I still have the paper that I scrawled all my notes on that night. It's a completely unofficial, wrinkly scrap; the back of an old map quest print-out to somewhere inconsequential. I don't know why I landed on this wall. The room, at the time, was in the process of being transformed from a half-hearted office into a baby room for a baby we didn't even know about yet. I must have been in there when I answered the phone and thought it was strange our social worker was calling us at night so I just sat down, ready to listen, figuring it must be big; grabbing the first piece of paper I could find.
I sat there and I wrote down everything she said about these phenomenal kids....our potential birth parents, the ones that we would come to love and cry over and crave visits with. Those notes....they're the first connection to my daughter that I have.....kind of like a positive pregnancy test for us adoptive mamas. They're the first indication that I knew she was on the way; that she existed.
Sure, we had to meet her birth parents yet, they had to officially say they wanted us, we had to bring her home from the hospital, we had to go through the waiting period where they could change their minds, and everything else that comes with adoption.....but that paper.....I'll never get rid of it. I look at it now and there is so much meaning embedded in the words that I wrote about her birth-parents...meaning that I didn't even know about at the time that I wrote them.
But "those kids"..... they are real people to us now.... people that Georgia loves and talks about....people that we love and talk about. When I read how I wrote that they both played sports and loved athletics I smile......because a year and a half ago, when Tarah was a senior, she played a good part of her lacrosse season with a broken hand; she didn't want to go to the doctor and have them confirm it was broken--which would keep her from playing. And I know now, how true it is, that they love playing sports. And I love that I really know that. Because I know her. And she picked us.
When I wrote that, sitting on the floor up against this wall, it was true, I just didn't know how true, and it's been life changing to learn it.
We moved last week and people have been asking me if it's sad. Do I feel sentimental? Do I feel upset about leaving our first house; about leaving the house we brought our daughter home to? And to be honest, not really. I think there are great things in store in our new neighborhood and I think we took advantage of all our first house had to offer; it's the right decision. But this wall. That's what gets me.
On Sunday we went back to our old house for the last time to clean it and get rid of those last few boxes of junk that plague everyone who moves. I brought my camera because I wanted to make sure that we memorialized 'this wall.' I wanted to have documentation of what came to be as a result of the hastily scratched notes I took all those years ago sitting up against it.
Georgia. A crazy, hilarious, energetic, too smart for her own good, artistic, lover of life. The notes on that map quest print-out have come to life in front of me and I never want to forget where that started.
We tend to think of walls in our life as things that stop us, keep us from moving forward, change our plans, and thwart our good intentions. But are they really? Don't they often push us in a direction we may never have gone in otherwise? Don't they frequently force us to stop and think and set a new course? Don't they help us see that when we least expect it the best plan might be right in front of us?
Walls can be good.
And I will allow this wall, and the life that started at it forever remind me to think of the good things that walls can bring us.
What's your wall?