It happens, and not just to other people -- dreams come true, and everything that came before no longer matters. All the waiting and tears, close calls and well-meaning inquiries that set my teeth on edge, and all the disappointments become just a part of something much larger. Pure love has arrived. I have a daughter. I am a mom. I am somebody's mom!
For me, the yearlong wait to be approved was a breeze, but the more recent wait for my actual referral was agony. I read on the Internet that referrals were coming in for my group number, and I knew it was just a matter of time. About three weeks went by before I heard anything. Just when I thought I couldn't stand the wait another second, my agency called to tell me that my daughter was almost a year old and from Nanchang, China. Her birthday falls 11 days before mine, and her Chinese name is remarkably similar to my childhood nickname. She was born in the Year of the Rabbit; I was born in the Year of the Rabbit, and so was my mom. (Find out more about the Year of the Rabbit and other aspects of Chinese astrology.) When I got my little girl's picture, I was amazed at the resemblance to my mother. It doesn't matter that mom isn't Chinese.
The Tearful Meeting
My parents and sister traveled with me to China and although it sometimes felt like they were doing their best to drive me crazy, I was grateful for their love and support. Having them share with me the moment of meeting my baby girl is an experience I will never forget. My travel group and all of our companions were huddled together on the 13th floor of the Lakeview Hotel in Nanchang. We could hear the babies crying in a nearby room, and we tried to sneak peeks around the corner. Suddenly, our babies were brought to us. My daughter cried in my arms, wetting my shoulder with her tears. I tried to remember some Chinese words I had learned from watching (over and over) the Big Bird in China video. I kissed her cheek and whispered "ni hao," which means hello, "Wo ai ni," which means I love you and "Danyao," which means Big Bird. She seemed unimpressed with my language skills, as she continued to sob. It was not until I slipped her into my dad's big arms that she relaxed. At that moment, I swear I heard him promise her his entire estate and anything else she might want, and it must have worked, because he was the one she loved first.
The next morning, our travel group reunited at the breakfast buffet, and our conversation which had (just the day before) been highly intelligent touching on politics, religion and philosophy, now turned into a lengthy discussion about poop. Whose child had pooped, what kind, how much? That was the beginning of motherhood.
I am awed at how quickly and quietly my daughter became a part of my life. I cannot imagine life without her. I was warned again and again that my lifestyle would change, and it has. Being a single mom means I have to be a little more organized, so that I can get a shower while she is still sleeping. It means that I have to work my schedule around her naps, so I can get some of my own things done. Being a single mom means that I have to make sure I earn enough money to provide for her, that I will have to answer questions about why she doesn't have a dad, and that I am the one who must make every decision about how to raise her. Being a single mom means that all the goodnight kisses belong to me. I find myself sneaking into her room to watch her sleep, or listening intently to her little noises over the baby monitor and wishing she would get up and play with me. I really had no idea of how delightful one little girl could be.
There is a Chinese proverb about how people are connected with a red thread and no matter how long it is or how much it may tangle, the people connected are destined to meet. I believe that God connected our red thread.
--by Linda L., LindaL3@aol.com, December, 2000