One day my father came home with a baby. No phone call, no discussion, showed up at 6pm with a 9 month old little girl in his hands.
She was filthy, wrapped in rags, stinky, she had lice and red splotches all over her body. I always waited for my Dad to get home and greeted him at the door, He looked at me and said "go get your Mom."
I never really thought about this until today, can you imagine your husband of 27 years walking in the door with some random baby! ha-ha it's almost comical!
A very good friend of my father's, Ginny, had been in town from Washington DC on business, she was in her 40's and divorced. They had a conversation about how she would like to adopt a child, possibly in Guatemala, yada, yada, yada. She got on a plane and left.
The day after my father's driver comments that a local woman in the village he lived had tried to give him her baby. This poor woman, had already had 10 children and 6 of them had died before the age of 2 (infant mortality in Guatemala at that time was higher than even Africa) and she could not even afford to feed the baby and was sure this child would die. The driver, was the local hero, as he had been a contract employee for the American Embassy for years and was doing well for himself. However he had 4 kids of his own and had already take 2 babies in, as they were left on his door step.
Something clicked in my Dad's brain and said, take me to this woman's house. His idea was to make contact, check the situation out and then contact Ginny and see what to do. I remember him telling me this like it was yesterday.
"Honey, I never expected it to be as bad as it was" He said it was horrible, the baby sat on the floor, a dirty floor. There was no running water, they had a ditch with sewage feet from where the children were. There were no beds, no walls, you get the idea. She was sick, she was coughing and thin as a rail. He said when he picked her up she smiled and touched his face. That was it. He spoke with the woman, she trusted him, he was Luis (the driver) boss and friend. They told her they would be back with papers, attorneys, etc.
My Mom and I took the baby, bathed her in the sink, wrapped her in towels and sent my Dad to the market to buy everything you need for a baby. I was 13 for goodness sakes, there was nothing for this child in our home to use! We laughed when he got home, he bought tons of stuff in all sizes.
The next morning my Mom took her to the pediatrician, he said she would have not lasted 2 days, she was so ill.
She lived with us for the 9 months it took to process her paperwork, she moved to DC with Ginny when the adoption was complete.
My Mom never even gave my Dad a sideways glance, let alone said "are you nuts!" I never thought how amazing that was, of both of them, at the time I was happy to have a REAL LIVE DOLL!