One of the great things about adopting in the internet age is that I've gotten to meet lots of people who have adopted kids from our orphanage. One of those families visited the orphanage last week and promised all the waiting families that they'd take a bunch of pictures. Right now, we have only five pictures of you-- one taken at your medical exam when you were three months old, and four taken (I presume) just before your referral. It looks like summer anyway, because you're wearing nothing but a onesie.
I was hoping, really, really hoping, that this family would get a photo of you. So far I haven't been brave enough to bug the orphanage director about updates, and I've been bugging our adoption caseworker about the elusive letter of approval too much to bug her about pictures too. Honestly, seeing your face would go a big way in reassuring us that you're doing well in our absence.
The family got several dozen pictures from their trip. The orphanage looks clean and the babies appear to be well-cared for. Now that it's December, they're all bundled up in layer after layer of winter clothes. And one picture shows two babies with cleft lips cozily sharing a crib. The baby in the foreground as a bilateral cleft, so she's definitely not you. The baby in the back, is she you?
I don't know.
I've spent hours staring at that picture, looking at it from every angle to compare it with your referral pictures. The shape of the face looks right, so do the position of the eyebrows and the angle of the cleft. But the eyes look different, and that baby has so much hair. You were practically bald back in September. The baby in that picture has a tiny top tooth. I get a lump in my throat every time I think that you
might be getting your teeth without me. You'll be eight months tomorrow, and I ache for the soft heft of you in my arms.
I know every square inch of your brothers' and sisters' bodies. I know that Maren has a little scrape on the bottom of her left foot. The scar on Isaac's left thigh is as familiar to me as the back of my own hand. I've kissed, scratched, nuzzled and rubbed every inch of their bodies-- even Bryce and Annie, who don't want to crawl up on my lap and be kissed and cuddled anymore.
I may not know if that baby is you, but I do know that one day this spring, as the world turns green and becomes new again, you will be ours. Please indulge me when I want to get to know every wrinkle, freckle, and boo-boo on your body.