Sunday, January 9, 2011
Adopting Our Twins: Part II
Some time on the 22nd we asked Brian's parents to do us the biggest solid in the history of favors - drive all the way to Tucson (13 hours) with our 4 year-old so that we could be with her on Christmas. It would have been ok if they'd said no, but lucky for us they dropped everything, gave up their Christmas Day and drove down to Tucson. When we knew they were coming, I talked to the house manager at RMH, Cheri, and explained that Bridget's Christmas presents were at home and Brian's parents had been unable to get into our house. I wondered if she would leave a note for Bridget from Santa explaining his dilemma. Cheri wouldn't hear of it - she took me into a room filled floor to ceiling and wall to wall with donated gifts. She gave me a giant box and told me to fill it for Bridget. I had a moment where I couldn't speak because I knew it would be the ugliest happy cry anyone had ever seen. I was very conservative - a package of play dough, some dollar store jewelry. I looked back at the box and Cheri had added a huge princess art supply kit, two or three dolls, a tea set. Yikes. Santa isn't that generous where I come from.
On Christmas Eve I was on my way to the hospital to feed Emil when we got a call that Brian's parents were in the parking lot. I took Colin with me and Brian had the camera to capture Bridget and Grandma and Grandpa meeting Colin for the first time. Bridget was asleep in the car and when she opened her eyes and saw me, she started gathering up all the little pieces of chocolate she'd "wrapped" for me for Christmas. After dinner that night we let Bridget spread the reindeer food (one of the many items locked in our house and something Bridget had been looking forward to doing) that Cheri had provided for us. (If you can't tell, I am in love with the whole idea of Ronald McDonald House. They took such good care of us during the most emotional time of our lives and I can't say enough good things about them. Please volunteer or donate to your local Ronald McDonald House!)
On Christmas morning we got a loud knock on the door at 7:00. We had to wake Bridget up, but we let her open the door. I don't think she was expecting much and I know she wasn't expecting the giant box full of stuff that was sitting outside the door. There was also a box of presents for Brian and me and the babies. It was strange, but still nice to be near a Christmas tree opening gifts on Christmas morning.
Bridget and Brian's parents stuck around Ronald McDonald House (Harold and Denise were across the hall from us) for the next few days while Brian and I were back and forth between the hospital and RMH. It would have been relaxing if the circumstances were different. Emil was getting better every minute and the doctors told us on Sunday the 26th that we'd be able to check him out of the hospital on Monday morning, which we did.
We figured we'd be on our way by Thursday, December 30th, so we decided that Harold and Denise could drive our car back and keep Bridget at their house for a few more days and we'd follow with the babies. It's funny to see that plan condensed into one sentence. I dropped Emil's release papers off at the lawyers office on Tuesday the 28th (they were on vacation on the 27th, naturally) and that's when the lawyer's assistant told us they couldn't hand deliver our application to the state until the next morning. BAH! Our original plan was to drive home with all three of our children, but we didn't know how long the review would take. We hoped it would be one day, but we learned to plan against the best case scenario. That's how Bridget ended up going home with Grandma and Grandpa. I think she sensed her parents' stress level and it was making her anxious and almost as teary as her Mama.
But that was the best case scenario, and we never did get the best case scenario...