...is likely the date that we will meet the children we hope will complete our family! It's been almost three weeks since we received news of our court date, and just over four until we get to meet them face to face. We're almost halfway there. AHHH!
In and amongst all of the stress involved with the court trip, I live for the moment that we will actually get to meet our long-awaited children. What will they be like, I wonder over and over as I toss and turn at night. I'm sure they'll be much tinier than I imagine them to be. It's not like meeting Matthew at ages three and five, who had the benefit of nutrition for those early years. Our three-year old is the size of a barely-two-year old, and our five-year old is apparently the size of a three-year old. When I stare at girls' clothing in size 2T, my mind cannot do the math to think that those tiny pieces of apparel will fit my daughter's almost-3.5-year old body. Same goes when I wonder about our five-year old - will he really and truly fit into Matthew's three-year clothing? It's hard to imagine their teenyness (is that even a word?).
I feel desperate to see them. What will it be like to drive down to the city of Adama a day before court, where their orphanage is? Will I be talkative or contemplative? What do I want to be thinking about during that 2.5 hour drive? When we arrive at the orphanage where the kids are living, will our hearts be pounding? Will we even recognize our two amongst the sea of little faces that will undoubtedly greet us, all calling us "mama" and "papa"? The pictures we have of the children are months old already; though I know every nuance of their faces from those pictures, how will they have changed since those photos were taken? What are their personalities like and will we even see evidence of them in the short visit we'll be allowed? Given their nutrition issues, I'm very curious to see what they will be like developmentally. Will they play with the other kids? Will they greet us (not as their soon-to-be-hopeful parents, but as guests to the orphanage) or stand off on the side somewhere? Are they social, or more on the withdrawn side? Will they smile? We haven't seen any pictures of them smiling yet, so I have no idea how their faces will change with a smile lighting it. I wonder about their teeth - so often, it seems kids come home with teeth in dire need of attention, but not always...where will our kids fall on the spectrum? Is there some covert way that I could take some body and foot measurements, so that I can figure out what size of clothing they require - that would be so helpful when we're (hopefully) at the point of planning trip #2. Might I be able to sneak in a little kiss, if I kiss all of the rest of the kids first? Is there a chance I might even be able to hold one or both of them on my lap for a moment, if I divide my attention first amongst the others who will surround us? If so, will I remember to close my eyes for that moment, so that I can attach some body memory to the feeling of their bodies with mine. I want so badly just to touch them. Even a moment will ease the yearning a bit.
No wonder I can't sleep these days. The moment I close my eyes to sleep, I wake up in the other part of my world...the part exists about a twenty-eight hour plane trip away. I've had to resort to my usual reading tricks to allow my mind to come to a pause, so that by the time my beside light finally goes out, my exhaustion might help override the double life I'm leading. I read five novels (none of them short) in the first eight days of January, and I'd have read another one or two in the last two days, except that I decided to re-read two of the ones I just finished in order to clarify some details...so I guess technically I've read seven books in the past nine days! You know I'm not sleeping when...
At any rate, this next month simply cannot go fast enough for me. I so want to get to Addis and meet the children and get through our court date. We are hoping so much to pass court first try, but that's completely out of our control. So we just have to wait it out. Is there any way to speed up time, travel through it faster? Where are Michael J. Fox and "Back to the Future" when you need them?