love: chapter three

We looked out the front door one day, and there, sitting waiting for us to notice, was a chipmunk.

Another day, on our way out the door to the mailbox at the end of the driveway, there was a salamander, sly and quick.

And then one hot late summer afternoon, a grasshopper jumped directly at the baby when he looked out the window at it.

Those three little visitors, ‘munk, ‘mander, and ‘hopper, became our special friends. We stopped our day many times to check to see if they were there. In the morningtime, especially, we’d spot ‘munk. Sometimes he was hurrying by, other times he was waiting for us to look out. A few times we threw out a handful of nuts, the good kind including cashews. We’d spend the morning checking his progress through them. One day, just like some sort of cartoon, his cheeks were stuffed full of the bounty.

‘Mander was seen less frequently, mostly baking on the hot bricks of the front porch. And he was so quick that I worried the baby might’ve missed him. But on that first day, he waited for us to come back with the mail and just like the little fella on the commercials, he nodded to us. Then he scampered off.

‘Hopper was seen just that one exciting afternoon. What a delight he gave the baby as he jumped right up to his face pressed to the glass. Time and time again, as if he truly was trying to get him. For that whole afternoon, we took turns going to the glass to see if he was still there. And the baby would come running and do the whole thing over again, giggling at it all. And then when the sun went down, we looked out and he was gone. We haven’t seen him since.

We saw ‘Munk a whole lot that week before the baby went away. Everytime we looked out, it seemed he was there.

Looking back, it seems so strange this story of these visitors, like a dream. Would they have been there anyway and we only just noticed them because we were noticing everything in the whole world fresh through his eyes? Maybe that’s it.

I haven’t seen any of these visitors since he left. I still find myself wandering aimlessly to the door, pressing my face against the cool glass, and looking for them, remembering his little voice echoing “Munk?” Mander?” “Hopper?”

19 observations on “love: chapter three
  1. Molly

    Wow, what a sweet story!! Are you a foster parent or are you in the process of adopting this sweet little child. My two siblings are adopted and I helped my mom raise them. They came out of foster care and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. I am like their second “mama” and love it, since when they were adopted I was 16 so I became attached to them very quickly when they were babies. As you can tell I was not your “normal” 16 year old. I love your blog and all of your “inspiring” ideas. Thanks for making my day, everyday. Have a “fantabulous” weekend.
    ~ Molly P

  2. amberlee

    I am loving these so much (and being 41 weeks pregnant they make me very teary eyed.. but in a good way!). I also love listening to the foster parenting podcast (my husband and I hope to be able to be foster parents in the future) and I love what they and you have to say about attachment. Truely this special bond you’ve made between you and the baby at such a young age will be the best gift he has for the rest of his life as he is able to form new relationships and thrive.

  3. Sonya

    Dearest Amy, I am loving reading about your day to day with Baby and thinking how much you miss him and he you. I know its been awhile now, but my heart is still aching when I read these…and then something makes me giggle and then ache again. You are covered in prayer.

  4. bev

    You need to write a children’s book…IMO! Lovely and touching story.
    They are there…waiting to be discovered again.

  5. Judy

    Amy. A book.

    I want my grandchildren to grow up knowing the story about a loving man and woman who found a different way to become a daddy and mommy so that a little boy could know what love is. Even though everone gets their heart broken, love still wins. It always does.

    And, it hurts.

    Really. I want my grandchildren to grow up knowing that love is always worth it.

  6. Carol

    Amy…..I read your blog often. My heart aches for you, but…your writings are just beautiful. I agree that you really need to write a book. Many women can benefit from your experience. You are so good at telling it. It’s obvious that it comes from your heart and soul.

    Many Blessings to you.

  7. The Rose Room

    Oh Amy, my heart breaks for you and Rich having to give up that dear little boy but you gave him something oh so precious and he gave you something so precious as well. I hope his sweet life continues to have as much love in it as you two gave him. If only each and every child could have parents/foster parents like you and Rich then the world would be such a better place. Bless you so much – Rachaelxo

  8. holistic_earthmama

    A beautiful tale of love, making me very teary eyed. It seems you found each other in life for a very special reason and I am sure your presence in his life will be a beacon of light and love. Best wishes to you and your husband and also to Baby.

  9. Anonymous


    This is the start of a beautiful book. I think you have had a lot of encouragement for that already! If nothing else, I hope it is cleansing to write down this beautiful story of love.

    I hope you will keep writing and I hope you will have a good visit with Baby again. Most of all, I hope you will heal and pass on this huge love to another child.


  10. Bean

    I’ve only just found your blog today, and my heart is already with you… I’m so sorry that this little man isn’t with you any more, whatever happened ((mush)) what beautiful memories

  11. sassy studio

    Oh Amy…we too wait for the garage door sound and flap our arms when our Daddy walks through the door. Word for loving word-my Hubby too takes our little one upstairs while he gets changes out of work clothes while I begin supper. The love you have for that little boy is like no other. What a wonderful experience you created for him! You are the mother of all mothers!

  12. mary

    Thank you for sharing this story from your heart. You and your husband are such angels to foster parent. This is truly a beautiful love story. It brought memories from when my children were little, it brought tears it was so heartwarming, and it brought awe at your capacity to love this little child knowing he was to stay a short time. Blessings to you and your husband.

  13. Kathy

    Beautifully written from the heart, dear Amy. Thank you for this memory story. It was incredible, as are you and Rich. The world is a better place for people like the two of you. And these days, we need a better world. Warm hugs from Kathy in Chicago