Friday, December 4, 2009

Here's how it went down...

So. Yesterday I was at work at my fantastic-totally-provided-by-God-to-help-pay-for-our-adoption job as a curriculum coach at Glenpool Elementary where I was helping some 4th grade teachers with some fluency testing. I had slipped my iPhone into my pocket (on silent), even saying to myself, "Sara is NOT going to call today, but just in case..." At around 11am, right when I had a boy in the middle of a 1 minute timed read, I heard my phone beep signaling that I had a message. I let the boy finish his read and then I slipped the phone out of my pocket to see who had called just in case. IT WAS AN (817) NUMBER!!! That's Ft. Worth which means THAT'S GLADNEY!!! I totally started shaking. I told the boy that he did a great job, but his teacher was going to have to finish up with him, sent him back into class and stuck my head into the classroom. The sweet teacher could tell there was something wrong with me and came quickly to the door. "I think I just got the call... my adoption call... my referral call..." At this point I was crying and she was telling me to "Go! Go!" and I was telling her that I didn't finish testing that boy nor did I record his scores but there they were and she could record them and she just kept saying, "Go! Go!" So... I started running through the halls. I stopped long enough to tell my friend Edna that I had gotten the call and that I was leaving and for her to tell the Principal that I was gone and who knows what else I said. I was completely bananas AND I HADN'T EVEN LISTENED TO SARA'S MESSAGE YET!!! So... I finally got into my little office, listened to the message I had been waiting for for 4 months 3 weeks and 2 days, quickly called her back to say that I was so excited and that Mick and I would meet at home within the hour and call her back. I grabbed my purse and my coat and RAN to my car, dialing Mick as I ran. He later described my call to him as "hysterical" and not in the "ha ha I get such a kick out of my wife" sense. ;-) I was shaking so much so I thought the best thing I could do would be to distract myself further and make a bunch of calls while I was driving. (I know, I know. You don't have to tell me.) I called my "team." My essentials. My peeps. The ones I would not make it through this life without. And if I didn't call them directly I instructed them to call each other. So thankful for these people. Andrea (one of my essentials) had agreed to come over and take pictures of the event and funnily enough we had just talked that morning about how I needed to make sure I was wearing waterproof mascara on the day of the call b/c she wasn't photoshopping my streaky eyes for me. ;-)

(BTW... I know this is long and you totally don't have to read all this. I'm writing it down so that I remember every detail and can someday share this story with my girl. :-)

So. I arrived at home to find my house in complete shambles! 2 baskets of unfolded laundry in the living room, the boxes where we store the Christmas decorations had not been put away, breakfast dishes all over the kitchen, boy's toys and craft materials strew about everywhere... a real mess. I was in such a manic state I literally RAN all over my house cleaning it and shoving the Christmas boxes and laundry where they would not be seen. I seriously looked around my house 1/2 an hour later and was amazed to discover that I had completely cleaned the living room, dining room and kitchen. Then Mick arrived, then Andrea arrived and being the artistic person that she is she completely re-arranged my dining room so that we could sit at the table but use the natural light from the kitchen to light the photos.




I think you will agree, she did a great job! There are lots more great pix, but since I am doing the ugly cry in most of them, we'll spare the internet and just save those for the scrapbook. You are welcome.

It was an amazing, moving, exciting, life changing experience. And at the same time it felt completely surreal. The most beautiful moment was after the call while Mick and I were getting ready to go eat lunch and I pointed at the sweet face on our computer screen that we had been learning about for the last 1/2 hour or so, the face that belonged to our new daughter- I pointed at that face and said, "Mick- what do you think about all this?" And Mick, never the person most prone to verbosity, said with big tears in his eyes, "I think... I think she looks like she's ours."

And that's when I melted into a puddle on the floor and literally had to be mopped up and squeezed into a bucket.

I told him that was the most wonderful thing he had ever said. And we just held each other.

But then he was hungry and so we went to lunch. I am not lying when I tell you that ALL DAY from the moment I looked at my phone and saw that area code I was completely manic. I was bananas! It was like I was drunk!!! We went to lunch at Hideaway and got the yummy chicken florentine pizza... and at one point while I was chewing Mick said, "This is really good!" I thought for a moment about the food in my mouth and replied, "I honestly can't taste it."

