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.