Saturday, August 10, 2013

Congratulations! It's a girl!

One year ago today, I became a mom. It was your typical delivery story: A long wait, a nervous mom, an anxious father, and lots of tears.

Not so typically, the arrival of my little one occurred in an airport.

I was so excited. I had spent the night before decorating her room and putting clothes in her closet. I could hardly sleep (nothing new), but I tried because the next day would be busy. My husband was bringing my bundle of joy home from Italy, and I was a going to be left alone with her for the next two days. We did not speak the same language and I wasn't sure she was going to like me. We had spoken on the phone before, but I was being introduced to her as her new addition to her biological mom, not instead of. At least she wanted to come. She always ended her conversations with her dad by asking when he was coming to get her. So, now she will be happy coming to live with us, I thought. Man, I was stupid.

I stood by the escalator where everyone from the planes had to come to get to the luggage carousels. There they were. They looked...angry, sad, frustrated. Uh oh. My husband put her hand in mine and said, "This lady cried all the way here. Like I hurt her. I did nothing to her. I need to smoke." And with that, he stepped outside the terminal. I looked down at my new daughter, her face swollen from crying, big eyes staring at me, hand holding my tightly, and I fell in love.

Since she did not speak English, I mimed my question of whether she needed to use the restroom or not (not easy to do in a busy airport terminal without looking ridiculous). She needed to go.

My husband stayed frustrated on the long drive back to our house. I understood. He had not had a cigarette in about a day on the plane, she had cried for her mother for 19 hours (!), something that the passengers did not enjoy, and he needed to go to his National Guard drill the next day at 5am. Not the best start for our new family. When he stopped at Starbucks, I took a picture of her with my phone, then she took my phone and took a picture of me.

We had a great night together after my husband went to sleep. She found music on the television, showed me some dance moves, and was able to communicate what she needed to me. This was going well. When she woke up the next morning, she cried for her mom. And again the next day, and again the next day. I don't remember when she stopped crying for her mom.

To be continued...