Sunshine, On A Cloudy Day

August 28, 2008

Update on Zachary below.

This is going to sound trite, but I’m going to say it anyway: sometimes, on even the darkest day, a little bit of sunshine bursts through a gap in the clouds and that streak of light – even if it does not have the power to warm cold bones and frigid skin – reminds you that there’s blue sky up there somewhere, above and behind and beyond the dark. The smiles of my children – I warned you about the trite – are such bursts of light.

So is this:

Hi Catherine (& well wishers),

I kept up w/ your blog and every single one of your comments on my Beaner and I cannot thank you enough for posting my story and helping me out even though I know that you are going through a lot and I am so sorry if I put you in a position. I say this because I know the hurt you are going through now… but what you did is life changing for me and my kids and I will forever be grateful.

On Friday night I was able to get visitation w/ my two older kids for the weekend. It was the first time I’d been w/ them for more than 2 hours since Beaner was born. It was a great visit and they just adored her. I had originally told them when I was making the adoption plan that Beaner was going to live w/ a family that couldn’t have babies. I thought that was the only way for them to understand…I can honestly say it was a very hard weekend w/ all 3 of them, but I wouldn’t have had any different. We were all finally together, our family…My Family. How could I give her up and take her away from her big brother and sister who were lying nuzzled right next to her giving her so many kisses? Would they ever forgive me for taking her away from them, would she for giving her up? Believe me, there was a moment where all 4 of us were crying at the same time… I know its going to be hard, but you know I want to do it, I have to do it for them…

Everyone one that left a comment, sent prayers and thoughts my way will always be in my thoughts and prayers, as I will be forever grateful.. They gave me A LOT of advice and I read and processed every single one of them over and over…Thank you for sharing personal stories, I know how hard that is and was for some.. I wasn’t strong enough on my own to not get help and opinions from others. Right now I’m taking the adoptive parents backing out, your blog entry about your brother and I’m taking them as a sign…a sign that things are right now because they are supposed to be, that I will learn and grow and put this behind me as a very hard and confusing part of my life…

I can honestly say that this time last week it was at any moment that I was going to sign the adoption papers. I drove by the agency 8 times and visited my caseworker once, but there was not one moment that I could actually make the pen move on the paper…I couldn’t sign…So I’ll take that as another sign…

So, it’s final, a decision is made….I’m keeping my Beaner, she will grow up w/ her big sister (2yrs) Itty Bitty who will lovingly teach her everything she knows…and her big brother (4yrs) Lil Man who will always be there for her and protect her as much as he can… He was such a good big brother this weekend making sure Itty Bitty was gentle w/ Beaner… I am glad to know that adoption as an option was there for me, because I do know that there would have been parents out there willing to love her and take care of her. And it would have been my decision had this mess w/ my parents not happened…but I now believe things happened for a reason… this all happened for a reason…

Things are going to be different…I know they are, its not going to happen overnight…but I will keep believing because I will have my kids…all 3 of my kids. I love them more so much. And I will never give up, I promise them that…I will do everything in my power to make sure they are provided for…I won’t be ashamed to go the welfare office and get the help that I need now to get back up on my feet…I will do this because its too late to do an adoption plan…I love her too much to let her go now…

Thank you HBM, I don’t know if you realize it… but because of you and your help, my family will be forever grateful indebted to you… My prayers and my thoughts are with you finding your brother and that your Nephew Zach will get better…he’s young, and I’m sure a fighter…

Always here,

PS Attached is a picture of Beaner, so you can meet the little one who this was all about… OH, and, well she needs a name now… I don’t know about you but Beaner C, Attorney at Law doesn’t sound right for her future… So if you wanna ask your readers for any suggestions, I would welcome it… My other kids are names begin w/ M’s, so I would like to find an M name…

I want you all to know this: the greater share of Marie’s thanks is due to you, dear internets, dear friends. I corresponded with her, shared my meager thoughts, and posted her story, but you all did so much more: you shared your own stories, you shared your wisdom, you filled this virtual page with warmth and hope and love and realism and friendship and support. As you have done so often for me. As you continue to do now. For that, all the gratitude in the world is barely enough.

