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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    mommamia August 28, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    I’m continuing to pray for your nephew and your sister and all of your family. Thank you for updating.

    Marie-I’m glad you made the deceision that is right for you and your family. As for a name how about Misty or Maribet. Wishing you all the best.

    Don Mills Diva August 28, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    What a wonderful e-mail from Marie – so happy to read it.

    I’m also happy to hear you’re headed to Vancouver – will continue to pray for your nephew.

    Gia August 28, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Wow! That is all I Can think to say.

    Mira, Mirabel, Maddie, Matilda, Maeve, Marcella, Mara, Margot, Marina, Marnie, Mercedes, Miriam, Myra

    Syko August 28, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I keep checking and rechecking your blog to find out about Zachary, and I had such hopes with the title today. But he is alive. Where there’s life, there is hope.

    Beaner is adorable, Marie!

    Names – Melanie, Marcia, Melissa, Marnie – oh, don’t listen to me. Go to and check them out there! But do let us know what you name her.

    MissAnna August 28, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    I will keep sending positive thoughts your way & hope that soon, everyone & everything in your life will heal.

    (And I'm glad Marie was able to resolve everything the way she wanted)

    Theresa August 28, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    She is beautiful :) How about Mira or Maia?

    ChurchPunkMom August 28, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    What a gorgeous baby. :)

    How about Mercy, or Mercia or Mercedes – all meaning ‘compassion, mercy’.

    HBM: continuing to pray for Zachary..

    Kaye August 28, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that Zachary has not improved. I will continue to send good thoughts your way and pray that things improve soon. I’m sure having you beside her will help your sister and I hope knowing that there are so many people who care and are thinking of them will help lift her spirits even a little.

    For Marie: Thank you for the update and I’m really happy that you made a decision and seem more at peace. Your beaner is just the cutest thing ever! As far as names, I really like “Melody.” I won’t say why since it is beyond corny :) but I hope you’ll give an update when you decide on a name. Best of luck to you and your wonderful children.

    Digits August 28, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I’ve always loved the names Melisande and Moira.

    Prayers for you family HBM :)

    Grammacello August 28, 2008 at 1:34 pm


    Kate August 28, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Millie, Marcie

    Angela August 28, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    For HBM… All of our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I wish I could help in some way.

    For Marie… I’m partial to Madeleine…specifically Madeleine Elaine. It’s my oldest little girl’s name, and was my grandmother’s name. It means strength, or tower of strength. It’s good for a girl to have a strong name.

    Fiesty Charlie August 28, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Origin: Italian
    Meaning: Mine, My

    Just my 2 cents….

    HBM- Can I send you some canvas strips? I would love to put some good prayers on the canvas for you and your entire family, including your mom and soon to be found brother.

    If you could also pass some on to Marie, for the same reasons.

    Just go to my page and it will explain it.

    Peace in your hearts and many prayers your way…

    Niksmom August 28, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Continuing to pray for Zachary and his family (yours, too!). What a marvelous email from Marie! Wow.

    How about Milagro (Spanish for Miracle)? She’s beautiful.

    Amelia Sprout August 28, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Mina Beansprout

    Safe travels, I hope they find the issue soon.

    Petunia Face August 28, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I am so sorry that Zachary has not improved–that breaks my heart. I will do my version of praying for your family…

    As for M names: I love it that Mia means MINE. So fitting.

    ML August 28, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Maris, Mallory, or Melody.

    Safe journeys.

    Lara August 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    The beauty in this post just spills from my eyes. That Marie was able to feel our support and make a choice that was right for her and her family completely reinforces the goodness – and necessity – of community. I’m praying for Zachary and hoping his news is yet another burst of sunshine for you and your family.

    Karen Lew August 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    I’d like to second, er third, Mia. Very fitting and a lovely name.

    I’m a devoted reader of Swistle: Baby Names ( in fact, I’m going to email her a link to this story.

    Undomestic Diva August 28, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Mabelle, Macey, or Maelee which means “goddess of growth” which is very relevant.

    Of course, there’s always “Megan.” But I could be partial.

    Sorry to hear about Zachary. The whole internet is wishing/hoping/praying for him.

    fairytalesandmargaritas August 28, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    More prayers today for Zachary. I cannot imagine what your sister is going through. I pray that they can fight this.

    I am so happy for Marie. I know the road is long and hard, but you can do it. Mothers are by nature strong people and you can do this. I’m not sure what state you are in, but I am willing to help you work the “system” if you need help. I’ve been in this field for 8 years and know my way around. My e-mail is Feel free to contact me Marie.

    As for a name, how about Mandy (meaning She who must be loved), Mona (little noble one), Maybel (loveable), Milena (gracious).

    Miss Grace August 28, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I’ve always thought Maya was a nice name. Or Malia. Or Morgan.

    I can’t comment on the other parts of this post because they make me too sad, but my thoughts are with you.

    Michelle August 28, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    To Marie, I’d have to vote for Mia. It means mine. Beaner is nothing now if not yours at last, so it seems appropriate! Though I am partial to Michelle. :) I am filled with so much relief and joy for your decision. You have a whole world of help available to you if you should need it.

    Safe journey. Prayers. Hugs.

    Her Bad Mother August 28, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    This is going to sound weird, but I’ve always loved the Catalan name Montserrat (Montse, for short) – it’s a mountain outside Barcelona, and a common name for Catalan girls.

    Also love Madeleine, and Mia (Emilia refers to herself as Mia; my mother calls her Millie, another pretty M name)

    Becky August 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    My prayers and thoughts go out for Zach.

    Marie: I like Mia as well. And for a middle name, how about Catherine, after HBM?

