One year ago today I had one of the longest nights of my life, sleeping a little, praying a lot and waiting for the phone to ring. I was waiting for the call from Dan to tell me that he finally had our daughter Mia in his arms and that we would never again have to wonder what she looked like, if she was being well cared for and if there was a sparkle in her eyes.
Our adoption agency did a fabulous job preparing us for this day. During one of our parent education meetings the director of our agency had us do a little exercise. She asked each of us to take a piece of paper and to write down the 5 most important things in our lives. If I recall I had on my list, Dan, my family, my friends, my health and my dogs (yes the dogs were on the list). She then said, "Ok I want you to pick one of the things on your list and imagine what it would feel like to lose it and to never get it back". She then had us do it 4 more times until there was nothing left on the list. She said, "Now I want you to remember that the day you get your child, for you it is going to be one of the happiest days of your life but for your child it will be the day that everything on their list is wiped clean." On that day, everything that gave Mia a sense of security would be ripped from her.
So with that in mind my biggest prayer for Mia all night long was that she would not be afraid of Dan and that somehow she would draw comfort from his arms in the midst of everything. And my prayer for Dan was that he would fall in love with her instantly and that his love for her would be no different in depth than his love for Bri.
Finally the phone rang and I will never forget the tender tone of my husband's voice on the other end of the line as he called me. I could tell that he was exhausted and a little scared but totally and absolutely falling in love with our daughter. I remember him saying "Honey, she is absolutely beautiful" and with that I fell more in love with my husband and began falling in love with our daughter.
He told me that while all the other babies had cried a little here and there that Mia had not made a peep. She didn't act scared at all to go to him. God was so unbelievably good to us.
So many people have asked if it was hard for me to not go to China. And let me first say that the decision to not go was an agonizing one. I had dreamed for years of the day that I would get to go to China and be handed our daughter. Then God blessed us with Brianna. At first the plan was still that I would go, so we bought a little deep freezer expressly for the purpose of storing breast milk. But as the time got closer and closer I just could not get a peace in my spirit about leaving Bri. So we flipped back and forth between numerous plans.
Everyone told me Bri will be fine. But she had never been left more than a couple of hours without her mommy. I finally decided that Mia did not know me yet and therefore me not going could not emotionally hurt her. It would hurt me to miss out on seeing her for the first time like I had dreamed, seeing her country and having a special two week trip with just the three of us. But those would just be missed opportunities. Whereas leaving Brianna with virtual strangers to her for two weeks could confuse and possibly hurt her spirit.
Therefore we decided that what was in the best interest of both of our daughters was for Dan to go and for me to stay. God not only gave me a peace about that decision but turned it into a delight. Mia fell in love with her daddy in China and he fell in love with her and I wouldn't change that for the world. Watching them fall in love with each other from the other side of the world was magical.
So when Dan called and I could tell that he was in love my heart felt like it could just burst. If I recall we could only talk for a short time at first because Dan had to go sign a bunch of documents but he promised to post pictures and to call me when he did. I still remember how surreal it was to see this picture of her in Dan's arms. The only picture we had seen was of her at 6 months and the pictures just didn't seem real. But seeing her in Dan's arms made it real. She was so beautiful indeed. This was my daughter.
Today we celebrate you Mia Grace Deeble (also affectionately known as "Pu"). Oh how you have changed our lives for the better. Last year on this day you were scared, mourning, sleeping a ton, clutching your toy for dear life, and clinging to your newly found daddy. Today you were happy, occasionally naughty, giggling, kissing your sister, sleeping very little, "having tea", pretending to be a baby, wanting "up" and watching the 44th president being sworn in while sitting on your mommy's lap.