Five years ago today, my mom left this earth headed heavenward. Relieved that she was finally rid of illness and pain, I was still filled with selfish thoughts of how I would miss seeing her tomorrow or have that kind of mother/daughter relationship we once shared. Over time, this feeling has waned, but she is never far from my thoughts. This year, I guess because it is a milestone year, I found myself especially blue when I woke up this morning. Perhaps due to the previous evening; preparing the wreath for her place of rest, attaching one additional red rose to mark the passing of another year, or writing the annual letter of thanks to accompany the plate of baked goodies for the staff of the Hospice House, once again acknowledging their compassionate care provided to those living out their final days, just as both my mom and Pat's dad did. They passed away nearly two years apart to the day.
Paged to the phone at work, I noticed the time was 8:45 am, the typical time I receive my daily Devi update from Pat after he drops her off at preschool. To my surprise it was not his voice I heard, but rather the slightly high pitched soft familiar woman's voice of Lisa, our adoption representative. This recognition began an explosion of adrenaline through my veins; the kind that evokes that queasy feeling in your stomach, causes an immediate lump in our throat, rendering you incapable of uttering anything but a waver in your voice. We exchanged pleasantries, but honestly, I was unable to comprehend much, certain that I did not care to hear what she had to say. Pat and I had just discussed how we would tell Devi if this adoption did not go through and I was certain that the news she had called to deliver would be this sad reality. With the delays and turmoil surrounding the reorganization of the adoption process in India, we had been preparing ourselves for this very possibility.
My heartbeat pulsing like a bass drum in my ear drums, the pounding soon became a melody in the making. Much to my surprise Lisa said, " I have good news. Your case has just moved through the court in Pune and it was approved. You have guardianship!" I think I had her repeat this a couple of times before I could believe it. Our NOC was approved on November 8th and guardianship was granted on December 8th. This step was expected to take 3-4 months. Two months would have been optimistic, but guardianship in one month is nothing short of astounding. What a way to change this day of difficult memories to pure joyous ones! Thanks mom. There is no doubt, that you had some hand in bringing this happiness.
Pros at waiting, we've grown used to making our way to the front of one line only to step to the back of the next. Imagine my surprise when Lisa then said, "You can apply for your VISA's and should expect to travel around the second week of January!" Trying to swallow this information I swear I went into shock. Tingling form head to toe, my mind became an instant swirl of lists, thoughts and panic. Flat footed to react, we went from endless waiting to drastically behind in preparation in an instant.
Receiver still in hand, I dialed Pat and asked him if we had plans in mid-January? Naturally, he stepped right into my trap and answered, "No, why?" That's when I screamed into the phone, "Because we are going to India!" I could hear Pat begin to cry on the other end of the phone, trying to compose himself enough to respond, but all I could hear were squeaks of acknowledgment. (I secretly love that he is such a softy).
Within the hour, Pat had left his obligations at work and found himself in my office for much needed celebratory hug. With this embrace, faces buried in each others arms, the Hercules sized boulder of stress that we had been shouldering for the past two years immediately left us and simply floated away.
As you can see - she smiles! To add the icing on this decadent cake, we just received this photo from an Internet acquaintance who visited SOFOSH recently. She was taking her adopted 9 year old daughter there to see where she lived as a youngster. After our random connection, she offered to look for our Pune Princess while there and this was her report.
We did visit SOFOSH and got to meet Sonalika. She is a pretty girl, looks healthy, very friendly, and smiled a lot. She did not appear shy. Sonalika is a favorite of the ayahs there and they all like her a lot.Tags from our thanksgiving Mexico trip are crumpled and still attached to the handles of our luggage that will NOT be finding their way back into the closet just yet. Look out Treya. Here we come!
We got to tour the entire orphanage and see children from 2 days old thru toddlers. It is very clean and organized and the ayahs give good care to the children. We saw the toddlers eating lunch, feeding themselves, taking their plates to the sink to be washed and cleaning their hands. They were very happy and self-sufficient. All of the children that we saw looked healthy. We also got to meet the director and she took the time to talk with us and was very pleasant.
They gave my daughter a couple of gifts and a welcome home ceremony.