It was Friday morning and Hayden and I were taking a walk and meeting friends at the park. I was marveling over how it is possible to completly forget that the beautiful, flower filled summer-perfect street on which I was strolling was not four months ago covered in a foot of snow and I was ready to move to the south. The phone rang. It was a wierd area code - the iphone (which knows so much more than I do) indicated it was a call from Texas. Wierd. "Hello?" "Hello, Elise? This is Mary. Is Jeremy with you?" A perfectly innocent question. I probaby looked like a lunatic to anyone who was watching as I wheeled the stroller 90 degreese and set off sprinting down the street towards home trying to assure Mary with the little air I had that I would call her back as soon as I got home. "...fi ve minu tes..... Jer emyat ho me...."
Thankfully it was all downhill and I made it home panting, brought Hayden inside explaining over his cries of "I want to go to the park!" that we would watch Clippord for a few minutes and then go to the swings. Jeremy thought I had finally lost my mind or someone had died - he came into the kitchen (with, now that I think about it, a look that could have said "I knew this day was coming, she has really lost it") as I was turning on the TV for Hayden. My sweaty, panting self turned to him: "Mary. We have to call her. She just called me. Ran home. Downhill." I dont think he heard anything past the first sentence.
Mary is our social worker from the adoption agency we are using. She was calling because she had a baby for us!!!! Our beautiful, beautiful daughter was born on April 4th and weighs 10 pounds. Her name, Medhanit, means "medicine", her pictures reflect a beautiful baby with poutty lips and curly hair. The people at the foster care center describe her as "observant" and "sweet" and with a smile that lights everyone up.
We accepted the referal immediatly. I felt dissapointed in my reacton. With our first referal (that we had to say no to) I remember feeling immediatly when I looked at the baby's picture that I was looking at my daughter. I felt immediaty that our family was complete. This time I was more guarded. It took longer for everything to sink in. As I write this on Saturday afternoon however, I am SO GOD DAMN EXCITED I can hardly wait to hold her and hear her breathe and see those little baby expressions and put her in a sling and not let her our until she knows who her mom is...
And then of course there is the other side of the story - the birth mom's side. She dated the the dad for 2 years and he disappeared when she was 2 months pregnant. He is a college student, she does not know his parents. She said she is a "day labourer" - I don't know what that means in Ethiopia but apparently it pays about as well as it does here. There is a intake form that the bio mom fills out with a social worker when she gives the child up for adoption and in it she says she cannot afford to raise her daughter but that she loves her with all her heart, wishes nothing but the best for her, has nursed her for 2 months, and is interested in meeting Jeremy and I when we come to pick up ourher daughter.
I feel connected to this woman. I want her to know that she will always have a place in our daughters life. That she will be remembered, honered, talked about, and that her daughter is now our daughter and that we will love her with that love that only a parent can have for their child. Thank you, Zeni.
Zeni, that's a nice name. Maybe our daughters name? Will talk it over with Jeremy who, if he had his way, would probably give our daughter 6 to 8 names including Hailay, Zelda, and something from a JRR Tolkien book - welcome to your crazy family kid!