Ever since we decided to adopt from China, I had a pretty definite picture in my mind of what our daughter would look like. She'd come home to us a black haired, black eyed toddler, and within a few weeks of arriving at home, she'd be following Maren around the house.
On Friday we got the weekly email from our adoption agency, alerting us that the next list of waiting children would be available on the shared list on Monday night. Last month when we got the email, I knew that our chances of being matched were slim. I wasn't sure, in fact, that our file was even eligible for matching since it had just been sent to China two weeks earlier. So I didn't have my hopes up in August, but as the day wore on yesterday, I kept my eye on the clock. Call it a mother's intuition, but I knew that it was going to happen, just like I could predict in advance when the pregnancy test was going to turn out positive.
Last month the "sorry, we didn't find you a match" email came at 9:23, so yesterday, by the time nine o'clock rolled around, I was barely able to sit down. Annie was just as nervous as I was, coming in every two minutes to reload my email (which I reloaded in alternate minutes). Then, right at 9:01, the phone rang. It was Elizabeth at our adoption agency, with the news that we had a daughter! She was born April 7, 2011 and she's living at an orphanage in Xuzhou, China.
Her name will be Rose Huijue. A little word on her name: Annie and Maren both have middle names that are family names. Annie was named Anne Caroline for Caroline Eyring Miner, Eddie's grandma, who was an author and poet, a world traveler, and a beloved teacher for many years at Highland High School. Maren was named Maren Camilla for Caroline's sister, Camilla Eyring Kimball. We liked the idea of using the names of sisters for our two sisters. Also, Eddie has aunts (his dad's sisters, the original Caroline's daughters) who are named Caroline and Camilla, we felt that we were referring to both generations of sisters. Well, in the original generation of Caroline and Camilla, there were many sisters (it was one of the last big polygamous families of the Mormon era), and one of the sisters was Rose. Caroline's other daughter is named Rosemary after this aunt. (Can you follow all that? If not, don't worry, it's taken me 18 years to sort it all out). So when it came time to pick a name for our baby, Rose seemed like the obvious choice, since this will be the third generation of sisters named Caroline, Camilla and Rose. Huijue is the name that Rose was given by the orphanage staff, and we want her to keep it as her middle name. The material we got from the agency explains the rationale of the staff: "Hui means benevolence and smart. Jue means jade. We hope she could become a pretty and smart child and as good as the meaning of jade." I love the idea that the orphanage workers had faith that our little girl would grow up to be benevolent, smart, and as good as jade, which I understand to be quite precious in Chinese culture.
While I may have had a mother's intuition about the fact that we would be matched with Rose last night, I was shocked and delighted to learn that she is five months old. We're getting a baby, not a toddler! Other than a unilateral cleft lip and palate, she appears to be in excellent health. And about that full head of black hair I was expecting? She's as bald as all the other Miner babies have been.
Needless to say, it was a late night at the Miner household. We spent a few hours examining pictures and trying to read the Chinese translation of her medical records and sitting around with silly grins on our faces. Then everyone else went to bed and I stayed up most of the night (something I did every time I got a positive pregnancy test too) thinking about how our lives will change for the better. A baby! I love babies! I hadn't let myself hope for another baby because I thought the chances were so slim and another toddler would be the next best thing. Having a baby instead of a toddler means totally readjusting the vision I had in my mind, buying a crib, and adjusting to naptimes, but I am beside myself with excitement. I'm also completely convinced that this is our daughter. If you'd asked me a year ago, I wouldn't have believed that we'd be traveling halfway around the world to add a fifth child to the family, but I know that Rose is going to be a perfect fit in our family, and we wouldn't be complete without her.
I also have to say that it's been wonderful to watch Eddie warm up to the process. I definitely took this bull by the horns back last winter, and he's called a few times today, each time asking if we'd heard anything more. I think he's as excited as I am (but thankfully, without the insomnia).
I just learned that the CCCWA discourages putting pictures of adoptive children on public websites, so my options are to make the blog private or put pictures on Facebook. Since I don't want to go private, I think Facebook is the best option for now. So once we have our preliminary confirmation from the CCCWA (which should be sometime in the next week or 10 days) then I'll put the pictures on Facebook. She's adorable!
Now comes the hard part-- waiting the next four to six months to get everything in order to be able to travel to China to get her. Up until this point the waiting has just been for some abstract child, but now that I have this sweet face smiling up from my desk, four to six months suddenly seems like an eternity.