The Story Of Zoe Jane
Zoe - Zoe-ee- from the Greek meaning - life
Jane - J (A) - ne - from the Hebrew - meaning - God is gracious
My last name - from the heavenly - meaning - Appointed by the God of the universe, that my life be held in reserve, inseparable from the lives of Alison and Jeffery, who by Gods divine authority, were Pre-selected and made ready by His immeasurable love, until this day, that they and they alone, should receive me unto themselves as their daughter.-
I am Zoe Jane. I am life given by a gracious God and in surrender to His infinite wisdom and His perfect plan for my life, I take you, Alison and Jeffery, to be my mommy and daddy.
In such surrender, I fix my footprint upon your lives as a testament and seal, thereby, executing my predestined claim upon you both. God has ordained that it be so, I am yours today and even unto forever.
I am Zoe Jane and that is all that I know of me. Grandpa will write the rest of the story and color my beginning with what he writes.
There are moments in our lives which come to forever alter who we are and where we go. They are moments that define us, even to ourselves. They ask of us, in a single moment to answer without the luxury of thinking. In those moments, we are introduced to ourselves.
Almost 3 years ago, such a moment came to call upon my life. I received a call at 9:00 in the morning and a social worker from Tacoma Wa. informed me, that my great niece had given birth to a little girl and left custody of the child to my wife and I. At age 64, I do not think or process information as well I did in younger years, but, the implications of fatherhood came to bear upon my senses with the swiftness and acuity that would well, conceal my age. The ensuing pause, left the caller to ask if I was still there. I could not really tell him where I was. I was somewhere in the future, examining the implications of fatherhood at my age. I was trying to process words competing with images of a life suddenly not mine. Images, flashing by with the speed of light and yet, doing so in a single moment that did not move. It simply held me there, frozen, stationary, suspended in "the twilight zone".
"yes, I'm here."
He went on to tell me that the little girl would go to child protective services at 5:00 o'clock, that her mother was, for reasons that do not matter, unable to keep or provide for her. I was informed that the baby was healthy and bi-racial. I was told to bring a car seat, blankets and identification. I was told he needed an answer immediately! I was confronted with an 8 hour window to decide about becoming a father, explaining to my wife that she was about to become a mother, confronted with finding a car seat, finding a dog sitter, changing my appointments for the day and driving 300 miles by 5:00 o"clock.
"Yes I said, we will be there." I had made a decision; In less than a minute, but why I made the decision, is the story of Zoe Jane and who she is today.
Let me visit, for a moment, how an invisible plan unfolded in the lives of others to complete Zoe's coming.
My oldest daughter Ali, and her husband Jeff, had been trying to have a baby but the years refused their prayers. They were going through the expense and disappointments of failed in vitro and moving on to consider the further expense of remaining options.
The previous day, my wife was visiting with my sister, Zoe's Great Grandmother in her office. Something she had never done before. During their visit, my sister received a call informing her that her granddaughter was about to give birth and that she would not be keeping the baby. The following hour gave birth to frenzied chatter, which revolved around how the two of them might persuade me to consider going to get the baby. At the heart of their conspiracy was the thought that perhaps, Jeff and Ali might consider adoption. The craftiness employed by women to bring persuasion upon their husbands requires more thinking than emotion and as yet, these two conspirators had not shed the jubilation of their cascading emotions; after all, they had just become mothers and it would require a bit more time before any thinking dare intrude upon the snactity of holy motherhood. Their delay gave way to the call, which demanded an answer to a question already planted in the soil of conspiracy.
In that one minute, I was spared the burden of thinking. The conspiracy being nurtured in both my wife and sister was seeded somewhere deep inside of me and its growing was independent of all my sense and reason. I saw pictures being imprinted in my mind, played on a screen within my heart. We would get the baby, Ali and Jeff would adopt the baby and none of the million unanswered questions could alter the reality of something that I knew for certain and yet, I could not explain to anyone else how such certainty came to reside in me.
I rushed back into the house and shouted instructions to my wife. At that moment, I did not stop to question her instant compliance. In 42 years of marriage it remains the only demand I have ever uttered which was free of the requisite explanation my wife would usually insist upon.
As we prepared to leave, I made a call to Ali in Chicago. " Hi honey, I need you to listen very carefully. Mom and I are leaving for Tacoma to pick up a baby born last night to your 2nd cousin. She can not keep the baby. She has left custody to mom and I. I wanted to let you know, that if you and Jeff are interested in adoption, this might be the perfect opportunity. Why don't you talk and get back to me. The baby is healthy and bi racial. I have to go." The empty pause which followed, prompted the customary, "hello, are you still there?" Ali's heart had been prepared with the speed of light, held by a moment that would not move and from that moment, she simply looked upon the blooming of a flower already pre planted in her heart.
Like her mother, however, she too was formulating the conspiracy which would bring persuasion to bear upon another unsuspecting husband. It was a hopeless cause for Jeff. His heart had been pre prepared. Like the rest of us, he was simply a vessel sailing under a wind that had already decided his course.
We returned home with 1 day old Zoe Jane, but, the house that was a home had been converted into a nursery, thanks to Auntie Em and friends. We kept Zoe for a month, awaiting Ali, Jeff and and all the appropriate consents necessary for them to take her home to Chicago. During that time Grandma was mommy and it was evident, all too soon, that her heart might break in too many pieces when letting Zoe go. Again, the splendor of a greater plan unfolded in a heart already prepared to let her go and she lay the crown of mommy at her daughters feet. She wears today the glorious crown, bathed in the heart of her own surrender and illuminated by a smile that whispers, " I am Zoe's Grandmother."
The name Zoe was suggested during our road trip to Tacoma, via a barrage of cell phone conversations with Auntie Em. Or was it really? After naming her, we looked at the meaning of her name and saw that Auntie Em was simply another vessel powered by a wind commissioned to bring her home.
Others will read and never see the genesis of her coming. They will read of her journey and fail to see a conspiracy woven together in higher places. It doesn't matter, We can see His fingerprints all about her. We heard the whisper that went before her, softly calling in every one of us. What else does one say to heaven? "Yes".