A Pink T-Shirt re-post

imagesby Luanne

This post, originally published on July 16, was the 2nd one I wrote for our blog.  It’s about the moment when I knew Marisha was going to be my daughter.  I thought I’d trot it out because some of you might feel like you know both Marisha and me a lot better now and get a kick out of it.


T-shirts wallpapered the shop. They hung three deep up to the ceiling and stacks of them rose from every surface. A tiny pink one called to me. But I didn’t have a baby girl at home to wear it. At least, not yet.

When I paid for it, my husband said, “Isn’t it too early to buy something?” Yet as we left, it felt important to me that I was carrying my first gift for the baby we were adopting. It was February 1, and we had finalized our paperwork with the agency the previous September.

Now we and our three-year-old son Marc were waiting for a baby girl from Korea to complete our family. We planned to name her Marisha. Three years before, Marshal and I had gone through the same wait for Marc. That time we hadn’t known what to expect with a new baby. This time, we had already gone through exhausting nights and broken lamps and mashed-banana baths. We had discovered that dogs make good vacuum cleaners underneath the high chair. And how to change a diaper in ten seconds if necessary.

When we waited for Marc we didn’t know if we would get a boy or girl. He came home to us from Holt International, through an agency called Bethany. Their rule was that prospective parents couldn’t request the gender of their first baby. That was fine with us. We expected to hear about our first child sometime in the fall. That summer, Marshal and I made a trip to visit family in Canada. On August 19, as we drove back to Michigan, I felt a thud in my chest and looked over at Marshal behind the steering wheel. “We’re having a boy,” I said.


“We’re having a boy.”

Marshal tipped his head and glanced at me. “How do you know? What are you talking about?”

“I don’t know. I just know we’re getting a boy.”

Two months later, we got the call from our case worker that we were, in fact, getting a boy. What was more remarkable is that our baby was born on August 19.

Now it was 3 1/2 years later, and Bethany had let us choose the gender of our second child, so we requested a girl. As I imagined baby Marisha, I hoped she would be strong and smart and healthy. If she were pretty, that would be great, too. Why not have everything when you’re daydreaming?

I began to feel even more impatient than when we had waited for Marc. Marisha was getting Marc’s oak crib and changing table. The antique dresser from my great-grandfather’s farm in Caledonia, Michigan. Although I worked in our small family-owned business and was a grad student, I felt that I didn’t have enough to do to get ready for her.

The first photo

Finally, we heard that she was coming home in May. Our case worker came over with a document and photo of Marisha. Even in her sleep, she looked wise and boasted a thick cap of black hair. She was living with a foster family in Seoul until she could be released. She was born, that’s right, February 1, the day I bought the little pink T-shirt. I wasn’t there physically when she was born, but I was with her on some other level, just as I had been with Marc.

I can’t help but wonder if others have had similar experiences in their own families.


  1. How sweet, and as mothers we have great intution about our children. We are trying to adopt now with three failed attempts. I will follow your blog.

  2. What a beautiful heart-warming share! Love!!

  3. Lovely story. Love the interconnections! Can’t say the same happened to me but I am glad it happened for you.

  4. Well, funny you should ask that question. The day we sprinkled my mother’s ashes in the Pacific Ocean in Canada was the day our eldest daughter was born on the opposite shore in China. That old saying “When one door closes, another one opens” was never so true. These interconnections, coincidences, and intuitions are marvelous to ponder.

  5. Our application was put on hold for a year for medical reasons. We looked forward to February 2010 as the month that we could begin the home study process. Turns out our son was born in feb 2010.

  6. What a lovely post. We have similar things…my son’s birth parents have the same first names as my own parents, and the midwife who brought my son into the world, was also my midwife when I gave birth to my daughter some years later at a different hospital, in a different town.

    Thanks for linking this with the Weekly Adoption Shout Out x

  7. Wow what amazing signs you seemd to get about your children, makes it seem so meant to be. I loved reading more of your early story on how you came to be a family. do you still have that pink t-shirt I wonder?

    Thank you for being such a great supporter of our Weekly Adoption Shout Out. xx

  8. I loved this post! My new son has the same name as my oldest nephew – to be honest it just makes me look a bit unimaginative at name-choosing, but it is a funny coincidence!

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