It may sound a bit crazy, but we had a "plan" for when we received the call from our agency. It was all about logistics...how we would connect, where we would meet, what the kids would do while we learned all the details about their baby sister. The waiting time allows for one to make all sorts of plans and imagine every sort of scenario, but in keeping with "the theme" thus far, when we think we have it figured out or even a loose plan in place, we are reminded that we are not in control.
On the first weekend of August we went to the family cabin in Idaho with all of the extended family. Days and nights were spent flyfishing, hiking, roasting marshmallows, relaxing, etc. It was nice to get away because we had gotten to the point of playing weird mind games with ourselves about when the referral call would be. We were on the low end of the average wait time so we knew it could be soon.
On Friday afternoon, a group of us had been floating the river and were walking back to the car. Kim had taken our oldest son back to the cabin, but I noticed her car coming up the dirt road. As she stopped, I began to open the door to load the car, but she struggled to say, "We missed a call". I quickly looked at her and couldn't see her eyes behind her big sunglasses, but her chin was quivering with emotion. This was it! We sent the boys back to the cabin with their cousins and promised we wouldn't be long. It was 3:30 MST, so 4:30 Central Time and we had to drive into town to get a reliable cell signal as well as a wi-fi signal. The thought of Gladney closing for the day and waiting through the weekend was not appealing in the least. We called Sara (our caseworker) and although we had a difficult time getting the words out, we let her know that we would quickly call back once we found a strong signal.
The Ashton, Idaho Public Library was the spot. It was great, we would be able to get a private study room, or maybe a conference room where we could set up the laptop and get on the call---no such luck. The best option turned out to be the floor of the lobby where there was no one to disturb. So there we were, sitting on the floor in the entrance of the library, in wet swimsuits, on speakerphone, with tears in our eyes. As we had heard, described by others, the moment was truly surreal--seeing pictures and learning about our daughter for the first time after the many, many months of waiting. Pure joy. She is a beautiful baby girl--full of smiles!
Taking advantage of cell service, Kim started a quick round of calls to family and friends to share the long anticipated news. We knew our boys were anxiously awaiting our return, so after a couple of photos to document the moment, we drove back to the cabin. It was so sweet to watch them look through the pictures and bombard us with questions. They have been quite patient throughout the process.
We both felt a peace and a feeling of contentment that has continued for the last few weeks since we received our referral. We also know that the time ahead will become more and more difficult as we long to have her home with us, but we know whom we are waiting for and it feels more real.
So back to the idea of planning? Oh how we would love to plan our court date, embassy date, and corresponding trips, but we know how these things work now...
Ashton Public Library
Our place on the floor!
The boys seeing their little sis