Monday, August 9, 2004

We have a baby for you...

Since I am writing this retrospectively, it will be in past tense. However, for chronological reading of the blog, I am having it post against the day the events actually occurred, August 9, 2004. Ever since that day, my life has never been the same.

And to really understand my mind set on that August day, I need to step back even a few more days. Lets start with August 5. It was a Thursday, the day that I had my regular calls with my adoption agency. I was in the "waiting" stage where there was nothing further that I could do and waiting is not something I do very well. So as I spoke with Bridgette at EAC, I just kind of dropped a comment about the fact that I had a major milestone facing me the next day: my 40th b-day. Even though I don't celebrate my birthday, it was still a huge milestone and I thought it would be great to mark that milestone with a referral.

Bridgette laughed at me and encouraged me to be patient. She indicated that I really hadn't been waiting long (only since Memorial Day weekend, so about 2 months) and that they were telling folks that it was leaning more towards a 4 month wait for the referrals to come in.

Friday came along and Leslie and I had tickets to see Prince. We were in pretty much the last row of the upper deck of Toyota Center, but you can hear just as well from there. I did spend a lot of time that day thinking that it was the last birthday I would spend as a family of 1. The rest of the weekend was a blur.

But come Monday morning, August 9, I was due to go on a business trip to our office in Chicago. I was planning on being up there for the week, and my very generous co-workers had coordinated to have a shower for me while I was there. I dreaded the conversations that I knew would occur: "Have you heard anything yet?", "Any idea how much longer?" and the like.

I boarded the plane and promptly fell asleep, even before the plane took off. About half way to Chicago, I bolted awake. I don't believe in premonitions or the such, but I can tell you that at that moment, I KNEW I was going to get a call with my referral that day. After a few moments, I began seriously chastising myself for allowing myself to even contemplate this. Afterall, just four days earlier I had been lead to believe that it would be about 2 more months before that would happen. The rest of the flight passed without event.

The office is about 20 minutes away from the airport. I believe I stopped and picked up some lunch and was just settling in at my desk when my cell phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and realized that EAC was trying to contact me. I grabbed my cell phone and ran outside to answer it. Sure enough, it was the Referral Department at EAC. She informed me that they had a referral and at first she said it was a girl...I about fell over. I hadn't specified a gender, but based on the way that Russian Adoption works, I fully expected to receive a referral of a baby boy. She quickly corrected herself and told me that is was a boy. She rattled off a bunch of information to me.

She was very cagey about the age, just saying that he was a little older than a year. At this news, my heart sank. I really was hoping to get the referral of an infant, not a toddler. But I tried to keep an open mind and as she went on, I realized she was building up to something. Turns out, guess what? He turned 1 year old on the exact date that I turned 40. That kind of changed everything for me, my heart began to melt. She promised to email me a photo and fedex a video and file.

Here is the picture I received:It was like looking at a baby picture of my nephews. And those eyes, how could I not fall in love. Now all the research I had done told me not to get attached to the referral and not to fall in love with a photo. And I tried, I really did.

Of course, I had to call Leslie immediately and forward the photo to her with the promise under threat of death that she would tell NO ONE.

I had always felt that when I got my referral, I wasn't going to tell anyone until I had accepted. But now, here I am in Chicago with all of my family. Could all of this really be happening all around me and I not tell them? I didn't have it in me. As soon as I got to my parents that night, and everyone came for dinner, I spilled the beans. Check a coming post dated August 10 or August 11 with highlights of how the rest of the week panned out.

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