Ok, so I got ragged on by a friend for not mentioning Rico, after all we do have 2 kids. But he hasn't entered the story yet! Don't worry, I'll continue on to Rico's story and he does have his own story. But in the meantime...
We decided to change from domestic to international adoption. We had to redo all our paperwork...stacks and stacks of paper work. I think the dossier was 17 documents in all. From the homestudy to proof of financial responsibility to proof of employment, clearance by local police, by the FBI and on and on. It took about 3 months to get all the paperwork and then get it notarized, certified and to get in line for a referral. By making the change, we knew that we would have a fairly set time line. But we also knew that it pushed back the time that we could become parents, at least have a baby in our arms, to about a year at the inside.
At the time we got in line with the agency, it was taking about 5-6 months to get a referral for a baby girl. We did have the option of choosing a boy or a girl. Personally, I could care less, just let me become a Mama. But Ralph grew up with only brothers and always wished he could have a sister and so since that never happened, he wanted the next best thing, a daughter. We could have gotten a referral sooner, had we chosen a boy. Boys, for some reason, are less adoptable or less wanted (sounds awful, huh, but it's true).
After about 3 months, we got a call from the agency. They told us they were going to try out a new attorney. Would we be interested in being a "test case" for the attorney. Hmmm...Ralph and I discussed it. We chose this particular agency because of their attorneys. The attorneys they used had excellent reputations for being ethical. Did we want to go with attorneys with a proven track record, the reason we chose this agency? Or did we want to take a chance? It could move us up the list, too, and could mean that we get a referral sooner. At that time, we were 12th on the waiting list for a girl.
Ralph said something that convinced me. He said, 'Look the agency and it's attorneys have a great reputation. It's well known. If I were a new attorney and had the opportunity to do business with this agency, I'd work doubly hard on a test case to be sure that they liked my work". Made sense to me! So we advised the agency that we would, indeed, be willing to be a test case.
About a month later, Ralph was up in Washington state for work. He called around 6:30 pm and we talked a bit, the call waiting rang while we were talking and I ignored it. (This was before call waiting caller ID, at least for us.) He told me that he was in an area where his cell phone wasn't working and that he and a colleague were going out to dinner and he'd call me back after dinner. Ok, we hung up and I started making myself a chicken taco, using leftover chicken I had in the house.
The phone rang...it was the adoption agency. "I've been trying to reach you. I sent you an email, I called but there was no answer". Yeah, ok, so what? "We have a baby girl for you! I sent you the pictures via email. We need to know your answer soon, so we can start the process. Will you accept her referral?"
Tears ran down my face.....I couldn't believe it...I was going to be a MOM! (There went dinner, I was way too excited to eat and yes, that's why I remember what I was making, I remember every detail of that happy evening.)
I waited about an hour and tried to call Ralph at the hotel. He wasn't in his room yet, so I left a message. I waited another 15 minutes and left another message. I didn't want to see the pictures until I told him. I couldn't wait. I am not a patient person and I sat there knowing that my little girl's picture was there, in my in box, just waiting for me. I opened the email and looked at a picture of my daughter at one day old. She was the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen. I cried and then I cried some more.
I kept calling the hotel, trying to reach Ralph. Finally the desk clerk assured me, I need not call again. It was a small hotel, there were only 2 Coast Guard guys staying there and they had to go through the lobby to return to their rooms. He would make sure that Ralph called me up his return. I told him to please, please, please relay the message that this was URGENT.
Finally, the phone rang....it was Ralph....I said hello and he said, "So what is so darn urgent anyway? Did one of the dogs get run over by a car?" I could hardly talk through my tears as I told him that he had just become a Dad. (By the way, this is Marielle's favorite part of her adoption story, that Daddy thought the dogs had been hit by a car.)
I have to remind you, that at this point in time, there were 12 other families ahead of us on the waiting list. That means, for us to get Marielle's referral twelve other families said NO to being a test case. Now, are you starting to see why I truly believe that our child was meant to be our child? Ok, here's another thing to ponder....there were 2 test cases, girls that were born within hours of one another. How is it that Marielle was assigned to us and the other baby assigned to another family. Makes my head spin sometimes. But again, I believe that it was meant to be.
LMNOP has moved to QRSTUV
6 years ago