Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pardon Me Please, While I Pinch Myself...

Ross Forever Family Day - September 18, 2008

Ross Forever Family Day - September 18, 2007

As I sit and recall the past year, a smile comes to my face and an overwhelming desire to the share the emotions of the most unique life changing event that Patrick and I have ever experienced. Her name is Devi Rose.

We traveled at the same time as the Welser family, whom until the trip to India, we had never met face to face. Fortunately, it is as if these people were put in our path to help us capture and recall the details of this event, years from now, tapping the memory banks of two more adults and two children, who added an interesting insight to the trip, I might add. But, even with the recollections of all these great minds, the height at which a human can feel, at any given moment, just can't quite hold onto the exhilaration that we felt the moment we raised Bhargabi from the chipped white bars of the orphanage crib and into the longing arms of her new family, solidifying her place in our lives as Devi Rose Bhargabi Ross.

As vividly as I can recall, this is the course of events leading to that union. With two families arriving in an donation stuffed SUV to pick up babies at the same time, there was a bit of confusion as to how the union of child to family would unfold - who would go first and so on. So, while the Welser's sat in Anju's office signing papers, Pat and I waited, somewhat patiently, outside in the reception area, sitting in two chairs directly under a circulating fan. I mention the fan, because with the adreneline that was flowing through us, this is the first time during our whole trip and we didn't notice the sweltering heat.

Directly in front of us was a wood trimmed door with a large lace curtain covered window in the middle of it. We could see movement on the other side, but paid little attention to it, anticipating our turn in the paper signing office. As we settled into our wait, we began to notice that the door, less than 5 feet in front us was now the only obstacle keeping us from our child, because the movement behind the covered sheet of glass was the children! Straining to focus the fuzzy shapes, we could barely makeout the outline of the ayahs dressing and preparing the girls to leave this loving place they had called home for the past 10 months. Our ears, not famiiar with cooing sounds and baby noises, suddenly became audiobly clear, confirming that we had arrived at the right place.

Our group reconveined at the door and then, just like the raising of the curtain at a grand performance, the door was opened to reveal at center stage a small crib with two wide eyed cherubs standing at it's side, their chubby little fingers gripping the top rail. They were staring right at us! The loves of our lives, whom we only seen in still photos and two short videos, lived and breathed and had movement! That is how our family was born.

We celebrate this day with the utmost gratitude for Devi's biological mother. Her choices and courage have helped join a childless couple with their baby girl who happened to be born half way around the world and God ensured that it was a perfect fit. I can't imagine having to make the decisions she was faced with at such a young age, but I hope that she has peace with those decisions and that she has smiles in her heart for her daughter who is simply a joy.

Tonight we dined at Gateway to India, the same place we ate the day we received Devi's referral. It is here that one of the owners beamed with excitment for us and proclaimed that we were adopting a Bengali girl. She also helped us with the correct pronunciation of the unfamiliar grouping of letters making up her Indian name. Tonight, we recounted all these memories and shared as much as we could with Devi as she sipped her first mango lassi, smacking her lips to soften it's overly sweet flavor. I also wrote a little book with photos, which we read at bedtime, to help illustrate Devi's story - the girl never tires of looking at her own photograph and seemed to really enjoy it :)! We also have a Forever Family Day goblet that Pat's mom, who is a potter, has given us. I think a little sparkly water from it will round out our evening.

I often think about my mother, wishing she could have lived long enough to meet Devi, see me as a mother and the three of us as a family. Tonight, as we left the restaurant and were silently walking to the car, out of the blue, Devi said, "Grandma DeeDee in Heaven?" I guess there is the answer to my wish, she has been with us every step of the way :)

Even today, as I stared into the slightly almond shaped dark eyes of my little turnip, the fine line between reality and dreamworld is somewhat blurred. To quote Stevie Wonder..."Pardon me please, while I pinch myself, for to know this is not a dream"...because even after a year this is exactly what it feels like.


Amy said...

Wow - my eyes are filling with tears. You once again had me feeling every emotion with your words. I know that one day Devi will cherish this story and it gives other families hope that their day will come soon. Enjoy this wonderful celebration!

Nadra said...

Happy Forever Family Day!!! Beautiful post Julie.

The Labontes said...


Pam said...

Once again your writing has transported me from my living room into your family life. I love your writing, you expresssions describe things perfectly. Congratulations on one year as a family. It's an amazing feeling, isn't it? And little Devi...she's doll. We are blessed, aren't we? Hugs to you!

Karen said...

Julie and Pat - thank you for encapsulating the amazing day we met our daughters. It's a day we'll always remember, and we'll always cherish sharing it with you!
Happy Wonderful Marvelous Perfect Forever Family Day to you!

The Pfeiffer Family said...

Julie - This is an amazing post! It was as though I was there with you with all the details and the picture you painted. Congrats on one year with your beautiful daughter and being able to celebrate your special day as a Forever Family.

April (waiting at #10 non-NRI)

Kristi said...

Love this post. You made me tear up, too (not an easy feat!). Happy Forever Family Day to you all! I'm sure Grandma DeeDee is so very proud of you and what a reunion you'll have with her one day!


Shane,Gidget,and boys said...

Wonderful description of a wonderful experience,Happy Family Day to you all.It makes me look more toward our special day...Gidget

Shad and Maggie Alsworth said...

You always seem to make me smile every time I read your blog! Congrats on celebrating 1 year together!! May God Bless you as you continue to grow together!!

Peter and Nancy said...

All our best to your family as you celebrate! After Kristi's, yours and the Welsers' were the first travels I followed. I'm so grateful you've let me come along for the ride this past year! Congratulations on having one year with your darling Devi!
-- Nancy

Michele said...

Knowing the experienced pain mixed with incredible joy, tears of emotion sprang to my eyes while reading this recap of emotion and heartfelt love. God is so good to bring you this deep, deep joy and happiness.


Candice said...

Congratulations! I am so excited for you...for your celebration with Devi, and also for the possibilities that lie ahead as you pursue another adoption!


Amanda said...

That was beautiful. Congratulations on your First Forever Family Day!!!

Heart and Hands said...

Congratulations on your forever family day. It is one to cherish. You did an amazing job retelling the story. It really touched me that Devi asked about her grandma. I'm sure she is watching over you all and is proud of you.