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11/5/2007 – 3:04PM

I was not yet a mom. I was an anxiety-ridden hot mess of a pre-adoptive waiting parent. Waiting for what seemed like forever at the time (but compared to now it was really nothing) to know something – anything – about our baby.

11/5/2007 – 3:05PM

I got the phone call and my life changed in an instant. I immediately launched into mom worry. I knew who she was and where she was but that was pretty much it. I had no control, no oversight, nothing to reassure myself that all was well with this child that was to be mine and no way to watch over her, even from afar, to ensure her well-being. It was the one of the top 3 days of my life, no doubt, but it immediately changed my whole world in ways I never dreamed.

No big celebrations here for referral day. We just told Ava (again) the story of that day. Where I was (work), what I did (cried/laughed/cried more), who I called (J and both grandmothers), what they did (cried/laughed/cried). It was an amazing moment that I know I will never forget. I can see it (Technicolor), feel it (Warm Fuzzies), and taste it (Cotton Candy and a nice bottle of Moscato – but not together because that would be gross) like it was yesterday and I want to make sure that Ava always knows what a life-changing day that was…for all of us.

that we saw this sweet face for the very first time.

The smiles since have more than made up for the lack of smiles in her referral photos, don’t you think?

Picture taken today, 6 November 2011, with Ava holding her actual referral pictures. The Spider Girl costume is courtesy of the 70% off after-Halloween costume clearance rack. Needless to say, she quite fancies it and I suspect it’s going to get a lot of wear for a $3 costume.

I’m somebody’s mama. It boggles the mind. But yes, Mother’s Day v. 2 was still as awesome as it was the first time around last year.

Someone asked me the other day if being a Mom is everything I thought it would be and I can honestly say that it’s been so much more – maybe because I had few expectations (call me clueless) as to what it would be like. Hands down it has been the best experience in my life so far and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, despite the fact that I’m convinced that the age of 2 is trying to kill me slowly and painfully (OMG, the random, instantaneous, and unpredictable mood swings – where, oh where do they come from?). Sadly, my sister tells me that 3 is worse and 4 even more so. I didn’t ask why because I don’t want to know. I can only handle 2, and sometimes not very well at that, right now.

And I know I have real life friends reading my blog who are still probably shaking their heads and saying “WTF…who are you and where did you put A?” since I spent most of my life proclaiming that I didn’t want kids and planned to live childfree. What I really meant, apparently, is that I didn’t particularly want bio kids nor did I want to parent anytime in my 20’s or early 30’s. I shudder to think of me (us) having kids any sooner so our timing (and China’s) really was perfect.

Since we just spent a little over $4k when we sent our dossier to our agency on 5/7/09 for their review, packaging, and forwarding to China, I really didn’t want J to spend any more money on a gift for me. I already have the best Mother’s Day gift ever in Ava so nothing could top that anyway. I knew he wouldn’t let it slip by unnoticed though and he didn’t disappoint.

He let me sleep in a bit (okay, only 30 minutes or so but I’ll take what I can get) before carrying in my baby kid (can’t call her my baby anymore because she tells me NO! when I do it) carrying 2 Mother’s Day cards that she refuses to hand to me and proceeds to open herself. He’s also carrying the gift she made for me at daycare (which I love just as much as I did last year’s gift) despite the fact that it looks like a mugshot.


2009 MD Gift

She finger painted the vase and flower herself (with help, I’m sure) and I was beyond delighted with it. One of the best gifts ever, mugshot or not.

This was last year’s gift which I always meant to post a picture of and never did. Caveat: the frame it was in was much uglier as you can see and I felt no guilt in discarding it since Ava was only 13 months old and clearly had no part in the tacky frame making with push pins and a black sharpie.

I swapped it out and have displayed this in my hallway all year.

Since I now have two items I’m starting a shrine on top of a cabinet. One that Ava can’t reach or even see since she’s totally obsessed with the flower she made and spends an inordinate amount of time trying to procure it no matter where it is. I’m hoping for out of sight, out of mind although that concept no longer works as well as it used to.

I can’t wait to see what next year’s project looks like!

And since we’re talking about Mother’s Day…the last 16 months have certainly made me appreciate my own mom even more than I did before. She’s always been awesome (although maybe I didn’t think so when I was a teenager) but she’s taught me how to be a good mom myself and given me some truly innovative ways on how to control and outsmart a wayward teen girl, which I’m sure will come in handy down the road. What else can I say really? She’s my mom and I love her so I’m going to share (and probably embarrass her with) some old photos.


My uncle (I think) brought this grass skirt back to my mom from Hawaii (I think). My grandmother thought it was so scandalous that she burned it in the fireplace.

And this is one of my favorite pictures of all times. My mom and her three sisters posing in their bathing suits. Love it!

It was one year ago today that we got the phone call that totally and completely rocked our world. I can still remember the anxiety and excitement like it was yesterday – the emotions were running so high (and low) at that point that I still wonder how I managed to function at all in the days prior to the call. You know, the days where we knew referrals were here with our agency but not knowing when we would hear from them. Actually I do know how I managed to get through the Friday afternoon/evening prior – a couple of my coworkers and I ended up splitting a bottle of wine or two at work (it’s pretty laid back like that at TBDCoE) so I got a bit tipsy. It doesn’t take a lot since I’m not much of a drinker. I ended up working really late that evening to make sure I wouldn’t be driving with even the slightest hint of alcohol still in my system.

I was at work on Monday when I got the call from our social worker. I had a full list of questions printed out so I wouldn’t forget to ask them, although it probably goes without saying that I totally forgot about my list and didn’t ask her anything at all. I started shaking as soon as I saw the agency’s name on Caller ID, answered the phone and promptly told her (not asked – I’d forgotten my manners at this point) to hold on, got up and shut my office door, and started crying with happiness (and relief) as soon as I picked the phone back up and heard her say, “You have a daughter.”

I managed to write down all of the info she had and called J at work right away. I (sadly) can’t even remember specifically what his reaction was since I was so totally blown away by the news myself and very, very emotional. Naturally, he was too so I doubt he remembers much of the conversation beyond the important stuff either. I then called my mom and J’s mom right away to share the news.

I’m sure I told my coworkers and called other family and friends but I can’t for the life of me remember any of that. I’m equally sure I was totally unproductive for the rest of the day – I just looked back through my emails sent that day and I’m right. All work correspondence for me virtually stopped after 3PM so I may have left early – heck if I know – I truly can’t remember anything else from that day at all. I do know that we started counting down the seconds until we could go to the local Bethany office the next afternoon to see Ava’s pictures and get/return our referral paperwork.

What a day that was!!

I can hardly believe it. This really is happening.

The CCAA updated their website. I never really thought I’d see the day when our log in date finally made it.

Note to self: Must remember to breathe.