Thursday, March 4, 2010

And Then Everything Changed...

So, I thought that the thing I was super stressed about was that her room wasn't painted.

But then three nights ago Mick finished painting, and then thing I was so stressed about became that I needed to put all her stuff in drawers and on shelves and on hangers.  And so I had a mini-meltdown and called some friends in to help me with that.

And then I realized that the thing I was really stressed about was that I haven't started packing...

So you can see that really I wasn't stressed about ANY of those things.  They were just convenient and immediate situations for me to fixate upon and blame.  Obviously the thing I was really stressed about is, oh, I dunno, maybe that we are about to travel to Africa as a family of 4 and come back a family of 5.  Do you think maybe that was really it???  Yeah.  I think that was it.

But for the past few weeks whenever I would think about the adoption I would just feel numb.  Really.  Nothing.  Painting her room didn't feel sweet; it felt like something that had to be done and checked off the list.  Hanging her adorable clothes (and boy, does she have some adorable clothes!!!) didn't feel precious; it felt like one more task I had to do in a series of never ending tasks.  I felt like a robot- going through the motions of life, but never tapping into the reality of what was going on around me.  And the moments I would let the reality in for a bit, I would just FALL APART and start bawling.  So it was safer to just stay in the numb.

People would ask me how many days we had until we traveled and when I would answer I would literally burst out laughing at how ridiculous it sounded.  "Really?"  I would think.  "Really?  We are leaving in 10 days?  9 days?"  It just sounded so fake to me.  The whole thing felt surreal.  Just absolutely not real AT ALL.  I would sometimes just sit in wonder that I had gone to all the trouble to fill out all that paperwork and do my homestudy and get fingerprinted and wait all that time... because it just did NOT seem like we were really going to travel to Africa and bring a little girl named Abeba into our family.  NOT. AT. ALL.

But today all that changed.

Today I got my last update from Gladney.  It included pictures of Lilah Abeba looking at the last letter we sent to her which also included a picture of our family.  And for the first time ever SHE'S SMILING!!!!!  She's smiling and pointing at our picture!!!  And, even better than that, the update said that she was very animated and happy while they were reading the letter to her and that she kept pointing at the letter and saying, "Mamma Abeba".  OH.  I could just die.

She knows us!
She knows she has a Mommy and a Daddy and 2 brothers!
She knows we are coming for her!
She's happy about it!
AND SHE CALLS ME MAMMA!!!!!!

And just like that... everything was different!  It was as if I was brought back to life!  It all became REAL again!!!  And exciting!!!  So very exciting.

Through no one's fault I never got pictures of our package being delivered to her.  I had no proof that she even really received it.  I had no way of knowing if she had ever looked through our picture book and seen her new family.  So to see these pictures today... and to see her SMILING for the first time over looking at our letter and picture, and to know that she called me Mamma...

Oh, yes, baby girl.  I AM your mamma.  And I am coming for you.  And I am going to do my very best to be the kind of mamma you need me to be every single day of your life.

Because you are my girl.

And I'll be on my way to you in just 7 days.





22 comments:

neely said...

such a sweet smile!! congrats momma!

Anonymous said...

So sweet to see her smiling! You are her MAMMA!!!!
Safe travel to your family!!

Robyn said...

What a beautiful smile! Happy travels!

Kimberlie said...

You are her MAMA! I tell you what, I am such a mush-pot when I read these updates. You are always making me cry. And laugh. You know that checklist thing? Yeah, we did that with #1. Only it was we were in China for the first time in our lives, we were visiting places like the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, etc. Places I NEVER in a million years would have dreamed of seeing. And all we could do was, "OK, Great Wall today, yeah, check, Forbidden City and Tianamen, yeah, yeah, check, check." I am going to have to go back so I can actually appreciate those amazing places because all I kept thinking was, "three more days and I will have my boy in my arms!"

I would say, "Enjoy the process" but who are we kidding? You just want to get there and scoop her up in your arms!

Calmil2 said...

Oh my goodness...those pictures are priceless...so incredibly sweet that she is smiling at your picture!!

The Mrs. said...

So precious! I have tears in my eyes- can't wait to see many more of those sweet smiles!

Angela said...

Oh, Gayla, this is so wonderful. I'm crying, once again! Can't wait until she's home in your arms!

Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

I have tears in my eyes! What an awesome post! What a beautiful smile. Good luck with all of your final preparations.

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful thing. I just LOVE those photos...as I'm sure you cherish them! She will be in your arms in just days now...an amazing thing. I am equally as emotional and stressed and anxious about the changes that will take place in our lives in only a couple short weeks. It's hard to contain the emotion most days...I get it.

Mark and Heidi said...

Well, now you've snapped me out of my numb too! Those pictures are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! How great to finally see her smiling as she looks at YOU and calls you MAMMA??? Such a perfect last update and I predict lots and lots of smiles in your future. Hang in there, girl. You're almost there and it's going to so worth all of it! XOXOX, Heidi

A Real Good Friend said...

The smile you see on her face, is Hope. She has hope. She knows she has you and that you want her. You have given her hope. I love you, Gayla.

Michael and Katie said...

The pictures are precious. She looks so happy and hopeful. I can’t wait to see pics of her in your arms, forever. I am so thrilled for you that you had the joy of receiving these as your last update.

Belleme said...

Ok totally crying right now!! I'm so happy for you and Abeba! The smiling pictures are precious! Can't wait to read about your trip and your transition to a family of 5!

Brooke said...

Oh my goodness, Gayla, I am crying (and I never cry). Lilah Abeba is beautiful. What precious photos to have.

Sohailah said...

and i can't stop crying... oh precious little baby girl

Heidi Jo said...

speechless.

God speed.

Jenny said...

Oh I am SOOO happy for you guys! she is BEAUTIFUL!

Eryn said...

Oh, my WORD. I love that! Those pics zapped a little bit of my numbness too. i think we all have our numb-this isn't really real kind of days. It's either that or cry my face off, and well that just doesn't go so well for the fam. LOl!

So excited for you Mama Abeba!

Wes and Layla said...

I'm so happy you've seen her smile that I actually have tears in my eyes! Your family is in our prayers! :)

Lisa said...

That smile is priceless!! I'm so glad you finally got to see her smile and it's because she is looking at her family :)

Gail said...

Yay for smiles! So sweet and truly amazing!

Can't wait to meet you in 7 days!

Adrienne said...

I am so squealy! (Is that a word?!) Will you blog from Africa?! I am so excited for your 3 continent family to be together on one! Prayers for you and the trip ahead...btw, packing is overrated...wait til the night before...just kidding! So excited for you! xoxox

Selam! G'day! Hello!