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Thursday, August 26, 2010

...and then the most wonderful thing happened...

Day T-3
Phoenix, AZ

On this day, 2 years ago, after the kiddos had gone to bed, I sat in my dark office staring at my computer.  I pushed my email's refresh key... for the umpteenth time.  Nothing.  This was just like every other night for months.  Every night.
Refresh.  
Refresh.  
Months of delay.  
Refresh.  
Months of unanswered emails and encrypted phone calls with the USCIS.  Months of horrific rumors and accusations.  Additional months my children would lay in the hard, sterile, and barren cold metal cribs of the orphanage, day after day after day.  I played a video clip to pass the minutes till I would push the refresh button again.  The video clip was already over a month old.  And I had seen it enough times to memorize every detail.  There was Jujube crawling across a reed mat, his brace trailing behind.  A stuffed turtle.  His shirt so big it was falling off.  Their laughs on the video in such sharp contrast to my tears and my fears.  
Refresh.  
He looked at the camera, and crawled closer to the person filming... crawling... closer... smiling... looking... closer.  That grin.  Oh there's little teeth coming in the bottom.  I smiled.  I proudly beamed for a child I had never held.  I cried.  A lot.  I was missing those little teeth coming in the bottom.  
Refresh.
tears
Toward the end of the video, he crawled toward the edge of the steps, looking out, I imagined, at a world that he was not invited to be in.  A world that was not a tiny room in an orphanage with no vacancies.  I paused the video.  There was just something about the way he sat at the edge of those steps.  The exit so close but so far.  A mama desperately waiting, so close yet so far. 
I remember all my tears literally falling on my key board.  
Refresh.  
At the moment he was closest to the lens, it got a little blurry.  I remember feeling so silly and so desperate at the same time, but I did it anyway... I reached my hand out, at my desk and touched my computer monitor to feel his cheek.  It was so stupid, and I knew it.  He wasn't at the end of my finger tips.  He was half way across the world.  Without me.  
Refresh.  
But as stupid as it felt, I needed to feel him at that moment.  I needed to try to touch him.  And when I decided to reach out and touch the screen, even though I knew it was impossible, I felt it.  A cold hard computer monitor.  No soft warm baby cheek.  Just a cold monitor.  
Refresh.
tears
Refresh.
tears
Refresh...  a new email...  from Ho Chi Minh City.  I opened it just 2 minutes after it was sent from half way across the world.  After months of delay, additional and unnecessary months of our files gathering dust, a bureaucratic nightmare, the US government granted approval for Tess and Jude to come home to a forever family.   

Litterally, 96 hours later we were on a plane to gather our children.  3 hours after our plane touched down, in SaiGon, VietNam, the most wonderful thing happened... I held my son and then my daughter for the first time.  And we started the journey to make up for lost time.  

To be continued...


4 comments:

  1. Oh, Nancy, I love how you share the true raw feelings of waiting, wondering, hoping and longing for your little ones. I have an 8" by 10" of each of my children in ET. It will be months before we get to go over and meet them. I completely know the longing to touch them and putting my hand on their pictures, taking a deep breath and whispering a prayer up to God for them. I know it is dumb but it is all that I have, for now. Looking forward to the rest of your families story! ♥

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  2. Beautifully written, Nancy :)
    And the video? I can only imagine the tears and the joy brought on by seeing that sweet little man of yours, still waiting so far away...

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  3. Wow. 96 hours?! So glad for your happy ending!

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  4. Your trip to VietNam makes the flight to Ethipia and back look like a sissy trip. I am officially a sissy.

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