    Lala August 28, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    you have done a good thing HBM. I wish you luck in your travels tomorrow. I don’t imagine the plane will fly fast enough to suit anyone.

    KristySearching August 28, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I will be praying for your family and especially for Zachary.


    Listen Up, MoFos! August 28, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Marla. She is beautiful, so very glad she’ll be able to grow up with her brother and sister. If you need anything, like baby clothes, don’t hesitate to ask, I have a 21 month old daughter and she outgrows them fairly quickly, nothing fancy but everything’s clean. My email is

    Catherine, I think the best place you could possibly be right now would be with your sister and nephews. Much love to you and them.

    HeatherK August 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Totally random shot in the dark, but just a thought given that your other nephew has a definite diagnosis. Have they looked at any mitochondrial or metabolic issues? From my reflux board, I follow a couple of CB sites for kids with mito and a simple infection turns into something a lot more taxing on the system. There is a Dr. K in Texas who would be someone to consult. Thinking of Zachary and all my prayers for him! Safe travels!

    Diane August 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    I also have girl clothes (18 mos and up) and bottles if you need any of those. My e-mail is

    Good luck. How about Miracle. Mira for short.

    The Mrs. August 28, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    As for M names – Morgan or Madison?

    Jenifer August 28, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Safe travels C, and more thoughts and prayers for your nephew and family.

    Great news about Marie. How about Melina or Maribel.

    Domestic Extraordinaire August 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Praying for Zachary!

    As for M names. Morganne, Melody, Mercy, Mia,

    Deb@Bird On A Wire August 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    What a wonderful email from Marie! And how blessed she is to have a healthy new “beaner”. I know her decision was difficult, and I pray that, though difficult, she’ll realize the reward and hope of this new life.
    My vote would be for Mia Rose (southerners name twice yanno).

    I continue to pray for Zachary and that God will keep him in his loving care.

    mothergoosemouse August 28, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Marie, wishing you and your little family much love and happiness.

    C, wishing you safe and speedy travels to Vancouver, and great strength to you, your sister, and Zachary. You are always on my mind.

    Anonymous August 28, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Prayers and blessings to you and yours. Hoping you have safe travels and uplifting news about your precious nephew. With love Nance in Texas

    babybloomr August 28, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    My daughter’s name is Madeleine Rose and we call her Madi Rose. It fits my personal naming criteria, which is that a name has to work for a little girl AND an old lady. Nobody wants to see a baby Agnes Gertrude or a Granny Brandy Amber…

    Britt August 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    marie~ i am so glad you have made a decision that you are happy with and you can all be a family. make me cry!! i know you will all be very hapy together.
    my baby (3 now!) is an “m.” mackenzie to be exact. i also love mya, mia, and mira. molly, madison, and madelyn are so good ones too. i can’t wait to hear an update from your fam! congrats on your beautiful baby girl. as a reader of signs from the universe myself, i think you are doing the best for all of you.

    catherine, safe travels. i’m sorry to hear zachary hasn’t imroved thus far but i continue to keep him in my thoughts and prayers and hope for the best possible outcome. ((((BIG FAT CYBER HUGS!!!!!!)))

    Anonymous August 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I will be away from my computer this weekend, but I will be thinking of you and praying for Zachary. I am so glad that you are going there. I am sure they need you just as much as you need to be there.

    GIRL'S GONE CHILD August 28, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Thinking of you, Catherine and your sister and your nephews and continue to keep us posted. Marie — your baby is gorgeous. Just beautiful. And names? I love Mirabelle.

    Bloor West Mama August 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    C, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Marie, wishing all the best with your family. I think you will have a tough time choosing from all the beautiful names suggested :)

    Cameron August 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Much prayers heading your way for Zachary. Praying that he has some relief soon.

    Madison Grace



    Issas Crazy World August 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    I’m so glad to hear an update on Marie and that she made the right decision for her and her kids. She’s got a beautiful little beaner.

    Names: Well Melissa is mine and it’s served me well…but the one that came to me was Meredith, as she looks like a fighter and a fighter needs a strong solid name. Good luck Marie, let us know what you name her in the end. You made a brave choice and I hope you find your way.

    HBM- My prayers are with Zachary. I hope they figure out how to make him better soon.

    Mother Musings August 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    HBM – My thoughts & prayers are with your and your family during this trying time. Stay positive!

    Thank you for sharing the letter from Marie. How about Mindy for the baby's name? Or Michele? Or Marina?

    Wishing you all the best to come!

    TheMama August 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    I’m sending you every good thought I have, and I hope that improvement is just moments away.

    Beaner is beautiful. I only have one name suggestion. It’s the name we’ve set aside for the possiblility of a girl.

    Molly: From the Gaelic Maili which is a pet form of Mary, from way back when, it was not permissable to name your child directly after Mary, the mother of Jesus.

    JanMary August 28, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    My contribution from Ireland is Moira or Moyra is the alternative spelling.

    So wonderful the family is all together, and I pray they get all the help and support they need.

    More prayers for your nephew too from Ireland.

    slouching mom August 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    i’ve always loved the name meredith.

    will be thinking of you, C., and Zach, and your sister…and expect to hear any moment now that Zach has turned the corner.


    catnip August 28, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    HBM, I hope all the good you’ve done here in helping Marie comes back to you in spades. Sending you all my best wishes for your nephew.

    Robbin August 28, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    What a beautiful baby!

    For names, what about Mia? It means, simply, “Mine”.

    Vixen August 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Prayers and positive thoughts to you, your sister and Zachary.

    I will be thinking of you all this weekend.

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