The next two days seemed longer than the last year in some ways. We were told that they would call back to tell us to come meet our foster daughter. We spent our time wisely, running across town picking out newborn girl clothes, baby bottles, blankets, and a plethora of pacifiers.
And then no call came. We were under the impression that they’d call us back that same day. That night must have been the longest night of our lives. Our little girl was alone in a hospital basin and we couldn’t be there for her. We spent the next day with our phones turned all the way up clutched tightly in our hands. Every sound caused us to answer them. All the while the nursery remained barren and silent. We lost even more sleep that second night. Was it all a misunderstanding? Did they call the wrong people?
Sarabeth and I were by each other’s sides the entire weekend while we waited for permission to see our little girl. Exactly one year ago today, at Target, picking up more baby stuff, Sarabeth and I split up so she could grab the paper towels at the back of the store while I began checking out.
The phone rang in my pocket annoyingly loud just as I was swiping my Target Rewards card. For the first time ever I blew someone off by answering it while they were talking to me (I don’t envy retail workers). I panicked because Sarabeth wasn’t nearby to take notes and I had a terrible memory, especially under pressure. I waved and jumped up and down to get Sarabeth to hurry back with the 12-pack of Downey. She started jumping up and down too when she reached me and we both started crying like little school girls in the middle of Target on a busy Sunday morning.
I drove fast enough to the hospital to merit getting yelled at: “You don’t want to die before meeting your daughter, do you? SLOW DOWN!”
There are three things in my life I’ll never forget as long as I live.
1) How terrified I was all four times I saw Jurassic Park in theaters.
2) Meeting my wife (even though I still get some facts wrong). And,
3) Seeing my daughter for the first time.
She. Was. Beautiful. I generally don’t think babies are that cute, but this one, she was perfect in every way. The first thing I thought was that ironically, she looked exactly like Sarabeth (no jokes, please – I’ve tried). Seriously, even the nurses were saying it and people still say it today. And the other thing I thought was that even though we were just fostering this beautiful little girl, I knew we’d keep her forever.
We’re hopeful to adopt her this summer.
Oh, and that was Sarabeth’s birthday. I know I’ll never be able to beat that gift. And we stayed with our daughter at the hospital that night and for the third night in a row, we didn’t sleep. But for a much better reason.
Happy birthday, Sarabeth, and happy “Hi Day,” little girl. We love you more than you can ever imagine!
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