Columbia, MO - Joe and Patty Simpson didn't know exactly what they were getting into when they agreed to adopt an underprivileged child almost twelve months ago. Like so many other people wanting children, adoption was the only route available to the Simpson's when all of the fertilization wonder drugs and homeopathic remedies failed.
Months of waiting and filling out forms soon brought forth hope one afternoon in May. When that fateful day finally did come, the Simpson's couldn't believe their eyes. Neither Pat nor Joe wanted to be the first one to voice concern over the baby's appearance but soon it was evident that something was not right with little Albert.
"I remember thinking, ‘Maybe all babies look like this at first'. I mean they go through such a little hole, that had to have something to do with it," remembered father Joe. He admitted to trying this theory out during several late-night feedings. "I would shove several soft boiled eggs in my mouth and one by one, spit them out all the while trying to keep my mouth slightly smaller than the circumference of the eggs. I don't really know if I came up with any hard evidence but to this day, I still can't look at eggs."
It was Pat that first brought up the unmentionable. During her six-month stint at Olin Mills Photography in nearby Fulton she saw many tots come and go, but never any as unique as their Albert. "I told Joe after the second week we had him. I said, ‘Joe, this kid is just plain ugly. I've seen kids come and go, from booger eaters to those freaky babies that look like they are little old men, Albert takes the cake'."
The Simpson's admit that they tried hard to cover up their child when in public. While at the mall or in church, the paranoid couple kept blankets over the child's face at all times. "We'd tell people he was asleep, but he wasn't," admitted Joe. "Once, my parents found him licking himself ‘down there'. I knew babies put almost everything in their mouths but yeesh."
While they try not to assess blame, both Pat and Joe can't help but have a sneaking suspicion something was amiss with the ASPCA adoption agency that brought Albert to them so long ago. Their reservations began when their agency contact started referring to some of the candidates as "bitches". Mrs. Simpson recalls thinking that "these children begin life in such a deep hole, why make it worse with name calling?"
Regrets aside, the Simpson family has decided to move forward rather than look back. Albert began walking almost immediately. Joe figured that they might even have an athletic prodigy on their hands. "He runs laps around the other kids, they're still drooling," said the proud pop.
The first year has brought this family many things: The first bath, the first hair cut, the first full body flea treatment, and lots of love.