Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Begin at the Beginning

Settle in, these next couple posts might be long, as I'm catching you all up and it's been a wild, crazy two days to capture. Please, keep in mind when you read, that I'm primarily journaling this adventure for my family. It's a way for me to capture the moments of our life, to look back on and remember what God has done in our family. Maybe that will help you hang in there for the longer-than-long posts that sometimes come in this journey called adoption!

On Monday, at 8:17 a.m. we got another call from Living Hope. I was kind of expecting it. We had talked with them on Friday morning about the need to follow up with the SN offices at the CCAA about the promise of a "hand-picked child" that we were still waiting to hear about. Friday morning's phone call was to report that no "hand-picked" child had been referred yet. In the meantime they had four baby girls, 10 mos. or so, that had severe cleft palates and cleft lips. Were we interested? As much as I hated to say no, we agreed that we wanted to know what was happening with the process that the CCAA had agreed to go through with us to make things right after the failure of our first referral. I thought that this Monday morning call was to report what had been discovered or discussed in the early hours of the business day at the CCAA. (Remember, they are 12 hours ahead.)

That's not what this phone call was about. Miss Ashley's perky little voice came over the line, informing me that Living Hope had received 10 referrals that were being designated as LH- only families and that there was a baby girl that she believed to be ours on that list. Was I ready to hear the medical report of this child? Was I ready?! Heck no, I hadn't had a drop of coffee, and truth be told, I had literally just stumbled down the stairs 10 minutes earlier trying to wake up enough to drag my butt to Curves!

I quickly got ready. The medical diagnosis was one that we were not immediately familiar with, but by Ashley's way of thinking (and in her great experience as our Special Needs coordinator for Living Hope!), it seemed to be fairly straightforward, certainly very manageable, and not one that required immediate urgent care. Then we got into the fun stuff: her height, weight, appearance (I didn't want to look at email pictures just yet), and general health report. By the documentation presented, she appeared to be very healthy at her 6 month appointment. She is currently 11 months old, with an estimated birth date of August 10, 2007. Ashley agreed to fax the documentation to The Boss and email the pictures to both of us to open as we felt we were ready to do.

While she was unable to say for absolute certainty that THIS was the child that was supposed to be "hand picked" for us (because they didn't specifically make a notation to "hold this one for The Gang" on her file - apparently that's not how they work), Ashley was strongly sure that that was the intention when this particular file was included in the batch of other files. None of the other files designated to LH-only that morning fit our "conditions list" so accurately. Further, because this was a LH-only referral, we were assured that we had plenty of time to make a decision and that there would be no "locking of files" involved (whew!) - the ball was all in our court to move on this child or not. No one else was going to be waiting in the wings to move on this girl till we were certain of our decision.

By the time we were done talking, all of the Gang was up but Baby BlueEyes. I sent LadyBug to wake him "gently and carefully," and literally seconds later he was flying down the stairs sobbing. He fell onto my lap and through his tears said, "LadyBug says that we finally found my little sister!" It was so precious, I laughed and through my tears, told him, "yes, we think they might have." So we got The Boss on the phone and I read all the information back to him and we opened her email pictures together.

Oh. MY. Goodness. That face. Those eyes. And look at those cheeks. Those are some seriously chubby cheeks. The kids were in love instantly. I tried to hold back a bit, knowing that the diagnosis needed some thought and prayer. Knowing that I had some research to do and some processing of my own to work through. But my gosh, those cheeks. Those eyes! That hair! How cute is she?!

The rest of the day was a flurry of emailing files, googling medical terminology, praying, laughing, and trying not to fall in love too soon, too hard. Trying not to let my heart run ahead of my mind, or ahead of God's voice whispering to me amid the noise of a busy household. Yeah, well, I said, "trying." Notice I didn't say I was terribly successful! Hard to do with regular, every day life decisions. Harder still over something this big and this life-changing. Near to impossible with the fear and caution and defenses I was putting up around my heart after all we'd been through. But I tried.


Carol said...

We are meeting at the Hershey pool.....Michelle is in charge of the gathering....So far I believe it's me, Jane, Michelle, David Phillips, and Vonda...check with Michelle to be sure....we met at 2:30 on the 25th, and pizza is at 5:30 at the pool.......hope to see you there!

Kateri said...

1. Are you going to go to the Hershey Park get-together? If you are considering, let's talk:)
2. Please don't apologize for the long posts. I love them and I'm sure the rest of your readership doesn't mind either.
3. BBE's is killing me! I was fine until I read his reaction to the news and then the water works started AGAIN! He is going to be an amazing big brother!
4. And the story unfolds.....
Love ya,

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to log on and see Keith Urban's pic replaced by someone with chubby cheeks!! :>) Congrats! ~ Vonda

Hands-Free Heart said...

Wow. I surely would be in the same position... wanting to and trying to hold back, but quite unsuccessfully. My heart always runs ahead of my mind! But remember, He holds your heart and protects it, not you... so enjoy the ride!

Salzwedel Family said...

Praying for your family as decisions are made, but at the same time I can't wait to see pictures of those precious cheeks!

Betsy Bell said...

Congratulations! Praying that everything will go well for all of you from this point on. Can't wait to see her, too! Crying baby - gotta go!


Classic MaMa said...

I needed a tissue after I read what BBE said.