Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fingerprints Friday

I read a few previous posts and realized I seem to post here most often when I'm feeling particularly melancholy. Sorry. Now for a change, a bit of diary...

The CIS situation finally got sorted out, and Erik and I received our appointment notice. We never received our original appointment notice which was originally in January. So they dropped our application because we never showed. On Friday, April 25th we left bright and early for San Antonio to get our fingerprints taken. Meghan stayed with the girls. Our appointment was for 9:00 AM. We arrived early at an rundown strip mall next to a Tuesday Morning store. Seriously.

We took a number (that was the answer to every question--"take a number and get in line please". We must have been told that 4 times.) We waited, read our books, and finally my number was called. Erik was a few minutes behind me. We were back in car by 9:15.

We had a lot of time to kill so headed downtown to the riverwalk. We found ourselves in the middle of Fiesta! A giant weekend long party in San Antonio. All for us. Ok, so it just felt that way. We rode the river boat and had lunch on the riverwalk. And we celebrated one more step in the journey to get our children home.

The Waiting Game Sucks, Let's Play Hungry Hungry Hippos

I've had three babies without drugs. After I had Ava, I marveled how someone could experience so much pain and still live. I know physical pain. I've heard of ignorant or perhaps even just plain insensitive people, telling adoptive mothers something like, "well, you did it the easy way!!" in the name of jest or exclusion or just because sometimes people don't know how to respond to something they don't understand. For the record, this gestation is no easier. The rollercoaster that is adoption is like all the physical pain of labor and birth spread out over the course of an adoption process and transformed into emotional pain. Family planning, the process of bringing a child into your family, is rife with ways to break your heart no matter how that child comes to you. It is also filled with eventual joy of course. But for the international adoptive parent there is no feeling the baby kick. There are no sonograms, or hearing the heart beat. These are replaced instead with waiting and wondering. And then someday, a phone call. A picture. A name. Magic...
But for now, we wait.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Last Night, 2:41 AM

It is not unusual at our house for children to wake up in the night. For a long time, at least one person would wake up each night needing something. And then we have nights were multiple people are waking multiple times. Those are the killers. My plan of action is usually to wake up just enough to attend to the need so that I can hopefully get back to sleep. When Safa wakes, we rarely know why unless she is sick. Eden rarely wakes up, but if she does, it's because she is sick or had a bad dream. But Ava takes after her mama. She has a lot of bad dreams. She wakes because she needs water, has an itchy mosquito bite, or just plain old can't sleep. And a handful of times she has woken to ask a question that REALLY could have waited until morning. When Ava and Eden wake up they come to our doorway and call in a sing-song voice (all three call in exactly the same way), "Maaaama or Paaaapa, Maaama or Paaapa" and one of us gets up. So last night this happened. And I walk over and see Ava.

"What's up, sweetie?"

Long pause.

"Uh, I'm sorry if I shouldn't have woken you up for this, but I wanted to show you something." Her voice is cracking and she sounds worried. She's starting to cry. She's afraid I'm going to be cranky because she woke me up for no good reason.

"What do you want to show me?"

"There's a full moon and I want you to see it." My heart melted. I wanted to hold her forever.

"Show me."

So we hold hands and she leads me to the bathroom window. And she points to the moon. And through the trees, only at Ava's head level, I could see the moon. I thank her for showing to me and walk her back to bed.

When I get into bed it takes me an hour and a half to fall back to sleep. But it was worth that moment with her.

When my children show me their world, it is a gift. If I'm smart, I wake up enough to receive it.