Hi! I’m back! Did you miss me?
Oh…….well then. I um…..I understand. No no, it’s okay, my feelings aren’t hurt. What? No, those aren’t tears. It’s ah………..it’s just really dusty in here.
It’s been more than a month since I’ve sat down to write a blog post. In the meantime, I’ve been fortunate to have so many awesome people contribute guest blogs. To Harriet, Erin, Michael, Katharine and Adiel, THANK YOU! With such brilliant and passionate people as yourselves contributing to this blog, it makes sense why no one would miss me.
My return to the blogosphere is going to be a personal post, rather than an environmental one. Next week, I’ll have plenty of words about batteries and a bit of recent news in the home energy storage space. Today though, I’m just going to write as a proud Papa.
On April 3, a stunningly beautiful baby girl was born in a small hospital in Los Angeles. As her eyes opened for the first time and she gave her tiny lungs a workout, this baby girl first experienced the love of being held in a mother’s arms. She gazed up at Chantel, my wife, and her cries quieted. Chantel held her with awe, love and gratitude.
At that exact moment, I was in a complete stranger’s car, taking a Lyft ride to the airport. I’d left our son with my parents and was catching the first flight I could from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Chantel texted me a photo of this new baby, and I’m sure I said something to my Lyft driver that she had never heard from a passenger before – “My daughter was just born!”
Not your typical birth story, huh? As I’m sure you have figured out, Chantel and I are the adoptive parents of this child, whom we have named Cecilia Rosanna (for St. Cecilia, the patroness of musicians, and for Chantel’s grandmother). She may not share our genetic material (well…actually all humans have 99.9% of their genetic code in common), but we are still thrilled and humbled to have this new addition to our family. She is a pure gift.
So who was the giver? One of the most courageous and selfless women I will ever know – Cecilia’s birth mother. Out of a desire to protect and honor her privacy, I won’t share the reasons why her birth mother decided to place Cecilia. I will just say that she thoughtfully chose Chantel and me to parent this child, and that we will always love her for it.
We are home now, and our son J.R. is quickly adjusting to life as a big brother. Two kids under two years of age is tough, but through all the milky burp cloths, toddler tantrums and sleep deprivation, Chantel and I find constant joy. I think that joy is rooted in a profound sense of purpose. Simply put, we are meant to be parents to these two beautiful children, and they are an integral part of our identity. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I need to end with a few more words of gratitude. To my parents, thank you for taking such great care of J.R. while we worked to bring Cecilia home. To all four Trustees, thank you for allowing me to take time off with my new family of four. To Valerie and Lori, thank you for keeping things running smoothly at the Foundation during my leave. And to all of you who have been so kind and supportive of us as we have gone through the adoption process, thank you! You are blessings to us, each and every one of you.