You see, George, you really have had a wonderful life
---Clarence Oddbody, Angel 2nd class
It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my all-time favorite movies even when it’s not Christmas. It was more fun before one network owned the rights though. You could find that movie on every station, every day from Thanksgiving right through New Year’s Day. Thankfully, I own it on DVD. It is much more than a movie to me, for me it really became a life lesson.
After I had my first child, I wanted to keep at it. My plan was to have however many I was going to have, all before I turned 30. Well, we all know what happens to plans. After having Andy, who is now 20, I spent eight years, wishing, hoping, praying and yes, doing all the other things that bring babies.
When it wasn’t coming along, there was all the medical advice. Months of poking and prodding (and not the fun kind) yielded no results. During all of this, I lost more babies than I thought I would ever have. Finally, adoption became the next option.
If you haven’t been through the process of adoption it is one filled with stress, deadlines, paperwork and finally great joy. The first thing the social worker said was that no matter how they came along, she truly believed each family would parent the children they were meant to have. She felt that no matter what, each child finds it's way home.
There was a homestudy, classes to go to, and a book of pictures for prospective birth mothers to look at. The Korea program was the best fit so that is where the application went. And then there was nothing left to do but wait.
About six months after, I started to feel sick, but I ignored it. My doctor did not. She told me I was pregnant, and I told her she had to be wrong. She assured me that she had gone to school and everything and I was indeed pregnant. Due date: December 25, 1998.
It all went along pretty well until about November. I found myself unable to breathe due to a blood clot on my lung. I had faced losing babies, but I had never faced something that could take us both. I knew at this point I was having a boy, and finding the perfect name became my mission. In some pregnancy induced trance, I thought "If I name him, he will come." Hormones will do that to you.
I was poring over books, making lists of family names and seeing how each sounded. Finally, one day waiting in the pick up line at school, I heard an ad for the movie It’s A Wonderful Life. George Bailey! Of course, it was obvious. What if there had been no George Bailey? But there was, and there would be another.
One of my best friends was in the car behind me and was nice enough not to think I was nuts when I jumped out of my car and shouted “George Bailey, he’s going to be George Bailey!” There was no discussion; I think no one wanted to argue with a hyperactive pregnant woman on blood thinners. Not that it would have done any good. George Bailey was on his way.
On December 20, 1946 It's a Wonderful Life premiered in New York City. George Bailey Kim premiered on December 16, 1998, long awaited but very welcome. Everyone that knew my story, agreed that he was indeed, George Bailey. Having him taught me that I am not in charge of everything. All the doctors I saw, the procedures I had, the drugs I took, the adoption process. None of it mattered. George showed up, just as his brother before him, and his sister after him, when it was time.
The "most wonderful time of the year" is also the busiest. Everyone is planning, shopping and decorating. We all want the perfect holiday. But holidays, just like babies, come whether we are ready or not. I got what I wished for most, I just didn’t get it exactly when I thought I would.
I am so very grateful for all I have, and for the lesson that George Bailey teaches me every year. In everyone’s life there are hard times. But there are moments of great joy too, and that is what we should remember and hold on to. Those moments can carry us through anything.
In this season of hope, faith and finally maybe peace on earth, take a minute to remember the good times you have had. Not for nothing, those are all that matter.
“George Bailey, I’ll love you ‘till the day I die.”