Saturday, July 7, 2012


Since paperwork is winding down and I'm feeling committed to shifting my energies to documenting our boys' story, I'm gonna try to proceed chronologically... So far we have our decision documented. Let's fast forward through lots of searching and praying and DREAMS (to be documented later), and we send our contract in to International Adoption Guides, an agency that we LOVE working with. It's time to tell the fam.

If you know Cary and I, you know that we love face time. We idealize sitting around the table, (preferably a table loaded with good home cooking), and talking. And when the food is gone, more talking. Leaning back in chairs, studying faces, swapping stories that remind you of another story, which is just like that time... Well, you get the picture. We value patience and suspense and the right timing... We're THOSE people who wouldn't want to find out if we are having a boy or a girl from the ultrasound... I know, I know.  I never shook presents before opening them - it's like cheating, and who really wants to know before they open them anyways? I share this, because it might help you understand why we felt INSISTENT that we would not share our most exciting news with anyone until we could tell our family, and then closest friends, face to face.

Announcement #1: The Hills

Cary's entire family was coming into town for youngest brother Pete's graduation from VT. Better yet, most of them were going to stay with us in our 2 bedroom apartment. (I love lots of family in small quarters. Again, we're weird like that.) After Pete's graduation, the whole family was supposed to go camping together at the beach - Pete's one request. We didn't want to overshadow celebration of the graduate with our news, so we decided we would wait and do our announcement by the campfire. Does anything go according to original plans? Yeah, right. With so many schedules for when to come and how long to stay, we weren't sure we could coordinate everyone being at the beach at the same time, then Cary's mom wasn't going to be able to get off work to go, and - oh yeah - I found out I could not take off my last 2 days of school without superintendent approval to go camping as we'd planned. Scratch.

Plan B: Everyone was already going to be together, IN OUR APARTMENT. We couldn't do much better than that. Since it was Pete's weekend to be the star, we decided we'd wait til the end of the weekend. We recently started a Hill family "secret santa" tradition, and since everyone was going to be together, Becky (keeper of the Hill family organization) planned to have us draw names while we were together. So...

Our plan: Cary would draw a picture of a baby instead of writing his name to put in the cup. Whoever drew the baby, would undoubtedly say, "Hey! What's this? I drew... a baby?" Which would be the perfect set up for our announcement! Cute, right?

The execution: After a big Saturday morning brunch, Cary and I were washing dishes, adults were sitting around, the nieces were playing... just how we like it. Becky said, "Hey, I'll get everything together so we can draw secret-santa names." Eeek! this was it!! Cary and I told her where to find a cup, pens, etc, and leaned into eachother with anticipation. Yay! Then Becky said, "I'll go ahead and write out all the names and go ahead and drop them in, that way we can all just get together and draw." I panicked... The plan was for US to write our OWN names (or other creative hints). "Uh, I can help you!" Of course, she said she could manage. Because I'm Type A, I began to despair. The plan had crumbled. The end. Cary (who is so NOT type A), shrugged it off. We'll make it work, he whispered. "How?!" I hissed. He looked confident, as he does in such crises, and I started to feel better. We all gathered in the living room, made a circle, and reviewed the terms of drawing, re-drawing, etc. (Cary was discretely tearing off another piece of the red paper Becky had used for names, and scratching out his best take on a baby. Only Cary can pull something like this off. If I attempted it, 3 people would ask me what I was doing.) Cary got to draw first. As he reached into the cup, he dropped our baby announcement in. The drawing continued. He drew, I drew, Becky drew... each person opened the name, thought about it, and passed the cup. No baby yet. Josh drew, Astleigh drew... (Only 3 people left! Where was the baby?!) Pete drew, opened his, looked puzzled, and asked, "What?" Then he relaxed, said, "Oh," and passed the cup. (False alarm.) Ben drew, Lynne drew, and... Billy drew. Everyone looked satisfied. Cary grabbed the cup: "Wait, there's one left!" Becky perked - "No way, I put each of our names in the cup, and everyone drew. How is there one left?" This is where the dialogue gets rich, so I must switch formats so that you can stay with me-

Pete: Well, I drew a picture of a baby. But then I just figured Becky put it in there.
Becky: (emphatic) I did not put that in there. I swear I did not put that in there!
Cary and I were enjoying this. A realization was on the horizon!
Pete: Well, I just figured you put it in there, like I'm supposed to buy stuff for the new baby or something?
Becky: You guys I seriously did not put that in there! (Both Becky and Pete were settling down. Here it came!) ...I guess we need to redraw.
Blink, blink: What?
Cary: Wait, if Becky didn't put it in there, who did?
Pete: (An "aha!") Oh... It was totally Cary. Cary Put it in there. (Haha, yes!) Arright, let's re-draw."
Wait, really??
Cary: I did put it in there, but WHY did I put it in there?

And then the "aha" happened.

Faces lit up, and arms came toward me - so I quickly clarified: "We ARE starting a family. We are adopting a baby from Ethiopia!" Faces brightened again, there were excited voices and hugs all around. I have to say, our baby got the warmest welcome we could have imagined or asked for. Thanks, Hills, for instantaneously sharing our joy, and being so ready to open Hill family goodness to our little one(s). How lucky they will be to grow up having you in their lives!

(Up Next: Announcement #2: Mama, Dad, Katherine, Addie, and Eli)

No comments:

Post a Comment