I read this book to Skylar for the first time last night and had to choke back the tears as I did. This is such an emotional story for me. I am hoping that one day this story will mean as much to Skylar as it does to me.
I Wished For You an adoption story
by Marianne Richmond
Mama and Barley Bear snuggled in their favorite cuddle spot.
"Mama," said Barley. "Tell me again how I'm your wish come true."
Mama smiled. Barley loved to hear about how he was Mama's special wish.
"A long time ago," said Mama to Barley, "a wish started growing in my heart. At first, it was a quiet wish that nobody knew. Then it became an out-loud wish that grew and grew and grew. Until one day, my wish came true."
"Me!" said Barley. "I was your wish come true!"
"Yes," said Mama. "You are my wish come true."
Barley wiggled to get more comfortable.
"Why did you wish for me, Mama?" asked Barley.
Barley wished for things like a new comic book or a pet lizard. He had never wished for a somebody.
"Because," explained Mama, "I had an empty place in my heart that I wanted to fill with love for a special child like you. Someone who would be my cuddly little one, and I would be his Mama."
"Oh," said Barley, feeling a little unsure. He knew about how his Mama had adopted him from a far-away place.
"What about the Mama that grew me in her tummy?" asked Barley. "Didn't she wish for me, too?"
Mama squeezed Barley a little tighter.
"Sometimes, Barley," said Mama, "A mama will grow a baby in her belly, and for all kinds of reasons, she'll decide she cannot be the very best mama she wants to be. The mama who grew you loved you enough to make a different wish -- a wish for a family who would love her little one with a total and adoring love. The kind of love I have for you," said Mama.
"Mama," said Barley, his voice a whisper. "Did you wish for me by name?" He liked his name, he thought to himself.
Mama tilted her head to show she was remembering.
"When I first wished my wish," said Mama to Barley, "I didn't know your name. Or if you'd be a boy or girl. But that didn't stop my wishing. I asked God to look around and find the child who would be the perfect one for me."
"Barley," said Mama, her eyes spilling over with tears. "Of all the children in the whole wide world, God picked you for me."
This made Barley feel really special. There are lots of children in the world, he reminded himself. And God picked him! Barley got up and looked out the window that faced the big apple tree out back.
"Did you wish for me all day, Mama?" Barley asked. "Or only when the stars were out?"
"All the time," said Mama, softly. "I wished for you with my morning coffee, and when I made my bed. I couldn't get my wish for you out from in my head."
That was a lot of wishing, thought Barley. He thought of all the things he did at school like math and lunch and reading. He couldn't imagine wishing through all of them.
"Did you ever think," wondered Barley, "that your wish might not come true?"
"Oh yes..." said Mama, remembering how long the waiting seemed sometimes.
"I wished for you through many phone calls... and through mountains of paperwork. I wished for you while I waited and waited... and waited. Sometimes," said Mama, "I didn't hear any news about you for weeks or months. But I held onto my wish tightly - like the string on a balloon."
Barley wasn't good at waiting. He wanted his birthday to be three times a year.
"During the waiting," said Mama, "I would imagine you."
"Imagine me?" repeated Barley.
"Yes," said Mama. "I imagined what you'd look like, or what color your fur would be. I imagined you in your room, playing with your blocks and trains. I wondered, too, if you'd like soccer or piano or art projects."
"Did you imagine me to look exactly like I do?" asked Barley.
"You, Barley, are more beautiful than I ever dreamed," said Mama.
"One day..." said Mama, brightening as she spoke, "One glorious, special, wonderful day, I found out my wish was coming true."
"What did you do?" asked Barley, smiling and sitting up. He could tell a lucky part was coming in her story.
"I shouted for joy!" remembered Mama, laughing. "And I cried happy tears. I told all my friends... and they hugged me and cried, too."
Barley wondered why grown-ups cried about the happy stuff.
"Everyone," continued Mama, "knew how much I had been wishing for you!"
"What did you do when you first held me?" asked Barley. As hard as he tried to remember, he just couldn't. He was a pretty little Barley then.
"Oh, Barley," said Mama. "I fell deeply in love with you. I looked into your sweet face, and right then, you became my wish come true."
Barley felt cozy about what his Mama was telling him, but a thought niggled at him.
"Mama," said Barley. "Me and you are in the same family, but we don't look the same. You have dark fur, and I have light fur with brown ears. Is this okay?"
Mama had waited for this question.
"Yes, Barley, it's okay," she said. "Some families look alike and others don't. All families are different. What makes a family is their love for each other."
That makes sense, thought Barley. He liked Mama's answer. He loved being a part of her family.
"Do wishes always come true?" asked Barley,thinking again about the pet lizard he still wished for.
"No," said Mama. "Not all of our wishes come true. But don't ever stop wishing for the hopes of your heart."
"I won't," said Barley. Maybe he'd ask for a goldfish instead.
"But I came true," said Barley, proudly.
"Yes, you did, Barley," said Mama. "I wished for you, and you are always and forever my wish come true."
Mama and Barley stayed right there in their cuddle spot, both thinking that always and forever was a good amount of time.