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Adoption Blog: Melting Pot Family
Getting the Call
I was on pins and needles. I could barely concentrate at work. I found myself gazing out the window at the bright blue sky over Puget Sound. I wondered what the sky looked like in East Africa. I spent more time than I care to admit online. I searched for blogs and sites with pictures of children adopted from Ethiopia. I studied their faces wondering which resembled our little girl. I knew none of them would be my daughter’s, but seeing photos of children from her birth country made me feel connected to her.
The call was coming this week, my coordinator had told me. I jumped each time the phone rang. When it turned out to be from a colleague, a friend, or even my husband, Michael, I felt myself deflate. By midweek, I was in a bad state. Please call already!
The phone rang again and I snatched up the receiver. My coordinator said, "I have Michael on the line. We have great news for you. You have been referred a little girl. She is 4 months old." She told us what she knew about the infant's medical condition. She explained she would send this information and a photo via e-mail after the call. At the end of the call, when she asked us if we had any questions, we were both too overwhelmed to even know where to begin.
I hung up the phone and shared the news with my friend who sat in the adjacent office. She had adopted from China and recommended the adoption agency we used. I also told another friend who had adopted from Guatemala and worked with us. I knew they understood what I was going through, and they both shared my excitement.
I then waited for my first glimpse of our baby, checking my computer every 60 seconds to see if an e-mail had arrived. As the minutes slowly ticked by, I thought about seeing my sons' faces for the first time—there was an instant connection between us and I was overcome with an overwhelming love for them. What would I think and feel when I looked at my daughter for the first time in a photo? Part of me was secretly petrified that I would look at her picture and not have the same feeling. What if I looked at it and thought, "That is not my daughter"? I pushed that fear down as far as I could because I did not know what to do with it.
When 10 minutes of this anxious waiting had passed and I still had no picture, I wanted to jump out of my skin. Finally, I saw an e-mail with an attachment and my coordinator's name appear in my inbox. I called my friend who had adopted from China over. I opened the attachment holding on tightly to her hand.
As the picture slowly emerged—the one you see above—I looked into the most beautiful face I have ever seen. I also felt an amazingly peaceful feeling come over me. Her face appeared exactly as I imagined but I could not have told you what she would look like a minute before. My friend said, "Wow, she looks like a princess."
This was unequivocally my daughter. I was in awe. Our lovely little girl was waiting for us half way around the world. And I was already madly in love with her.
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