The Gift

Last summer I received an adoption announcement from a friend of mine, Brock. He and his partner, Dan, had a new little girl. Her name was Allison, but they called her Sunny.

I hadn’t heard from Brock in several years. We’d worked together ages ago, before he and Dan had met, but at a time when Brock was anxious to start his own family. It was a challenge, since he’s gay, and at the time, decidedly single.

The picture that came with the notice showed Brock standing next to a beaming Dan, cradling a baby I guessed to be about six months old. While Brock was smiling, there was a sadness in his eyes. Ever curious, I decided to call my one-time close friend. After all, he’d included his phone number in the announcement.

“HELLO!” He cried out when he heard my name. “I was hoping you’d call! I found your address, but couldn’t track down your phone number.”

In the background a baby was crying. “I hear sounds of a family,” I said. “I’ll keep this short.”

That call, however, was destined to be longer. While Dan comforted Sunny, Brock told me how she came into their lives.

Brock, you see, had an identical twin brother, Calvin. Calvin was straight, and like his twin, took his time settling down. Four years earlier he’d married a woman Brock was thrilled with, Anna.
Tiny Baby

Calvin and Anna had wanted children right away, but it took them several years to finally carry a baby to full-term. That baby was Allison, which, it turns out, is Anna’s middle name. As soon as she was born, Brock flew out to meet her, and he was the one who started calling her Sunny.

Sunny, however, was anything but a happy baby. She cried constantly, and while doctors initially dismissed it as first-time parental concern, a nurse finally took note and convinced Sunny’s pediatrician to run some tests. They discovered a heart defect and immediately took her in for surgery.

The surgery was successful and Sunny’s recovery was complete, but Calvin and Anna had a hard time leaving her side. Finally, when she was four months old (and by this time, a truly sunny baby), they left her in the care of Anna’s sister, who herself has four children.

It was a terribly windy night, and Calvin and Anna cut their evening short, concerned the weather was going to get worse. Three miles from their home, their sporty little Miata swerved or was blown across the median, and was hit by a semi. Both Calvin and Anna were dead at the scene.

Brock got the call, and flew out immediately. He desperately wanted to adopt Sunny, and after all, he was the godfather, but Anna’s sister was the godmother, and he was certain if there were a legal battle, he would lose.

Anna’s sister, however, liked Brock, and told him while she would happily adopt Sunny, she felt strongly he was meant to be her father. Sunny, you see, looks just like Calvin and Brock did at that age.

More than that, Anna’s sister knew this was perhaps the best opportunity for Brock and Dan to become parents. She only asked that she remain Sunny’s godmother. Brock eagerly agreed, and adoption proceedings were nearly immediate.

But there remains sadness in Brock’s eyes. He lost his brother, his closest friend, his twin. He is overjoyed at having a baby, and one who carries his DNA, no less, but is working through the pain.

I told him Sunny is a lucky little girl to have so many people who love her. I told him I was sorry for his loss, and I knew his emotions would be complicated.

Every day is a gift, Brock told me. Growing up, he had Calvin.

Today his gift is Sunny.


Image Credit: Header © Bigstock; Baby Feet © Zbyszek Nowak – Fotolia

12 Replies to “The Gift”

  1. Oh, Belinda–this is wonderful, but so very sad. Poor Brock. What a friend you are to notice the sadness and call him right away. I am sure you were a very bright–even sunny–spot in his day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I talked to him before posting this, and he’s doing a lot better. Little Sunny is a spunky girl and keeps him busy. She also continues to look just like him, which is sweet — and bittersweet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a touching story. I am also thinking of Calvin’s parents as they deal with their unbearable loss. Sunny will be sunshine to so many lives. Often it is the surviving child that keeps everyone going. She is the light.
    Thank you for sharing, Belinda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so thoughtful of you to think of the parents/grandparents. Sadly, they both had passed away some time before. I don’t remember the circumstances, but I do know they were gone — so they didn’t face the loss of their son. Brock does have another brother and sister, and he’s gotten very close to Anna’s sister as well, but he misses his brother deeply.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know there is a special bond also with twins. This loss will follow him for the rest of his life. It is truly a huge void. It’s wonderful that he can turn his sorrow into something else by raising Sunny.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, and that Sunny looks like him is so important to him!! I suppose that’s something all adoptive parents miss, and while he and Dan had hoped to adopt, they fully expected to adopt an Asian or Hispanic child, who wouldn’t look anything like them.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Aside from the appearance, it will help him with his grief when he can talk about her biological father – sharing memories and his love. That is going to be a precious connection.
            All of my children, including the two that never met him, know about their deceased brother, Jason. Although he passed, he is still very much alive in memories and part of our family.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I think that’s very, very important, and Sunny will have both Brock and Anna’s sister to share their memories. I’m so glad you kept Jason a part of the family. I’m sure your children were curious about him at times and aware of your sadness and grief. It’s good they could learn about Jason and in doing so, better understand your loss.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that is heartbreaking and inspiring, all at once. I hope you get to see Sunny grow up now that you have reconnected with Brock. No doubt she will be loved to pieces and she will also get to know her parents through Brock and Dan’s memories of them as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s quite a story, isn’t it? I look forward to seeing Sunny grow up, and I know Brock and Dan will be wonderful parents, although her loss is immeasurable. Still, I believe she is a lucky little girl!


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