As my daughter's 10th birthday approaches, I can't help but think, "What was I doing ten years ago?" Anxiously waiting for a curly-haired hurricane to make landfall, that's what.
In the summer of 2004, my husband and I started filling out adoption paperwork. We would fill out a pile and then mail it off to the agency. Then they would send us a new pile, and so on it would go. We had to have criminal background checks and physical exams. Once we were done filling out paperwork, we had to wait for a spot in the pool. The agency with which we worked only accepted a certain number of waiting families into its active pool of applicants. They have a rough idea of how many placements they do each year, so I guess there is no point in accepting applications from a gazillion couples/families at a time.
By early 2005, we were done filling out paperwork and were accepted into the pool. We were elated! The next step was to create a scrapbook about our lives. That endeavor was more of an "I" than a "we." My guy doesn't really know his way around a glue stick. We were required to take three copies of the book to the adoption agency. We also had several interviews with social workers, but I can't remember if the interviews happened before or after we were accepted into the pool. A social worker also came to our home to inspect it. I was so nervous. I was afraid the dogs would be obnoxious (Lucy and Karl were still alive at that time) or that I had created the fire escape map incorrectly or that the smoke detectors weren't situated properly. We passed, though. Whew!
In early February of 2005, the social worker let me know that a young pregnant woman had seen our profile and wanted to meet us. I thought I might fall over when I got the news. A few days after the meeting (which I have detailed in other blog entries), I got the call from the social worker: we had been selected. The call didn't come exactly on my 35th birthday, but it was close. I've gotten some good birthday gifts in my life, but this one sure stands out.
And so it was that ten years ago, in the spring of 2005, I was busily preparing for a baby. The kiddo was due April 26th. I painted the nursery. I sanded and painted a dresser. I read books about babies and adoption. I shopped like no one has ever shopped. My mom got her sewing machine ready and started churning out baby stuff. We didn't know the baby's sex, so we had to stay neutral. J (my daughter's birthmom) had had an ultrasound, but the baby was "too active" for a doctor to attempt to determine whether there was a penis or a vagina in there.
As April 26th drew closer, I felt like I had a constant knot in my stomach. I remember sitting in church, staring at my silenced phone just in case I missed a call. I had heard that babies prefer not to show up on their actual due dates, so I didn't want to risk missing the call. I wasn't sure how things would go once we got to the hospital. Would we be welcome? Would we be in the way? We didn't want to make any assumptions.
The baby was a week late. I've written about her birth many times so I won't recount it here. It's just an odd feeling to think back on all of it. It's hard to believe that ten years have passed. What did P and I do with ourselves before she was born? What did we do with our time and our money? Were we rich? We can't seem to remember.
This evening I was cleaning out the silverware drawer and found one of my daughter's toddler spoons. It made me a little verklempt. :::sniffle sniffle:::
She asked me to buy her some deodorant at the store today. She was looking longingly at the bra tops at Old Navy last week. She's currently reading "Are you there, God? It's Me, Margaret." She has boy troubles already.
Me not ready!