I had a great day.
It was Respite Day. I was bummed beacuse Greg is far away and I had 5 HOURS alone.
I would have rather spent them with Greg, but that's another story.
I was bumbling around town, trying to find something to do...so I stopped in the Starbucks and bought a card for gift.
Then it happened.
I saw a baby, a beautiful newly born baby.
With a VERY YOUNG mother (turns out she's 15).
I'll cut to the chase. I met FOUR generations of this one family today:
a 15 year old mother, the 40 year newly minted grandmother and the 60 year old FIRST TIME great-grandmother...and then there was the baby. She has no name. The daughter is only 15 and her mother is pressuring her to do an open adoption. So they have not named her yet.
You see, the baby has Down Syndrome. And the newly minted grandmother is completely freaked out. Not only did her teenage daughter get knocked up (her words) but she had "this kind of baby".
So let me jump back, I saw the baby first and naturally went to peek. Because I love babies. The young mother was so proud of her new daughter, who is barely a week old. Her features were clearly those affected with Down Syndrome and I gently confirmed this. She was shocked and aske me "How did you know?" Then her mother blurted out "You see what did I tell you? You won't be able to hide it! Everyone will pity you. You can have more babies later."
I asked if I could hold the baby, as I sat down uninvited at the little bistro table. The baby's mother seems grateful that someone else thought her baby was beautiful. Naturally, I inquired about the baby's name and then the whole story came tumbling out of all of them, like an open wound.
The new mother, scared and feeling no support from her own mother, WANTS to keep the baby. The new grandmother is super pissed that her daughter did this to her (a little self-absorbed she is), and the new great-grandmother is heartbroken that this baby might be raised by strangers.
Then there's the baby, Sara is what the new mother whispered to me is what she'd like to name her....she's beautiful...an angel. She clutched my finger so fiercely.
So I interrupted all of them and said, "You know, I am a total stranger and I think it was supposed to happen this way." I told them that I was a photographer, and it just so happens that I have my props in my car from my hairdresser's baby mini-shoot and I asked if they would allow me to photograph the baby. (for free of course.)
So the baby and the new mom walked me out to the car and we grabbed my camera and the basket. And we did a lil photo shoot in Starbucks.
All of them were crying.
For different reasons.
After about 10 minutes of snapping pictures of the baby and each of them holding the baby, I gave the great-grandmother my business card and my memory card and a hug and wished her well. She seemed stunned....she said to me, "Why would you do....for free?"
So I told her that I knew someone who's given up a baby for adoption and would probably give anything to have pictures of her baby as a newborn and if this baby stays in their lives, great. If not, then they have beautiful memories to cherish forever. The great-grandmother hugged me and cried.
I won't get to know what happens to this baby unless one of them calls me. I don't expect to hear from them. But I feel like I was in the right place at the right time. I wish I had one of the pictures to share, but like I said, I gave her my memory card. Those memories belong to that family, not to me.