Sunday, June 7, 2009
The Day Everything Changed: Part III-Insomia caused by Euphoria.
Part I here. Part II here.
I didn't really sleep for the next five days. I would go to bed, put my head down, doze off and be instantly awakened by the slightest noise. My heart would start racing, and I would bolt into the living room to gaze at M & m's pictures, and read their PDF file for the 100th time. It was some sort of euphoria induced insomnia. Heather, who gave M & m those little people in the picture above, invited me over to lunch on Thursday. (Well, actually, Amy invited me, and Ms. Kat too.) I stumbled over there, and felt quite hazy. The three of them assured me that I was not , in fact, dreaming, and that they too had seen the photos, and that by some miracle I had received a referral of two siblings from Ethiopia. After lunch I stumbled into my car and drove home. On my way, I pulled up behind this car...
Can you read the license plate?
I found myself at a stop sign, and realized I was at M& m's school (remember the Funky Chicken school?) I threw the car into park and started to get out. Whoa, what am I doing? I just suddenly had the impulse to leave my car there in the street, run into the school and shout, "They are coming! This will be their school! Wait 'til you meet them! Which cubby is theirs?!" Thinking better of this idea, I got a hold of my excitement, put the car into drive and drove home.
Everything was like that though. Everything I saw, touched, smelled, ate, in the next few days (and now) is colored with thoughts of M&m. What will they think of this school/weather/Indian food ? I guess this must be how parents feel. Their thoughts are always shaped by their kids. I guess it is moving from self, or husband obsession, to child obsession.
We knew that we had a lot of practical things to take care of. We needed to get our local social worker to sign the referral acceptance, we needed to shop for their care packages, we needed to update all of our paperwork for our I-171-H, which expires at the end of the month. The best way to start, was to have lunch with Amy and LT. Auntie Amy bought Mr. Chunk of love his first pair of shoes...
I had asked Steven if he would like me to get the shopping done, but he wanted to come too so we waited until Saturday. Saturday and Sunday Steven had a bad cold, but we trudged about trying to create the perfect care packages. We went through photos for their albums, debating which pictures were best. We thought about what kind of outfit we would like to send them. There is a page in their file that contains cute little ID cards with their pictures and measurements. I had been having a hard time picturing their actual sizes. I actually scared the crap out of someone at the post office while trying to determine m's size...
I was mailing the acceptance paperwork in, and I noticed a woman with a baby. Coming up with a pleasantry to hide my ulterior motive I said, "Oh what a beautiful baby." She said thank you and I dove in "HOW MUCH DOES SHE WEIGH?" She replied, "13 pounds." To which I responded, "Oh, close...CLOSE!" Uhm, yeah, I should probably not be let out of the house at this point.
We finally converted the cm. into in. , and figured that Ms. M came up to my hip. We figured Mr. m was about 'so' big in my arms, and I skipped around the house holding an outstretched tape measure as if it were m himself. I still didn't really have a complete grasp of how big they are. I called my best friend Heather. It turns out that my goddaughter, Neve, is the exact same height, weight, size, and age as my daughter to be. What are the chances? Heather told me to send Ms. M something in size 3T. So Steven and I set off.
This is how I felt. When I actually saw what a dress this size meant, what a girl this size would be like, I completely lost it. I cried my eyes out in several stores...
I know, I know, my hair is a mess, my eyes are swollen, and I am not sure if I remembered to wear undergarments. That's what it has been like.
When I held a 6 to 9 months onesie, and pictured chunk of love in it, I lost it. Steven thought it was hilarious. There I am in the Target, in the Old Navy, at the Third Street Promenade, crying happy tears about a little, (really little!) girl, and her not so little brother. People must have thought I was a lunatic.
It was nearly impossible to find something for Ms.M. to wear. Steven kept saying, "It's not soft enough." (I know right? I couldn't make this stuff up.) We searched and searched for the softest possible garment we could find. Steven at one point said, "I wish we could find something fleece-lined. That would be soft enough." I assured him that Ms. M did not need a fleece-lined dress for summer in rural Ethiopia, and that I was pretty sure nothing like that existed. Finally at an outlet store on the promenade ( The strange yet somehow compelling Kitson store), Steven and I found some things that were soft enough. We got something in her current size (we think!) and something we hope she can wear when she comes home. They are very, very soft.
We also have voice recorders for the kidlets. Our friend Lauren did this for Marley, and we thought it was a nice idea. We can't finish them. Steven said, "I'd like to get some sounds of the ocean on there for them." (seriously folks, can you believe this dad to be?) We went to the beach yesterday, and the recording is way too loud from all of the wind. I think instead, we will add a few songs and stories today. We recorded the strange squealing sounds that Ted makes before his walk, and the sounds that the birds make in our yard in the early morning.
One night, six sleepless nights after the day our life changed, Steven picked up the guitar and placed the two wee voice recorders on the table next to him. He played some beautiful music that he had composed. The tapes rolled over and over. The dogs began to doze, and me, new mom to be, fell into her first, post referral slumber. Sweet, sweet slumber.
Coming soon, Part IV- The Cranky Curmudgeon Cynics' Society of California called, your membership has been revoked.
I am going to have to do a part IV about why I am that annoying person. There is already way too many annoying things in this post. Please forgive me. I have become, well, in a word, happy.