Friday, December 09, 2005


What a day. What an amazing day. We are delirious with tiredness, having thrashed for a few scant hours last night, waiting for the sun to come up. We knew that calls would start coming at 10:00 Colorado time, and that meant 8:00 for us. Well, we heard nothing until 9:45 and I was fairly passing out by then! When the phone rang, David had seen to it that a special recording set-up (that he described as "low-tech) would capture the whole conversation for posterity, and we put it on speaker phone, too. A gal named Jen identified herself as an employee of CCAI, and then asked, "Is this a good time?" We were laughing and crying simultaneously, totally overwhelmed by the surreal quality of the moment, the moment in which we would become parents in an instant, over the phone. The first thing she said was something like "You have a beautiful daughter!" and I just lost it. I'm so glad this no doubt charming display was also being video-taped, especially since I was still in my pajamas. :)

She gave us the information that many of you have already read on e-mail--her name, her age, her province and a few details about her most recent medical exam, nothing that excited any particular attention. She sounded plump from her stats, and she has a little birthmark on the side of her head. I don't remember much of what David and I said or asked, though I do remember asking, when I learned her name was Yu Mei Ruo and that she knows her name, what she is actually called. That's where we got Ruo-Ruo, and it just stuck! All day long I'd pull up her picture again and be unable to restrain myself from proclaiming "Ruo-Ruo!" in a high-pitched baby voice.

For the first few minutes, I know I was in a state of shock, first because many months ago I had a vivid dream that our baby was going to come from Jiangxi, and instead she was from Chongqing, and because I'd kind of imagined her at six months and she is going to be a year old in a couple weeks. Then we had some sort of technical difficulties accessing our picture (they send the first one over e-mail) and it was the longest 15 minutes of my life while we pressed "check mail" hundreds of times and I became more and more hysterical. We finally resorted to calling CCAI and shouting into the speaker phone, "Our picture didn't come through!" and I guess we were sufficiently urgent-sounding because then we received it about five times. :)

I had some really complicated feelings when I saw her picture. I remember thinking all along that the people who said "I took one look at her picture and fell in love with her" just didn't sound like me. I am a "glass half-full" type of girl; it's how I'm able to tell jokes. :) I was shocked at her shaved head (extremely common for girls in Chinese orphanages) and her relaxed stance and expression, as if already jaded by the prospect of the thousands of photos her dad will take of her. ;) But within a few minutes, all the details began to snap into place in my head, like the moment when you find that certain piece of the puzzle that makes the placement of all the subsequent pieces really obvious. Of course she was relaxed--think about who her father is, after all! Of course she laughs really loud and sleeps really late--she's her mother's daughter! And hey, doesn't she look a little like my dad?

The happiness of the moment was capped by a phone call back from Mary and Paul, who confirmed that their J girl is also in Chongqing and practically the same age as ours! It was like a dream coming true--we've thought about being able to travel with them for so long, and now it is really going to happen!

The rest of the day has been a blur--sending out an e-mail to our "blast" list with her little photo and receiving a wonderfully prodigious number of responses from loved ones, many of whom said they cried when they first saw her face. Lots of really sweet phone calls, too, and a lot of love gathered for a little girl in spicy southwestern China at the mouth of the Yangtse River, ready and waiting for her to come and collect it all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you and David.

I hope you are not tired of me saying so.

Jarrah is lovely beautiful. I can't wait to kiss her!