Andrew and I had decided before ever re-applying that the only matching agency we wanted to work with was the one in Georgia that we had adopted J through. (for an explanation of how our WACAP program worked, see the FAQ that was the very first entry on this blog) I had a lot of reasons for wanting this: it was familiar, our children would share a birth state making trips to the homeland more efficient, and finally I wanted to give Z a chance to see J. I've never met Z, but I knew from a few emails to the agency in GA that she had been picking up the letters and photos we were sending. Initial paperwork had indicated that she wanted to see J again someday. I thought if I started talking about it letters then maybe she would have time to think on it and perhaps be ready.
The more I thought about Z the more I realized how little I knew about her. I had been afraid to ask many questions when we had gone to GA to pick up J, it just seemed like my focus should be on my new baby. But I had some wonderings - inconsistencies in paperwork about her and whatnot. I decided to set up a phone call with Debbie, the social worker in GA who spoke the most often with Z. I told Debbie that was just going to ask her the questions that kept coming up for me, and I asked her to let me know what the appropriate boundaries were - to tell me if I was straying into territory that wasn't my business, or that Z wouldn't want me to know.
I learned a lot from that phone call. Most of it isn't my stuff to tell here on this blog. But the pertinent thing I learned was that Z was pregnant again, and while she had not decided what to do just yet she was considering relinquishment. Debbie was under the impression that she had just found out about the pregnancy which, by our calculations, meant she was due sometime mid to late fall.
So that's the unbloggable thing I referred to here.
Because of when you are reading this, you probably are able to guess the end of the story. But I want to be clear - I did not at that moment, or even afterward, assume that we would be adopting Z's baby. In fact I worked pretty hard not to assume it. I felt a lot of things in the months between then and now, all of it pretty confusing. My heart broke at the thought of J having another family member out there in the world that she didn't know or see. My heart broke at the thought of Z losing another child. But my feelings weren't the most important thing - the most important thing was to be ready should Z need to place and supportive of her if she didn't. We accelerated our plans with the goal of being ready to adopt by fall. Z stopped calling Debbie and picking up photographs. About a month ago Debbie emailed me saying that maybe Z wasn't pregnant after all, that she really thought she would have heard from her if she was.
Of course, she was wrong. Z was pregnant, and further along than any of us knew. S was born full term on August 17th and a few days later Z decided she needed to give her up. When I got the call last week I was completely dumbfounded - I think I actually said "oh no!" It's the only phone call in my memory that made me feel physically dizzy. I suddenly had to sit down.
So we scrambled and waited all at once. S was still in the ten day waiting period when Debbie called to tell me about her. She normally doesn't do that, but she knew we would need time to get ready. It was a hard wait, despite being unexpected. This baby looked so much like my J, I felt so connected to her already. It was hard to remember that she wasn't yet ours.
But the days passed, and here she is. She is Z's daughter, our daughter, and J's sister in more ways than one. I still have Z on my mind, how could I not with two of her beautiful babies forever in my heart and my life? Salome is darling, sweet, already different in some ways from her older sister and yet eerily the same. We've spend so much time the past 24+ hours marveling at her and at our two girls together. No adoption happens without something in the world going wrong - but looking at them it feels infinitely right that they are together. So we are doubly, triply, infinitely blessed. J and S will grow up together. I get to be their mom. It's overwhelming and amazing.
And I think it is about time I met their mother. We are hoping for a visit while we are here - Debbie is helping us with the coordination and details. I won't push, but there are a few people working to make it happen. I know without an atom of a doubt that my girls' first mother loves them completely. It is my hope that we can go forward together, as she is able.
In the meantime, hello family of four! I always thought that our second child would be a boy - the name I had picked out, M, was a boy name. But this - this is beyond anything I could have thought up or asked for. She is perfect, lovely, and everything I've ever wanted. (plus now I don't have to decide about circumcising anybody!)
Thank you so much for your love and support! Our adventure is only beginning...
Sisters and daddy, hugging it out.