Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dreams do come true... Part 1

On August 1 we got "The Call". Our coordinator called me at home really early to say she had our referral and ask if we could come to the office. Of course that answer was YES! We had been expecting "The Call" all week. Some other families with our agency had gotten their referrals the week before, so we knew we were very close. Each day, we thought it was going to come. Each day, by 10AM I couldn't stand it anymore, so I contacted our coordinator to hear, "Sorry, nothing today". It was a nervous week. With all the talk of Vietnam deadlines, I was worried that some little glitch would prevent us from getting our referral in time.

I was so excited when I got to work, I couldn't concentrate on much. I canceled some meetings so I could meet D at FTIA on time. At FTIA, They have a small conference room where you generally go to talk to your coordinator. The first time I was in that room was when we met with a China coordinator to turn in our application. She informed us that China wasn't a good fit for us because of a minor medical condition my husband has. I was completely devastated. I was numb. We had planned to adopt a baby from china since before we were married. I had been researching China for years. I belonged to a support group full of families with babies from China. I had never looked at any other options. I just sat there and cried. They recommended Guatemala and Vietnam as good fits for us, but I couldn't even consider them at the time.

I got lots of support from my Adoptive Parent friends. I started looking into Guatemala because there were no Vietnam adoptions at that time. A friend gave me a push toward Vietnam. She had a friend who had adopted before the shutdown. As I thought about it, it made a lot of sense. When I was in grade school, our Church sponsored some families that had fled Vietnam after the war. We had Vietnamese children in our school and I was familiar with the culture. It seemed more and more like a great fit for us. I made an appointment with the FTIA Vietnam coordinator at the time. Once again we met in that room. The program was really new, so she didn't have a lot of information at that time. We had a very engaging and long conversation. I cried again, but they were happy tears. I felt God was leading us to Vietnam, and this comfort I was feeling was a sign. When we were done, she told me that I would cry one last time in that room, when we saw our baby's face for the first time.

So, I was prepared for the crying when we got to the agency. I pictured the papers being passed across the table and my uncontrollable burst of tears. It didn't happen quite like that. D met me at the agency. I took a deep breath, and we went in. They paged our coordinator. When she came out, we headed down the hall to "The Room of Tears". Before we got there, she surprised me by thrusting a stack of papers into my hands. On top, was a picture of our baby. It was the sweetest face I've ever seen. My eyes welled up with tears. I didn't cry right away. I was completely overwhelmed with joy. It was like a giant hug of happiness. We went in the room and D and I were able to stare at the pictures. We couldn't take our eyes off this little boy who would be our son. Our coordinator went through all the documents and explained what they were. I remembered to ask the right questions, but my heart was too busy to listen. I don't know if tears ever actually escaped my eyes in that room this time, but there were many times they were so full, I struggled to focus on the pictures.

After leaving the agency, we went to my Mom's work and to my work to show off the pictures. Then, we went to Build-A-Bear and made him a sweet little monkey. D & I each added a heart when he was being stuffed. We ate lunch at the food court and I made lots of phone calls. A good friend was able to meet us at the mall with her kids. Her beautiful daughter (I like to refer to as my future daughter-in-law) was adopted from Vietnam. It was wonderful getting to spend our special day with special friends.

We came home and promptly shared photos online. We had lots of extras printed up. I filled photo albums for work, added photos to D's wallet, a photo frame by the bed, and album in my purse, computer backgrounds everywhere. The little boy who had captured out hearts that day was making his way into our everyday life. The best part was the necklace. I had bought it several months before anticipating our referral. I added two photos to the charm and have worn it next to my heart every day since. I wasn't able to carry this sweet boy inside me, but he will stay next to my heart instead. A

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting for you to post about your referral! We are so glad that we were able to share your special day! We are so excited for you guys!