It has been one year since we saw this face for the first time:
I will never forget the amazing feelings that flooded through me that day. It is tradition in the blog/adoption world to tell the story of 'THE CALL' after you get your referral, but I never did. So, I'll share it today.
It was a day that I went in to work late (back in the days when I worked from 8-4:30 and one night a week from 12:30-9) and I had just finished making myself a pita sandwich and sweet potato fries for lunch. That's when I heard it: Nathan's voice saying loudly and repeatedly "Hold on to your potatoes, lady, we're going for a ride!!" It was the ring tone that he had recorded for me one night when I really had no hope we would actually get a referral. It was the ring tone I had assigned to our adoption agency's phone number. My heart dropped into my stomach. I told myself it was probably just Toni calling about a paperwork issue or checking in on us. No need to get excited. Don't get excited. I knew as soon as I heard her voice, however that this was no routine phone call. She said, "Kate, do you have someplace you can sit down? I'd like to tell you about your referral. You are going to be so blessed." I immediately started shaking. She asked where Nathan was, because she wanted to conference him in. I panicked. "He's at work! You'll have to Page him! I don't know if he'll answer! I don't know if he's in class! She asked for his number and put me on hold. This was beyond cruel. It was the LONGEST wait on hold I've ever had. While on I was on hold on my cell phone, our home phone rang. It was my friend and office mate, Mary. She said, "Toni just called our office looking for you! Are you getting your referral!?" I said, "YES! She won't tell me anything until she finds Nathan! Find Nathan!!" Since Nathan, Mary and I all work at the same place, I was thinking maybe she could run find him... or page him herself... or SOMETHING BECAUSE I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT OUR REFERRAL!!! I hung up with her and Nathan called on our home phone. I said, "Oh my GOD! Did Toni call you?!" He said, "No.... I just called to tell you what was for supper at the cafeteria tonight." "Oh my GOD! You have to get off the phone! Toni's going to have you paged! We're getting a referral!" Nathan said, "Really? Oh, okay. They're having tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches." "GET OFF THE PHONE!!!"
Finally, FINALLY, Toni got us both conferenced in. I was shaking uncontrollably. I grabbed a pen and paper to take notes (as if every second of that conversation isn't etched into my memory). Toni told us about the girl who would be our daughter. She was 8 months old, she said, and had a little smile in her referral photo. She said she was healthy, and beautiful and could sit up by herself. She told us about her history, and that she'd only been in the orphanage for 16 days. She said the doctors said she had a smiley face and that she was 14lbs 3 oz and 21.7 inches long. Her name was Tewabech. Toni said she'd e-mail us her picture and congratulated us.
I told Nathan, " You HAVE TO COME HOME SO WE CAN LOOK AT HER PICTURE TOGETHER! RIGHT NOW!" I then called one of the supervisors and blabbered something about Nathan NEEDING to come home. RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW! I'm sure she thought I was insane. I ran to the computer, thinking I'd get everything ready so that when Nathan got home we could just click on the file and download it. I called my mom to tell her the news and she started crying. Then, the unthinkable happened: my hotmail wouldn't open! It said hotmail service was unavailable! The whole point of hotmail is that it is ALWAYS AVAILABLE!!! I freaked out. I was already shaking and crying, as was mom, and I need to see her face. I NEEDED to see her. I asked mom to see if she could open it and gave her the password to my account. She was maybe a little flustered as well, as she insisted for about a minute that nowhere in hotmail or msn did it say she should sign in. She finally got into my e-mail and saw her picture. Mom gasped and screamed a little. "Oh KATE! She's so beautiful! She's so sweet! She has the most amazing eyes I've ever seen!" I couldn't stand it. I was literally pacing in little circles in the kitchen, almost spinning. Finally, my hotmail let me in. I opened the e-mail, intending to get the attachment to the point where I would just have to click on 'download' as soon as Nathan came in the door. And there it was. There SHE was. My daughter... with a little tiny hint of a smile on her face. Huge brown eyes. I felt like I was drowning. I have never been so happy/scared/in love/excited/terrified in my life. This girl? This perfect little sweet baby?! I wasn't good enough for this girl! There was no way I deserved this girl! Finally, Nathan got home. I showed him our daughter. We stared at her picture. We analyzed every detail of her face. We speculated about the hint of mischief in the face that we were sure meant she was going to be an exciting kid. We fell in love. We fell hard. Two months and one day later, we held her in our arms for the first time and knew that what we felt when we looked at the picture, as huge as it was, was a shallow and pale in comparison to what we felt when we held her. And now, 10 months and one day later, I can't believe how much more we love her.
