Adoption Journey – Day 494 (1 year, 4 months, and a bit)
Well, as you saw, we got our referral yesterday. A tiny, perfect little girl. 6 weeks old. 7.5 pounds. And a whole lot of hair.
It’s been an amazing 24 hours.
Yesterday started like crap. I was sore, as I posted about in the morning. Then around noon, I looked out to see that the chipmunk that I had been feeding for a few weeks now had fallen into the neighbours’ rain barrel and drowned — within the past half hour or so. I could have run out and rescued him, if only I had looked out the window sooner.
I was bummed. So I messaged BDH and told him I was really having a lousy day, and I was going to sit on my exercise bike and try to work out some of the pain (and some of the sadness) by riding a bit.
I was pedalling like mad and about an hour into a chick flick when the phone rang. I checked the call display and saw it was my agency, but I didn’t think anything of it. I picked up and it was my adoption worker, who I had never spoken to before. She asked if BDH was home, but I said no — they talk frequently, so I thought he had called and asked for some information — so I asked if there was a message.
She said no, but that she had some news. She had a referral for us.
I stopped. “Really?” I asked.
She said yes. So I said, “What do we have?”
She asked if I wanted her to tell me, since she was emailing the info out. I stopped short of saying, “DUH”, and said, “Sure” instead.
She took a deep breath, and quietly she said, “You have a little girl”.
I was gobsmacked. A GIRL. I knew that girls were frequently requested, and since we had not specified a gender, I just assumed we’d be referred a boy. In fact, I was sure we’d have a boy.
I was thrilled. I stifled a “SQUEEEEE!” and told her how thrilled I was.
Then, she got all excited. “She’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL!” she exclaimed. Well, everybody says babies are beautiful — nobody every says, “Wow. You have an ugly baby.” So I kind of mentally skipped over that part. But then she said, “And she has SO MUCH HAIR!”
I burst out laughing.
“Well, then,” I said, “OBVIOUSLY she takes after BDH then. He had a ton of hair when he was a baby too.”
She laughed. She was clearly really happy to be bringing us this news, after such a long wait.
I started to get all welly, and my mind was just blank. I said, “I’m kind of all meshuganneh here. I’m stunned.” I was a little giddy.
She said, “We get all sorts of reactions. Some people just cry — INSTANTLY. Others say, ‘Oh, well, that’s nice’. Very calm.”
“That’s definitely not me,” I said.
She told me she’d be sending out the referral, and what was included. She briefly told me what would happen next.
I said, “So this must be a pretty good part of your job, delivering this sort of news.”
She said, “It’s my favourite part.”
“Mine too,” I said.
I got off the phone, and I lost it. I started to cry. Out of relief, out of joy, out of shock, or all of the above and more, I can’t say. I just knew I was going to have a little girl.
I rushed to call BDH. Who was, unusual for Mr. Connected-to-Technology-At-All-Times, nowhere near a phone. Completely unreachable, actually. (To completely understand how unusual this is, you must understand that I can call him on his desk phone, his Blackberry, or message him, or email him, pretty much at any hour of any day. So this was a SPECTACULAR act of Murphy’s Law.)
I left messages. And while I waited, I read through the file. I stared at her pictures. I cried over her birth mother’s report. And I counted my lucky stars that she entrusted the care of her beautiful girl, ultimately, to us.
When he called back, I said, “Hullo, Daddy. You have a baby girl.”
He blurted out, loud in the middle of the office, “I am a DAD!”
The he asked me to send him the referral, but it came out like, “SenditsenditsenditSENDitsenditsendITsenditSENDITSENDIT…”
So I did. And then he sat there, smashing the refresh key on his computer again and again and again. No email. If it had been, say, “Hey, how are you?” the message would have been there instantaneously.
When it finally arrived, he printed out a couple of copies of the pictures, as he was on his way to a meeting. When he entered the meeting, he held the pictures up and announced gleefully, “This is my new daughter!” After congratulations all around, the meeting started. Midway through, he confessed, “You know, I saw your lips moving, but I have no idea what you were saying.”
He made desktop wallpaper of the pictures for his computer. And sent one to me. And then he showed her picture around to everyone, while I started calling family and friends, who were also not near a phone.
Except for Heather. She cried with me on the phone for a little while. Her dad cried too. And the most magical Miss Isabella assured me that she would help me with my baby, because I didn’t have one before. But she has a baby brother, so she knows about babies.
Sherri was home too, who seemed absolutely gleeful at the prospect of being an auntie once again.
And when I got off the phone with everyone, I stared at our referral pictures some more.
She was going to be our daughter.
It was one of our best days ever.
Now, we’re getting our last minute things done so our social worker can sign off on us and we can sign off on our referral. We have drawer latches to install, and a fire safety plan to submit, and cupboard safety locks to put on. Our wine has been sent to the basement for storage. Other things have been put up high.
We want to get through this as quickly and easily as possible, so that we can take everything in to the agency on Friday.
We want nothing to stand in our way, between now and going to meet this sweet little girl with the great hair.
Our daughter. Soon.