Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 2 (Tuesday)

Tuesday morning started in the lobby of the guest house,  where Rob accidentally witnessed the moment when a couple met their child for the 1st time.  I came down a few minutes later.  What a special time.

That morning was our court appointment.  Rob and I, one other couple, and a mom and her niece joined us.  Nerves were high.  We walked into the waiting room and waited (and waited) for our agency's representative to show up.  The room was crowded.  We saw other couples that we had met on the plane.  We waited.  And we waited.

And finally we were called into a small room,  all 6 of us,  and the 2 representatives from our agency.  The judge was young and lovely.  Her English was impressive.  She asked us simple questions...
  • Have you met your child?
  • Do you still want to adopt her?
  • Do you have children at home?
  • Have you started to prepare them for the adoption?
  • Will you teach your child about their Ethiopian history and culture? 
And then,  looking up from her papers she said something like, "Everything is in order.  Your adoptions are approved.  In the eyes of the Ethiopian government, you are parents,  forever.  Congratulations!"

And I whipped my head around, shocked.  I expected for a few days to pass before we passed court.  I very nearly said, "Really???"  Instead,  I walked into the hallway,  and cried like a baby.

We rushed back to the guest house to change and pick up our other families,  then rushed over to the care center to be with our daughter.  We were so excited to spend the day with her and her friends.

What a day we had.  The kids and nannies sang songs.  We looked at Sitota's photo album a bunch.  That night I wrote, "It is 5 pm,  we are home from another wonderful day with Sitota.  She's got the best little voice,  loves "trot trot to Boston,"  water bottles, spicy Ethiopian food, and she's getting used to us."

We started signing "more" with her, and she picked it up quickly.  She watched our hands carefully as we signed please, more, eat, cookie, and water.  She knew something was going on.

Rob played soccer with the older boys in the courtyard.  Oh, those boys.  Eyes that melt you,  and arms that hold you tight when they come in for a hug.  "I love you, Mom.  Thank you,  thank you."  They are charming and fun. Rob and I loved the way they hammed it up for the camera.  Everyone's at a different stage of processing,  so we can't share the photos.

When it was time for us to leave for the evening, I asked the director to explain to Sitota that we were leaving, but we would be back tomorrow.  She looked right in my eyes with a sad little face and said "nay."  Which means, "come,"  and she wrapped her arms around my neck.

And then I died.

Such an incredible gift from my sweet girl.  It was humbling to see how joyful the director was at Sitota's response.  She was so glad to see a bond forming.  No where near as glad as I was,  but there was serious joy in her eyes.

My joy was quickly curbed when I walked through the door and saw one of my friends trying to compose herself after saying goodbye to her infant daughter.

My heart fell...  I pushed down my instinct to wrap my arms around her,  and let her be.  Then I decided distraction was the only course of action,  and I put my (figurative) inappropriate pants on.  As she climbed into the van, I sassily announced that I would be as mean as I could to her,  because the last thing I would want in those shoes,  would be kindness and compassion.  Then I might have called her ugly.

I don't think I really did.  Because she's gorgeous.  But I did start a round of poop jokes, and tried to keep the conversation going.  We split for dinner, and then gathered in the lobby chatting and laughing and whatever until it was time for them to pack up.

While we were sitting there laughing and bonding,  we went over everyone's schedule.  It was Tuesday night.  More people would leave on Wednesday night.  Then more on Thursday night... until Rob and I were the only ones left.  Suddenly, I began to panic- overcome with fear...

How would I survive leaving Sitota without this "therapy" session?

No comments: