Thursday, January 29, 2009

Good News for My Friend Mary Clare

Hi, everyone! Last Thursday, we got an exciting email from our friend Mary Clare, who also lives in Olney and who is also awaiting a child, a girl, from Korea. Well, after a long wait (remember that you wait much longer for girls than for boys from Korea), their big day is finally here! Their daughter Cara will be arriving at Dulles Airport this Friday, and we were invited to be at the airport to witness her arrival and the magic moment when parents and child will finally be united. I can't tell you how much it warms my heart to hear stories like this because it affirms for us that our turn is definitely coming and this WILL happen! And I feel especially privileged that Mary Clare and Marty are allowing us to take part in a very intimate moment in their lives. I told her that we'd videotape the event, so Jeff is going to be the cameraman and I am going to be the photographer. We plan on keeping our distance and just capturing candid moments that I'm sure Mary Clare and Marty are going to appreciate later. I went to her house on Saturday to pitch in to get the house/room ready. They are understandably a little overwhelmed. My task was cleaning up the kitchen and washing and sterilizing the baby of my very first lessons in becoming a parent! Who knew that these things have like 7 different pieces? Good grief. I think I did OK, though.

The flight arrives at 6:30, and we are both leaving work early to attend this special event. So please be thinking about this family on Friday. The date of January 30, 2009, is about to become as important to their family as any birthday will be! Our parent support group meeting is next week, and I'm sure we'll be getting more good news from even more friends who are patiently (or maybe not-so-patiently) waiting just like us! And by watching Mary Clare and Marty at the airport, it gives us the chance to witness what we, as parents, will go through on our own "arrival day."

Jeff and I are going to pick up some baby clothes from his brother this weekend, so it'll be exciting to have things to put in the empty dresser I have waiting in the nursery. We're almost finished clearing the room out completely. Only one small pile remains. The transformation from storage space to nursery has officially begun! At least we have things to keep us busy while we wait.

Anyway, that's what we're up to. Will write more soon. After the parent support group meeting next week, I think I will have a much better idea of where we stand in terms of timeline (e.g., process of elimination, as more people who are ahead of us get their match and we creep ever closer to the front of the line).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Good News For My Friend Erin

My friend Erin picked up her daughter, Emma, at Dulles Airport this past Friday. She got the phone call on Tuesday to be there three days later! Gulp! As we have decided to have our child escorted to us, we'll get the very same phone call. Margie says that they "try" to give us 5 days' notice. In Erin's case, she and her family had 3 days' notice! Wow! Days later, Erin reported that it feels like Emma has been with them from the very beginning, and Emma is doing very well! She is sharing pictures and stories, and it's so good for those us still waiting to hear the stories and see the photos and know that this is's really going to happen to us! Interesting twist: Although Catholic Charities tells us that once we accept the referral, we are united with our child 4-5 months later, in Erin's case, they got the referral on Dec. 3 and were united with their child just six weeks later, on January 16. Interesting. Not sure if this was an anomaly or if it means that timelines are getting shorter between acceptance of referral and "gotcha day" (that's an adoption term that means the day you are united with your child--in an adoptive family, gotcha day is celebrated as much as a birthday is, because of its deep meaning). As much as I want to believe that the timelines are getting shorter, I suspect that this was just a situational quirk where Emma's escort happened to want to travel very shortly after Erin and her husband accepted the referral. I really do think that Catholic Charities' estimate of 4-5 months is more on the mark than 6 weeks. But anyway, it just shows that this process always contains the element of surprise. We'll see what our "surprise" will be. I pray every night that our referral will come soon, and that we will soon have a photo of our child to share with everyone! I've posted twice today, so I'm done for a while. Enjoy the rest of your January, and stay warm: It's cold here in Maryland!

Ringing in "Our Year"

Hello, everyone, and Happy New Year! We are more than halfway through January. How did THAT happen? Jeff and I had a quiet New Year's Eve, but we recognized that we were probably ringing in "our year." I am convinced that this is the magic year for us, and that our dreams of being united with our child will finally be realized in 2009. People keep telling me "this is YOUR year." This year, I really think it is!

Switching topics a little bit: I am still coming off the high of Inauguration Day, and the privilege I felt to be witnessing history in the making. Weren't you guys SO EXCITED to see all of that? I was! Whether you were an Obama supporter or not, you have to admit that it was an amazing, history-making day. On Tuesday it felt to me that our country was truly one in celebrating such a historic moment. How amazing it must have been to BE THERE (I wanted to be there, but I was as close as I was willing to get--I don't do crowds very well!) to witness the swearing-in of an African-American as President of the United States--how amazing, especially, for those people who also witnessed, years ago, racism in its most blatant, ugly form. What joy they must have felt!

As I sat glued to the television from 9:00 a.m. till well into the evening, I was so moved and felt such a connection to my fellow Americans, of all races, colors, creeds, and ethnicities. I know it sounds corny, but I felt so...patriotic. I wiped many a tear away listening the various speeches; hearing Aretha Franklin just belting out, as only the Queen of Soul can, "Let Freedom Ring" (she also got me reminiscing about my college days and my alcohol-induced attempts to sing the song R-E-S-P-E-C-T into my faux-beer-bottle "microphone" but that's a story for another time); and seeing the faces of everyday Americans not just putting up with the cold but SMILING and crying and laughing and celebrating, despite six layers of clothes and wind-chill factors in the teens and lower and crowds of unprecedented proportions. It was such a joyous day for our country. We'll all remember where we were on this day, and what we were doing.

I am going somewhere with this diatribe: I really am! Looking around at the crowd that day, it reminded me that having a child who is not our race or skin color is going to be looked upon as the most normal thing. It gave me such hope and consolation that our child is not going to be discriminated against and is not going to ever have to deal with the blatant ugliness of racism but rather will be embraced and accepted as the American that he or she is. And if this glorious day happened in MY lifetime, then just imagine the miracles that will be possible in our child's lifetime! Wow!