Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where to begin

Well, gentle readers, I understand that this whole thing must seem like quite the whirlwind! Believe me it has been (is?). When I left work last Thursday to go teach at a weekend congregational development conference I fully expected to be back at work on Monday. I am a little ashamed at the state in which I left my desk.

Friday morning during a break at my conference I phoned Marla, just to check in. I knew there were plans for us to be shown a couple times in Texas over the weekend and there had been some issues about the fees that we were working out. I was nervous and also relieved that we were back in the game. When we got back from Atlanta in October Andrew and I both felt strongly that our baby wasn't far away, that she was really just around the corner. We had both been thinking it, but afraid to say it out loud. When we finally did, it was almost all we talked about late at night before going to sleep. When I found out we were going to be shown I felt sure our baby was in Texas.

I spent about five minutes on the phone with Marla, checking in. Then we said goodbye, she promised to call if she heard anything, and I headed back to being a trainer, determined to stop checking my phone every 2 minutes. I succeeded for the next hour, and then when I glanced at it I saw I had missed two calls from Marla, and that she had text messaged me. "Alissa, call me ASAP" it said.

I knew. I knew that she was going to change my life. I had thought that this call wouldn't be like that other call weeks ago and I was right. This time I was in tears before I even got Marla on the phone.

"Alissa," she said. "I wanted so badly to tell you this these past couple of weeks, there is a baby girl in Georgia for you. She is beautiful and the ten days are up."

Jubilee's first mom wasn't able to choose a family for her baby girl, and we really don't know much about her. She relinquished her daughter at the hospital after giving her a name, and then she needed to go. We kept Jubilee's middle name as the one her first mother gave to her, and I got my hands on all the records that I have been able to, for my daughter to look at one day when she's ready. The rest of that story, I think, isn't mine to tell. Suffice to say we stand ready for openness, and will always keep her in our hearts and prayers.

Everything about this trip has been different. Granny and Papa M, Jubilee's carehome parents, are amazing. Granny M immediately invited us to stay with them while we waited for paperwork and we accepted. We were able to learn the routines that J has been living by, and spend time transitioning her from their care to ours.

Andrew left Monday, back to Seattle to get things ready for our return. My mother - henceforth known as Nana - arrived last night and spent most of today simultaneously telling me "don't let me be too pushy" while holding her newest grandbaby every second she possibly could. The three of us: Jubilee, Nana and me, are hoping to get permission to head home Friday.

I'm still processing this past week, will be for a while I think. I feel so lucky, so blessed. It's the rare moments during the past three days when I have been alone with my daughter, cuddled up just the two of us, when I have really felt it - that combination of gratitude, disbelief, wonder and something indescribable. I think this is what it feels like to be a mom.

You love and support has been amazing. Thank you so much for celebrating and for walking this road along with us. We are, all three, lucky to be loved so well by such quality people.

We can't wait to get home. ♥


  1. she is beautiful! congratulations! what an amazing, exciting story! we look forward to seeing you guys and meeting your daughter at one of the WACAP events coming up. -Darren, Kryssa, and Tegan

  2. Please stop making me cry all the time!!!

    I am so happy for you! She's beautiful.

  3. Beautiful! Your post had me tearing up.

  4. What a great story! I'm so happy for all 3 of you. That's wonderful that your mom is there with you.

  5. Wow, she is just sooo gorgeous! Hope you get to go home soon so you can show her off!

  6. I cannot wait to meet this amazing little person! I am so ready to babysit!!!!!!!! :)

  7. Alissa and Andrew - Wow!!! What an amazing process you've been through and you will never, ever be the same. I'm so excited for you and so pleased you are a mama and daddy - she is a blessed girl. I send you my thoughts, prayers and joy.

  8. so excited to read this update. I can't wait for you to come home and to meet her. The description of your mom sounds exactly like my mom with Phinney, too funny, and absolutely wonderful. :)

  9. OMG!!!!!!!!!!


    You shoot you score!!!!!!!!!


    Sometimes lurker checking in with massive congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome news and boy is she a cutie!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, just awesome, awesome, awesome. Good for you three.

  10. She's priceless!!!
    Do you have a sling? She's so sweet, I'm sure you don't want to put her down. I liked the Kangaroo wrap (it looks like a giant pita bread that you put over your shoulders). It's fleecy and comfy and yet you have both hands free to make bottles or pour tea.

    SOOO excited. I get goosebumps everytime I read from you!
    Katie in Ohio

  11. I'm crying reading this and so happy for you! Congrats again. Love the pictures. Keep them coming!

  12. She is simply stunning! You must be over the moon!

  13. I'm so happy for you guys. =) She's absolutely adorable!

  14. I'm also really happy for you, it's a wonderful story and very moving. Your daughter looks absolutely gorgeous and I'm so pleased that she arrived with you both. Good luck on getting home soon, big hugs x

  15. Ok, that picture's even cuter. And the comment about the sling reminded me that I have a giveaway of a fleece baby carrier (mei tai style) on my blog if you want to enter, and there's a link to instructions to make your own if you don't win. :) I love snuggling that newborn goodness close! Congratulations again, and hope you're getting some rest. Glad you have Nana to help you out!

  16. Wow! you go out of town for a few days and you miss everything! (Or it sure seems like that's what happened to me!!!)

    She's STUNNING! I'm so happy for you both :)

  17. I don't know if you'll ever see this comment, it's being left on a post 2 years old.

    I found your blog yesterday. I couldn't even tell you how. I clicked on a sidebar of a friend's blog which led me to another sidebar, and another, and another and there you were. Yours stood out to me, for some reason.

    I'm in Australia. I'm sick at the moment, so have reason to be in bed. And every waking moment of the past 24 hours, I've been reading. Catching up. And even though I know you have Jubilee (I was so chuffed that I guessed the name. I ADORE it), and her sweet little sister, I felt I had to go back to the beginning, experience some of your journey with you. I read about Choice (and even though I knew there was a happy ending for you), and I cried for you. Admired you so much though.

    I find your attitude beautiful. You seem like a beautiful person, an amazingly beautiful soul. I've no doubt your daughters are blessed to have you as their mother, just as you and A are blessed to have them.

    This post was heart lifting. (Actually, they all have been. The conversation with you and O - "that was last week. I'm back now". Made me cry tears and made me want to reconnect to my faith and stop letting my ill health get in the way.

    Congratulations on your family.