The contractions begin.
Bee is dressed for ballet. I’m adjusting her leotard, securing her loose blonde waves into a bun, clip to one side. A kiss on the cheek. The other 4-year-olds are skipping into class, bumbling into each other with excitement, energy. Trying to be graceful, trying to look tall.
See you in a bit, I say. Have fun!
Somewhere else, a woman labors.
Bee’s learned a new move, third position. She shows me after class as we walk toward the car.
Like this, she says, dropping my hand on the sidewalk, raising one arm overhead, the other bent in front. A small little bow.
Lovely, I say. Just lovely.
It is golden hour; the sun pours over us like magic.
Somewhere else, a woman groans.
As we drive home, she asks for snacks. She asks what we’ll be having for dinner, what we’ll be doing this evening, what’s the name of our neighbor’s cat again? Waffle?
I watch the road, I answer questions. I press repeat on the CD, then again, then one more time. Ah, yes. This one is her favorite. Skip counting by 6.
I can’t get it right, she says as her legs dangle the car seat. Is this point or flex?
She points her toes, calves revealing two tiny lumps. Flexes her ankles, bends them back, muscles tensing as they expand, contract, release.
Somewhere else, a woman pushes.
Flex, I say.
Dinner is buffalo chicken and cabbage wraps. Ken is home from a trip, his unpacked luggage still sprawled out in the dining room. I step over it as I set the table, gather napkins, not minding as much as I usually do. His weekender smells like patchouli, never a bad thing.
We eat, we talk. It’s bath night, I remind Bee, but she already knows.
Somewhere else, a baby cries.
The dishes lay in the sink for tomorrow. The toddler splashes, I brush my teeth. It’s late, I’m thinking of deadlines.
But then, the phone.
Do you have a minute to talk? the woman asks Ken. Is your wife there? She’s gonna want to hear this.
And then we were four.
I met him last evening. A boy, yes. Born at home. (Like Bee? Like Bee.) So fast, I know. He is beautiful. He is healthy.
He is yours.
We rush around, make phone calls. Bee is asleep in bed by now, do we wake her? Tell her the news? That she has a brother, that he is beautiful, that he is healthy, that he is ours?
We throw salami, carrots, grapes in a cooler. A change of clothes, deodorant. Phone chargers.
Ken tiptoes into Bee’s room, whispering. It’s late. But your brother is here.
We pile in the car, all of us. We drive. We drive and drive and drive and we meet him far after midnight and he is beautiful and he is healthy and he is ours.
I’ve been calling him Scout.
We didn’t know.
When Bee was twirling, when she itched her leotard, when I washed the cabbage, when I toweled her off in a sudsy puddle of bathwater, we didn’t know something lovely was being born.
How could we have known?
Earlier in the day, when we visited Ken’s brother to drop off a gift, when we stopped at the coffee shop for tea, when Bee made a new friend on the sidewalk and we smiled at our neighbors and filled up the gas tank and stopped at the bank and did everything in the most mundane of ways, how could we have known?
When I ran into a friend that afternoon, when she’d pulled over her car, asked for an update – Any news on a match meeting? – when I’d responded, Oh it could be years before a match; we just finished the paperwork! It’s ok, though, really!
We couldn’t have known. We couldn’t have known there was a woman – a stranger – laboring, pushing, spilling herself out to offer life to another.
Angels are often unseen by mere mortals.
So yes, he is here. He is beautiful and he is healthy and he is ours.
We are so happy. (We are so tired.)
We are still practicing third position. Still leaving luggage on the floor, unpacked, unsorted. Still here, sauteing the cabbage.
But now there are four of us, mere mortals, stumbling into one another. Finding a rhythm, finding grace.
Finding each other.
Oh how absolutely wonderful. Enormous and heartfelt congratulations from someone who has heard those words and thought those same things. Hearing the words he is yours is the dream, of course, and I think you will never stop hearing them ring in your ears. Best wishes for your family of four. Xx
Emily, thank you so much sweet friend. You’re right – those words will never leave my ears. :)
So so beautifully written. Congratulations mama, family and scout.
Thank you, Rachel! :)
Speechless and glad and praising. What an exquisite birth story! Congrats, mama. This is the good stuff.
Amen, amen, amen. Thank you!
So many smiles for you. Blessings for the four of you. Love for this new journey. Xoxo
Oh Jamie, thank you!
Best wishes for a happy and healthy ahead, always. ?
Thank you, Jenn!
So wonderful, Erin. I was shopping today thinking, do Inerd to buy a baby gift for someone? ;) Much love, sweet friend. xoxo
Ha, you’re the sweetest thing!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!
Congratulations on your new little man!! What a wonderful blessing – can’t wait to hear about the adventures.
As always, your writing is exquisite and heartfelt and everything I always want it to be.
Oh Erin, thank you.
Oh, he is beautiful! Congratulations Erin. Wishing you guys so much joy in this new season!!!
