Life is so full of times of waiting. And if you haven't noticed ;), the adoption process provides one opportunity after another to wait well. After 6 months of research, 6 months of paperwork and nearly 10 months on a waiting list--watching our numbers fall from Number 52 in February to Number 1 at the end of November--after 17 days of being Number 1--on December 8th, a little after 4:30pm, we got THE CALL.
It's a moment to never forget.
Here's how it all went down...
It started as just an ordinary day (an ordinary "waiting" day). We had breakfast, I dropped M off at preschool, came home to order some Christmas gifts and to clean up a little (I've been in keep-the-house-clean-in-case-you-get-a-referral-today mode for a little while now), headed out to our Mommy-and-Me group with T, picked up M from preschool and went to Becca's house for crepes.
We came home, M took a bath to get the crepe syrup out of her hair, and I checked my email a bazillion times. I saw that we had gotten our official monthly number (Number 1) email from our Case Worker (CW). She had a few questions about future referral details and I emailed her back right away (you know, for the highly improbable chance that future meant in-a-few-hours future).
T woke up from his nap and we played some rousing rounds of "Guess Who." I noted that it was getting quite late in the day and that today was probably not the day. A lovely bonus to referral day would mean pizza. Bummer--it looked like I would need to start making dinner soon.
T took a really long bath. I knelt down to wash his hair. The phone rang.
I ran to the office to check the caller id. It was the caller id we had been waiting for. Tears.
I looked at M and said, "M! This could be Sister! This could be the call about Sister!"
M started jumping up and down and screaming, "It's Sister!"
Okay, I had to answer it. I took a deep breath and said, "Hello?" as nonchalantly as possible. It was our CW and she said that she was just calling to follow up on our emails from earlier in the day. I told myself, "Okay, this isn't it. This is just a checking-up-on-the-details call. No big deal. There's always tomorrow. It will come soon."
Then she said, "And, actually, I do have a little girl I wanted to talk to you about." NO-WAY! I think I even said that out loud.
I asked if we could call back in about 20 minutes. I needed to get T out of the tub and I was pretty sure that J would be able to come home so that we could see her together. No problem.
I got T dressed, turned on Curious George and started making calls--fumbling the whole time with numbers :).
I called Becca to tell her that it was "PIZZA TIME" and that now she was NUMBER 2! Called Emily. Then I called my mom. My mom asked me how her name was spelled so I quickly pulled up the email from our CW and then accidently saw it--a picture of the most gorgeous smiling little baby girl all dressed in pink. "Mom--She. Is. Beautiful... Wow..." And then I called J's parents to let them know that this was it!
When J got home we called our CW back and opened our email. We listened as she read through all of her documents and with tears we heard what little they know of her story...
Then there were more pictures. Breathtaking...
After the call M and T got to see Sister for the first time. Then after pizza we gave them some special "Big Sister and Brother" gifts (a few books and one of those little baby hamster toys--the non-squeaking variety that they've been playing with ever since.)
We called our families again and then Becca and Eric and Keith and Emily and their families all came over to celebrate. And to stare at her pictures. ;)
And that was our referral day! YAY! I can't post pictures of our sweet girl online--so you'll have to bear with this teaser photo. I promise that just above that cute little belly there are bright sparkling eyes and a gorgeous gummy smile.
She's a little munchkin weighing just 9lbs at 5.5 months--but I know that in no time she will catch up with the amazing "special mothers" at Hannah's Hope" (where she's been since last Wednesday 12/1). I am so thankful that I know with confidence that she is being loved so well while we all wait for her to come home (maybe in March?). (The next steps are coming in a post soon).
Sweet girl, you have stolen our hearts. We can not wait to get to you...