For months we waited. I became very frustrated with the lack of a projected timeline and the lack of news. I had concluded that it was best to avoid talking to our agency because the time before those calls made me hopeful and then the lack of information left me disappointed. Having been through this now I can understand why our agency couldn't tell me when or even how everything would happen (the process in Uganda is always changing; you could almost label it "unpredictable"). But it left me frustrated nonetheless.
On Tuesday, October 4, 2011, I got to work to find a voicemail from our agency. I had been out picking up Starbucks for my team and had forgotten one person's coffee so I needed to head back out. I wanted to call back right away but I told myself that it was probably nothing and to not be hopeful. Because I couldn't control those hopeful emotions that were so dangerous to me, I chose to push all of it aside and run back out to Starbucks. As I returned and pulled back into a parking spot, my cell phone rang. I could see it was our agency. My hopes jumped up again as I pushed myself to stay calm. I told my passenger that I needed to take this call and that I would see her inside.
I don't remember her exact first words but I do remember "you have a court date" and "are you ready to travel because you leave this Saturday." She told me how thankful she was that I was such a neurotic control freak as my prior excessive preparation and aggressive don't-get-in-my-way personality would serve us well in having to leave so very quickly. Okay she didn't use those words. She was far nicer than that. But I don't remember the exact words so I am just boiling it down to the point. :) Later we were told that it would be okay if we left on Sunday. While I wanted so badly to leave on Saturday in order to get to our kids one day sooner, we really needed that extra day to get ready.
I walked, jogged, and skipped into the office and briefly paused on "the row" (the area where my team sits) to announce "we got it! we got a court date! we leave this Saturday! gotta go, I need to buy tickets." I'm pretty sure I dropped my coffee in the middle of all that but I know it didn't spill so I must have consumed most of it already. I'm sure the fresh intake of caffeine only added fuel to my frenzy.
We both continued to work the rest of that week as we needed to save our vacation time to cover the long absence. We would come home at the end of the day and part ways only to see each other again when crawling into bed. We went to the bank to get crisp, newer than 2006, unmarked $100 bills. We bought car seats, little winter coats, little underwear, travel tissue packs, tons of wipes, vitamins, little dresses for court, little sweaters to go with little dresses for court, 5 pairs of girls dress shoes (in hopes that 3 would fit), and on and on and on. We got anti-malaria prescriptions filled and prepared other prescriptions, all in their original bottles so as to avoid any issues with transporting so much (unfortunately I take a significant amount of medication due to significant pain associated with fibromyalgia). I picked up donated formula from local pediatricians and donated toothbrushes from local dentists (I parceled these out in small batches as I heard of various people making trips to various baby homes when it was appropriate; you have to be very careful about how you handle donations as you don't ever want to provide incentives to anyone within the adoption process as that is where ethics issues arise). We gathered more documents. We had conference calls with our agency about details and steps.
I never really cried with joy like you would think. We were so very busy that there just wasn't time. I remember that when I would be waiting at a stop light, I would start to tear up but then the light would turn green and I would be off and running again. I don't know what all we did in those 5 days but I know that it was a complete sprint. We were both exhausted. I remember finding it very stressful but it was such an exciting time.
That Sunday as we got ready to walk out the door and head to the airport, I posted on facebook: It's baby time!!! Some couples go to the hospital. Others go to the airport.