Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Your crib

Dear Sam,

You now have a bed. Your dad did a great job of putting it together (after I found the hardware in a box in the closet and the instructions online) on Sunday night when we got home from Wisconsin. We have been waiting so long to put this crib together, and it had become a symbol of the fact that you're not here yet. It leaned against our main hallway for months before we moved it into the study (which will now become your nursery), where it has leaned against our bookshelves for another year or so. (Those books are staying there.)

Let me tell you about this crib. It belonged to our friends Jenny and Jon, who used it for their two kids, Grace and Nathan. They generously gave it to us when they heard we were adopting (along with lots of other stuff, clothes, etc.) Then they moved to California, and later learned they were pregnant again! Although I offered to try to get the crib back to them in California, apparently they has another person's they can borrow. Little Isabelle is due any day now. I hope you two get to play together a lot. Of course, that's hoping that they move back here someday.

Anyway, like I said, this crib had become this huge symbol of pain for us, so it was really meaningful to finally put it together. We promptly taped up the photo of you sleeping in your crib in Vietnam. We can't wait till you're here to sleep in it for real.

Love, Mom and Dad

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

REFERRAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Sam,

Here's how we learned about you for the first time: On Friday, May 16, I was working at home, preparing for my summer class. Your dad was at Marshall School, doing his student teaching. I had just taken a break to make some donations for the victims of the China earthquake, the storm in Myanmar and to Ethica, which advocates for ethical adoptions. Then your Auntie Amy called, and I broke down crying about how hard this wait has been and how we were losing hope that we would ever be parents. I even made her cry too!

But when I got off the phone and checked my email, there was one from about 9:30 in the morning from our adoption coordinator saying she needed to talk to me and Ed together. I was still crying and now started shaking, because I knew what that meant. I called her immediately and told her that Ed was at school but that I could go get him "if this was it." And she said, "You better go get him."

I called the school office and told them to get him out of class and to call home. When he called, I was blubbering so much, he could hardly understand what I was saying! He finished up some loose ends at school and headed home on his bike. We had plans to leave that afternoon to go visit your Grandma and Grandpa in Wisconsin (The "It's a boy!" sign greeted us when we arrived), so I figured I'd use the time to take a shower and blow dry my hair. Might as well look good for one of the most important days of my life!

Your dad came home and ate some strawberries and cottage cheese. Then we got the call and learned that you were a 7-month-old boy from Ho Chi Minh City. After talking to our adoption coordinator, we sat by the computer, waiting for all the information she sent us, including the first photos of you. I had been worried that I might not bond immediately with your photo, but you were absolutely adorable.

We called our families and shared the good news. Everyone was so excited, though we cautioned them about the one major step left, passing the investigation by the U.S. government for the I-600 approval.

Then we sat there, completely stunned. And to be honest, four days later, I'm still a little shell shocked. I never lost faith, but I was really starting to believe this might not happen. We have been told that your given name means "God" in French. I have to believe that God has been carrying us all--you included--through this whole process. We're praying that God continues to watch over you until we can meet you in person.

Love, Mom and Dad