Thank you Amy!!!!
oh erin. congratulations! i’m so so happy for all of you. so much LOVE to your little crew! xoxoxo
Thank you sweet Danielle! We’re just over the moon, truly.
I have been waiting for this.
I love you.
I love YOU. :)
Congratulations to you and your family!!! My heart is overflowing with happiness that the new addition you’ve been working and waiting for is finally here!!
OH Aimee, thank you sweet friend!
Wow, congratulations!! God bless this new journey with the little one ☺
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Welcome oh welcome new bundle of baby joy! So happy for you all!
Thank you friend!
Congratulations!!! How unexpected and breathtaking. You will always remember third position.
You’re so very right, Nicole – I always, always will! Thank you!
Congratulations to you, Erin, and to all of you. Wishing you the best time as a family of four.
Thank you Agnes!!!!
I am so incredibly happy for your family!!! I can’t stop smiling at what wonderful news this is for you all!!! Sending joyous thoughts & hugs your way!!! ❤
Thank you sweet Amanda!!!
Congratulations to your family. He’s perfect.
Thank you, LaMesha!!! He so, so is!
I have been so excited, waiting for the great news that is contained in this post! Rejoicing with you….
And I just knew after talking in the kitchen that the name “Scout” would likely appear here. Perfection in one little swaddling blanket.
Much love. Many hugs.
Ha, thank you sweet Deanna! He’s so lucky to be born into such a loving community!!! :)
How beautifully written this is, and congratulations!
Thank you, Izzy!
Congratulations!!! Amazing news :-)
Congratulations. This was an absolute joy to read. You are an incredibly gifted writer and mother.
Oh goodness, thank you.
This brings me to tears. Such happy tears. I am so very happy for you and your wonderful bundle of four.
Such a beautifully written essay, I can’t wait for Chasing Slow.
Erin, I am so greatful to have found your blog. All the way from Ireland, every experience and feeling you allow us to share with you, warms me to my core. Thank you and billions of congratulations!
This is so exciting. Congrats. Having two is wonderful and a blessing. We are so happy for your family. Bee will be a great big sister :) xoxo
Thank you so much, Erin! :)
I’m sitting here, with my morning tea, crying happy tears for you! Please give him a little kiss on the cheek for me! xo
oh barb, you are the sweetest. i certainly will! :)
I love the way you write, the way you share your life. I am so happy this little family of 4. So full of joy for Scout, he has entered into the most loving family I know. congrats! yay!
AHHHH thank you sweet friend!!!
Beautiful, Erin. And of course Scout! He will be your lead into so many lovely new places. I am so happy for you–and I feel your tiredness. We will add the precious 4 of you to our prayers. Xo
Congratulations! I’m sure Bee will be a wonderful big sister. She has so much to share with Scout…
thank you so so much kelly!
Life really is so beautiful, isn’t it? Your story. Your new little bundle of life. Your love. All so, so beautiful.
oh rebekah, thank you!
Oh, I am so happy for you guys.This was beautifully written, I cried ready every minute reading it. Congrats on your new bundle of joy! :)
thank you so much rachel! :)
Oh Erin, words cannot express how excited and happy I am for you guys!! I know Bee will teach him everything she knows, including how to climb the counters. If you haven’t already, look up the Adoption Creed. I had a plaque of it in my room when I was younger. Best of luck to you guys! I’ll be looking forward to hearing all the fun stories a new one brings into a home. Enjoy!
oh jennifer, thank you for the rec! can’t wait to look that one up. :) biggest hugs, friend!
This is so amazing and so beautiful. I am so thrilled for your family of four and cannot wait to read more adventures of this changed life. Welcome home, Scout.
oh sarah, thank you!
Congratulations! That’s amazing, and how beautifully you write about it.
thank you vivi!
It must be great and really difficult at the same time. Well, just like giving birth, but this is soon unexpected. All of the sudden you’re 4! I wish you all the best and a little rest to adapt to the big change. Finding each other. Beautiful story you’ve written again, and the story for one little guy is only beginning. But he is a very lucky boy to be part of your family!!
All of a sudden we’re 4 indeed! It’s been a lovely little whirlwind. Big hugs, and thank you sweet Liesbeth! :)
Congratulations on your bundle of joy that GOD’S Blessed you with….
Erin this is your bus driver Denise ! I am so happy for you !
Loved your every detail of your everyday life.
Feel like this child has been placed in a lovely nurturing home to be loved and cherished!
denise!!!!!!! thank you! sending big hugs!!!
Ah. Your writing is exquisite. Big love to your family.
oh ali, you are so kind!
Congratulations!! I’m so happy for your family of four!!! Enjoying this time of finding new grace and more love with one another.
thank you regina!!!
what a beautiful way to welcome another child,a child of God,into your home.God Bless the lady who was able to give him life and then gave him again a new life.He is a special little guy to be your son and to have that big sister and all the family that will love him. Best of luck to all of you
oh robyn – thank you for your sweet encouragement!!!
How absolutely beautiful — congratulations!! Love the name :)
oh marisa, thank you!
Very nice. Congratulations.
thank you so much lorna!
