Sunday, December 03, 2006
It seemed like any other day when I got out of bed that morning. It was Tuesday, November 7, 2006. All of the normal thoughts were running through my mind. No time to make muffins--cold cereal will have to do. Away basketball game this evening, need to make supper that can cook 2+ hours while we are gone. Want to work on cleaning the playroom after home schooling is done. Finish the Christmas book in the Junie B. Jones series that Joseph and I have been reading. A load of laundry, unload the dishwasher. Look back over the list of baby names if there's time. Catch up on "Story of You" internet adoption updates. Need to mop the floors soon...
And that's about how the day went. At 3:30pm I took Mikaela to the high school to catch the game bus. When I walked back in the door, the boys told me there had been a phone call while I was out. They had not answered it and hadn't checked the caller id. I started to put foil on my lasagne and turned on the oven. The phone rang at 3:37pm. I answered it thinking that I needed to change jeans and touch up my hair and makeup before heading to the game at 4:00. On Friday of last week I had sent copies of our fingerprinting documents to Laura, our social worker, so I was not too surprised to hear her voice on the other end.
"Hi, Monica, it's Laura."
"Oh, hi, Laura." Okay so far I'm calm and nonchalant and wondering what needed to be changed on the fingerprinting paperwork.
"Are you sitting down?"
"Should I be?" I plopped down at the kitchen table where the boys were looking at me with huge questioning eyes. I guess I'm kind of slow, but I really wasn't getting it.
"Yes, I think you will definitely want to be sitting down."
And there it was! That was when I finally realized that this wasn't an ordinary call. This was THE CALL!! Laura could have told me I'd been referred a chimp at that point. I was stammering and trying to be calm but my voice was kind of squeally at times. I tried to not be getting my hopes up, in case there was some mistake. But Laura just kept saying things that sounded good and positive and like I was actually going to be getting a baby. As the boys looked at me wondering, I just shook my head "yes" at them and smiled.
I'd like to say that someone took a photograph of the dumbfounded look on my face while I was receiving "The Call"...but no. I'd like to say that I asked all of the questions on the list that I had planned to ask...but no. I'd like to say that I said something very wise and memorable...but no. I just got off the phone and screamed. I don't think the boys knew what to think exactly so they screamed too.
At that point Laura had some information from Lifelink's Special Needs Coordinator, but no photos. The information was being emailed to us, but the photos might not follow until 9pm. We really needed to leave to get to the basketball game in time, but I couldn't leave without seeing the email either. I called Steve at work to give him the news and he seemed just as shocked as I had been.
I barely spoke to anyone at the game for fear I'd spill the beans before we knew anything for certain. I don't remember the score or if our team won. I could hardly drive home and waiting until after 9pm for photos was absolute torture. We checked our email again at 9:08pm and there she was. We all crowded around the computer to get our first glimpses of our sweet baby. One photo showed her "mugshot" at a younger age (maybe 2-3 months?). The other was taken at around 6 months in a walker. She was happy and smiling big out in the playground at the Social Welfare Institute. Even without seeing the photos we already knew that she was ours. But now, after more than two years of dreaming about her, our baby was a reality. We could finally visualize her--from the top of her sweet little bald head to the tips of her stripey-socked toes! She was alive and well and waiting for us to come and get her. I know we will never forget that day.