!) that I originally wrote in February 2007.
Doug's dad, Leon, has been visiting for a little over a week, and we've sure enjoyed having him with us! This is only the fourth time I've seen Leon, and the first time I've been able to spend so much time with him.
I've really relished getting to know my father-in-law, and seeing my husband through someone else's eyes.We've laughed and even shed a few reminescent tears this week. We've said "remember when" too many times to count.
We've played numerous hands of UNO. And Adam, the busy 1-year old, has had a willing target for all of his "let-me-hand-this-to-you, now-you-hand-it-back-to-me" escapades.
I thought I'd share one very touching story:
There are three kids in my husband's family: Darlene is the oldest. Next comes Cindy, and then Doug. Cindy and Doug are adopted. Originally Doug's parents thought they might not be able to have any children of their own and had begun the adoption process with Catholic Charities (CC). Part of the CC requirements was that a couple had to adopt two children, and Doug's parents agreed to that.
Then, along came Darlene, so they said they were just interested in one more child, a boy. However, since they now had a child of their own, they were not eligible to adopt at all through Catholic Charities.
Some time passed, and they found an attorney in Dallas, TX who handled private adoptions. They told him they would like a boy. And then they waited.... One day Doug's mom received a call from the attorney that a newborn was available, but it was a girl. Of course she could not contain her excitement and convinced Doug's dad that it didn't matter that it wasn't a boy. They immediately drove to Dallas from their home in Houston and were united with Cindy.
A little more time passed and they still wanted a boy, so they called the same attorney. He happened to be working on a case and said he and his wife were also wanting to adopt, but they wanted a girl. So, if the baby was a girl, they would take it. But if it was a boy, Doug's parents could have the baby. And....it was a boy....my husband.
Adoptions in Texas at the time did not become legal until 6 months after the baby was placed with the adoptive parents. The same judge handled the legal proceedings for both Cindy's and Doug's adoptions. He happened to also be the judge the presided over the Jack Ruby murder trial in Dallas.
With tears in his eyes, my father-in-law concluded by telling us that, at the end of the court proceeding to finalize Doug's adoption, little Cindy reached out in the judge's direction at the front of the courtroom. Not knowing exactly what she wanted, Leon walked with her towards the judge. She shyly placed a kiss on the judge's cheek. She wanted to thank him for the gift of her baby brother.
My husband gave an elequont eulogy at his mother's funeral two years ago. In it, he mentioned taking the call of a family acquaintence at the house after his mother passed away. She said, "You're their adopted boy." And my husband's words at the funeral were... Yes, he was adopted. But his parents never made him feel anything but made from their hearts.
What a wonderful gift Doug's parents gave so many....even a girl from Iowa who, years later, would thank God for that baby boy adopted in Dallas in 1962.
For the love of a child....who is now my husband.