If you haven’t read part one of this post you can find it here. If you remember, we left off with me having received an important call. Well here is the rest of the story…
As I walked through my front door, fire extinguisher in one hand and a gallon of paint in the other, I felt my phone begin to vibrate in my pocket. I rushed to put down the paint and pull out my phone to answer before it went to voicemail. “Hello?” I answered.
“Is this Mr. Di Pardo?” a female voice asked.
“Yes it is,” I answered, my heart racing as I recognized the number on the caller display.
“Hi, this is Crystal from Mrs. Carson, your caseworker’s office,” she said. “How would you like a Christmas present?”
My hands began to shake. “Are you serious?” I asked.
“Yes,” she laughed. She went on to explain that they had a 3-month-old baby boy in need of immediate placement. He was half Canadian and half Mexican.
Instantly, I asked myself, could this have been the underlying purpose of my previous marriage? I had spent a decade married to a Mexican, learning about the culture, visiting Mexico, preparing Mexican food, and learning Spanish (not fluently, but certainly more than the average request for a beer or directions to the washroom). She went on to explain that there had been a couple ahead of me on the list, but because they had travel plans and were leaving for the holidays, I had been bumped up to the top of the list.I sat at my dining room table, my body shaking, writing every significant detail in my trusty notebook. She explained that the child had a lactose intolerance and that he would not be able to consume dairy. I laughed — by this time, I had been vegan for 9 years, so keeping dairy out of my fridge wouldn’t be a problem. She spoke of his tanned skin and dark hair, and his joyful nature. I asked if she had a picture she could send me.
“I don’t,” she responded, “but if you say yes, you’ll be seeing him tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow? Christmas Eve?” I questioned.
She explained that if I was in agreement, he would be brought to me the next day at 5pm. Did I have a crib, she asked?
Actually, “yes,” I replied. A month prior, I had purchased a playpen, crib, and highchair on Black Friday in anticipation of a child’s eventual arrival. I had kept all the receipts just in case I had been rejected from the processes and needed to return them. The boxes had all been sitting at my parents house, who happened to live in the condo next door to mine. I explained that I would be receiving my family for dinner the following night, right after the baby arrived, would that be a problem? As long as no one else held him, it would be fine. It would be important that in the following months, I would be the only one to hold, comfort, and care for him in order to develop a healthy attachment. Within seconds of hanging up the phone, with a mixture of panic and excitement, I reached for my coat. Ineeded to head back to the stores before they closed in a couple of hours. I needed EVERYTHING! Diapers, wipes, crib sheets, clothes, pyjamas, pacifiers, bottles… Everything that new parents would amass over 9 months of pregnancy, I need to gather in a couple of hours. I headed across the hall to my mother’s condo, to whom I had just texted the news that I had gotten “THE CALL!”
We dashed through each store, picking up wipes, diapers, bottles, bibs, swaddling blankets, pacifiers, and just about everything else a nursery should contain. There in the checkout aisle of a big box store, I decided to google the meaning of the name of my soon-to-arrive child. My eyes welled up with tears when I discovered that the name, of Irish descent, meant little warrior. I was shocked, how all of this had come to pass in such a short period of time. How could I have known it the months prior that the little warrior I had chosen to write and address my journaling entries to would be the little translation of my future child’s name. That I would be raising a child with a Mexican background, a culture I had more than the last decade learning about.
The next day, on Christmas Eve, at 5pm, my little warrior arrived. As I buzzed them into the building, I opened my front door to see a caseworker walking down the hall with a car seat swinging from her hand. I reached for the car seat and peaked in to gaze upon this beautiful baby boy for the very first time. I set the car seat on the dining room table that I had recently set for Christmas Eve dinner and proceeded to unbuckle him and remove him from his navy blue snowsuit. Underneath he wore a gray onesie, with the words “My first Christmas” written to the left hand side, and pale yellow hat. Into my arms he settled, with his head on my shoulder, as I swayed back and forth. He wouldn’t leave my arms for the remainder of the evening, or in the days that followed.
We quickly fell into our routine. Bottles, diapers, nap time. It all felt like second nature, like something I should have been doing all along. It was hard to imagine that just a couple of months prior, I was releasing my book into the world, wondering what would come next, and now here I was holding my little warrior, the greatest miracle I had ever witnessed.
The months passed, and as we got settled and were preparing to celebrate the arrival of the little warrior, the world fell into a state of pandemic.
And yet with quarantine in effect, the miracles would keep coming. In the three months that followed I would meet the love of life, sell my condo, and purchase my dream home where our family would live by summer’s end. We settled just in time for a small gathering to celebrate the little warrior’s first birthday in early fall.
The better part of the past year has been spent parenting and raising this little man, and blissfully enjoying every second of my new family.
I share more of this story in my next book, title forthcoming, but wanted to tell part of it now. Not only to explain where I’ve been, but to give a glimpse of what is possible when we heal our wounds, reclaim our worth, and live by the principles set forth in Awakening The Light Warrior Within.
A Course in Miracles states that miracles are natural, and that there is no order of magnitude to them. The past year has shown me that this is true, and I love to share this journey with you.
If you haven’t read my book yet, I have good news. On March 20th, it is being rereleased in both ebook and audiobook formats to accompany the hardcover version, which is available everywhere books are sold.
And to celebrate, I’m hosting a live talk on Instagram and Facebook on March 20th at 12pm EST about the Mechanics of Radical Acceptance. Because radical acceptance, self-acceptance, is where it all begins. It’s where transformation occurs, and where we learn to embrace the light.