"His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him."--Charles Dickens, about Ebenezer Scrooge.I woke up wide awake this morning at 5:00 am, worried because our little cat Buddy wasn't sleeping beside me like usual. In fact, the last I'd seen him was at 9:30 when he scampered out of the kitty door, miffed about all the noise going on in the house (we had friends over, with four kids running around).
I got up and called him, but he didn't come. I woke Ted up, and he got dressed and went walking around in the rain calling him. Ted does these sorts of things not because he's worried about Buddy but because he loves me. Sometimes I think I'm indulged more than I'm worth. I managed to go back to sleep but all I dreamed about was Buddy getting lost or run over by a car or chased by coyotes. When I woke up again, Buddy still wasn't around, so I put on clothes and hat and walked around the block, checking the gutters and curbs for...you know. My mind goes to that dark place. Sorry.
As I walked back home, the stupid cat comes running up to me, meeowing. Where he'd been, I have no idea. But I think I got a taste of what it means to parent a teenager who doesn't come home on time. I was happy to see him but a little mad at him too for making me have dark dreams about his violent demise.
Satisfied that all the living things in my care were safe again, I sat down at the computer with my hot cup of PGTips to read emails, many of which were sweet, encouraging comments from people about the Wait.
Half an hour later, the phone rang. It was Mary, our Gladney caseworker, and for about half a second, I thought it might be our referral call. But then I realized that we weren't going to hear about our referral until January, and Mary then started answering a question I'd emailed her about this week. Whew. She answered my question but didn't hang right up. She lingered. I didn't know what to say. I thought, "Uh, Mary? Aren't you kind of busy these days? Didn't I hear something about you guys working late nights lately? Shouldn't you be doing something important?"
It turns out that the important thing was to make sure I was seated because...she was calling about a certain little 6-month-old boy named Abenezer who is going to become Our Own Rooney! Yowzers!
Because Ted had his night disturbed by searching for our wayward lil' bastard, he was sleeping in. I went upstairs and found him hanging with Bang Bang. With his signature Rooney morning face, he gazed at me, but it was clear he wasn't getting it. When I gave him a thumbs up and mouthed the word "Referral!," he sprung out of bed. Later, he told me that at that moment it felt like it was Christmas morning and he'd overslept and was awakened with that news of an extra big surprise under the tree with his name on it.
The next half hour sitting in front of the computer was the most surreal moment of my life to date. As Mary went through all the information about this little guy, I only heard about half of it. My head was swimming, and the thing I never thought would happen did: I fell in love with a photograph. People, our little Christmas Abenezer Scrooge Rooney is STUNNING.
For all of you parents out there still in process, feeling overwhelmed by notaries, by having every intimate detail of your life scrutinized by strangers, by papercuts and signatures, and copy machines, by the hours spent pouring over blogs, by the occasional dumb question, and by the long, long wait: be of good faith! It's all worth it for the moment that you see that face.
I've been hearing Roberta Flack singing in my head all day "The first time ever I saw your face, I thought the sun rose in your eyes...," this beautiful, beautiful day.
PS: No, we are not naming him Christmas Abenezer Scrooge Rooney. And hang in there, pictures are coming :)