9 August 2011
After church on Sunday, Pup and I drove down to GA to meet with AB for our 6 month visit. Lucky for me, Pup slept most of the way and traveled very
well. He's such a good baby!
Always looking to save money where possible, I had booked us in a cheapy motel. It was only for one night--how bad could it be, right? Bwahahahaha!
When checking in, I asked for a non-smoking room on the first floor. I also requested a baby bed or crib. No problem. Room 116 in the back, first floor. As I drove around to the back of the building, I noticed first that the room was on the corner, so no neighbors on one side at least. Very nice. When I opened the door (which had a no-smoking placard on it) wafts of stale smoke smell undulated over me and Pup. Ug.
I dropped the diaper bag on the floor, tossed Pup on the bed, and heaved my overnight bag (half-full of empty bottles) onto the table. Then I burst into a fit of ironic giggles. I'd shoved this (see photo below) out of the way of the suitcase!
A few minutes later the "host" from the front desk knocked. He rattled on about another guest with a similar surname and city name who had also requested a crib. "But, that is not you, right? Just to be clear: I need to get two cribs, right?" Uh, yeah. Seems that way.
Before long there was another knock at the door and he was back (with a man who could have been his father?) with a collapsible crib from, oh, say, 7 decades ago? It was fully assembled, with two adult pillows, two full-size sheets and a full-size mattress pad (which he referred to as a blanket) heaped inside. After they had left, I stared at the crib with it's fold-down legs all askew and it's generally rickety appearance, wondering whether it would withstand the 21.5 lbs of baby I would place within it in a few hours.
After feeding Pup, we went to Olive Garden for soup, salad and breadsticks. We were seated with older couples all around us. Which could have spelled disaster. But actually proved to be entertaining--for all of us! Pup got his accustomed level of attention and the other customers were delighted with his cuteness. :) Before we left, I asked for a little sumthin-sumthin for later and we headed back to our humble abode away from home for the night.
After Pup went to sleep, I watched plenty of Food Network and HGTV (we don't have cable at home), painted my toenails (boy did they need it!) and consumed my little bit of luxury.
Next morning, Pup and I had a leisurely waking period from 6-9. After checking out, we headed to the mall where we were to meet AB and our social worker. Fortunately, I found a little play area to hang out in because AB brought her daughter (M, Pup's half-sister) along this time. It was the first time I had met M and I was very pleased for the opportunity.
M turned two in March. She is full of life and energy and is a happy little girl. She seems older than two as she is big, articulate, and socially mature. I would have pegged her as a pre-schooler had I not known better. She was comfortable with me and let me hold her and talk to her right away. Like most toddlers, she was enthralled with the baby and gave him lots of hugs and kisses.
AB and I chatted about mundane things while she held and played with Pup. M had a great time playing independently, especially on the tiny slide. The only problem was that she was wearing a sweet dress and her little legs kept sticking to the slide!
After a while, we headed to the food court for lunch. After we’d eaten, our social worker slipped away for a moment. I had prayed before our last meeting and felt like God spoke to me that AB might be afraid that she was a disappointment to me/us/Pup. I couldn’t work it into the conversation last time, but when I prayed about this meeting, the same word “disappointment” came up. So, I felt I should address it. When we were alone together (with the kids), it seemed like a good moment. So, I leaned toward AB and asked, “Can I go deep with you for just one moment?” She looked nervous, but gave me the go-ahead. I asked whether she was afraid that she was or would disappoint us. She said, “Yeah, I guess, a little” in a way that told me it was really more than just a little. So, I took the opportunity to pour love and acceptance on her. I told her that she is not at all a disappointment to me! That I love her, that she is a shining, beautiful delight to me. I affirmed that she is the redeemed of the Lord, precious to Him, clothed by Him in a queenly robe—and that if He sees her that way, who am I to disagree? J I told her that no matter what she does, her behavior and choices don’t define her—Jesus does. And I agree with Him—she is utterly a delight to me and I am so glad she is part of my life.
She cried a bit and didn’t have much to say in response. Which I anticipated. The kids made an easy transition from the deep back to our normal surface level. I plan to write out my feelings about this for her to keep. Partly, because I express myself so much better in writing and partly because I want her to have it written down, in black and white, where she can read it and believe it whenever she wants or needs to.
The social worker returned and it was time to say good-bye. Pup got lots more cuddles and kisses from AB and M. AB and I shared a good, life-giving embrace. And we went off our separate ways. Good-byes are always hard. This one was made a little easier because I was glad I had said what I wanted to say and had imparted my heart and my love to AB—and I even got to love a little on M. But, it’ll be winter before we meet again. Pup will be tottering around probably. It’s sorrowful to think of all AB is missing in his life. But, I’m so glad that she’s not missing it all, that she’s choosing to stay connected. And, I hope that as she believes in my love and opinion of her that she will begin to open her heart more and more in return.
Talk To Me
Round Two Timeline
- 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
- 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
- 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
- 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
- 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
- 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
- 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
- 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
- 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
- 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
- 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
- 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
- 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
- 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
- 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
- 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
- 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
- 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
- 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
- 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
- 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
- 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
- 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
- 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
- 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued