I loved living in Alabama. Although we lived there only 11 months, what happened there changed all of us forever. I remember sitting in the family room with everyone. I remember Mom and Dad telling us they felt there was someone else in our family waiting to come, so we were going to pursue adoption since Mom couldn’t have any more children herself. I was 9, turning 10 and this was SO COOL. It was exciting! We couldn’t wait to see who would come to join the family. I remember a couple of times coming together again as a family and talking about options the social services offered us in different children. Did we feel like we could all come together to do what we could to bring another into our family?
Then we moved back to Virginia. After school one day, the phone rang. We were always racing each other to the phone, and I won that time, although I don’t remember if anyone else was home. The lady on the phone explained she was from LDS family services and asked for Mom or Dad. “They’re not home,” I said. Here is the interesting part that I only now realize is so interesting—she proceeded anyway to tell me, a girl of 11 years old, the most important information. She didn’t just say “Please have your Mother call me back as soon as she can. It is important!” Could she sense this was most precious, exciting information that would change not only our family, but ME, forever??
She continued, “Well, we think we have found the little girl for your family!” She was born yesterday… A little girl with no ears… “Can you tell your Mother or Father to call me back when they can?”
I said “sure!” and hung up the phone, excited as could be. I think the curiosity flashed through my mind for a brief second when she said the baby had no ears, but I hardly cared to think about that more. For ringing through my mind was the thought, “A NEW LITTLE BABY SISTER!”
Hearing the car pull up in the driveway, I ran to the front door and onto the porch and YELLED to Mom, “Mom, the lady called and they have a little girl for us!” I didn’t wait for her reaction, I ran back inside.
The rest is a blur. I know Dad got word while at work, and we all felt it: We had found her.
While Mom and Dad traveled to Georgia to pick up our new bundle, we all stayed at friends’ houses. I was at the Call’s. We didn’t know exactly when baby Katie, Mom, and Dad would be back. I remember driving home from school after Sister Call picked me and Caitlin up and asking to pass our house to see if the Buick was in the driveway. I was disappointed when it was not. But then, probably later that day, we got a call. SHE WAS HOME! I was instantly so nervous. I got shaky and couldn’t wait to meet her. The Calls took me home, and I RAN inside. I was confused, because the Buick wasn’t in the driveway again. I passed other sisters on the way and after inquiring, found out that Dad had gone to fill the car with gas. I turned the corner from the front hall and passed the kitchen. Then, I look to my left to the family room and there it was, the baby carrier with a blanket over the top, covering the sleeping baby inside. It’s like slow motion in my mind…walking towards the carrier, heart beating so loudly, about to meet my littlest sister. I slowly took off the blanket to reveal tiny Katilyn. As soon as my eyes met her tiny face, I immediately loved her. Not one second of hesitation. The Lord poured a bucket of love over my head and I felt tears coming to my eyes. She was perfect! I wish I could express that pure love and strong Spirit in words, but it was real. As I write this it comes back into my heart, and the tears of truth spring back to my eyes. It is a moment I have never forgotten, for then I felt so close to heaven that I knew it was real. I knew God was aware of me, the 11 year old on a suburban Virginia street, and was teaching me of where love comes from; from Him. This experience has become a foundation on which I have built my faith and love of our Heavenly Father who loves us and knows us personally.
Me & Kate, 1999