Thursday, December 23, 2010

Referral-versary (December 23, 2009 / December 23, 2010)

(word borrowed from Gayla Friend Gower)

One year ago today we saw the lovely face of our daughter. Nothing could have prepared us for her beauty! We were taken aback by her lively eyes and her head full of hair. We laughed over her spunk and cried over how tiny she was.

We had gotten the call that there was a baby - a three month old little girl - on December 22, 2010. There were a couple of things to consider with her referral, so our caseworker gave us some information to read and wanted us to email her the next day to say whether or not we wanted to find out more about the little lady.

We got the emails with all of the information and spent the evening reading and pondering what we saw. We called a pediatrician and asked advice.

On Wednesday, December 23, 2009, we alerted our caseworker that we, indeed, wanted to pursue the referral of the little girl.

About 2pm in the afternoon, she called. I was at work, finishing the last minute details before our holiday break. Charlie was at his office doing the same. We coordinated our times; I went home. I got my laptop out and placed it on the kitchen counter. Kristin, the caseworker called, and conferenced Charlie in. She then sent a couple of emails thru at 2:36pm. I opened the first one right away and (of course) scrolled to the bottom to see the photos of our daughter, smiling, laughing, inviting me in to her life. Kristin was talking in the background - I am sure it was of importance, but I has skipped to the end - to the good part. When I saw her adorable face, I let out a gasp and starting crying immediately.

What a doll! In no way could I have been prepared for this moment. I was dizzy with excitement!

We went over the paperwork. I am sure, again, that Kristin was telling us important things, but all I could do was stare at her photos.

Kristin wanted us to think about the decision and get back to her. Charlie drove home, and we didn't really have to talk much about it! She was already ours. All the talking had been done the night before.

At 3:31 pm on December 23, 2009, I wrote:

After discussing the information we received, we are thrilled to officially accept the referral of Hayat! We look forward to proceeding with the next step!
Thank you for everything!

We are so excited and honored to become the parents are such a special little girl!

Little did we know how special she really was.

We thought that 2009 would be the best Christmas ever! The day before Christmas Eve we "met" our daughter. We placed photos in frames to give to our mothers as Christmas presents (we didn't tell them about the referral until they opened the gifts.)

Boy, were we wrong?! This Christmas we have this sassy little girl hunting for the Elf on the Shelf. We have a funny little daughter dancing every chance she gets. We have a doll who calls for "Mama" when she is sick in the night. We have a cutie who screams with terror when she sees Santa. We have a smart baby girl who "reads" to us with much expression and gusto.

Tonight we began the Christmas celebration with my mom, sister and niece. Zadie was gorgeous in her fancy dress. She laughed, dug in the gifts that weren't hers and played with the boxes that were. She eventually decided that she, indeed, loved the Weeble Playhouse from my sister and brother-in-law and then played with it. She also cried because she has had a tummy bug and is cutting those mean ole 12 month molars. But, she is special. She is smart and strong. She is lovely and loving. She is funny and fabulous!

One year ago today we fell truly, madly and deeply (thanks Sabrina) in love with a beautiful little girl from across the world. One year later, no one could have prepared us for the love that we have for her now.