I am willing to bet that my son Michael Bennett never imagined being toted off to Texas from China by five really white, eager people. He’s then flown to NYC only to flag down a taxi at La Guardia and delivered to the East Side for complex surgery. But as fate has it, here you are MB. Welcome to New York.
On Tuesday Michael completed that surgery. He hung in there well for a little over five hours. In the end, the procedure proved successful; albeit, one of a handful he will likely have. My little boy was in the hands of some seemingly capable surgeons we only got to know though phone calls. The plan is to set MB on the road to better health and the opportunity to care for his ‘old man’ well into mine and his long future.
Through this wild, crazy and beautiful experience of adoption and becoming a new father (again), I have been reminded of faith and the utter necessity for it in our lives. The ‘faith’ I speak of isn’t particularly the brand reserved for the Big Guy upstairs, although I have leaned hard on him lately. The ‘faith’ I am referring to is the kind we are required to place in those around us, each and every day.
For MB, he has had to place faith in a new family. Over the course of the past three months, he has developed faith that we will feed him his next meal and we will place him in our arms when he cries. He has learned the meaning of faith when I walk out the door in the morning for work. The faith that tells him I won’t leave him and at the end of the day, I will return right where I kissed him.
For his parents, placing face in doctors and surgeons and nurses has been high on our list of faith-building. It’s odd how we struggle with simple acts of faith in our lives, but are so willing to place faith in the very big ones. As patients at Morgan Stanley Presbyterian Hospital, one must place faith in a team of people at regular intervals.
It’s just human nature to place faith in others. Having faith is an acknowledgement of our own vulnerability, which allows that space to be filled by others. Faith binds us together, connects us and is a unique characteristic that makes us who we are. It is required for survival. Without faith, we would rely on ourselves. Rely on me for a good hike in woods or sound advice when it comes to growing tomatoes. Don’t reply on me for the operating table.
As I write, Peanut lies recovering in the hosptial bed at 163rd and Broadway. He’s holding fast to a stuffed animal lamb he named ‘Bear’. It has rarely left his arms during our stay. Each time the door to the room opens, a nurse or a doctor come in to care for him. A day ago a buddy of mine Noah and two of his daughters from Austin visited us. Each of these people represent faith for us and the ability to place hope in the hands of others. We have been so thankful and fortunate for each of them.
MB is sound a sleep now. He seems at peace holding his ‘Bear’. The little guy has been through so much these past few months. But he’s strong and so is his family. We will hold on to faith, like MB holds on to Bear. He’ll be much better soon and we’ll have so many to thank for that.
For all those who have provided support, prayers, medical care and food, thank you. Without you, our journey would have felt more like an expedition.