6:45 AM

Match day went down like this...

Firstly totally not at all like I expected. But here is the play by play:

So match day was Tuesday, and Monday night I managed to sleep more than any other match day, because of 1. Vodka and 2. no hope of a match at all, but still did not sleep well at all. As Tuesday moved along I checked my email every half hour and kept my cell phone on me but by 12:30 I officially gave up and went out to lunch with the girls at work to help me get on with my day. I noted to them how this month was easier than it had ever been, I really was in a good, not happy, but fine place. After lunch I went to a few meetings and did some actual work (rare for me on a matchless day in the past), on my afternoon break at 3:00 I checked my hotmail account one more time, more to see if any of my other waiting mommies would be making an announcement and there it was. An email from my social worker that had arrived at 1:48 pm. It simply said, "Child Proposal, I got a package from FOI call me." I was (oddly enough) alone in my cubicle pod when I read the message and I gasped and I squeaked a bit but over all not as blubbery as predicted. I called Jeremy and told him first, he was very calm and told me to call the social worker, oh right, duh. I did not have her number. He did not have her number. About 10 minutes of frantic google and email archive searching finally produces her number. A co-worker returns to the pod and finds me acting odd, I tell her this is it (!) and make the call. Social worker's husband answers the phone, no she is not home, no he's not sure when I can reach her, no he does not have her cell phone number, try back in an hour. OMG
I excuse myself from work, shriek a little bit more, call my mom and BFF, pick Em up from daycare and rush home to call back.
I get her on the phone and she says all cool and calm, I have a child to propose, I ask her to come to the house ASAP to do the proposing (I thought that is how it had to go). She says, well just look at the file, think about it, talk to your doctor and call me back in a few days. "I am pretty sure we don't have that much time" I stammer. "No you have five days, not to worry" She replies. FYI we really only had until noon on Thursday. More confusion continues as she thinks I got the same email from FOI that she did at 8:04 AM, but I got nothing but that previously mentioned email from her. No calls or messages to the 7 other methods of contact I had sent her the week before either. ARG! Then she says, well she is a 15 month old girl. "15 months??? but how can that be? Ontario's 18 month rule will only allow us an 11 month old this month?" now I am really confused. She just says that it is nothing to worry about, yet I am still worried.
I get off the phone and check my email to find the file from FOI forwarded to me and the first thing I see is a cute face of a little girl and I think "gee, she is cute, but there is no way that I can have her." I had the same reaction that I have to countless other referral photos I have seen on blogs, RainbowKids, and other photo listings. So sweet, but not mine, wish she was, but she is not. I immediately email my social worker back and ask her to please triple check that there is truly no issue with her age. I am pretty sure there is, and I am not so confident in her judgment in this moment due to the 5 day comment from a few minutes ago. Although I am pretty positive this is not my child I follow through with the next step of the match plan, and email Dr. Janista to get a better understanding of her health. Surprisingly she calls me back to do the evaluation in under an hour, great! Except, I am home alone with a cranky toddler who is really acting up and will not eat unless I feed him, and only with the horsey spoon that is missing because he tossed it in the dog bed of all places while I was trying to take notes and listen to the Dr. Siiiiiigh. Any ways the results of the Dr's evaluation are all very positive, she is in very good health considering her living situation, she is hitting all milestones and is in the smack dab of the growth carts. Great I tell my self, but she is 15 months old. So she can not possibly be mine.
Meanwhile back on the forums, my cry out for help has brought me oodles of replies from others who have fought the 18 month rule and won. Gather your tiger mom courage and fight for your girl they tell me, you can do it! Well, I have no fight left in me, and I am not sure this is my girl. I am pretty sure no one is going to let me have her no matter what I think or feel about it. I think back to what another mom said that turning down a referral is not hard at all when you know that it simply was not possible to accept it. That is how I feel.
My husband finally arrives home and we review the file and the Dr's notes together. He has questions, he is quiet. I tell him that I am pretty sure despite what every one has told me so far, that Ontario will not allow this. He convinces me other wise, tells me to trust in the people who got us this far. So, slowly, ever so slowly we start to think this could really be it. I open her photo and we just stare at her, we zoom in on all the tiny details of her hair, eyes, toes... and we think okay lets just get some rest and then come to a decision in the morning. I check my email one last time only to find an alarming response to my question I posed my social worker earlier. Turns out when she did triple check for me, the exact wording of our child request in our home study combined with the fact that this child was outside the ministry guidelines was in fact a big problem. It is near midnight at this point, but I know that our agency takes calls at all hours near match time, so we called. Basically they thought we could get this through the ministry when they made the match for us because he thought we were with this other social worker who has an amazing track record for getting these waivers. No, I tell him, we have the social worker who did not send us the file until 5PM even though she got it at 8AM because she thinks we have 5 days to make this decision. This is her first special needs adoption. Well, the agency's tone went from that of calm-reassuring-of-crazed-new-parent-with-typical-jitters to that of serious concern. We quickly devised a plan. 1. Husband and I had to make our 100% commitment to this child by the crack of dawn. (we just lost another 30 hours of thinking time, making this decision in about 12 hours, of which usually 8.5 of them were typically reserved for sleeping) 2. Call social worker in the morning express our interest and encourage her to call FOI for coaching. 3. FOI coaches social worker, we have been told ultimately it is all in her hands, the power of her influence and argument are our only chance to get this approved. We love her, but these words do not fill us with confidence, AT ALL 4. Social worker makes the call and we need the go ahead before Thursday at noon, it is currently 11am on Wednesday. The timeline is another hurdle, have you ever got any thing from a government office in that time frame? Nope, we had not either, that is until this day... we got the approval at 3pm Wednesday. That's it she is ours.

