It’s almost the new year and we have been waiting for weeks for “the call” from the adoption agency to let us know when we could go to China to get our daughter. The phone rings and I quickly answer.
“I have some great news for you!”
“Oh my gosh!” The tears start to well up in my eyes.
“You need to book your flights for January 3 because we got the green light from China. You will be meeting your daughter on January 5 in Jiangsu.”
January…the beginning of a brand new year. It’s always so full of possibilities. January signals new beginnings. We all like a clean slate. A new beginning. A second chance. Or third or fourth. It gives us hope and inspiration.
The thing that occurs to me is that for a new beginning to happen, there has to be a necessary ending. The last year has to end for the new year to begin. What’s done is done. We can’t go back and change anything, but we can learn and grow and dream about the possibilities ahead of us in the new year. I’m personally very thankful for a new beginning this year. 2017 was a rough one for me. Maybe it was for you too.
Thinking about necessary endings and new beginnings, takes me back to when we adopted our daughter. The year is 2002. It has been a crazy year of moving our family of six across the country from Indiana to Colorado, my husband starting his new job, buying a new house, getting the kids all settled in new schools – all the while being in the middle of the long process of adopting a little girl from China. There was a necessary ending to our time in Indiana. Leaving old friends, family, our church, and everything that was familiar. Our four boys are all young. The oldest is 11 and the youngest is 2. I am enjoying being a mom, and excited to bring our little girl home. But if I stop moving long enough to really think about the whirlwind of craziness and change around me, I might just have a meltdown, so I keep moving and try not to think too much.
We had no idea a year ago when we started the adoption process that we would be moving to Colorado. But here we are, and we aren’t about to stop the adoption, so we do what we need to do and we seriously question our sanity. How can we do this? What are we thinking?
Now back to that phone call…
The lady from the adoption agency keeps talking about other details and as I listen my heart is pounding inside my chest. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. We’ve been waiting for this moment for a year now, and finally we get to go. In January, right after the new year, we get to meet our new daughter.
Over the next few weeks I keep myself busy planning, and shopping, and packing suitcases, and getting her room ready. I have four boys and a little girl is a dream come true. I can’t wait to get her all dolled up in those sweet little outfits and hair bows. I bought so many hair bows!
I am so ready for 2002 to be done and for the new year to arrive so we can go to China.
It is finally January 3 and we fly to San Francisco and then on to Shanghai. We are so excited we can hardly sleep. We get up the next morning, eat breakfast in the hotel, and get on a bus to take us from Shanghai to Jiangsu. On a stop during that bus ride I experience my first “squatty potty”. Interesting to say the least!
We arrive in Jiangsu and check into our hotel. We had been told before we left that the orphanage director would arrive the next day and bring our daughter, but our Chinese guide, Michael, who just met us at the hotel, informs us that the orphanage director was on his way with our daughter and would arrive within the hour.
I panic. I’m not ready! I have to unpack and get her things all ready. But, ready or not, she’s coming. We hurriedly get settled in our room, and then we take the elevator downstairs to the hotel lobby.
Michael meets us and in just a few minutes a Chinese man and woman walk toward us carrying a 17-month old baby bundled up from head to toe. As they walk toward me, I gasp. This is my baby girl. The tears flow. I reach out to take her from the nanny. She is hot. Her face is all red. She smells of sweat and stale, dirty clothes. She is confused and she starts to cry. I’m crying. She’s crying. I’m sure we look like a hot mess.
That night we get to know our new daughter. I take off the layers and layers of clothes they had bundled her up in, and give her a bath. I am careful to move slowly and talk to her the whole time. She is afraid and I want her to learn to trust me – a strange person in a strange place. Her new mom. I can’t believe she’s ours. I can’t believe this moment is finally here. And now she’s ours. She’s really ours.
It’s a new year with a new beginning – for our daughter, for us, and for our family of now seven. The beginning of a new life for our daughter. So many possibilities for her future. So much promise and potential.
What new beginnings does this new year hold for you? Perhaps a bad habit to break or a good habit to begin? A new friendship? A new job? A new baby? Or maybe a new house in a new neighborhood? We at the Corrigan Group love helping people with transitioning to something new because we understand the joys, the stresses, and the messiness. We’ve walked through our own new beginnings and walked with many others through theirs. Let us know how we can help you in this new year. It holds so many possibilities. So much promise and potential.