Today marks two years since I saw this face for the first time.
We had received ‘the call’ from the WC coordinator at CCAI about 4:30 in the afternoon. Since I had just been told a week or so before that there was not a child in this batch of special needs referrals for us, I was completely shocked that we were now being offered a referral.
I received all of her basic information over the phone: name, date of birth, orphanage, height, weight and some basic medical information about her heart condition. I just knew she was the one. I called Chris, barely able to breathe much less communicate properly what had just occurred.
Soon he was telling me, “Yes, let’s commit to this child. She’s our Isabelle.” It was done. We hadn’t even seen her face yet. I told Deniece from CCAI that we wanted to proceed, and she forwarded her pictures to us via email.
The wait to receive that email seemed endless. Honestly, I can vividly remember sitting at that computer, not able to even think straight. Chris and I were on the phone with each other, wanting to see our daughter’s face for the first time together.
When the pictures came up, I yelled, “She’s beautiful!” And I meant it with every fiber of my being. Still do, she’s just even more beautiful now.
I spent months and months staring and studying those referral pictures. I knew every curve, every nuance of her expression. I loooovvved those pictures.
But now, when I look at them, I can’t help but be sad.
She looks so emotionless. So lonely. So UNbabylike for all of her four months.
I wish that I could have held her then and fed her the bottle that instead hung from a net on the side of her crib.
I wish I could have answered her cries instead of her learning to comfort herself.
I wish I could have been the one to love her then.