Wednesday, November 21, 2012

One Year Home... Belated

I feel rather bad about this, but the 19th was the anniversary of Geri's homecoming and it was completely overtaken by events.

I know most people get really excited about "Gotcha Day!", the day you took your little one out of the orphanage, but I'm way more excited about "Homecoming Day", the day Geri entered the U.S. and came home for the first time. Why? Because when we took Geri out of the orphanage and returned to the apartment in Sofia to wait out the final paperwork before we could leave, it didn't really feel final. That time spent in Sofia felt very much in-between. It still does, in my memory. It felt like a really tough babysitting job, immersed in a culture we didn't know and cut off from our loved ones. We could barely call anyone to gloat over our awesome new daughter, or cry over her massive needs. We couldn't truly start caring for her in the way we wanted to, because we couldn't get the things we wanted for her or give her the medical attention we knew she so desperately needed. All we could do was hang out in the apartment, go to appointments, walk to the Jumbo or the grocery store, and generally wait it out. We were missing our other two kids and generally feeling adrift. It almost felt like someone would turn up at the end and say "Well, thanks for watching her. Have a nice life. Give her here."

But when we landed on U.S. soil she was truly ours. No one could come and get her. She was a citizen of the United States, a member of our nation. And when we came home she was enfolded in her family for the first time, we were united as the full unit we would be for the rest of our lives. It was for reals when we brought her home and she slept in her own bed.

So, although I have a pretty awesome excuse, I still feel like a bit of a doucher to have not made more of that day. That morning, while I was out running errands to get ready for a Thanksgiving trip, I got a call from Dr. R (cornea specialist.) I had called him early that morning and left a message to let him know that we were leaving town and to give us a good amount of return time if a cornea became available. So, when they called back, I thought I was just getting a HUA out of them. When the nurse told me that a cornea was available and the surgery would have to be Wednesday morning at 7 am, I honestly didn't catch it the first time. I had to have her repeat it. Twice.

Thus launched a flurry of preparations and a massive switching of gears as we went from "leaving tomorrow to drive to Wichita" to "going to Denver on Wednesday for a new cornea." It wasn't until about 5 pm that I called my husband and said "You know what day it is right? What are we doing for it??"

We ended up going to My Big Fat Greek Restaurant (closest thing to Bulgarian food in Colorado Springs) and going around the table, telling each member of the family our favorite thing about them.

It was less of a production than I had hoped, but I actually liked it. It was fun, and the kids had a good time. As for the surgery, please forgive me if I leave you hanging until tomorrow for the details on that one. I'm frickin' wiped. G'night.

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