Sunday, May 3, 2015

"Baby Girl"

Blogging Friends.... What happens when you're an artist and a certain fictional story speaks to you {For several months, actually!!} and you tell this specific story to shut up, but it refuses? That is the question. I mean. What do you do with that?! When you're me? Well.... You eventually see this fictional story as sort of like a wispy-seeded dandelion that is growing within your heart and soul. When you're me? Well.... You pick these dandelions--one by one--blow their seeds everywhere and watch the winds replant them!! This fictional book {This wispy-seeded dandelion} is so far the most complex, complicated and boldest story that I have ever written!! Now. I am not very political {I'm already sick and tired of 2016 Election news!! Ha!!} and I would be the last person on this planet to make any political statements. But one issue that I stand firmly on? I am pro-life!! That being mentioned? This specific fictional story which would not leave me alone has a strong pro-life message to it!! Dear, sweet Blogging Friends. If you happen to be pro-choice, then that is okay. I will not judge or criticize your beliefs. I'll still love you!! We can just agree to disagree.... Right? But please, please, please keep any and all hurtful, judgmental, criticism to yourselves.... I know how to delete negative comments!! Okay? But there is far more to this story than a strong pro-life message. If you scroll down to its Labels? You'll find "Adoption". And "Friendship". Those are twain things {Which are in this fictional story!!} that I think we all agree with!! Correct? There is also compassion in this story. Empathy. And forgiveness. Which I know that everybody believes in!! So give this fictional story a chance!! Love you later.

Although this is obviously a fictional story {And its facts are entirely made up!!} this story is loosely based on a special friendship that I had growing up with an amazing girl {Named Erica} who has cerebral palsy.... She was one of the best friends I ever had as a girl.... I swear we understood each other!!

"Baby Girl"

Fear of the unknown can be a powerful feeling. Like when then-sixteen-year old Liana learned that she was pregnant {As high school graduation seemed so close} and her boyfriend, Ashton, refused to accept the responsibility of impending fatherhood. Yes, he quickly dumped an emotional Liana. Because fear of the unknown can be a powerful feeling. Like when Liana received prenatal test results that this baby has cerebral palsy. While also lacking support from her parents, Chester and Vivienne {Who possessed dreams for their only daughter to attend college} she was now crippled by fear. And all alone. While Liana may have originally considered bravely raising this baby as a single mother? Everything changed with that prenatal diagnosis. Because after all. Liana knew that she could not care for an infant with cerebral palsy on her own. Because fear of the unknown can be a powerful feeling.

Liana expressed these such concerns during an appointment with her primary care physician, Dr. Minkus.

"Well...." Dr. Minkus told the young, terrified, expectant mother, "You have two options. One? You either carry this fetus into full term and give it up for adoption. Or two? You have an abortion. Which--under the circumstances--I would highly recommend. But--ultimately--it is your decision."
Liana pondered these twain choices. Long and hard.

Adoption....? Liana thought as fresh, wet, hot tears streamed down her face, Or abortion....? If I cannot raise a child with cerebral palsy, then who on Earth would want to adopt this special needs baby? Oh, decisions, decisions, decisions.... Adoption? My heart breaks at the thought of meeting this baby before giving it away. I cannot do that!! No.... I cannot even imagine such a dreadful thought!! Abortion? Right now, I do not even know what this baby looks like. Will it have inherited Ashton's dimpled smile that I found so attractive? Or my green eyes? Will it be a mix of both Ashton and I? Ignorance is bliss.... Right?
But fear of the unknown can be a powerful feeling. So with fresh, wet, hot tears falling down her cheeks, she underwent an abortion.

But what Liana does not know? This baby who was diagnosed prenatally with cerebral palsy is hard to kill!! Because miraculously, the abortion that Liana underwent failed!! Certainly enough, her prenatal test results were absolutely correct. But what Liana does not know? This baby--a very, very, very premature girl--was found {Abandoned outside that abortion clinic} and hurriedly driven toward the neonatal intensive care unit by a good Samaritan named Nanette where her husband, Sherwood, worked. What Liana does not know? Soon, this special needs infant was barely alive, yet immediately fighting for her tiny Life!! Because she {Affectionately known throughout the neonatal intensive care unit as Baby Girl!!} was an iron-willed survivor who could scream her tiny, underdeveloped lungs out!!

"Oh, Sherwood...." said Nanette later that evening, "I cannot stop thinking about beautiful Baby Girl...."

"I know...." said Sherwood, "Neither can I."

"She is so tiny and helpless.... " continued Nanette, tears welling in her eyes, "Unwanted.... Cast aside like a stuffed rag doll...."

"I know...." said Sherwood, as he blinked back tears, "Having worked in the N.I.C.U., I've seen countless premature, birth defected and sick babies. But.... I keep asking myself over and over and over who would do such a cruel, heartless thing like abandon an underdeveloped baby girl."

