Friday, June 24, 2011

"THE" Call

For a while now it seems I've been writing about everything but our adoption, and with good reason. There really wasn't much to say. Waiting is hard, it's emotional, but from the outside I figure it's pretty boring. "We're waiting for the call" sounds pretty straightforward to most folks, and it's hard to communicate to anyone else how pregnant that phrase really is. 

So I'm pleased to be posting an actual blog about our adoption, because we have had some true movement. We have met our new daughter! Really, I can't put enough exclamation points after that statement. The level of joy that this moment holds is beyond my ability to convey. It's like when your baby is born, except without all that certainty that everyone is going to get along just fine. Meeting our little girl, and having it go well, is probably like the relief women must have felt giving birth to a healthy baby before there was such a thing as ultrasounds or prenatal care. (ed note: this is how a lot of women still feel in developing nations. I feel for them in a big way.)

Our waiting came to an end very abruptly. On Friday afternoon, three weeks ago, I got a phone call from the agency. "I really hate to do this to you, and I won't be the least bit upset with you if you say no, but they gave me this and I have to ask," began our coordinator. "Oh no," I thought. "They are trying to match us with two kids. Or with a different kid." She continued, "They have given us travel dates for you, but you would have to be in Bulgaria on Monday."

This only confirms that my agency coordinator doesn't know me that well. She's awesome, don't get me wrong, but anyone who truly knows me understands that I am not scared of surprises. Not at all. 

She went on to explain that she hadn't had to spring a trip on a family like this since the Guatemala program had shut down, how horrible she felt, how she hated to put us in a tight spot. I was trying not to laugh at her. She was so sincerely apologetic and contrite, I had no idea how to tell her that this was the best fricking news ever. I told her that I would figure out wether we could make it and call her back. I already knew my answer. 

Well, about five hours later my husband was driving me and our baby girl to the airport in Denver for the flight to MA, where I would meet up with my sister and spend the night at her house in an attempt to get baby girl acclimated before leaving her there for the week. Hubby had to stay behind to tie up loose ends and put the dogs in boarding, so he and I would meet the next day in MA. At the gate for our flight to Munich. Of the entire trip, I think the most anxiety-filled moments for me were the ones when I was sitting at that gate, waiting for him to appear. I was so scared he would get delayed and miss the flight. Only the knowledge that being arrested by TSA agents would definitely destroy our flight plans kept me from leaping on him as he cleared the security checkpoint. 

Arriving in Bulgaria was pretty surreal. Periodically we would look at each other and say "I can't believe we are here!" I sort of felt like an adoption rock star. The agency rep who met us at the airport kept saying how surprised she was that we made it, how they thought we would not be able to, how it really shows our dedication to this child. I felt like we were going to be awarded some Olympic medal for fastest globe traversing in an adoption proceeding. By the by, they asked us to be there on Monday. We arrived Sunday afternoon. BWAH!! Karate chop!!!

Honestly, I couldn't have done this any other way. My heart has been yearning for our new daughter for months. I have been falling in love with her in absentia this whole time, ever since the first time I read her profile. That first picture caught my heart and refused to let go. The wait had already been killing me, counting down the days until we were scheduled to meet her would have been special torture. 

More than that, though, my maternal instinct would never have given me rest. "Your child is waiting," it would have insisted. "What the hell are you doing HERE??" I'm all mom. When my kids call, I come. When my kids need me, I move everything to get there. That doesn't mean I hover. It doesn't mean I swoop on every whimper the moment it's heard. Sometimes, when I think it will provide them a chance to learn and grow, I leave them to figure something out on their own. I'll sit back and watch as my son and his friends settle playground grievances. I'll let our daughter figure out her own route from the coffee table to the cabinet. But when my kids need me, when they truly NEED me, there is no force in the 'verse that can keep me from coming to their aid that moment. So when they told me that my new daughter, who I know needs me very much right now, would be waiting for me on Monday in Bulgaria, what else could I do but be there? In Bulgaria. 

On Sunday. 

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