Now, you heard her. She needs a name for a baby girl – her baby girl – a name that begins with M…


(Zachary has not improved. The doctors still don’t know why the strain of meningitis that is attacking him is attacking so aggressively and unreservedly. They think that there is probably something more than meningitis that is waging war on him, but they don’t know what. Zachary continues to fight. I leave for Vancouver tomorrow, to sit with my sister at his bedside and offer all the love that I can.

If you have more prayers and good wishes to spare, I will accept them gratefully.)


Update on Beaner:
Hi Catherine,

I wanted to let you know that Little Mia Catherine is doing great! She is 8 weeks old and a great baby, ya I’m a little biased!! :) I just want to say thank you again, what you did for me was life changing… It opened new doors for me, and I am so happy w/ ALL my kids and her with me! Good news, I found a job…a bigger place to live w/ my friend that will accomodate all of us!! My brother moved down and is babysitting while I work (11pm-7am)…so everything is falling into place!! So anytime you are in NM please hit me up, I owe you a few drinks!! :) Much love Friend!!

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    Lotta August 29, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Zachary’s absolutely in my prayer’s tonight. As are you all. Sitting with your sister and Zachary will be such a comfort. Try and visualize Zachary as well and happy as much as you can. Take care.

    Lotta August 29, 2008 at 12:14 am

    And regarding Beaner. I was always taught, and always believed, that my birth mother giving me up was an enormous gift on her part. A completely unselfish act, wanting her baby to have what she couldn’t give.

    As beaner gets older, just try and keep telling that same story. How her family loved her so very much that they were willing to do anything to give her an amazing life. And how lucky they were that it ended up being with them.


    Kate August 29, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Agree with the many who suggesting Mia… it’s a lovely, meaningful name for your precious girl. As an adoptee, albeit with a very loving adoptive mother, your daughter will be blessed by your decision. Also, the name Michelle is pretty great, but I’m biased, since it’s my middle name.

    Catherine, my thoughts are with you and your family, best as always to everyone on your end.

    Anonymous August 29, 2008 at 12:27 am

    What about Makenzie for a girl’s name? My daughter’s name is Makenzie Amanda…..

    MO Mom-bo August 29, 2008 at 12:44 am

    My fave “M” names for girls are; Marissa, Maggie, Mariel (or Marielle), Makenna (Mackenna), Marlee, and Mia. How wonderful that you have been blessed with the peace of your decision to keep your Little Beaner (funny, but that’s what I called both of my babies while I carried them!! :)

    I’m sure that I speak for a huge number of Mommybloggers, and the internet community at large, when I say that we send prayers and well-wishes your way….and to all three of your babies!

    Kiss those babies for us…and sniff that sweet newborn head…and her toes…**sigh**…those piggies really do start to stink by the time they reach the ripe old age of four…but that’s another story for another blog….

    {{HUGS}} to all!
    aka MO Mom-bo

    Kat August 29, 2008 at 1:56 am

    How about Mia? It means, “Mine.”
    Thanks for posting Marie’s email. Marie, thanks for writing it. I was so happy to hear that you are keeping her and are going to do what you need to do to make it all work out. Tell that baby girl that you love her and are going to keep her, too.

    My thoughts, prayers, intention, and every ounce of good voodoo I can muster up is with Zachary and your family.

    Anonymous August 29, 2008 at 2:32 am

    When I hear your story, your words, that paint the picture of your child, your children, your family, I think about these names:
    Mataya, means gift from God.
    Megan, the pearl, the treasure, that grew from the seed of your love, protected by the shell of your family, adding beauty and gentleness to your family.
    Melody, an aura of joy.
    Miranda, she who must be admired.

    mae August 29, 2008 at 2:42 am

    i vote for “molly” or “mae” (biased what?)

    i’ll keep saying prayers for zachary…

    carrie August 29, 2008 at 3:21 am

    I love the name Maya – for Maya Angelou. And what better role model for a mother facing a struggle and making it through the dark than her? She is phenomenal, woman – and so are you Marie. You can do it.

