Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Match Made In Heaven

Our newest family member!

As we shared our good news with Oma, last night, she looked toward heaven and stated the obvious, "I believe you had a little help with this one, kids." And here is what that help has brought to us! She will become the newest and youngest member of the Ross family. Born half way around the world in Pune, India, she is the perfect fit for Patrick, Devi and I...our match made in heaven!

Limbo...neither here or there; suspended; waiting. To those who have been following our story, this fully describes what we have been doing behind the scenes for the last one year, six months, two weeks and few days, while in the forefront, we have continued to experience the awe of watching our princess grow and develop.

What you don't know is the extremely bumpy road that we have been on in search of fulfilling a dream, the specific details of which we have chosen to keep private. I will tell you that we have endured an emotional roller coaster and both of us have cried more tears than we care to recount. Checking in with JOH, our adoption agency, every so often had become a way of coming to terms with our fading hope, rather than anticipating the adrenaline rush of good news we originally had sought. We had become numb to the idea that our family would ever grow again, but unwilling to stop the search.

We were reminded of how wonderful our first experience with International Adoption was by many who felt that we should be grateful for the experience we had had and realize that this beautiful and seamless union with Devi could never be replicated. Although these opinions were meant to spare our feelings, it wasn't a replica of that first journey we hoped to find, but rather a different journey that would continue to enhance our family of three in ways that would help us to love more, feel more and grow more.

Living through the adoption process even once, has taken away some of the whimsical ideals of joyous thoughts that consume expectant parents. With education and knowledge of the process comes a sense of strategy, if you will, about time lines, locations, paperwork and ways to force this crazy system to work faster or more efficiently. Rather than spending my waiting days dreaming and trusting that a beautiful child was waiting for us in a crib, I found myself analyzing the information about orphanages, judges and the like. With blinders, I had been taking that heavily booted march down my man-made path toward a specific orphanage that I was sure held the best chance for us, nearly missing the delicate and quiet path that God had created and presented at my feet that lead to our newest family member.

I received an email about a little one year old girl from a completely different orphanage than the one I had been pursuing. I inquired on a whim. Our representative said that when she found out about this little girl, she immediately thought of our family and she was so excited to share her information.
That tingling feeling of adrenaline driven hope, a familiar feeling felt once before, began to rise in my confused body. As swift as a head turns, I realized we'd been looking in all the wrong directions. Ping! Just then, up popped her medical information and her pictures into my incoming mailbox.

Pat and I poured over the little information we had about Sonalika. Coming alive with the idea that we were really going to adopt again AND that we had found our girl were almost more than we could process at one time. Together, we grew in our resolve of heart and minds, that our search was over. Our hearts could safely open again and begin to love this child as our own forever.

Those eyes! They sucked me right in. If only I could reach into the photograph and pluck her out into my longing arms! What we know about her is that she is a happy and smiley baby who was given the name Sonalika which means golden. She was born on January 21st, 2009 and weighed 2.52 kg or 5.5 pounds, which is more than what I weighed at birth! She was born with club feet that have been corrected and she has a few other slight needs that will be resolved through surgery. She is living at one of the best orphanages in India with excellent medial care. In fact, when we consulted with an adoption specialist here in the states, he was amazed at how thorough her procedures, testing and records have been. All things that bring comfort to the hearts and minds of these parents that now must be separated from their child until the legal part of the process can catch up with the bonding that has all ready begun.

Our next steps involve getting our dossier from Hyderabad to Pune lickitty-split. Then sign all the paperwork and hope that the court process goes smoothly and in record time. We have a special day planned for Devi to tell her the wonderful news and agree on her full name. We hope that Devi will understand the concept that although she is becoming a big sister, there is still more waiting to do, to which I know she will respond, "Oh man!".

Because I will never tire of saying it, this is our daughter...our match made in heaven!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Am Loved

There are some kinds of love that just can not be recognized adequately with the frill of a lacy doily valentine or a box of chocolates. This love is not the kind represented by romantic feelings coaxed to the surface with a meal eaten by candlelight, or a decadent dessert. Not even cupid can conger this kind of love. It is the love God created in the heart's of mother and child, the unconditional kind, that burns internal, deep in one’s soul. On this Valentines’ Day it is this kind of powerful love that I celebrate by

sharing the many ways I feel it’s presence.

1. Those slobbery little kid kisses accompanied by the enthusiastic

wiggle of her head when she plants one on me as if to ensure a good

solid contact between our lips.

2. When she says, “mommy, I have a secret” knowing that when I put my ear to her rosebud mouth, the words uttered, in her best attempt of the quietness of a whisper, are always the same, “I wuv you!”

3. Experiencing the best part of my day that comes at 7:30pm when three sets of arms embrace in a huge family bear hug before tuck in, with a squeeze so tight that we all make those funny guttural and gasping sounds that come when one can’t possibly hold the air in their bursting lungs any longer. Followed by the stall, "Mommy, can we talk about our days?"

4. When, for the thousandth time, she unsuccessfully tries to to hold my hand by inner twining my extra long fingers with her short little ones, and realizing through the hint of another measured growth spurt, that one day this will be possible.

5. Sharing the exuberant joy she feels when she can finally reach the pedals on her t

rike, open the refrigerator by herself, put on her own mittens or write her own name. To her, the ability to accomplish such tasks with me as her witness is magic.

6. To hear the appreciation in her polite and tiny voice when she thanks me for preparing her dinner, or washing her clothes, or handing her a glass of juice. I will never tire of hearing those over enthusiastic phrases, “Oh, tank you, mommy” or “Dat was soooo nice of you.”

7. The repetition of the conversation, “Mommy, are we best friends?” I say, “Yes, and....” and before I can finish, she blurts “...I can tell you anything!” Yep, that’s right, sugar...any time and any where.

8. The delight she gets out of pointing out the three specific polka-dots God gave her, two on one of her hands and one on her ear, followed by poking me all over with her two index fingers, in a tickling fashion, trying to pin point all of mine.

9. When for no apparent reason she stops what she is doing, lifts her arms up to me and asks, “Mommy, can you hold me, please?”, knowing that it is the security we feel in each others' arms that she seeks.

10. Lastly, feeling that thick liquid sense of awe that fills me up from my toes to the brim of my eyelids, every time I feel the warmth of the bare skin of her back under my own warm hand. It overwhelms me every time, as I try to comprehend how one person could ever be worthy of this wonderful gift of this child’s love.