One year ago today we got the call that changed the course of my life and the life of my family. I will NEVER be the same, THANK GOD! And here are the first pictures we saw of our girl.
We woke up and got ready for the day. It was Nick's first day at sports camp (right down the road for three hours a day) and I happily dropped him off at 8:45!
I came home to do kitchen work and didn't have a whole lot on my plate that day. I felt anxious but that's not a new feeling. I was jumping at every phone call and was let down each time except when my sister Kiki (Michelle) called. She's been home for a few days as she had a minor medical procedure done and had some time off from work. We chatted for a few minutes and I told her that Nick was at camp and that I was getting a little bored and wanted to go visit the last half hour to watch him and the gang wrap up. She decided to join me and we made plans to grab a quick bite out (a cheat - again) afterwards with Nicholas at a nearby Pizza joint.
While I was waiting for her to call me back to say that she was leaving her house, I stood at the screen door to the deck and looked up at the birds and said, "come on Roy, it's time, call ME"!Nope! Grrr.
Michelle and I met at the school/camp and watched Nick pay zero attention to his coaches while the rest of the "team" listened and played the game eagerly... that's my guy! :) He finished up and we made a quick stop back at my house to grab something before heading off to lunch.
A few minutes after being seated and ordering (I got a glass of wine - at 1:00) our food and I pulled out the envelope of our new foster child Tsige in Ethiopia. I talked a ton about the sponsorship program to Michelle and she listened and asked many questions... Then the question, "why is it taking so long if the problem is sooo huge"? I'm sure you've all heard this several times and I tried to explain things... I ended by saying, "it's going to be really soon. We're at the top again and there haven't been any referrals in a little bit". So our food came and I (as usual) couldn't focus on much except for the f.fries and pizza while we tried to entertain Nicholas with his activity book and get him out of his cranky mood (he was tired)!!
Da, da, duh.... drum roll..... my cell phone rang. I didn't hear it but Kiki did and said something. I fumbled my blackberry out and noticed it was MP's work number. As I went to press the ignore button (I'm not a jerk, but I figured I'd just call him back when I got in the car, we were finishing up with lunch) but decided to answer.
MP; where are you
ME; I'm at Fremont house of Pizza with Michelle and Nick, why
MP; take the phone and go outside.
MP; trust me, there's someone on the phone that wants to speak with you, just go outside now
Me; OMG, are you serious, is this it
MP; YES, go outside
Me; ok, I'm outside now, what's going on
MP; hang on hun, I'm going to patch someone in
MP; ok, we're both here
Roy; hi lori
Me; sobbing uncontrollably, yessss (hesitant)
Me; omg, omg, omg are you serious
Roy; you have a daughter and I'm going to give you the details, we need to meet later today
The rest is a sniveling, slobbering, mess of a conversation that I'll spare you of because it contains a lot of "huhs, uh-huh's, and freaky crying.
He kept pausing for response and never got any really because I was frozen and a hysterical mess.. I didn't even remember her name after I hung up! I went in and the waitress was starring at me (Kiki said something) and gave Kiki a thumbs up! She saw my face all curdled and wet and was relieved with the thumbs up because I think she thought something was wrong... Poor Nick just kept saying, "Mommy, your tears are coming out"! Precious! We kept telling him why but he just doesn't get it. He keeps thinking she's on her way - literally!
The ride home was crazy, I was trying to call people and just got machines and it was a blurr.
We met with Roy at 5:00 last night and learned about our girl - there's been a ton of different emotions but I think that's on par with adoption. I'll be sending or hand delivering our acceptance tomorrow to our agencies headquarters to try to expedite things... time is so of the essence right now. I don't want to think of not passing court in time, but it's a reality. It won't kill my emotions or high right now and I can post about that stuff in due time! Right now is referral time!
Sadly MP is away all week, so I'll be sleepless on my own!
This is the story of the day! She is tremendous and full of beauty and grace, even in her sorrowful pictures....
I can't wait to hold her and see her smile...
ps... I never expected MP to get the call, I had it all planned out in my head, see what happens when you plan! God has a sense of humor indeed!
Back to now, video I haven't shared until today.
This was the first time we ever saw her little face and body in person... at the care center, of course.
Moments later when I first held her (it was 5:00 am and we had only ten minutes w/her before our 9 hour journey to meet her family at her home).
Other random ramblings...
I have something on my mind. It's been growing, growing, and growing bigger by the day. Every day that goes by with this angel in our home. This weight is like a cancer and today I'm going to spill the beans about something that may be hard for some people to read.
Why don't more people adopt older children? I think the answer is that they're scared to death. Why are they so scared. Because of all the books out there that scare the crap out of people. They scare you in every single solitary way about adoption in general and it kinda pisses me off. They make adoption out to be this big black unknown hole. And we were scared to death as a result. We bought tons of books, did all kinds of research online, heard SO many horror stories.
I've since realized that adoption is like watching the local or national news. Only the bad is blown up for everyone to see. You very rarely read about the thousands and thousands of wonderful adoption stories. Orphans are often portrayed as: evil, disgusting inside and out, mean and tough. We see it in the movies all the time.
Yes, every situation is different, every kid is different. But don't we ALL have baggage and issues from our lives adopted or not?
I'm ashamed (now) when I think back about my fear, and our original age range for our request which was 9-24 months. I'm ashamed that I was so naive to think a three year old would somehow be a "used" child with baggage, unmanageable by two adults! That a three year old would be forever be tarnished and hateful and unhappy. What could I have been thinking? And now, she's four.
Since her birthday I cannot get all of those "older" kids out of my mind that we met. All the four, five, and six year olds that nobody wants, the seven, eight and nine year olds that are all but ignored and not given a second look - out of fear. What is the common denominator with these kids? They all want homes and families. They all want someone to love them and read to them, and teach them and listen to them. They want a chance. And why, why don't they get it. FEAR. It was not a choice they made to be orphaned. It wasn't bad behavior that got them into care centers/orphanages. It was a dire situation that landed them there.
The way these older/waiting children are shown to prospective parents is also something that bothers me. They should show videos of the kids. I can't tell you how many times I've seen waiting children pictures that do make them look scary and are unflattering. I was shocked to see the faces in real life that I'd seen on the waiting child list for months and months when we traveled to Addis. The difference was night and day.
What's my point. Here is my point. And it's solely directed to anyone in the early stage of adoption. PLEASE consider an "older" child. Don't get me started on that term. It should be more like PLEASE consider a toddler or little boy or girl other than an infant.
Infants are not in dire need of homes. It's very clear based on the wait times right now.
I cannot judge. I have had the blessing of carrying a child in my womb and experiencing an infant. I understand the want and need for many couples to have that experience. But I am talking to those who have had that. If you have had that, or not. If you are adopting, please be educated, but don't let FEAR make your decision about age. Let go and let God. We did and I pinch myself everyday.
Dear Lord, I pray that these children of YOURS have families soon!