Today when I got home from work I set the hound free ASAP, (Al's in NY, Chauncey was alone and shut inside all day). I realized it was TOTALLY freezing outside and that the two or so days of 40 degree weather were a fluke, so we ran into the warm and welcoming house of Chauncey's gal pal, Sammy. We visited with Sammy's owner, one of my favorite older gentlemen who, coincidentally, wrote one of our recommendation letters for the adoption. We had some tea and cookies, then headed home. Light on the answering machine. Three messages. Telemarketer, our Social Worker, and Alex. Social Worker? Says she has "good news." I know what this means. Or do I? Maybe she got the paperwork from the CIS before we did (that's what happened the first time). But she added -- "I don't think you'll want to wait the weekend to hear the news, so here's my cell phone number." By now I am all fluttery inside, and cursing the fact that Alex is NOT HOME. I write her cell phone number down twice, once on a small and flimsy receipt. I realize that I would need to write many things down so I found a bigger piece of paper for the event. This was going to be an event. I probably wouldn't reach her -- Mercury is retrograde, after all. Despite the threat of Mercury, I call after I sit myself down with a pen and paper. She answers on the second ring with a knowing, "Hellooo?!" "It's Erin, what's the news?" "You have a referral for two brothers. The oldest is 3 years and 3 months, the younger is 2 years and 4 months." TWO BOYS!!! I needed to call Alex before anyone else, of course. I called the cell. One ring, then nothing. I did this about 10 times, no exaggeration. "Here is where Mercury will have its way with me," I thought. I'm not going to stop until I get a ring and an answer of some sort. Finally, I get one ring, long silence, then the message telling me to leave a message. "Papa C, call me as soon as you get this." Meanwhile I try to eat supper and play with the dog without jumping out of my skin. Chauncey realizes something is up and takes every toy out of his toy bowl, realizing I finally have as much energy as he has. Phone rings, it's Alex. "What's up?" He obviously didn't notice the "Papa C" prelude to my message, so I have to think fast. "You're a Daddy!" Strange, primeval sounds are emitted -- half-way between a shout and a shriek. Alex is not much of a shrieker, so I am little alarmed. But I soldier on and tell him all about the boys, as much as I know. Meanwhile, he tries to cross the street without getting hit by a bus, the method by which he is sure he will meet his end, as he has told me on numerous occasions. We say how much we love one another, how we can't wait until tomorrow when we can see one another. He says how relieved he is that the boys have one another. Finally, I cry. Mom and Dad, of couse, are not home, nor are they answering their cell phone. Eventually I reach one of my friends, and I can further exhale the breath that is expanding within me. More friends are called, I reach Mom and Dad, and I am totally exhausted. That is where you find me now. I find the whole thing too large to fully comprehend, not to mention to describe. Below are some pictures I took at sunset before I had tea with my neighbor, before I got the news. When I was driving home, the tips of all of the bare trees were tinged with the most ethereal pink I had ever seen. I grabbed the camera for my "walk" with Chauncey and snapped a bunch of pictures from my neighbor's field. They will never capture the aching beauty I saw -- pictures of skies seldom do. The painful beauty I saw seems to match the way I feel inside about the boys. The colors of that late February sunset describe better than I can the simultaneous joy and sadness of this whole experience.
6 years ago today we discovered we would be parents to Habtamu and Lire. Thank you, boys, for some of the hardest, and most lovely experiences of our lives. You rock.