Sunday, September 30, 2012

One Year Ago Today: Referral Day

One year ago today I was sitting at home eagerly waiting for the phone to ring. It was a Friday and I had taken the day off work to have privacy for what I knew would be a very emotional experience. It turns how I had no idea just how extremely emotional it was going to be. Six years after we started our adoption journey Gary and I were finally receiving our referral for our daughter. I decided to document our referral day by videoing it, but when the phone rang around 10:30 a.m. I completely forgot that the camera was rolling in the background. In fact, I discovered later that I had over two hours of footage showing me talking to family and friends about our referral. I tried to compile my favorite moments into the movie below.

A friend of mine once told me that I am not a pretty crier and I know that is true. However, remembering how hungry I was during the wait for any insight into the adoption process I decided to go ahead and post this in case any waiting families want a glimpse into our referral day.

 I remember my heart was racing and my tears flowing when I first heard the voice of Jean from CCAI, our adoption agency.  Before she told me anything about Natalie I felt a great sense of relief that the wait was over.  It felt like a weight had been lifted off of me.  Then the reality hit that I was about to learn about my daughter.  One of the things I most wanted to know was how old Natalie was, but I managed to be patient just a bit longer as I waited for Jean to give us the information on Natalie in her own sequence. 

Seeing Natalie's face for the first time was the most intense moment of this incredible experience. On a loop, my brain kept repeating, "That beautiful little stranger is our daughter." It took quite a while to fully sink in and I enjoyed every minute of the process. Our agency had warned us not to get too attached to the photograph. That was my intention, but in the end I could not heed that warning. Gary and I both attached to the child in that photograph, or at least to our idea of her. We fell in love fast and we fell hard.

11 comments:

mama of 5 said...

Thanks for sharing your day with us! I cried too! Loved the video! Loved talking with you a few nights ago. Thanks for the email. I will write soon. Today marks 6 months being home!

Carrie said...

This video was sooo moving. Thank you for sharing. :)

Sherri said...

Thanks for sharing your special moment...I too am in tears. I think about our referral often now...3 months away from our first year of seeing Emma for the first time.

Congrats!! The video was just beautiful, so loved the way you put it together.

JackDaddy said...

That was truly wonderful! Thank you for letting us be a small part of it!

Bebe Blogger said...

Thank you for posting this! Heartwarming and so special for you to share your raw emotion with everyone. Audrey's birthday is just 12 days before Natalie's.

Anonymous said...

I had tears watching this. Thank you for sharing!

Nancy said...

You know that red coat kills me. Either they had 2 of them or Mazie and Natalie shared it. I have so many pics of Mazie the same coat.
and... I think you're a beautiful cryer!
nancy

Charity, Gary, Katie, Louie & Natalie said...

Thanks for the positive feedback everyone! I was hesitant about posting this, but now I'm glad I did.

Charity, Gary, Katie, Louie & Natalie said...

Nancy, it is so cool that our girls have this shared history. I'm hoping that as they get older the three foster sisters can talk to each other on a regular basis.

apg said...

I stumbled on your blog because I was watching Newfie videos on Youtube and wanted to see what the therapy test was like as well as rally. I am so glad I did. This story was so wonderful. Congrats and happy year anniversary for your referral day. (last week :))

Charity, Gary, Katie, Louie & Natalie said...

apg, thanks so much for your kind comment. Good luck on your Therapy Dog test! If you have any questions about it please let me know. I would be happy to help. - Charity