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Chuck Hinman, IJMA 333: It's a Boy!

It's Just Me Again No: 333. Chuck Hinman, remembering the arrival of John Paul Hinman.
The next earlier Chuck Himman column: Chuck Hinman, IJMA No. 93: Telemarketers at Tallgrass Estates

By Chuck Hinman

Every one who has had the unparalleled joy of being a parent can identify with the heart-stopping, herald-like announcement -- IT'S A BOY, or IT'S A GIRL! There is nothing to compare it with. Everyone should have that experience!

Connie and I were married rather late in life. Both of us had come to believe that perhaps marriage and raising a family was passing us by. When we found each other and God's interest in our union, we were 4th-grade Sunday-School teachers in the old First Methodist Church in downtown Bartlesville. Jules Bourquin the departmental Sunday School Superintendent, and his wife Ruth were instrumental in seeing that we got "hitched" -- matchmakers if you will. Connie and I didn't seem to have much choice in the matter but we enjoyed their interest in our lives!

We were what are known as single professionals. Connie was educated to be a high school English and commercial subject's teacher. But after a short teaching career she became a highly successful executive secretary to Barton Witchell at Phillips Petroleum Company. I came to Bartlesville in 1951 while in a management training program with Montgomery Ward. I later switched and had a thirty-four year career with Phillips in the land and geological department.

In our short courtship we had covered everything we wanted in married life, including the size of our family. We found little on which we disagreed! We wanted our first child to be a boy, followed a few years later by a girl. We even picked their names, deciding on James Paul as the name of our first-born son and Mary Ann the name of our daughter to be. I thought it would be cool to have a son who we would call by his initials -- "J.P. Hinman." We could hardly wait!

But first of all, we needed to establish a home and get everything "just right" before we started the baby-making process. When we tied the knot, Connie was thirty-two and I was thirty years old -- relatively old for first marriages.

We had fun planning and building a new house on Lester, just a few streets north of Washington Park mall. We enjoyed equipping the third bedroom as a nursery for our first born -- we bought baby furniture for the room, and the decoration definitely and unmistakably established our intents and purposes for this special room.

We had decided Connie would continue working until she became pregnant, then she would stay home to raise our family. Money was not a problem, one of the few advantages of marrying in later life.

Well, we waited and waited and nothing happened. We both took all kinds of tests and tried everybody's "how it worked for them" but still nothing happened. Connie was under the eye of a baby-making specialist doctor. We decided that perhaps if Connie quit working at Phillips and just led a quiet life at home, that would turn the trick.

There were some mini-signs that Connie had finally become pregnant but she miscarried after a very short pregnancy. We were losing hope we would ever birth a child. The nursery room, now almost six years old without a baby seemed a mockery. Connie became so discouraged she closed the door so that she wouldn't be tormented by what had earlier been a delight to plan. Connie was now thirty-eight years old, an age at which it would be dangerous to birth a baby for both the mother and the infant.

So we began to entertain thoughts of adoption. We even checked in to adopting a baby from several places overseas. But we ran into insurmountable red tape every where we looked. In the meantime, Connie had gone back to work at Phillips.

Then we heard of a family in Bartlesville who had adopted a baby from the Home of Redeeming Love, a branch of the Deaconess Hospital in Oklahoma City for unwed mothers. It was a place where a young single girl who had become pregnant could go and live during her pregnancy and after the child was born in a hospital setting, could take her baby and go home as a single mother. If the mother found that the responsibility of bringing up a child was more than she could handle, then she could release the baby to be adopted through a superbly managed branch of the Hospital called Home of Redeeming Love. It had financial support from people and churches in the Oklahoma City area.

When our adoptive interest became known, we quickly received a visit from a lovely elderly couple, Rev. and Mrs. Butterfield. He was a retired preacher and they had become administrators of the Home of Redeeming Love. As such, they had the awesome responsibility of matching potential adoptive parents with the newborn baby released by its young mother for adoption.

We received three visits from the Butterfields. They thoroughly investigated our being the unmistakable best match with the newborn. We were a nervous wreck after each visit. The Butterfields were very professional in the service they provided, a responsibility bathed in much prayer by all concerned. At the conclusion of the third visit, we were given our first hint they had a possible baby for us.

Weeks went by and on February 25th, I received a call at my office in the tower of The Frank Phillips Building in which Rev. Butterfield boomed "IT'S A BOY!" For a moment, I was undone and speechless! Connie and I were to meet Rev. and Mrs. Butterfield the next afternoon in their home in Oklahoma City to receive our baby boy!

I didn't call Connie, I ran to her office so I could sweep her up in my arms for the tearful, joyful announcement! Our one-flesh marriage was now complete with our special, chosen of God, baby boy, who we decided years before would be called J. Paul Hinman! Thank you Lord for answering our prayers!

In the meantime, word spread like wildfire among our office friends who wanted to share in our happiness. We were encouraged to go home right then and ready everything for the blessed event. Neither of us slept.

The next day, we showed-up at the Butterfield's door with a diaper bag and all the thousands of things Connie had put together for this long-awaited moment. It brings tears to me now as I write of this blessed time in our lives which we began to feel would never come. It reminds me of Anna and Simeon in the Bible who waited so long for a little one.

Rev. Butterfield met us at his door and with a broad smile invited us in and we sat down nervously. In a minute or so, Mrs. Butterfield emerged from a back room carrying our precious 3 week old bundle of joy -- MR. JAMES PAUL HINMAN! Da-da! What can I say? Words are inadequate to express our absolute unbridled joy, pent up for so long! Tears are in order!

Connie got to hold him first and look him over, shrouding him with love so thick you could cut it. In a little bit, it was my turn and I remember being overwhelmed with the loving responsibility that lay ahead for us. I remember the clean smell of his blond hair -- his pink little hands, just a perfect little guy for us!

We spent perhaps an hour getting acquainted and cooing and making baby noises. Finally Rev. and Mrs. Butterfield wisely knew that their God-given assignment was complete and encouraged us to take Paul to his home in Bartlesville. Mrs. Butterfield helped Connie put Paul in his traveling clothes, we said our thanks and good-byes and had prayer with the Butterfields and headed up the Turner Turnpike for home.

I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road for wanting to watch as Connie held our little bundle of joy. At one of the rest stops on the Turnpike I suggested that we stop briefly so I could hold and hug our baby boy. Connie added that his diaper probably needed changing and I could have the honor. That sounded great to me so we found a private place in the back of the restaurant where I proceeded to nervously change his first diaper. Just as I unfolded the diaper and leaned over him to see what I was doing, his boy thing erupted like a gun on a battleship and blasted me direct in the face with a stream of urine! It was a perfect hit!

YES, INDEED, IT'S A BOY! (Blub-blub)

- Chuck Hinman, story emailed Saturday, January 17, 2009

This story was posted on 2012-06-10 05:10:12
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