This is beautiful. Congratulations to you and your family!
thank you sweet karen!
Oh Erin! He is so precious. What beautiful words for such a darling new boy. So happy for you! Xoxo
thank you julie!!!!
Welcome to the world, Scout! You’ve chosen parents who will love you and learn from you all of their days. And your big sister Bee will be so much fun! Congratulations and LOVE TO ALL!
oh cynthia, thank you!
Erin, I’ve read for so long and never left a comment, even though your words are so often exactly what I need to hear. We are waiting to welcome our fourth, a boy, and our first little one, a 3.5 yr old girl, had dance last night too. I felt like we were living the same day when I read what you wrote. I’m so happy for your family and what a lucky little man to have you all. Best of luck!
oh katie, congratulations to you!!!!!! what a fun coincidence!!!!! :) thank you for your sweet words!
Congrats! Welcome to the world, Scout!
thank you suzanne!
Congratulations to you and your family! So happy for the 4 of you! He is one lucky little boy to become a part of your loving family! Best of luck to all of you!
oh thank you so so much, cheryl!!!!! :) we’re so very happy!
So wonderful! So happy for your beautiful family.
thank you sweet janette!
CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’m so happy & excited for you & your family!!!
Lots of Love to you all!!!
oh janelle, thank you!
Congratulations!! Happy tears and hugs for your sweet tribe!!
thank you so much chrissy!!
Aaaahhhhh CONGRATULATIONS!!! He’s perfect and he’s yours!!!
So, so many congratulations.
thank you katie! :)
Oh Erin, how wonderful. So very happy for your little family.
thank you so so much katie!
Oh my gosh, I’m so happy for you all!! Congratulations!!!
thank you, tracey – we’re so over the moon!
Congratulations on your new son! What a beautiful story for him to know.
thank you so so much, wendy!
My heart is filled with joy and hope and thanksgiving for you and your whole family!!
thank you, shannon!
Congratulations on your new son, a very welcome addition to your family.
I have been reading your blog for almost a year now and am so pleased for your family
oh donna, thank you so much!
congratulations! Inhale that sweet baby smell and enjoy getting to know his soul.
ON IT! :) thank you friend!
This was beautifully written. xoxo
oh cori, thank you!
Such a beautiful story! Congratulations to you new little family of four!
thank you so so much, kelsey!
Oh, how wonderful! Congratulations to all three of you!!! And prayers as you and your husband adjust to a new rhythm of life with two precious children.
lauren! thank you for your sweet prayers!! :)
Congratulations Erin, Ken, Bee and Bernie & George, too! Welcome to your new family Scout … it’s going to be great! xo
sweet cindy – thank you!!!!!!!!!!! always love seeing your name pop up here. :)
Erin, Congratulations. I am so happy for you and your family. I love watching this story unfold. God bless you all.
thank you, katie!!!! :)
What wonderful news! Congratulations Erin,and Bee on being a big sister ?
oh viola, thank you so so much! :)
God is good!
So happy for your happiness! Welcome to the world, Scout!
thank you barbara!!!
You don’t know me, an almost 50 girl in another part of the country, but I feel like we are friends- because you’ve let me (and countless others) into your world through your blog. And since we are friends, I cried happy tears when I read this. May the Lord richly bless this family of four. Welcome Scout!
oh cathy, thank you for your sweet words and blessings and prayers!!!! sending big hugs your way. :)
What sweet & wonderful news!!! Congratulations!!! Blessings to you as you adjust to a new addition.
thank you so so much, natalie!
What beautiful news to read! Congratulations!
thank you sweet greer!
Erin! I am so thrilled, so amazed at this beautiful story. Many best wishes to your growing family.
oh steph, thank you sweet friend! sending big hugs your way – i miss you!
So beautiful! So wonderful!
thank you sandra! :)
This is so incredibly lovely. Congratulations on your 3 becoming a 4!
What a beautiful memory to treasure! Blessings to your new beginnings as a family of four.
thank you so much angela! :)
Congrats to you and Ken, Erin! What wonderful news—looking forward to your posts on becoming a family of four!
Oh my gosh! Just reading your news and crying happy tears for you. Congrats on the new addition to your beautiful family! <3
oh thank you so much!
Congratulations!! We’ve been on the receiving end of that adoption call and I don’t know if there is anything more exciting! Good luck adjusting!
thank you sweet diana!
Your writing gives me goosebumps….congrats. Continue to be brave.
oh donna, thank you.
Oh such wonderful news!! We are just testing the waters of our own adoption journey and reading your post is heartwarming.
OH Sonrie, I wish you much peace on your own adoption path! Sending hugs.
oh welcome scout! i have a 10 month old (girl) scout and she’s the best thing since her older sister came along. :) congrats!!
Ahhhhh, I love hearing this! Big hugs, Katie!
just cried through this whole post. it’s so beautiful – the writing, the story, the faith… just all of it! so happy for your family and your heart for adoption! xx
oh sweet amy, THANK YOU!
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