The Very Best Day

I’m laughing already as I write this, because I can’t think of another time that we shared two posts in one day.  Not only that, but they are going to be about as night and day different as possible.

Here’s what happened on The Very Best Day.

I had literally just posted this post from this morning.  I was feeling kind of down in the dumps, as it wasn’t the most uplifting post in the world.  But, hey.  We try to keep it real up in here.

I was rereading the post for typos when my phone rang.  But it wasn’t my usual, happy, musical ringtone – it was the one that sounds like a cross between an alarm clock and an old timey telephone – the one that only goes off when our agency director calls.  Immediately, I felt the same feeling I always feel when Victoria calls … like someone just doused me with a bucket of ice water.  She has called with good news many times, but my internal first response system has apparently not recovered from the one time she called long ago with very bad news, and so I am always terrified when I hear that ringtone.  I answered, tentatively.

“How are you doing today?” Victoria answered, cheerfully and with her fabulous Ukrainian accent.

“Um … you tell me.”

“Are you packed yet?”

“Am I … what?  Packed?  Um, yes.  Mostly … why?”  I was scared to think that she might be saying what I thought she was saying.

“Well, that’s good!  I have great news for you and Alex!  Your court date has been scheduled for January 9th!”

**True Story: I have no idea what I said at this point.  I know I got up and began pacing around the room and fanning myself with my hands, and I blubbered something to Victoria about how it was possible I might pass out.  Victoria, to her credit, is not fazed by such things.  Skill of the trade, I suppose.**

Eventually I managed to choke out the words, “So, when do we leave?!?!”

“Whenever you want!”

At this point, I determined that this was the sign that I was definitely dreaming.  I have dreamed of this moment more times than I can count.  Victoria and I have had this imaginary conversation before.  This had to be the tell.  “Whenever you want” are words that do not accompany an adoption vernacular.  Nothing in adoption happens “whenever you want”.

I laughed out loud.

“Whenever we want?  Seriously.  When do we go?”

“Your bonding period has been set for two weeks, but you can come anytime between now and your court date – as long as you are there for at least two weeks.”

” … so … really, whenever we want?  We can go whenever we want?!?!?”

Victoria had to explain things a couple more times before it started to sink in.  There is nothing, nothing sweeter in all of high heaven that you could say to a control freak in the end stages of adoption than the fact that something gets to happen however she wants it to.  I had pretty much forgotten what it felt like to have control over the most important aspects of my life.  For the last year, everything has just happened to me.

Whenever you want.

I let the words wash over me again and again as Victoria and I talked through some details (read: Victoria talked and I blubbered and babbled incoherently).

“Now go tell Alex!” She instructed me, and I hung up the phone.

As is always the case when we get big time adoption news, I danced awkwardly in place as I started in first one direction, then the other, not sure what to do first.  I had decided recently that if the news came directly to me and not Alex, I would drive out to his work to surprise him with the news in person in some fun way.  I equated it to wives who find out that they are pregnant sharing the news with their husbands.  There aren’t many moments like that in adoption, so I wanted to savor this one.

Alex was a half hour’s drive away, however, and I still had to shower, get ready, and go to the store for the unidentified announcement gift for Alex.  I had to tell someone, so I called my Mom and continued my babbling to her (on speakerphone, mind you) while I raced around the house in a frantic mess, raking a brush through my un-styled hair, yanking on boots and probably terrifying the dogs.

Somehow I made it to Target.  I had absolutely no idea what I was looking for, and scurried around the whole store many times before I was able to actually search coherently.  I realized a few times that I was either laughing or crying out loud, and probably terrified still more of the individuals around me who saw me in my crazed, Target rampage.  If only they knew.

I found myself in the baby clothes (though I don’t remember how I got there), and was struck with the idea that it would be insanely adorable to pick out some Christmas pajamas for Baby W and give them to Alex to share the news.  BECAUSE WE WILL ACTUALLY GET TO USE THEM.  I found a set of melt-your-heart cute Christmas pjs and ran to the gift section to grab a Christmas gift bag and pretty tissue paper (I don’t think I have ever bought a gift bag, but if there was ever an occasion to splurge …).  I even found a card written for families waiting in adoption – they make those?!? – and was out the door.

I put the gift together in the parking lot, and wrote a message in the card.  I knew we’d keep it forever.

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My mother instructed me to not drive like a crazy person on the half hour drive, but I don’t know for sure that is what happened.  I barely remember it.  I know I listened to Christmas music super loud and alternated between laughing and crying, as is my custom.

I parked by Alex’s car, and texted him.

Meet me by Juanita.

(Juanita is the name of our car, obviously.)

I was thankful that he didn’t ask questions, and appeared at the door of the office almost instantly.  He was confused, but I told him that I had an early Christmas present for him, and handed him the bag.

He pulled out the Christmas pajama set, and I gave him the card before he could ask too many questions.  I knew that would remove all doubt.

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The next couple hours were a haze of celebrations and sharing our news and making plans.  We called Alex’s mom to tell her (his dad was especially happy – he has been abstaining from Pepsi until we got our travel dates), texted our other family members and our close friends, and went out to lunch to celebrate.  Over Chinese food, we pulled up the calendar and started planning out departure dates, because maybe I didn’t mention that WE CAN GO WHENEVER WE WANT.  We’re aiming to leave on the 15th!!!

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When we got back to Alex’s office, we walked around celebrating with his co-workers.  It was especially fun to tell those in HR who have been incredibly patient with the fact that we’ve been “leaving any day now” for the past six months.  Bless their hearts.

It seems very appropriate that today feels a lot like our adoption announcement day, over a year ago.  It has been filled with a non-stop stream of texts, phone calls, and Facebook messages of encouragement and congratulations.  In some ways, it feels like that was just yesterday.  In other ways, it feels like it was years ago.

What a journey.

Just yesterday, we sent out a plea for prayer that we could spend Christmas in Poland.  I know from the feedback we received that TONS of you were praying – alone, with your spouse, with your family, with your small group or Bible study.  And here we are, less than 24 hours later, with an answer.

YES.

Baby boy, we’re on our way.  You don’t know it yet, but you’re getting a family for Christmas.

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