Wow-what a crazy week it's been. I don't think I've stopped smiling yet! Last Wednesday, I had my appointment with immigration to be fingerprinted. This will be the last major piece of paper that I need. Anyway-I talked myself out of going to the gym afterward and went home instead. Boy-I'm glad I did. It would've been another hour or so that I didn't know about Josie.
The Fed Ex envelope was wedged between the door and screen door. I saw that it was from PLAN-but I knew that my dossier had just been sent to Vietnam the day before. I figured that they had made a copy of my file or something to send to me. I didn't open it immediately-I came in the house, petted the kitties, put my stuff away and came back to it about 10 minutes later. I open it up and I swear-my heart stopped beating for a few seconds when I read this:
Congratulations on the official referral of your darling daughter!!!
I freaked out. No, seriously-you'd have thought someone died or something. Hysterical happy crying/shrieking is virtually indistinguishable from sad hysterical crying/shrieking. As I'm doing this, I'm thinking "Pictures. There has to be pictures in here somewhere. I started flinging papers around til i find them. And their she is. Absolutely beautiful. But-how old is she? What's her name? A million questions are flying around in my brain and i'm trying to find the answers while I'm hyperventilating and digging with one hand in my purse for my cell phone.
I find the phone-and the answers to my questions . . . .Nguyen Thi Mai (Mai-pronounced My-is her first name) born June 17, 2006. So she's currently about 6 1/2 months old. Abandoned at birth in Hanoi at a medical clinic. No info on the mother.
I want to call mom-but I can't talk yet. So-I pace around trying to take deep breaths while staring at the pictures, memorizing that sweet face. I'd had 3 names picked out-Josephine, Lucy or Veroncia-and when I first saw the pictures-I knew she was a Josie.
When I think I can talk-I try to call mom-at home, at work, on her cell. I try Dad's cell. No answer. I called Marie to see if she knew where Mom was-but she didn't. She also knew something was up. I was DYING to tell someone-so I did. I had planned to tell Mom first-but jeez-answer the phone, willya! So-Marie of course, was excited and told me to chill while she tracked mom down. Apparently mom was at the pool and the staff there eventually saw her and told her to call me on my cell. So-by this point mom and i are actually trying to call each other at the same time. So-she finally got through and I guess she was in the parking lot. When I told her-well, let's just say we are definately related:) Then-more phone calls. Finally got through to Dad, Kathy, Chris and Shula. I was basically on the phone for the next 2 hours. When I wasn't on the phone-I was pacing the house and looking at the referral packet and pictures.
Mom came up to Portland that nite with Jeff, Marie and the kids. No way were they waiting 3 days to see the pictures. Or even one day for me to scan them and email them. They came with bags of clothes and bibs and socks they had been buying (even though they weren't supposed to until we knew how old she was!). Marie also brought me a beer and a pack of cookie dough. Backstory: In the hospital, after she'd had her first child-she told me she wanted a beer and cookie dough. So-I went out and got her some. So-it's a little family joke!
We went out to dinner and found a Kinko's to make copies of the pictures. It was a nice little celebration. I shared the name I 'd chosen and it took all of 10 seconds for the kids to come up with this:
and the Pussycats!