I woke up Tuesday morning and immediately felt sick to my stomach. I don't know if I was more nervous about meeting Faith or her birth parents. What if I didn't feel like she was my baby right away? What if her birth parents didn't like us? What if Lila misbehaved in front of Faith's birth parents? What if things just kind of fell apart? Basically, I felt like I was going to puke all morning.
I took this picture of myself when I woke up and the weight of the day hit me. I kind of equate it to that last picture you take before going to the hospital to give birth. Which, ironically, we didn't take during Lila's labor, but there you go. This was my "I'm about to meet my daughter" face.
I also took this picture of our hotel room. I don't really know why except that I just felt this urge to document everything. I imagined myself showing Faith the picture in the future and saying, "This is where we stayed when we came to get you."
The plan was for our adoption coordinator to pick up Faith and her birth parents and bring them to the hotel where we were staying. Our attorney had arranged for us to use the breakfast room of the hotel for our meeting place. Our interpreter (the college student our attorney had tracked down) and his college advisor would also be meeting us at the hotel.
We paced the hotel room waiting for our adoption coordinator to call and say that they were there. I kept looking at the picture that had been the lock screen on my phone for the past three months - the first picture I had ever seen of Faith - thinking "I'm going to meet this baby. This baby is going to be my daughter."
Finally, the moment had come. My phone rang and I heard the words on the other line, "We are here."
"They're here!" I said to the Husband. I reapplied my deoderant for the fifth time, checked my reflection to make sure I looked responsible and motherly and shakily began to walk down the hall. We snapped one last picture as a family of three, just before we met our youngest daughter:
My mind raced as we walked. One step closer to her. I could hear voices at the end of the hall. Another step closer. I smiled widely and rounded the corner and there she was - my baby girl. The image of Faith in her birth mom's arms as the smokey sunlight filtered in from the windows behind them will forever be etched in my mind. The first time I laid eyes on my daughter.