We celebrated today by buying her a little pool, since it is 101 degrees here right now. Here is her first swim!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Crashed while we drove for 3 hours, then got a second wind, then stopped at Grandma and Papa's house for some supper and puddle splashing and kitty hugging... which led to a brief and highly unorthodox bath.
Meron's great aunt Alison got her the CD with "Wind the Bobbin Up" on it. We may have sung this song 3,000 times this weekend. It is Mer's FAVORITE.
We got up early, packed everything up and headed to the Mall of America to eat at the Rainforest Cafe and go to Underwater World. The Rainforest Cafe was maybe a little on the overstimulating side for Mer, but she loved all of the fish tanks they have. And she LOVED Underwater World. She kept saying "Wow! Wow! Oooo!" every time a fish would swim over our heads. She also touched a starfish, a horseshoe crab and an anemone of some kind. I think she liked the giant sea turtle the best. It was huge! I wish I was quicker with my camera... I love the progression of the pictures from fresh as a daisy and having fun to HAD ENOUGH!
Driving to the Cities and the Ethiopian Kids Community Mehaber. We had a wonderful time. Meron took about a half hour to warm up and then she had a blast. We got to see the Harrigans, who we traveled to Ethiopia with, which was really really fun. We listened to music, danced ate Ethiopian food, checked out all of the vendors with Ethiopian goods, got Mer's hair braided, and met lots of new people. I was actually a little star struck to see some of the people I only know through their blogs. It was great fun.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Okay, I didn't know that 20 month olds could be so funny. I mean, I was completely unaware that someone so small could have such a sense of humor. If right now you are thinking, "Hey! Kate met my kid when he/she was about that age and they were just as funny as Meron!" I'm sorry, but you are wrong. This child is the funniest person on the planet.
For your viewing pleasure "Moo, Baa La La La" by Sandra Boynton. As read by Meron
For your viewing pleasure "Moo, Baa La La La" by Sandra Boynton. As read by Meron
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Not feeling so well this week....long story but involves blinding pain, a quart of blood in my abdomen, emergency surgery and Nathan having to lift me up so I can switch positions. I'm a LOT better today, thankfully. So this was our day today, my first day solo parenting again. We hung out in our jammies, played with dolls, sang some songs, and then got dressed up (well, Mer did... I wore real pants instead of pajamas, so I felt kind of dressed up) and hung out outside for a bit. Nothing to exciting, but I am so thankful I was here for every second of it.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Mer got this dress from her Great Grandma Opal in her Easter basket. I LOVE the color on her. I was very excited to discover that for the first time, Meron can tell me some colors! She has a book that has all sorts of different colors of buttons in the front and back cover, and I always ask her to find the blue buttons. Well, today she pointed right to a blue one and said, "blue!!" I thought maybe it was just a coincidence, but she pointed to three different blue buttons. Then she pointed to three different yellow buttons when I asked about yellow ones. I am kind of in awe. She has also started to be really interested in matching things. A friend of ours was at our house yesterday, and when she got up to leave, Meron brought her one of her shoes. I told her to go find the one that matches and she did right away. Then, again thinking maybe it was a coincidence, I had her find the match to all of her shoes (an embarrassingly large number of pairs) and she got all of them right. She can also point out circles and squares and diamonds all of a sudden. Such a smarty pants!