Monday, November 30, 2009

A Little Less Talk and A Lot More Action ~ Part Two

Just like clockwork, the front door to our home opened at six in the evening announcing the love of my life was home. From the moment I met Bob, when I was a mere fourteen years old, I knew he was the person I wanted to grow old with. He was, and remains to this day, the most honest, loving, loyal, decent man I have ever met. I am blessed. When I heard the front door open that night, however, the thought that I may not get the chance to grow old once he saw Ann and her son, flashed through my mind. I should have known better.

Walking into the kitchen, Bob looked from face to face, starting with Ann’s and ending with mine. He was not smiling. I quickly walked over to him and wrapped my arms around him, burying my face in his chest. I heard Ann get up from the table and walk out of the room.

“Marla, we need to talk.”

“I know, I know. Please don’t get mad. I’m sorry. I just don’t know what to do.”

We both walked silently to our bedroom and closed the door behind us.

“She needs to go. I don’t want her here. I have to protect you and the boys regardless of what anyone thinks. She has to go!”

I knew he meant what he said and that he was right about one thing. He was the best protector and provider for the boys and me. I desperately wanted to honor Bob the way he had always honored me, but I also felt helping Ann was the right thing to do. I felt like crying because I had created such a mess of things. I asked Bob if Ann and her baby could stay for dinner since it was ready and maybe we could figure out an alternative plan for them during our meal. He agreed, out of his love for me, not because he thought I was right. I am sure of this.

As we all sat at the dinner table, Bob said grace and we ate, silently at first. Eventually, Bob began to ask Ann questions about her little son’s health and her life in general. By the end of the meal, everyone at the table was laughing and talking at the same time just like our usual mealtimes. As Bob helped me clear the table, he leaned over and whispered, “You win. Where are we going to put them?”

For the next twelve months, Ann and her son lived in our home as a part of our family. Her boy gained weight, played with my boys and slept in his very own bed. Ann also did really well. There were moments she would slip up and make a bad choice but she always came back to center because she had found a safe place to fall. She had found the Lord.

When Ann’s baby was born, I had the great privilege of being her labor and delivery coach. I was the first to hold her newborn son, the first to give him a bath and feed him a bottle and the last to hold him before placing him in the arms of his adoptive parents. Ann had decided adoption was the best option for this little one she loved so much. It was one of the most bittersweet moments of my life. I could only ever imagine what it was like for Ann. I remain in awe of her for that act of love.

A few months after the birth, we found an apartment close by for Ann and her first son. My girlfriends, who had all circled the wagons around Ann during her pregnancy, once again showered her with love and kindness. The day she moved into that little apartment, it was completely furnished and had a stocked pantry not to mention broods of people stopping by with treats and well wishes.

Was this an easy journey for me or my family? Not always. Would I do it again? Today! I would do it again today.

I will be arriving back home in Oklahoma in a few short days. I have my daughter-in-law, Amy with me. You know, the one that is as crazy as her mother-in-law. We are planning to visit the local crisis pregnancy center while she is visiting to see what can be done to complete #2 on The List. Last night, I heard Amy asking her husband, my son, what he would do if she brought home a pregnant girl to live with them. I didn’t hear his response but I saw his face. It was the same face I have seen many times on the man I love, his father.

I couldn’t be prouder!


Sarah said...

you are such an amazing woman! i wish everyone is like you. we'll have no war and no homeless or the hungry. that takes a lot of courage. you were the angel that woman and son needed.

Marla said...

Sarah ~ That's Bob's greatest fear. We'll have no homeless because I will have moved them all into our house. lol

SquirrelQueen said...

Marla, you are a very special person don't ever change. It takes a lot of courage to open your home to a stranger, wish there were more like you .... and Bob.

Andrea said...

Wow. Marla you are an inspiration. I imagine taking this young woman & her son into your home blessed you in more ways than you could have ever imagined. Isn't it funny how it happens that way...

Very interested to hear what happens when you get home. :-) Keep us posted...

Lily Robinson said...

You truly are an inspiration. My MIL would say that when you get to heaven, your crown will have extra jewels.

What an awesome feeling you must get when you think about the role you played in leading someone to God and giving them the much needed leg up.

I believe that Ann will pay it forward. And, by your example, who knows what wonderful acts will be done by her son and yours. What a magnificent snowball effect!

Thank you for making a difference!

Oklahoma Granny said...

What an inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing your home with this woman and her son and thank you for sharing the story with your readers.

Monkey Man said...

I couldn't do it - Have Bob's patience or your heart. I admire you both.

Nicole said...

Kicked to the curb, that's what would happen to me. Yep. Although I can't possibly see myself doing what you did - that stranger danger thing they taught in elementary school has stuck like crazy glue.

Amazing story. Generous woman you are.

Jeremy said...

You are most certainly something.. I think I know the look you are talking about...

dianna said...

Wow Marla you are such an inspiration! What a difference we can make if we can just surrender from time to time of our own ways and do what we see the Father doing. I love you sharing your your good the bad and the ugly with us!

Marla said...

Judy ~ It didn't feel special or courageous at the time, it just felt like the right thing to do. Thanks for seeing it that way, though. :-)

Andrea ~ We definately received more than we gave. I heard once that you can't outgive God. I believe that is true.

Lily ~ That's my hope in writing this blog. That people would see if a fool like me can do this stuff and make a difference then anybody and their dog can do it.

Ok Granny ~ Thank you for reading it!

Monkey ~ Many a man thanks God he is not married to me. :-)

Nicole ~ Stranger danger? They don't come much stranger than me.

Jeremy ~ Oh, I am something, alright. But then, you already knew that. By the way, HR homeless guy says hi.

Dianna ~ You have definately seen the bad and the ugly. Let's hope for some more good pretty soon.

Pricilla said...

It's good there are people like you in the world.

Prayer Girl said...

I just read your blog, Parts One and Two. That is "faith in action".

My computer's homepage always has a Quote of the Day. Here was the quote for today:
"Ideas without action are worthless." - Harvey Mackay

You put your ideas in action and thank God.

UberGrumpy said...

Inspiring. I feel privileged to meet awesome people like you, even via the lens of a blog. Well done.

UberGrumpy said...

P.S. Award for you over at my house.

DeLinda said...

Miss Marla, you continue to amaze and inspire me to step out of my own comfort zone to help others and make a difference. You truly are an inspiration to many, as others have said, and I look forward to hearing about the next journey on your list. Love you, DeLinda

Unknown Mami said...

What a beautiful post! You did something wonderful and courageous.

Marla said...

Pricilla ~ It's good there are goats in the world! :-)

PG ~ Great quote!

Uber ~ Seriously? Be right there and thank you, thank you, thank you!

DeLinda ~ That's the point. We can all do it together. Love you too!!

Mami ~ You are too kind, as usual.

Two Shades of Pink said...

Ok, Ok, Ok. This post has me blubbering in a not so pretty way. Oh, how you and Bob were the hands and feet of Jesus. Actually, your family, your friends, so many.I am sitting in absolute awe and this story is just too fantastic to be real. Marla, you bless me each time you comment on my blog and I wanted to do the same for you and let you know I do visit often. Thank you so much for this precious story.

Marla said...

Two Shades ~ Thank you! Now, I am blessed!

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

I couldn't wait until tomorrow... I had to go look for part II on my own. {grin}

I know who I'm calling if I ever find myself homeless. (after i call my kids, of course.) You really are an amazing woman who practices and lives her faith for all to see. God bless you.