It was late night one Thursday in January that a number flashed on our home phone that was strange and familiar at the same time. You see, only a month before that call we were very close to bringing a baby home that did not happen at the last moment. Understandably I was very upset as that happened on New Year’s eve. The New Year dawned on a less than stellar note and I had resolved to myself that I would pick up and move on and focus on keeping a positive outlook no matter what happened. Coming back to the story, I picked the phone and heard the social worker we had worked with on our failed adoption speak. My heart raced. If she called at that late an hour, it could mean only one thing. I listened, taking notes about the girls who now are our daughters.
Putting the phone down, I was shaking with excitement. I knew I wanted this. I wanted it bad. Yet, this situation was everything we were not prepared for. All our carefully laid plans went flying through the window. Any criterion we had set for ourselves was forgotten. K and I talked. Literally five minutes later, I called her back. Cautious. Letting her know we were on board to being considered by the girls’ family.
Friday went past in silence and anticipation. That evening we were at a friend’s home chanting prayers in a satsang. It was Satyanarayana puja and the phone lay in my hand heavy and mute. Right about the time the prayers were to end, I felt it vibrate. Even without looking at the phone, I just knew. Clasping the phone tightly I willed myself to be patient till aarathi was done. Excusing myself politely, I stepped away and saw a voicemail blink from our social worker. Scanning the room, I could find no place to actually listen to the message without looking rude. I made a beeline for the restroom and behind the closed doors, fingers shaking touched the voicemail and put it to my ears. The voice faded in an out. One thing was clear though. We were being considered along with another family. Smile reaching from ear to ear, I called the social worker back and she pretty much said this was it. You are being considered. The family would like to talk to you and K over video conference Saturday. I said yes a little too eagerly.
Pocketing the phone, I reached the crowded living space eyes searching for K. He was still seated chanting a few more prayers while prasadam was being distributed. Our eyes met, I held a thumbs up sign and smiled wider. He knew. We exchanged thankful glances and could not wait to be back in the privacy of our home for a hug and to share details. The night passed restlessly. Tossing and turning I had vivid dreams of twin girls running amuck in our small home. I woke up early for a Saturday and listlessly whiled away time till 10:00 AM. I said I would not cook. I could not. I could barely do anything but count time.
As the clock inched towards 10:00, K and I were showered, wearing bright clothes and had smiles to match. What if’s were all I could think. I barely thought about the what if they did not like us. Logging in, adjusting the video till both of us were clear on the mini window, we saw the other side come into focus. We made out a pink jacket and a purple jacket crawling around with milk bottles in hand. Gripping K’s hand, I felt him give me a reassuring squeeze. We made conversation all the while eyes glued on the cuties miles away. Half hour later, we signed off with our social worker saying we would hear from her later that day.
Knowing there was little we could do to control the outcome, we head out for lunch. Midway to the restaurant, the phone rang and I knew. Answering the phone, I heard the magic words “They picked you and K!!!”
The rest of the conversation was a blur. Turning into the parking lot, K waited till I was done talking. Putting the phone away, K and I hugged for what seemed an interminable amount of time. Wiping tears of joy we hung on to the happiness that enveloped us like a cloud. Walking into the restaurant with smiles plastered on our faces, we ordered and took our seats at the corner booth.
We talked and talked. Discussed how our lives would change. What to name the babies. What we needed to do to transition from 2 to 4. We discussed a gazillion things and kept our secret to ourselves for a precious few hours.
The rest of the week passed quickly and the following Thursday we were flying out. Bags packed to the hilt and our emotions on overdrive. While I won’t go into any more detail, the next few weeks were some of the happiest in our lives.
Some things in life are to be savored. This certainly was.