Becoming Real

My baby girl Ro, loves her doll.  It is perpetually naked, and the fabric that joins the body to both legs is ripped and frayed but just like the Velveteen Rabbit, love has made her real and she is precious.  The doll goes everywhere with us and over and over people ask Roseline the same question, “What is your doll’s name?” 

“Baby,” Ro responds.

“Baby?  She does not have a name?” They ask.

“Her name is BABY!” comes the reply.

And Ro loves her Baby.

One night last week as I was taking the braids out of Roseline’s hair, I looked down to find Baby sitting in front of Roseline, just as she was sitting in front of me.  Roseline was happily working on Baby’s hair too.  Never mind the fact that Baby is utterly and completely bald!  It didn’t bother Ro a bit.  She would simply pretend to rub hair lotion on the doll’s head and then lay beads and elastics on top.

“I think that Baby needs some hair,” I said.Ro’s Baby 2

“I just p-tending Mommy.  I just p-tending,” she replied.

A few days later, Baby was along for our trip to the grocery.  Little Mama strapped Baby into an extra booster seat beside her and when we arrived at the market she took her out, wrapped her in a blanket and cradled her carefully in her arms.  As we walked across the parking lot, I looked down and smiled at the sight.

“You are a good Mommy, you know that?” I said.  Then, I thought for a moment and asked, “Roseline, do you remember who gave Baby to you?”

She looked startled as if it had never occured to her that Baby was not always there.  “No,” she said.

I picked her up and said, “Daddy and I gave Baby to you for your first Christmas home with us.  I wanted you to come home for Christmas so much, but that Fall things were going badly with the adoption and it did not look like it was going to happen.  Then, one day I decided I was going to believe that you were coming home for Christmas no matter what.  So, I went to the computer and looked for a present for you.  When I found that doll, I knew it was the one and I ordered it.  By the time it came in the mail, things were going even worse but I said again, ‘I believe she will be home for Christmas!’ so, I went upstairs, wrapped the doll in Christmas wrapping paper and put it under the tree.”

“Then, guess what?  You came home for Christmas and Baby was waiting for you on Christmas morning!  That is why Ro’s baby 1Baby is so, so special.  She was an act of faith.”

Roseline grinned and hugged Baby tighter asI swallowed down the tears and hugged her tighter too.

I’m not sure how much longer Baby is going to make it.  The fabric attached to her legs is tearing more each day but if the day comes when I find it neccesary to slip an identical replacement in Roseline’s bed while she sleeps, I know where the origninal will go.  I will tuck her away in the bottom of the hope chest at the end of my bed, because somewhere along the way she became real to me too.

8 Replies to “Becoming Real”

  1. That was beautiful story…thanks for sharing it.

  2. This is what it’s all about – living an epic life and learning to flow with the unforced rhythms of divine grace. Roseline is quickly tapping into that same reservoir of grace. You are blessed!

  3. Sweet story. You might better get the replacement sooner she will know the difference. Just a thought.


  4. Thank you so much for this blog! Our adoption has taken so long and I know that now is the time for me to perform an act of faith and believe my girls will be home for Christmas! THANK YOU so much for this.
    also, dental floss works really good to sew them babies legs back on, even the head 😉

  5. Thanks Sherri, we watched “Facing the Giants” last night. Excellent movie! I’m going to “prepare for rain” today and work in our son’s room. I couldn’t do it yesterday but after the message in the movie I can do it today. The message is essentially prepare for miracles and praise God anyway. Just like you believing that the kids would be home for Christmas. I’m not quite there yet but I’m looking for God’s leading in that.

  6. Hmm..beautiful as always.

    Sherri, how is the book coming along ( I have not forgotten and will keep bugging you till you do 😉 )

  7. I read this late last night or early this morning, and then thought about it all day today. How precious to be able to relate the story to your daughter!


  8. Tomorrow I am going to a shower for a friend whose 4-year old Haitian son will be arriving very soon. Her husband leaves tomorrow morning for Haiti. I sat here and read every single one of your entries and was blown away by your writing and your family’s story. I burst into tears as you sat on the plane and spoke to your husband, verbalizing that the long wait was finally over.

    Thank you for sharing.

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