On May 10th, 1926 Grace was awakened by a small, tiny noise. She opened her eyes and lay in bed wondering if she had imagined it, or if she had been dreaming about something. Then she heard it again – just the tiniest, muffled sound.
“I think that mama cat finally had her kittens,” she thought. “Now what are we going to do with a litter of kittens?”
Grace sat up and looked over at George, who was watching her, apparently wide awake.
“Did you hear that noise?” she asked him.
“I thought I heard something,” he replied.
“It sounds like we may have kittens to give away,” Grace said.
Just then, the sound got louder and Grace’s blue eyes got wide with wonder. That didn’t exactly sound like a meow, she thought. It sounded more like a cry.
“I’m going to go out and take a look,” she said as she put her bare feet on the floor and reached for her robe.
George lay there watching his wife, her long braid swishing back and forth as she walked out of the room. He waited. And then it came. A scream. Then, an urgent call for him to come.
“George! George! Hurry! Come out here now!”
He put on his trousers and house shoes and hurried to the front door. Looking through the screen he saw a basket on the floor of the porch, blankets heaped up inside. And Grace was standing beside it with something in her arms. He could see her face which was full of surprise and deep emotion, her blue eyes filled with tears and wonder as she looked from the bundle up to her husband.
“George.” She was whispering now. “It’s a baby! Someone left a baby on our porch, George!”
He stepped out to join Grace and carefully reached for the baby.
“It’s a girl, I think,” she said. “At least it’s dressed in a pink gown. Look at all that black hair.”
Grace reached out to the baby who was now in George’s arms. When she looked into his handsome face, she saw tears running down his cheeks. George always had been a very sensitive and emotional man. He was tall, dark and very handsome, very manly, but not at all ashamed to show emotion at times – especially when he looked at something lovely. Like a rose that he had grown from a seed. Or, like a baby girl who showed up on their front porch in a basket!
“Let’s go inside,” he said.
Grace picked up the basket and carried it in, following George who held the infant in his arms. They went to the bedroom and gently laid the baby down on the bed, checking to see if she was dry. She had begun to cry again – that same small little noise that had caused Grace to wake up. Checking her diaper confirmed that she was a girl. She was also a wet girl so Grace dug around under the blankets in the basket and found several diapers and a couple of baby bottles with milk in them.
“Look!” she said. “There’s a note here!”
Grace unfolded the note and read:
Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. (KJV)
“From the Bible,” Grace said.
“Yes. From Ruth,” he replied.
And so, it came to be, that, after some time of searching for the mother of the baby, George and Grace adopted her and named her Barbara Ruth. She would be the only child they ever had and they both loved her as if Grace, herself, had carried and given birth to her. This daughter would fill their lives with joy and love and eventually would give them six grandchildren.
Grace and George were my grandparents and Barbara was my mother. I am in the process of writing a fictional novel, based on the true story of my grandparents, titled Amazing Grace. What you just read are the first two pages of the novel which is a long work in progress. But I am sharing here about them because their story is part of my journey of grace. Many of the stories I will share here are part of the saga of those two people who gave Barbara a loving home and who were such wonderful, adoring grandparents to me and my five siblings.
In this past Monday’s post, I shared some about what grace means to me and why I call this my journey of grace. This story about George and Grace is the other, very important factor. If they hadn’t adopted Barbara Ruth and loved her with all they had my story would not exist as it does today.
I hope you enjoy the stories I share here. Eventually I will share more excerpts from the novel.