On day three my stomach was in knots as we headed to the baby home. We were very understanding that she was not feeling well, and we also understood that the point of the trip was to officially accept the referral, and we felt more than able to do so. Mission accomplished. But still… we so wished to be able to spend as much time as possible with her, and our week was coming to a close soon.
I had nervously packed that morning some goodies from home, including the bonnet that Ava and I had excitedly made for her weeks before. I also brought the linen ring sling that I bought from a friend for Henry, also used for Eli, had loaned to a friend after her adoption, and now would be carrying in hope to the baby home that I could rock my sweet girl in it’s well-loved, happy memory ju-ju. I added the blanket that Henry had selected for her the week prior and a sweater that we picked up in a baby boutique just a few miles from her home and I paced the floor, preparing myself to not be able to see her, much less dress her and carry her around.
On the drive over our translator asked “Stephanie… could you maybe… cry? On command?” and we laughed but obviously we all knew that crying is my forte.
When we arrived, our plans were thankfully unnecessary because baby love was feeling SO much better and we almost didn’t recognize the baby they brought to our arms! She was SO HAPPY and smiling. As they handed her to me they said “Here is mama!” and she repeated “mama mama mammmmmaaaaaa” and I melted. I don’t care that it was not an intentional “hey, mama!” I will take it, especially because she still had a million smiles for daddy and some questionable side eye for momma…haha 🙂
There in the basement visitation room, (and with permission) I peeled off the clothes she was dressed in and slipped on the clothes of a daughter. I tied on her little bonnet and slipped her into the sling and off we went… outdoors.
When we stepped outside, it hit me that she had never been out of her home. She was both intrigued and also quickly over whelmed. So was I, which surprised me. I stood in the courtyard, with my tiniest and newest baby in my arms, and all of those tears that I had joked about earlier spilled out. I couldn’t believe the love we felt for her. I couldn’t believe how unmistakably perfect she is. I couldn’t believe that WE get to be her forever family. It was an incredibly special morning for the three of us, and we made so many sweet memories and captured so many pictures.
Wednesday was our first two hour visit, and I have never enjoyed 120 minutes in such a profound way. It was okay that we were not able to have the afternoon visit again this day. It was okay that we had only had an hour prior to this day. It was okay that four years of “no” had arrived at this yes. All that mattered this day and the days to come is the deep brown eyes taking in the sneak peek of her new world.
God is so good.