It was fifteen years ago today that David, and I woke up in a little town home in Northern Virginia. Our chubby little Naomi was almost eighteen months and pure joy. We had moved into the furnished town home just a few nights before and on this glorious fall morning in Virginia, David headed off for his first day of a three month training. His site was not far from the Pentagon.
Since I had no TV, radio and no cell phone, it took a little while for the news to reach me. David called from a restaurant where he and his new colleagues had holed up, watching TV. Training was cancelled. After I hung up, I used my desk top to pull up a few still pictures that were already reaching the internet. I remember sitting with little Naomi as she played, her tiny self completely innocent and unaware. My whole body a prayer, we waited to see what would come next. And the news kept getting worse.
Later that day David arrived home with a new friend, Karl, who had come from New York for the training, and whose hotel was right next to the Pentagon and thus inaccessible. Karl slept on our rented couch after an evening filled with spurts of words and long heavy silences. By the next day his hotel was open again and he slept there. But it was the start of an unbreakable friendship.
We got through those three months, three months when so many suffered and when the future looked so uncertain. It was in that little house that I first saw visions of children I felt called to adopt. I spent many hours there searching the internet for pictures of little ones Haiti that might be our second and third children. Those three months were really long, but very good. Me, at home in an unfamiliar neighborhood, without a car, and with a busy toddler. Each day we took long walks and spent hours playing with sink water. We made up the best fun, waiting for our pile of junk mail each day and creating epic picture journals with the ad clippings.
Many years later, Karl and his family would become some of our steady supporters as we launched into a calling in the jungle of Africa. We would eventually visit them and spend a night in their home outside of New York City. Karl still has us on his Wednesday prayer list.
This year, Quinn’s freshman high school class will be the first to learn about 9/11 as a historical event, not one that they lived through. No one has to remind me of that. We returned to sunny San Diego in December and decided to have one more bio baby before pursuing adoption. Quinn swam into our lives just a little while later, full of such joy and fun that he took our breath away. Oblivious to the troubled world he had entered. I remember how it felt precarious to bring a baby into the world at such a time. I remember that love won anyway.