She is ours? Really? For keeps? No jokes? I have a toddler??? And she is blonde???

And I have not slept in 2 days.

I looked at her photo again for the first time in 20 hours. Still not getting the "she's mine!" vibe. I feel badly about that. I also feel badly that I could not get all hyped up and fight till they let her be mine. I did that with Thailand, that was not even as real as this, yet I just could not do it. The odds seemed so stacked against us that it did not seem fair to us, my family, or to her, to fight and keep us all in limbo. Ultimately I had to just let it go and see if it was meant to be. But you have to know by now that control freak Sylvia has never done that in her life, at least not willingly. How was I at so much peace with letting go in THIS moment? I am still not sure, but it got me though those days, I survived them so calmly.

Now slowly a few days have past and some sleep has been had, and slowly she is becoming mine. ours, and I am seeing her in our family.

There have also been some other realizations that have lead her to feel more familiar, and finally ours.

Firstly, her need, albinism. Back in 2007 when I was planning for us to be in the China non special needs line up, I heard about albinism as a special need for the first time. I fell for a little girl on Rainbow Kids who had albinisim, she caught my eye because she looked so much like my husband. He is 1/4 Chinese and 3/4 french Canadian, he is the only one of his 50 cousins (who are also all 1/4) who is blonde with blue eyes. He has had to spend his whole life defending his Chineseness to even his own siblings who joke he is the mail man's son. He is the spitting image of his dad in fact, just different coloration. That was it, albinism seemed like some sort of cosmic fit for us. Ultimatly it was the photo of that girl who opened me up to special needs adoption. She planted that seed.

Secondly, when I looked back in my blog to see what we were doing on the day she was born, it turns out that was the day we decided to enter the China waiting child program. We had finished grieving Thailand, and found our heart lead back to China.

On her first birthday, I wrote on my blog my "match plan" and my worries about knowing from a file if the referral would really be my daughter. I was clearly thinking about her nonstop on her special day. :)

Also around her first birthday my mom had a dream, she told me of a chubby white haired baby who had squinty eyes, she said she was so sure that the dream was right and that this was our girl. I remember laughing and telling her no orphanage babies are chubby.... look who's laughing now!


Bonnie, Jim and Ainsley said...

I just read your last entry and it brought me to tears. I feel exactly the same way...waiting for someone to say oops we made a mistake. It is so hard to jump in with both feet when you have had to be guarded for so long just to survive. I am so happy for your family! Bonnie

Anonymous said...

When the universe has a plan for you there is no stopping it...I have tears reading your post. We too are looking into the SN option, when you know it is right it is easy...and you let it go, so it can find its was to you.

Anonymous said...

After the wait and the disappointments it's hard to believe that you finally have a chance. Aside from my closest family I didn't tell anyone until I got pre-approval because I was afraid someone would change their mind.

Once all of the paper work is done and the travel approval is in your hand it gets a better. The best feeling will be the first time you see her and all of this will fade away.