Friday, February 13, 2009

Epiphany: In This World

Well, folks, I just had an epiphany, of sorts.

OK, I wasn't the one who had it. My friend had it, and passed it on to me. But I can still claim it as "mine" b/c it relates to our adoption path.

Giving credit where credit is due, I must acknowledge my wonderful friend, yoga teacher/mentor, and (as of late) Intro to Meditation instructor, Kathy Donnelly. Kathy and her husband have three adopted grown sons from Korea, and they also used Catholic Charities of Baltimore. She was asking me the other night, after meditation class, when I thought we might get a referral and then when we might be united with our child. I wasn't sure where she was going with all this, b/c I know I've told her all of this before, but I answered anyway, realizing that people tend to forget that they already asked me this question.

When I told her that we'll hopefully get our referral sometime this summer, and then our child will be in our arms sometime this fall, she then asked, "How old will he be when you get him?" My response was "ummm...the agency says anywhere from 8-12 months, but likely about 10 months."

She paused for a minute, her eyes welled up with tears, and she excitedly grabbed my arm with one hand and placed the other hand to her mouth. She whispered, with an incredible amount of emotion, "Oh, Kathleen, that means that he's in the world. Your baby is in this world!" And she pulled me to her and hugged me fiercely.

When she said that, I kind of froze and got all weepy myself. We looked into one another's eyes, realizing the power of our common connection (and in her eyes, I saw her reminiscing about the three different days when she herself realized this about each one of her own sons!).

I remember thinking "Wow, this will be one of those moments I will never forget...when I realized for the first time that our child had entered this world."

And in classic Kathleen style, I am now weepy all over again! For God's sake!

I feel kind of silly and surprised for not realizing this myself--after all, it involves simple math! ...but wait, no, I take that back. I'm terrible at math. No surprise that Girl Wonder the Editor didn't think about doing the damn math.

Yikes, I'm going to have censor some of these postings when we do end up sharing them with our child!

Happy Valentine's Day to all. We are traveling to PA to see all three of my adorable nieces and my entire family...after a nice dinner tonight with my sweetie at this swanky restaurant in Columbia, MD. What a great way to spend a long weekend!

Whoo-hoo! Welcome to the world, little one!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

February 2009 Parent Support Group Meeting

This post is kind of long. FYI.

We had our monthly meeting for waiting parents this past Tuesday evening at the agency's offices in downtown Baltimore.

Our friend Erin and husband Kevin brought their newest addition, Emma, with them. She came here in mid-January from Korea. She's been home for just about 3 weeks now and is full of spunk! Erin said they are exhausted and sleep-deprived but happy to finally have her home with them. Emma was laughing and smiling at all of us the whole time. She has very little hair but Erin still managed to get a small tuft into the tiniest little ponytail on the top of her head. Adorable! Erin and Kevin, as well as another couple, were there to share with us their experience and to answer any questions that we waiting parents had. As well as to show Emma off! It's always good to get the story straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

Then a very experienced nurse who works at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Travel Medicine (or something like that...who knew that such a specialized place existed???) spoke to us about which vaccines people will need if they are traveling to their child's country (vaccines for the adults, not for the kids). And she also addressed general guidelines (e.g., don't drink the water, bring certain meds to care for yourself as well as your child [one of the most common ailments is traveler's diarrhea...ugh!]). This clinic is a one-stop shop for all things travel-medicine-related; you can go there to get everything taken care of before you travel. Nice to know that such a place exists. And this woman has been working in the field since the 1960s and knows her stuff! And she has an adopted daughter from Vietnam (14 yrs old) who happened to be there and talked to us about her own experiences as an adopted child (my favorite line was "...and I've had no troubles with school, so don't worry!"). She and her mom have traveled to Vietnam three times and they seem to have a very close relationship.

I talked with at least three couples who are ahead (but only by a few months) of us on "the list" for Korea. So they will serve as guideposts, so to speak, as we get closer to our referral date (e.g., when we hear that these couples have gotten their referrals, we'll know that we're getting close!). There may be others who weren't there that night, but I know that we are slowly moving to the top of the list. I can feel it! Most people who received their referrals are waiting about a year, so it looks like our referral won't happen any earlier than June (our paperwork was in Korea officially as of early June 2008).

So keep the prayers and good thoughts coming!

The nursery is coming along nicely. I've washed, folded, and put away all the clothes that Jeff's brother Joe gave us from his son, Tristan, last weekend. We got so much stuff! I am lovin' it! We got an unused pack-n-play, a rarely-used stroller (full size, not umbrella), and tons of toys (one is a motion-sensitive screaming monkey whose battery shall be promptly removed--Joe threw that in on purpose, I just know it). Joe's also going to help us get the house kid-proofed (there are several safety-related things that the agency wants us to do before we bring our child home). Luckily for us, Joe is a contractor and knows his stuff. He's a great resource, and we're thankful for him!

Anyway, that's our latest news. Parenthood is in sight, for sure!

No Airport Trip

Of course, as luck would have it, little Cara's plane had mechanical troubles and, long story short, they arrived six hours later than they 1:00 a.m. Dulles Airport in VA is a good hour away from our home in MD, so we ended up not going. But I did lend her my video camera to use. We saw photos of "the moment" and it looked every bit as special as everyone says it is! And Cara is just adorable!

Next posting: Our parent support group meeting this week...stay tuned.