So, today marks another one year anniversary - this one since the day I first met Maia! (Beware, over the next two months, there will be a lot of, today marks the one year anniversary... etc. - get used to it!) :)
Today was the day that I went to the MOE in Petro and was granted permission to visit the baby house and view the available children that met my requests. Such a strange, strange set of events that occur when they march various children in and out and then tell you to pick one. I had been told about the process, but when I was there, I seemed to forget all that I was 'told', and just couldn't believe I had to pick a child! They were all God's children and who am I to PICK one? How weird. In the end, of course, God had already picked the child that was to be mine - but when faced with here are some choices, pick one, it seems a little weird and a lot overwhelming!!
Truth be told, for me and my circumstances, the children I was shown, there really was only one choice that I realistically could choose. Not because she was the cutest... (but of course, as her Mommy, I think she is!). Not because God already knew which child would be mine. But because truly, logistically, I had only one real choice. The first child was quite severely disabled, and although adorable, I am not able to care for someone as a single, working parent who would need as much care as she would have needed. The second child had a sibling. Again, as much as I would have LOVED to decide to take home two children - I couldn't make that decision in 5 minutes and what I did think about in those 5 minutes was the fact that I really wasn't prepared to take two children home with me. So, the third child I was shown was Maia. Obviously, we know how this story ended, but I did want to consider them all for at least a brief minute. In the end however, I was able to take one, healthy child - and Maia was the obvious choice for me. I only got to see her that day for maybe 5 minutes - and then after she left I basically had to make my decision. After choosing Maia, I was given two older pictures of her that I was able to take with me. That's all I had for that night to 'think' about, two older pictures, and the 5 minutes I had had with her when I was trying to listen to every detail about her medical history, all the while checking her out and watching her to see if she was 'the one'.
I must admit, it wasn't the euphoric feeling I was kinda hoping it would be. It was weird and surreal to be shown children and have to choose one. Then I chose one - how weird! Of course, it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made - and although it was kind of a 'non-decision', I still felt like I was making a decision and it was just weird. Again, I COULD have taken any of those children - it was just that Maia was truly the only one I could really care for in my situation.
A year later, I recall that strange day vividly. I remember the next day (tomorrow) when I got to come back and visit with her the first time (but only for an hour!!). How weird to be handed a 16 month old and know she is to be my daughter. Maybe this was because I had also had the joy of having a newborn placed in my arms. A big difference between a newborn I had carried and a 16month old that stared at me like, Who in the WORLD are YOU?? Don't read this wrong, or misunderstand what I am saying. I was full of joy with her and the whole process (well, maybe not the WHOLE process...) but it was just so strange. I don't know if families who haven't had bio kids have this strange feeling as well - but I know I did, I suppose because I did have something to compare the process to? I knew she was my daughter, and I loved visiting with her - it's just different than an experience with a newborn.
Anyway - a great day to remember, but it also comes with the memory of one of the strangest days of my life. How does one really choose a child? They are all worthy, and I so hope and pray that they have all found loving homes!!
After we left the babyhouse and I had chosen my baby... we went to the Iceberg for the second time. Ah - memories. The pathetic memory here was as we came out, still in my dress and hose from MOE, I completely fell down on the ice outside the front door of the Iceberg and landed HARD on my knee(s). OW! Getting up was ANYTHING but graceful, and in a dress no less!! (And ripped hose!) We went to our first apartment and I iced my knee(s) for the rest of the day to reduce the swelling and the pain, as we looked at baby name books for the rest of the day to see what I thought she 'looked' like. I had arrived in Kaz with pretty certain ideas of what I wanted to name her, but she didn't fit ANY of those... so I was on to plan B and was SO glad I had brought my baby name book. It was that day I came across Maia for the first time, although it took me about another week to choose that as her name.
Tomorrow is the day that we visited her for the first 'real' time, and also the day we moved to our apartment #2. It was larger and nicer, but had it's own issues. (remember the rattling chandelier, the noisey neighbors who stayed up all night (every night!, when did they sleep???), the light in the bathroom that had the Poltergeist, as well as my bedside light that also had a Poltergeist in it, and the foul smell of raw sewage in the 'lobby' the would seep through our front door somedays? (the smell seeped, not the sewage) Oh yes, the memories.... :)
As everyone says, I can NOT believe it has been a year since I met her. She has brought us ALL such joy and we are THRILLED she is part of our family. At the same time, I almost can't believe I have ONLY known her for a year. She was meant for our family, that's for sure. She is the HAPPIEST child (PERSON!) I think I have EVER met! She is always happy. Today, she woke up EXTRA happy. She was just SO happy today - it was awesome. I hope she keeps that wonderful spirit she has and the joy she seems to carry with her wherever she goes. She is an amazing little girl and I am SO blessed to be her Mommy. I love you Maia and Thank God for bringing me to you one year ago today!
If this works... here are the two pictures I was given the first day in the baby house.
This one is from the first five minutes or so after I got to visit the next day - she is so LITTLE!! I love this picture! (If this doesn't work... I will load these pictures tomorrow when I can hook it up directly to the internet rather than wirelessly, which is where my problems come in with pictures for some reason.)
Compare these pictures to those below - she's grown up a bit! 16 months old a year ago today. Today, she is 28 months old, and quite a two year old! :)