Last Wednesday, while I was minding my own business out on a wedding-flower-choosing adventure with my sister and a friend, my cell phone rang. The area code was 817.…. Texas. More specifically… Gladney Center for Adoption. I flipped open my phone (I know, old school) and jumped out of the parked car.
Yes, it was our case worker. Her first question, “Is Rick home?” made my guard go right up. I’m not getting my heart broken again by some darling little girl with a big toothy grin and black hair and pleading brown eyes. I will be WAY more cautious this time. I will not be swayed by darlingness. I will wait for the pediatrician’s report. I will not send her pictures to my family. I will not announce her name on Facebook. I will not frame her picture and bring it to Neighborhood Group. I will not get attached before we accept the referral … in writing… and I will wait until it’s faxed before I crack open my heart to my new daughter.
OK, that’s everything that went through my brain in the nanosecond that passed between our case worker’s question and my answer, “No, Rick is flying today.” Call me a chicken-hearted-lily-liver, but I’m trying to hold up a brave front guarding my tender-orphan-loving-soul.
Her first sentence had me extremely curious. “I don’t know how to start this phone call because I’ve never had to make a call like this before…..” I didn’t even respond…. just stood in the Glendale Thrift Store parking lot with my mouth hanging open. “We’ve hit a snag. Your file went back to Bogota but ICBF is asking you to reconsider Nora’s referral.” Still no response from me…. as my heart started quivering. “There is a new report available and we are wondering if you are open to us sending it to you. We are suggesting that you send it to a new international adoption pediatrician.” She read some of the report to me…. and finally my amazingly brilliant reply came out, “WOW!” Yep, that’s all I could manage at that moment.
NOOOOO! It’s the S A M E little black-haired cutey-patootie squeezing her way back into my heart.
If you are an adoptive mom, you understand that I was useless the rest of the day… totally distracted and staring into space… looking for some sky writing from God. My husband called right as I hung up with our case worker. I rattled off the whole scenario in 30 seconds and he asked what I told them. “I said, ‘Yes, send it.’”
Later that day he called and mentioned that there was a debate going on that evening at a local college that he would like to attend. I wasn’t too compassionate at that moment. I half yelled “NO! You need to come home and you need to bring food!” No, I hadn’t thought of dinner. I hadn’t thought of anything other than the strangeness of our circumstances. Do they normally ask parents declining a referral to reconsider? Do they send your file back to the national office and THEN ask you to reconsider, only to send it back to the same region again? And the inevitable question that we might not ever know the answer to, Why would this happen to us? To her?
So that is where I leave you, dear reader, in this Colombian adoption saga….……..