TEN HANDWRITTEN PAGES -- that's what my mom delivered to me today when I said, "You didn't email me my Gotcha Day story to post on the blog." She whipped it right out of her purse and said, "Here it is -- ten pages." Holy cow. So, as promised, here is my story from my mom's viewpoint. Enjoy!! [I'm told photos are forthcoming].
Forty years ago today our little angel came home with us to make us a family, and an angel she was too.
When you adopt a child you first ask each other if this is what you both want then you talk to all your parents to see if they will accept and love this child as their grandchild. Both sides of our family were excited and waited those long months to pass with us.
We wanted a little girl so this is what we prayed for. God said to ask and you shall receive so this is what we did. We filled out all the proper paperwork, home studies, etc. and then waited.
I ran to the mailbox every day to see if we had anything from the adoption agency. I had an aunt and uncle who had adopted a little girl through the same agency. I would call her and ask her questions. They were excited for us. It helped just having someone to talk to that had already been through what you were about to go through. We didn't have any idea how long it would take but the agency told us to start getting a room ready for a baby, and if a girl became available that is what we would get, but to decorate the room for either one. Our house had four bedrooms so we cleaned one out and made a nursery right across the hall from our bedroom so I could see the baby bed at all times.
I started buying either/or baby clothes. I worked at W**B** in the office as a secretary at the time and Charlie worked at Mi***Po***Ce*** in the office. After you came along, he took a job with them as a salesman so we could have more money and I could be a stay at home mom.
I had the room all fixed up by the first home visit. I had made curtains, bedspread and even found pictures for the wall that matched. Everything was light green and pale yellow. I laid my big doll that I had as a little girl up in the bed and when the lady from the agency came for the home study, she commented on the beautiful room. Then she saw the big doll laying in the bed and said, "Well, we had better get on the ball and find you a real baby."
Time passed and passed and passed with no letters. Then one day when we least expected it, we got a letter telling us to come in. They had a possible match. My heart jumped out of my chest. I cried and read the letter over and over then I called Charlie and we both got so excited. Then I got in my car and went to my uncle and aunt's house and let my aunt read the letter and she got excited. I just wanted to share with someone who had adopted before. When I left their house, I stopped by my mom and dad's house and they were so excited. I didn't know that my daddy and mama already bought some things, nor did I know that Charlie's mother had already bought a little pink dress. Now, was she praying for a little girl too?
We couldn't wait for the visit that next week. The lady took us in an upstairs office and talked and talked. I was thinking, "Get on with it." My heart was pounding out of my chest. I know Charlie's was too. She said, "We have a little girl for you all, but she is not a baby, she is 22 months old." She said if we preferred a baby they would keep on looking. We told her that it didn't matter that much so she handed up a picture to look at and I cried. I didn't look at Charlie to see if he was crying or not. She asked us what we thought and we both said we wanted to see her. They made arrangements for us to see you the next day. We couldn't wait. We got up bright and early and got ready way before time to go and just sat in the car.
I kept looking at that picture to see if I would recognize you when I saw you. They put us in a room to wait for them to bring you in. Our hearts pounded out of our chests. They door opened and there stood a woman holding the prettiest little girl I had ever seen. I remember thinking, "She's a little angel." The lady said we could take you out for the day and get acquainted. We didn't have to have a car seat back then so you sat in my lap. We went to Burger King. You ate a little bit of hamburger. Then we went to Baskin Robbins and you loved the ice cream. Then we went to a park down by the river and just sat there and watched the boats on the river. We talked to you but you wouldn't talk. You were very withdrawn and a loner. I knew right there and then it was going to take a lot of patience and training. I told Charlie that I didn't want to work and leave you and that you needed a lot of love and attention. He agreed so we decided I would quit work and be a stay at home mom.
The day wore down and it was time to take you back to the agency. I went and got in the car and Charlie had to take you and put you in the car with the lady to take you back to your foster family. You cried and reached for Charlie and that almost tore his heart out. We both left there all torn up and wanting to take you home, but they told us to come back tomorrow and if you talked to us or said anything, you could come home with us. But, if you didn't we did not get you. We prayed and sat up most of the night. I will never forget my thoughts all that night.
I didn't think morning would ever come, but it finally did and again we got there way early. I even remember what I wore that day -- a bright royal blue dress and royal blue high heels that were fancy. I still have those shoes. I sat down in the floor with you and you played with my shoes but still wouldn't talk. The social workers were looking through glass windows at us. I was praying, "Please God, let her say something so we can take her home." Then Charlie pinched one of your toes and you turned around and looked at him and said, "Kit - leave me alone." People came from every direction and told us we could take you home.
That was the happiest day of our lives.
We stopped on the way home and bought diapers and a doll [Good Baby] that we still have. Good Baby became your closest friend through the years. She went everywhere we went. You wore out the original body and Charlie's mother made a new one.
When we pulled into the driveway of our home, you were asleep in my arms. Charlie pecked you on the arm and said, "We're home." You popped up like a jack in the box, looked all around and said, "Home." We took you to your room first and then showed you the rest of the house telling you, "This is your home now and we are your mommy and daddy." You smiled and jumped up in Charlie's lap.
After a while, my daddy had stood it as long as he could without seeing you so here he came with a big yellow duck that you could ride one. It made a loud noise, "Quack, Quack". I thought I was going insane. You rode it from room to room. Finally, one day I took the quacker loose and told you it had broken.
I quit work and enjoyed every day with you. You would help me cook and work in the yard. When Charlie was out of town, we would go to the mall at Rivergate and stay until it closed. You were still a bit of a loner, but gradually you started having friends. You loved church and Sunday School teacher, Ms. Blossom Trotter. She made you a ceramic doll with a light blue dress. We still have that doll.
I am so very proud of our angel who is now the wife and mother of one child she gave birth to and one child that was adopted. It doesn't matter if you give birth or adopt, children are special and are given to you by God. They make your family complete.
We love you very much, Maria, and thank you for choosing the man you married (Kevin, we love you like a son) and giving us two wonderful grandchildren.
Happy Gotcha Day!
Mama and Daddy