For a piece that is a little different this time around, everyone loves this story of our adopted daughter – and it is 100% true.
I have been a writer and a journalist in some way shape or form for over 10 years. I have written a few books, and hundreds of stories for websites and print publications. Of them all, this is the most personal.
My husband and I had been married for about 5 years when we knew it was time to start a family. We soon came to realize that we were having trouble conceiving. After many tests and evaluations we found that it was me who could not conceive. Traditional fertility treatments were not an option for us at the time, so, instead we opted to adopt. We signed up with an adoption agency one balmy August. Several months later that same year – in December, we took a vacation to New Mexico.
While visiting one of the Native American Pueblos in the gift shop my husband saw a figurine of a mother with children climbing all over her. Back home, at the advice of our Adoption Attorney we had already begun to put together a nursery – our agent said it helped to get us into “parent mode.” My husband showed me the figurine and said “I want to get this and put it in the “baby’s room” – maybe it will bring a good vibe.” I agreed.
So we took the figurine to the counter and my husband asked the guy if he was the artist who made it. He said no, “but I represent the artist.” So I said oh, then can you tell me what this figure represents? He said it’s the “Storyteller.” He went on to describe how each tribe has a woman that relates the tribe’s oral history to the children and that she is known as “the storyteller.” My Husband, Steve said, “Oh – I thought when I saw all the kids on her – it was some kind of fertility figure – my wife and I can’t have children and we are trying to adopt – and I thought this might help find us a baby.”
Steve turned to put the figure back on the shelf, when, not wanting to lose the sale I suppose, the shopkeeper said – “Well it can do that too.” So Steve returned to the counter to buy the figure.
Just as Steve was about to take out his wallet to pay for the figurine, from behind a beaded curtain in back of the shopkeeper stepped out this old Native American who looks like the classic “Medicine Man” straight out of “Central Casting”, long gray hair, weathered, wrinkled face, beads, etc – and he looks right at Steve and I – and says “I overheard what you were telling my Grandson, and I sense a goodness in you – I am going to pray to the Great Spirit to send you a baby.”
Needless to say we thanked him and bought the figure and put it in the nursery when we got home. That was December 2002.
Flash forward a few months to February 2003 – and we get a call from our adoption agency that they have a “very pregnant” Birth Mother in their office who has selected us to adopt her child – but we have to ask you and Steve one Question – “she is Native American – do you have any problem with that?”
A few days later, on February 14th, Valentine’s Day no less – the child that we had no doubt was destined to be our daughter was born – we were there in the delivery room – and we named her Lailee Natane Goodman – “Natane” is a Native American word for “daughter.”