    I’ll keep you HBM, and your whole family, close to my heart throughout the weekend.

    Bianka August 29, 2008 at 3:51 am

    Here are some names I think might be nice for your Beaner.. I got them from
    Mabelle = My beautiful one.
    Manda/Mandy/Miranda = She who must be loved.
    Manalani = Divine power.. as in, some divine power brought you to this blog!
    And my very favorite.. Madeline. It’s my own peanut’s name. :)
    Just an extra one for good measure, even though it doesn’t start with M… Fabiana actually means “a bean”! And you could call her Fay for short! Or it could be a good middle name!
    Happy name choosing!

    Lizarita August 29, 2008 at 5:13 am

    She’s gorgeous.
    Maribelle is my pick for a name. She looks like a “Belle” and Marie+Belle…you get the point.

    All my best to your nephew. I hope the doctors can find the source of his illness and that they can fix it with ease. Your family is in my thoughts.


    flickrlovr August 29, 2008 at 5:59 am

    I was going to suggest Mirabella for little Beaner’s name. You’ve got a lot of suggestions up there, Marie! Good luck choosing. I’ll be anxious to see what you decide. I’m sure it’ll be beautiful.

    Other options: Maia, Morgan, Madison, Mariah, McKinley, Maeve, Maxie, Madeline. I bet some of those have been suggested already, so sorry to repeat!

    I like for baby names, so try that if you get stuck. Best wishes.

    And HBM-still praying for sweet Zach. Praying HARD. He’s in my thoughts.

    The Captain's Wife August 29, 2008 at 6:26 am

    I will send all of my positive thoughts and healing vibes your lovely Zachary’s way until he beats this!

    Hugs to you and your sister…

    J from Ireland August 29, 2008 at 8:12 am

    I will continue to pray for Zachary. Lovely news about Marie, she seems so happy with her decision. Best wishes to you all.

    rwhisper3210 August 29, 2008 at 10:27 am


    Anonymous August 29, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Mandy means loveable. Your baby has already demonstrated that. She is loveable. She is loved by you, she is loved by her siblings. She loves you. She loves her siblings.

    Laura August 29, 2008 at 11:14 am

    MATILDA means mighty battler
    MILLIE means labour of strength
    MEGAN a fine pearl

    or how about MIRA…short for miracle.

    no matter what her name, she is one blessed little gift. This story reminds me of how through struggle, there is always great love and miraculous discoveries. As a friend just reassured me, “Take Gods gifts when they come. They are wrapped in mysterious ways.”

    Anonymous August 29, 2008 at 11:15 am


    Tater and Tot August 29, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Please read the email I sent you about Guillain-Barre Syndrome. What you described sounds so very similar.

    Whirlwind August 29, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Zachary is still in our thoughts and prayers.

    As for names – I think she looks like a Madeline. There’s always Madison or Mackenzie.

    Anonymous August 29, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    HBM, I’m praying for you and your sister and especially for Zachary.

    Marie: I love the name Maeve. Or Marlin.

    - j (

    Anonymous August 29, 2008 at 12:40 pm


    HMB- you and your entire family are my prayers.

    TheFunkyFeline August 29, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    We will pray for Zachary and for Marie..
    What about naming her Mercy? It means ‘compassion’ and that seems appropriate in so many ways…

    Anonymous August 29, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    What a hideously cruel thing to do to the adoptive parents.

    I hope you can live with yourself.


    Al August 29, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    1. Lamont is an idiot.
    2. Praying on for Zachary.
    3. Marie, I hope this isn’t obnoxious of me, I don’t mean to offend, and I don’t know how you feel about the Bible, but Mt. Mariah is the name of the place Abraham took his son Isaac to sacrifice him to God. Kind of horrible story at first, but it is about an unwavering faith despite the difficult circumstance, and Abraham ended up keeping Isaac. Mariah seems a fitting name to me.