"Me too...." said Nanette, wet, hot tears streaming down her cheeks, "I also cannot help but wonder.... When there are couples like us who have privately struggled with infertility issues, why would anybody try to abort her own baby....? Their flesh and blood....? Her own child....?"

"I do not know the answers to that question," Sherwood said firmly, "But we shouldn't judge Baby Girl's birth mother. It is not our place and will only make us angry. This precious, tiny, helpless, unwanted, severely premature, Beautifully Unique Baby Girl obviously has cerebral palsy. Having worked in the N.I.C.U., I've seen several infants with that birth defect. They are all such amazing little fighters!! If Baby Girl's birth mother knew in advance that she would possibly be born with cerebral palsy? Well.... Fear of the unknown can be a powerful feeling."

Nanette wiped wet, hot tears from her eyes.

"Sherwood!!" she suddenly exclaimed, "I know what we need to do!! Listen. You and I have been trying to conceive a baby for five years now. Right?"

"Has it really been that long?!" exclaimed Sherwood, "Five years?!"

"We have tried every single option that medical technology has to offer," continued Nanette, "Over and over and over. Yet nothing is happening. I am not pregnant after all this time--"

"What are you saying?" interrupted Sherwood, a huge smile written on his face, "That we need to adopt beautiful Baby Girl?!"

Nanette grinned at Sherwood. He could always read her mind!!

"Yes!!" exclaimed Nanette, "I want Baby Girl!! No. I need Baby Girl!! And adopting her could be a wonderful way to begin our family!!"

"I agree!!" said Sherwood, "And I want--need--Baby Girl, too!! If possible.... Let's begin the process of filing for adoption tomorrow!!"

And so they did!! For Liana may have asked herself who on Earth would want to adopt a special needs baby. But she was wrong!! Because someone obviously did want to adopt Baby Girl!! Since nobody could contact either Liana or Ashton? Because Baby Girl's "case" had not yet been handed over to Child Protective Services? Since she was unwanted by Liana? It proved to be an easy, fast adoption process for Sherwood and Nanette!! Because as soon as papers were officially signed? Once Baby Girl was finally released from the neonatal intensive care unit? As soon as they were all cleared to go? Baby Girl's new, loving, adoptive parents drove her home!! Meanwhile, she had naturally charmed everybody who worked at the neonatal intensive care unit. Therefore, they threw her an awesome surprise party with bakery-made, fluffy, sweet-tasting, vanilla cake, helium-filled balloons, handwritten cards, and much-needed infant items!! It felt like a shower. An amazing "birthday" for Baby Girl. And a farewell party. All wrapped in love!!
"Have you decided on what to name Baby Girl?" asked Nurse Arthur.

Sherwood and Nanette looked at each other lovingly. Baby Girl was being passed around from adoring friend to friend.

"Jubilee Erica," said Sherwood.

"Yes!!" exclaimed Nanette, "Because Jubilee means: 'joy and celebration'!! We both liked that name!! Plus its meaning is so profound!! Because that's exactly what Jubilee will be to us.... An incredible joy and a Lifelong celebration!!"

"Erica means: 'brave'," added Sherwood, "And 'victorious'. We do not even need to explain why that middle name was chosen.... Right?"

Everybody laughed in unison.

"No...." said Nurse Arthur, smiling.
"Thank-you.... Everyone.... For throwing Jubilee this party!!" said Sherwood, as he blinked back grateful tears, "Wow.... You have no idea how touched we are by all of this!!"

What Liana does not know? Jubilee would eventually grow, develop and evolve into a teenager. Physically disabled, she uses an ebony-painted wheelchair. Jubilee is not potty trained and therefore wears diapers. She's also legally blind. The only word in Jubilee's vocabulary happens to be "Hi". Oh, but she says that one word with so much enthusiasm!! In an effort to express herself, Jubilee screeches, squeals and screams. Sometimes it is out of frustration. For Jubilee's head contains countless thoughts, feelings and emotions!! But mostly? Jubilee screeches, squeals and screams with joy!! What Liana does not know? Jubilee is very, very, very smart!! Far more intelligent than anybody could ever comprehend!! For Jubilee recognizes her name being spoken. What Liana does not know? Jubilee would make a good friend--named Katrina--who is an oddball, learning disabled misfit that nobody understands. They met several years ago in church. When all of the other kids were afraid of Jubilee and felt awkward around her? Katrina was different {In more ways than one!!} because she never once felt that way!!

"Hi, Jubilee!!" said Katrina, before taking an empty seat next to her friend's wheelchair in youth group one Sunday, "How are you?"

Katrina gently touched Jubilee's bare forearm, and ran three fingers down to her wrist. Then she held this special friend's hand. Jubilee's eyes rolled back in her head. She squeezed Katrina's hand tight. Recognizing her faithful friend's voice, Jubilee then giggled, screeched, squealed and screamed with joy!!

"Hiiiii...." sang Jubilee, "Hiiiii...."

Katrina smiled.

"Hi," she said before listening to Pastor Archie's sermon. And Jubilee never let go of Katrina's hand.