The image of that girl in the back of the room, who has probably heard the story of her adoption a thousand times and was probably promised a present of some kind for sacrificing another of her Saturdays to wait while her Mom yapped at another roomful of adults, was a saving grace for me. I don't know what it was that touched me so. Maybe it was their obvious and effortless and totally normal—both unremarkable AND extraordinary—connection. Maybe it was that the child half-listened to her adoption story with the same comfortable disinterest as any child would listen to her mother's thousandth retelling of her birth story. All I know for sure is that that young girl, and her exuberant and pillowy mother at the front of the room, would carry me through that first difficult round of paperwork. It was everything.
We're almost closing in on a year from when we first decided to adopt a baby girl from Ethiopia. I'm taken aback by the heart's ability to patch itself back together after a time of crisis. Eleven months later and I feel like a braggart when I tell people I'm adopting. We're five months on the wait list now and some strange beast of calm has taken over me. I don't know when the referral is coming but I'm not counting down the weeks. Right now, I feel sure the child will get here in her due time. And then there her picture will be in front of us, and we will moon over the computer and snivel and weep and laugh and say 'Hold on, hold on, we're coming, we're coming!'