After lunch I scurried to Walgreens to print out copies of the photos so that I could start showing off my little lovely. I was so bonkers that the photo dude must have thought I was an idiot. He practically had to punch every button for me. I then decided that I had just enough time to run to Kelly's house and show her my baby girl before I had to pick the kids up from school... but I was wrong and I was 15 minutes late picking them up which meant that although it was great and important that I got to show Kel, it was a big huge bummer that I missed the pick-up-on-the-playground crowd at school because I love those gals and I couldn't wait to show them my pics!!!! Never mind... I made up for it today by getting to school early and staying late. :-)

I had to go to the office to get my boys b/c that's where they take abandoned children whose irresponsible parents haven't picked them up from school and so after I finally got to them I pulled them aside and said, "Boys! Remember when we talked about how one day soon someone was going to call us with news about our baby (that's what they have been calling her for months now) and that they would send us pictures and we would know her name and all that? Well today was that day! And here is a picture of your new sister!!!" I showed them a photo and Jack took the picture in his hands, gasped and said, "Our sister!" Ben looked at the photo, then looked at me and said in a dead-pan voice, "Is she a boy?" ...and that pretty much sums up my children. :-)

The rest of the day was a blur as I just stared at those photos and read and re-read all her info. My parents came over to see the photos and we went out to dinner to celebrate... but again, I didn't really taste the food. And it was Thai! ;-)

Today I woke up and the first thing I saw were her photos which I had stuck around our bathroom mirror. ...And I just smiled.

18 comments:

Sparkz said...

So great to hear everything. I remember seeing our sons picture the next day and knowing it wasn't just a dream. I was on cloud 9 for months! Anyway congratulations! So happy for you!

Anonymous said...

I love it, love it, LOVE IT!!!
Jewel

Kimberlie said...

Gayla,
I am sobbing. Just sobbing reading your story. Paul and I have never had that experience of seeing our child for the first time after months of waiting for a referral. But we have experienced the wait for the official, "OK, you can adopt this child" that we needed from the agency and then from Ch*na. So I totally get that puddle of tears thing.

Enjoy the mountain top!!!
Blessings and hugs,

emily said...

Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing. She is gorgeous by the way. Haven't looked through pics, but will do soon.

So happy for you guys. :)

Jocelyn said...

Beautiful Gayla!! I am so happy for you!!

J Gutwein said...

Congratulations... it is a wonderful feeling! Love, J

Shawn said...

Great story! Congrats. It is really a surreal, and wonderful feeling!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your referral!!
This is anon from a few posts back. I was reading you referral story and crying all the way though until I got to the part when your son asked if she was a boy. Then I LAUGHED out loud! That is the same thing I thought when I first looked at my niece. HAHA!!

Jamey... said...

Beautiful story and well-documented.

Kristy -Mom To 6 Blessings said...

What a wonderful wonderful story! Congratulations on your referral! What an amazing time for your family.
Blessings,
Kristy

Anonymous said...

I am trying to see the screen here as I type through tears! What a beautiful story, Gayla! I am so happy for your entire family - your baby girl is beautiful!
Love, Tiffany L

Heidi Jo said...

what a wonderful account of one of the most amazing days of your life. hopefully many, many more joyous ones will follow. i am so happy for you whole family!

The Busters said...

I LOVED this post. Tears and laughter!! This will be so fun to share with your girl someday. Congrats!!!

Sohailah said...

I love this story! And, you will read it to her over and over - do you know it's the earliest memory I have? Me and my mom sitting on the couch with her reading me the story from my Baby Book about how we got Sohailah.

LOVE this for you!

Anonymous said...

WOW- what a story and so Gayla-esque!! I loved hearing every perfect detail. What a beautiful story that you will share with your sweet little girl one day. David and I are SO happy for you all. God's timing is perfect!! Can't wait to see her little face on this blog!!!

Love, David and Wendy

Jackie said...

Congratulations! So exciting!

Karenkool said...

Gayla, this was the most hilarious tear jerker ever!!! Love you. Love what's happening in your life and in your family!! yesssss!!!

Anonymous said...
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Selam! G'day! Hello!