Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Day Everything Changed: Part II-Chunk of Love, and a Degas Ballerina in a blue dress

Part II. Part I Here.

Kristina sent over their 17 page file. She said that page 9 was the page with their photos. Steven was away from his computer, so couldn’t see them when I did. I opened it and said, “They are beautiful,” and they truly are. She will be three in September. He is five months old (I have been getting this wrong lately as I thought a baby born in January would be six months old, but is in reality five months- duh).
She is so, so, so pretty. She has gigantic eyes, and perfect little teeth. In one of the two pictures of her, she looks like a Degas Ballerina; blue dress, skinny legs, a little shy, a little strong. Her outstretched hand is pressed up against the wall behind her, as if she is steeling herself, or as if she is showing her strength.
I love her. I love her so much. I always thought it was a bit cheesy when people said they have fallen in love with a picture, but I get it. This picture, her file, I love her with all of my heart.

Her brother. He is a chunk of love. A healthy, downright chubby, baby boy with a big gummy smile and big eyes like his sister, and really big hands and feet.He is wearing a onesie, with big horizontal stripes and a graphic of a little creature that looks remarkably like my leetle friend. I love him too, I do. I love him. I can’t help it. I love them both. I will always love them, no matter what happens (Okay, okay- you get the picture, I love them). They are beautiful.

There are so many things about their file that are profound. Remember how skeptical I was about signs? Well, there are too many things to go into right now, but the signs are there. They are everywhere. Remind me to tell you about them one day. You will be astounded.

What happened next ? Who knows! I was in shock all day; I couldn’t eat, I paced around, my heart never stopped racing. I couldn’t believe it had happened. I texted Steven, “Can you come home early?” He texted back, “Nope. Baby needs new shoes.” (Strong work ethic that one has.)
I wrote back, “Can I tell someone? I am bursting!”. Steven texted me back and asked me not to tell anyone yet.
Lori Rooney called me at that moment. I picked up the phone and tried to act naturally. We had had tentative plans to get together one last time before she headed home to Portland (She was actually supposed to leave the day before, but by some stroke of luck she was still in town.)

I had what I felt was a very stilted conversation with Lori. I was trying soooooooo hard not to tell her the news. Finally, I knew I was going to spill it so I said, “LORI I HAVE TO GO I HAVE ANOTHER CALL!” I hung up and called Steven, begging him to let me tell someone. (He wanted to tell my parents, our families, together...first). While on the phone with him Lori texted me,”

Of course I am freaking out wondering why I am not hearing from you. Was that the call?!

I told Steven, “I have to tell Lori Rooney! She knows!”

So I did. Lori was the first to know. I asked if she was available to celebrate later, and she was.

The next couple of hours were spent in the same way; me texting Steven, or who I thought was Steven…

We have got to tell my parents I am bursting.

CALL THEM, my god Call them!

No, waiting 4 you but hurry please!

Me not understand? U are waiting for me?

Oh no I thought you were Steven!

Yep, it seems that I am no better at texting since my 'Champagne at my hose now' days. I was texting Lori Rooney, and not my husband.

Steven and I tried to get my parents on the phone. My dad didn’t recognize the blocked number and didn’t answer. I called my mom’s school, and another teacher answered...

"May I speak to T.C (Top Cat!) ?"

"Hold on....I’m sorry, she is busy. Can she call you back? (I could hear my mom talking to a student in the background.)"

I said,


My mom came to the phone and we told her.
She cried.
Later she said, “Oh, are you keeping those names?”
Yes, mom, we are.
Those are their names.

We got my sister on the phone. She cried too. She told us that she thought since we were both on the phone, that it must be some really bad news. She was happily surprised.

Later, I put the word out on Facebook, “Champagne at my hose now!” Unfortunately, both of our brothers found out on Facebook. Sorry guys, not what we wanted to happen but your crazy sister, sister-in-law, was bursting at the seams it seems.

During all of this, my heart is still jumping out of my chest. I am overwhelmed with so many emotions. Happy Shock.

Three hours later, the word is out. I still pace around in circles in my house trying to take it in. really? Did this just happen?

I sent an e-mail out, asking our local friends to come over at 7 to meet two special someones.

Lauren came by early to celebrate. She had a glass of champagne.

At 6, I got a phone call from Aliah’s mom, “Hi Julie. How early is too early to come over?” Sensing something in her voice I said, “Anne, where are you?" She was outside my door. This makes me smile thinking about it. She was too excited to wait until 7.

Our friends descended, and it was a beautiful thing. I have posted the pictures. So did Lori. It was incredible. Pip and Squeak marched in with their parents. Pip was carrying a gigantic wooden suitcase/art box. She and a gaggle of kiddlets marched into the back room and got started on an important project...

