Yesterday, I read THIS AMAZING STORY in the New York Times Opinionator blog. I hope you did, too. But if you didn’t, go ahead and click the link and read it now. (Or don’t because I basically summarize the whole thing here.) But trust me, this story will warm your heart and make you smile and maybe ugly cry, just a little bit.
It will also make you want to stalk this family AND the judge that helped them to become a family and force them all to be friends with you because you just have a feeling that you would get along really well and share a lot of laughs over Thai food.
And finally, it will make you want to immediately get into your car and drive into New York City and comb all of the subway stations just in case there’s another newborn baby wrapped in an oversized, black sweatshirt that needs a home.
No? It didn’t make you want to do all of that? OK, me neither. But come on, what if there is a newborn somewhere by the Union Square 4-5-6 station that NEEDS me?? Stop it. Fine.
So, now that you’ve read the article… I have a few things to say.
First of all, I just keep thinking about that first phone call. Imagine your boyfriend of three years calls you and says, “I found a baby!” What must run through your head?? What? Where?? How?? WTF??? The author, Peter Mercurio, says that his partner, Danny is “by nature… a remarkably calm person, so when I felt his heart pounding through the phone line, I knew I had to run.” So, he ran.
Second of all, this was my favorite part:
“Three months later, Danny appeared in family court to give an account of finding the baby. Suddenly, the judge asked, “Would you be interested in adopting this baby?” The question stunned everyone in the courtroom, everyone except for Danny, who answered, simply, ‘Yes.’”
Yes, I would be interested in adopting this baby. Yes, this baby that I found in the subway. Yes, this baby that I don’t know anything about. Yes, this baby that I didn’t even know that I wanted.
Turns out, Danny and Peter had been together for three years but had never discussed adopting a child together. Their lives were “not geared for child rearing.”
According to the author, they had jobs that were not conducive to parenting schedules. They had financial boundaries. And they knew that as a gay couple, they would face difficulties trying to adopt.
But DANNY SAID YES.
Don’t you love that he said YES!?!
The story just gets better from there. They thought they would have to wait nine months before the baby would come live with them… but he came a week later. Just before Christmas. A Christmas miracle.
They spent a year as foster parents before being legally allowed to adopt him. When they met the judge again for the official adoption, Peter (I’m sure they won’t mind my using their first names, being as we might be friends and all) questioned the judge about why she had asked Danny if he was interested in adopting the baby.
And the judge said, “I had a hunch. Was I wrong?”
NO! She wasn’t wrong! How awesome is this judge?! Don’t you just want to hug her and buy her dinner and make her President of the United States??
I am no expert on adoption, but I imagine this judge bypassed a whole bunch of red tape and BS in order to give this shiny-new, innocent, perfect baby to people who, while nervous about their parenting abilities (who isn’t?), felt SO SURE that they could love him better than anyone else.
And guess what. They have.
In 2011, when New York decided it was OK for Danny and Peter to get married, their son – Kevin, who’s 12 now – suggested they find that same judge to perform the ceremony.
She, of course remembered them and they had one big, happy reunion.
I love EVERYTHING about this story.
Well, I thought I loved everything about this story, but then I shared it with the Loud One. Now I love almost everything about this story.
When I told the Loud One, I gave her all the most important details – man found a baby in the subway, called his boyfriend and said, “I found a baby!” judge asked him if he wanted the baby, he said YES – isn’t that crazy that he said YES?!? – they took the baby home, the boy grew up, the Dads were finally allowed to get married, they went back to the same judge, she married them and met the son and for all these years they’ve been one happy family!”
And then I said, isn’t that a GREAT story??
She smiled… hesitantly… and then paused… and I thought, Hmmm, is she going to ask about the gay Dads? Or about the adoption thing? Or about why they weren’t allowed to get married sooner?
She asked, “Did the police find the person that left that baby in the subway and put them in jail?”
Huh. I guess that’s the one part of the story that isn’t so great.
I told her that I didn’t think so. But that whomever left the baby there probably felt like they couldn’t do a good job as a parent and hoped that whomever found the baby would take better care of him then they could. And that even though that part is very sad, the story has such a happy ending.
I told her that sometimes, when it’s meant to be, families just find each other. Even if they don’t know they’re looking.
I told her that there are all different kinds of ways to make a family – sometimes babies are born, sometimes they’re adopted, sometimes families blend together –and isn’t that awesome?
YES. Yes, it is.