    Her Bad Mother August 29, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Lamont – not that it necessarily matters – the choice always falls to the birth mother/first mother – but the adoptive family backed out (that was one of the things that Marie took to be a ‘sign’).

    What a cruel thing to do, to inject negativity into such a happy story. You harshed everyone’s mellow, not least my (tenuous) own.

    Stefanie August 29, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Catherine, I’m so so sorry for everything your sister (and you) are going through. I’m praying for Zach. I’m glad you’re going to be with your sister. She needs you.

    We’ll be here waiting.

    Dani August 29, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    My best girls M name is Matisse.

    All the positive healing energy I can muster is flying Zachary’s way. I hope he heals well and soon.

    Anonymous August 29, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Marie – I think you made the right decision. You don’t want to live a life of regret. My friend placed her child for all the right reasons but not a day goes by that she doesn’t question her decision. It has been very, very difficult for her. I vote for Molly, Miranda or Mia and Catherine as the second name.
    Catherine, prayers and love for Zachary. I know a young man who also had meningitis who was in ICU for a month and not expected to live. He is now totally fine and just had a baby girl. Be strong for your sister’s sake. He will pull through this.

    Sarah August 29, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    My sisters name is Maleah and I think it’s beautiful.

    Sarah August 29, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    i wish i had read the comments before posting.
    Mia Catherine, its perfect.

    Kyla August 29, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    My heart is leaking out my eyeballs now.

    I’m happy for you Marie.

    And my healthiest and strongest thoughts are following you to Vancouver, Catherine.

    Amanda August 30, 2008 at 11:13 am

    I’ll be thinking of you all. As we have this special weekend with an extra day here in the States, I’ll imagine it’s one extra day for Zachary to lift himself high enough to stomp the ever loving crap out of this virus.

    Laural Dawn August 30, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I’m thinking and praying for Zachary.

    As for names. I love the name Mylah.

    Vicki August 30, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Mia Catherine. That sounds perfect to me. And may she always be yours and close to your heart. Remind her often how much you love her and how you could never give her away.

    Catherine, I will be praying for your first babylove and your entire family. God keep you all safe and well.

    Anonymous August 30, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Two middle names:
    Mia Catherine Montserrat, why not. It’s regal, it’s lilting, it’s energetic, it’s interesting, it’s fully of love and curiosity and it’s calm and peaceful all at once!

    Mommy Cracked August 31, 2008 at 2:27 am

    Huge, huge prayers for Zachary. Please keep us updated on him.

    I’ve been following this story about the baby and am thrilled with the decision the mother made!

    Vodka Mom August 31, 2008 at 7:56 am

    wow. All I can say is that I am sending thoughts your way. I’d like to send a martini, but just doesn’t seem appropriate here.


    jenboglass August 31, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    I’m brand new here. I’m glad I stopped by. I wish you all the best and prayers are with you.

    Barb @ getupandplay August 31, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    What about Maribel or RoseMarie or something to honor her mother?

    Prayers for Zachary…

    jconley6307 September 1, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    my daughter’s name is magdalene. she was born on 8/21…we chose this name because we thought it would protect her. and she is the most vigilant 11 day old I’ve ever seen.

    Mel September 1, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Haven’t seen Margaret yet. Meaning: child of light; can be shortened to Maggie, or Meg which is less common these days but still cute (like in Little Women). Actually, Margaret Elizabeth is one of the girl names I came up with before we found out the sex of our son, and my husband really doesn’t like it… so if you do, you can have it. :)
    Has Molly been mentioned yet? I like that too, and Marian/Marion/Marianne. Not too common, which I’m always a fan of.

    rantsalamode September 2, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Matilda, Marissa, Mona, Molly, Mallory, Melinda, and my personal favourite, Miranda. These are some “M” names I think are good. Good luck! Every baby deserves are great name!

    Tricia September 2, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    I’m with Anon-

    Mia Catherine Montserrat

    Nice strong, and a little different.

    Natasha Sawatzky September 3, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    i like marissa, and mollyanna

    Kizeree September 20, 2008 at 8:06 am

    maybe a bit late but i like Maris as a name for the baby


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