A year ago Today… today I met my girls in person. They were no longer just a piece of paper, or a picture on paper. They were real, breathing, grieving, scared children. They are real, and they are mine.
As we drove up to the care center the girl’s were in I literally wanted to throw up. I was sooo nervous and had no idea why. I had been waiting years and years to become a mother and I was finally going to meet MY kids. However I couldn’t stop shaking and being absolutely terrified. After all of the families who traveled with us got into the main living area of the house we were told that we would be called a couple of families at a time as they wanted to tape our first meeting with our children for their life books.
Go figure we would be called last. We probably only sat there for about 20 mins but it seemed like HOURS until we were called. I assumed afterwards it was probably because I was the only one there picking up 2 and not one. I met G. first. As they led me up the flights of stairs with a camera in my face it was hard not to just focus on the random person video tapping my first meeting with my child, however once i got in that nursery and saw her, I recognized her right away. She was soooo small, with a wobbly head, dangly legs and big beautiful smiling eyes. She smelt like heaven and was as soft as could be, and despite the inner me yelling not to be a big baby I cried, and cried, and cried. I held her, sniffed her and rocked her. She smiled and cooed and then it was time to meet A.
The nerves started again, I don’t really remember what happened when meeting A, whether I went alone or whether my Mother in Law and G. came too or not. I just know that after a while we were all sitting outside together somehow. A’s social worker told me she was no longer in the house and was instead outside playing with the kids, so we walked outside and I scanned the kids I could see, not ONE of which looked like the little girl in the referral picture or Social report. The social worker told me to go ahead and sit and she would go find her, so I took a seat on the ground outside.
I took in the house, the smells, all the sounds, the row of tons of shoes lined up along the wall outside, the sweet kids waving at me and wanting to come play and see what the new stranger might have for them. Then I saw the social worker, with a small hand in hers. That hand belonged to the most terrified, sad-looking being I have EVER seen in my life. She had completely blank, vacant eyes, and wouldn’t look in my direction AT ALL. Her social worker whispered a few things to her and then handed her to me, and hell broke loose. She screamed, and cried, and raged, and writhed. She wanted no part of this and I couldn’t blame her, at that point neither did I, and I too started to cry. I held her for a long, long,long, time; just held her in my lap stroking her very small hand which in return was stroking a small leaf she must have been playing with earlier. She still wouldn’t look at me or acknowledge anyone around me and her poor exhausted and traumatized body eventually fell asleep.
It was now time for us to go back to the guest house while the girls stayed there for a few more days, they were handed off to their nannies and we loaded up on the bus. All i could think of was “What just happened?” I was completely exhausted, and completely defeated, and not quite sure I wanted to face an ordeal like that again.