On our flight to Boston we were seated next to a business woman. She was nice enough to let us move from the aisle to the window, but it came up very early in conversation that she didn't have kids. I took that as the "so please keep your baby in check, I'm not up for it" kind of a statement. She and Sid talked business while Maaike and I snacked and snoozed. After a while she started to soften. She wanted to know about Maaike. What was her story? Why were we taking her to Boston? She even shared two of her in-flight purchased sliders with Sid. She was pleasant, but distant.
Next came her plea. "Be careful. Don't forget your other kids."
She was able to regain composure in the telling of the horse her parents bought her. She knew they loved her. She still rides horses competitively all thanks to her parents.
"But still it was hard. Don't forget your other kids."
I will never forget Coy's prayer just after they got back from China. "...and please bless that Mom and Dad will care for us as much as they do for Maaike." Indeed, finding the right balance between Maaike's tender health and Coy & Kees' tender feelings is no simple task. We have tried, but there are days that feel like Sophie's Choice. Last week we missed Kees' only soccer game because Maaike was in surgery. Tonight I left Maaike crying hysterically with the nurse so that I could go to Coy's basketball game. The choices are never easy, but I am learning to and trying to let go of the guilt, because I am doing my very best.