By the time Steven came home, there were close to three dozen people in the house. There was banner coloring, bed jumping, champagne drinking, picture showing. Steven, the most private person on the planet, the person who would like to celebrate momentous family occasions with, well, me, and maybe the dogs, arrived home.

There was nowhere for him to park. He had to find a place amid all of the cars of our incredible friends. I went out to meet him at the end of our street. I threw my arms around him. Holding him there, both of us in tears, with the knowledge of M & m, with a new found hope for the future, with a house full of loving friends behind us…well, that was one of the best moments of my entire life, if not the best moment. The. best. moment.

Steven came into the house and Pip and Yenne threw their arms around him...

Any fear I had of Steven not being happy that I wanted to celebrate in this way disappeared.

It was one hell of a party. I must have cried 100 times. Lori Rooney kept setting me off. There was a lot going on in that 950 square feet. I won’t ever forget it. I will never forget the love from all of them , and all of you. The blog comments, e-mails, posts, Facebook words, all of it- intense, incredible, amazing. I am so grateful. I am truly amazed and astounded and so incredibly thrilled that you all celebrated along with us.

Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Coming Up… Part III. Why our care packages aren’t finished yet, what I looked like for the next week, and why I am now that really annoying person.


  1. I'm so happy the four of you will have each other. Again, a huge congrats!

  2. Cracking me up that Steven couldn't find a place to park.

    Part III soon please (not to put any pressure on or anything)

  3. wow--tears are flowing. You have more than earned the right to be annoying. Enjoy it momma.

  4. I am so glad to hear the part about you and Steven alone together on the street:) Tears from me.

    And, ready for part 3 over here on this chilly and rainy and kind of boring Saturday!!!!

  5. I am crying again. That moment when Steven walked into the house is one of the best moments I've ever witnessed. Ever. The smile on his face was incredible.
    And you left out the part of us talking about raccoon-sex during that stilted conversation (which never felt stilted to me--you are an amazing actress).

  6. Oh gosh, these were so fun to read!! What an incredible, amazing and wonderful day it must have been. You are such a good story teller. Can't wait for part 3. :)

    ps. raccoon sex?????!

  7. Oh so fun to read! Can't wait for part 3....and still; wondering about your dream : )

  8. Well, blargh. And I swore I wouldn't cry for this one. So thrilled for the four of you. May the weeks to travel pass swiftly!

  9. I know you are not annoying at all. I just know that.

    I am so having the ugly cry here at my computer. I'm so happy for you about the chunk and the ballerina. I keep thinking about what Steven must be thinking.

    It is a very different world. The sun shines a different color, the wind smells differntly. It's slightly off kilter in such a good, good way.

    Love that you are talking about the feelings. It's like a really, really good dessert.


  10. It is even more wonderful to celebrate this time through your words. Wow is all I can say. I can't wait to celebrate with everyone home!

  11. oh wow that picture of Steven being swarmed with love just gets me everytime!

  12. What a great celebration - you have beautiful friends.

  13. I love the picture descriptions, and the "baby needs shoes" text. What a sweet day!

  14. also...
    I was SO reminded of our referral picture when you described your daughters picture.

    Same scared, strong stance : )

  15. Beautiful story. And I am fairly certain there is nothing about you that is annoying- you are just too good of a person to be annoying. I can tell.

  16. Julie, as I expected this story is beautiful, amazing, and quirky. I know exactly what you mean about loving a photograph. Can't wait to read part 3.

  17. Your blog post just eased my wait. Congratulations! And thank you.

  18. YEAH!!!! What a great story. Truly. Beautiful.
    My story...not so much. My agency director had to hang up the phone and call me later because I was evidently making dolphin-like noises that only dogs could here.

  19. Loved FINALLY reading about the call...just ask Kerri...I've been slightly annoyed that you made us wait so long..yep, I'm not patient!! It does change you forever, that day, those pictures, the story.

  20. I am yet again in a puddle. The image of you sitting at your computer, dog licking your shoulder, and the conference call that provided the back story of your children. I can't imagine it. I never knew your journey was 10 years long. I've never met you...but I'm crying. My fiance thinks I'm totally nuts.

    Happiness and serenity is what I feel. That the world will have this family of four that faces a world of such potential, grandeur, obtacle, and struggle. Your family, your garden, the bees, the zebra is simply marvelous. We will all benefit from having two little ones raised in the proud, kind, creative, and loving home that you and Steven will provide.

    As a teacher, I've seen how the home forms these minds, hearts, and spirits, that take flight in the world. Your steady hand, constant hugs, and flowing kisses will embolden two minds to believe they can be anything.

    It's good to know that parents like you are out there.

  21. Jeez, even the comments are making me cry. Happy day!


  22. Holy Green Guacamole, Julie, it's 7:01 a.m., baby Olls just got up, the coffee is still brewing and you have me crying. Wonderful.