This time last year, I was waiting on pins and needles for that call telling me to pack my bags for Ethiopia. Christmas came and left and I was still waiting. New Years Day came and left and still no word. For those of you not in the adoption world, waiting on that travel call is excruciatingly difficult. Once you are matched with a child you begin to bond and fall in love with that little face on the referral picture and you savor any small personality description that comes along during your wait. Then comes the worry. You worry about the health of your child, you worry that your child may be hungry (even if you know the orphanage caregivers are well trained and love on the babies), you worry about your baby being scared or cold, you worry about EVERYTHING! You just want to be there with your child...the child that has completely taken over your heart.
That's where I was this time last year. But on January 12th, the day before my birthday, I finally got the call telling me to pack my bags. What a wonderful birthday gift. Fast forward almost a year later. I went to the mall today to pick out my gift from Aaron. Addison was getting a little cranky which makes it a challenge to enjoy my shopping experience. As I was about to try on a coat, I heard Addison start to cry a little. In an instant, I flashed back to my trying Christmas of 2006, remembering just how sad and anxious I was to travel to Ethiopia to pick up Addison. At that moment, I put the coat back on the rack, headed for Addison, and told Aaron that we should head home so Addison could take her nap. Now I still want a new coat (and a new purse as well:-)), but shopping malls, coats, and handbags will always be available. It was just something about that moment that reminded me that my best gift of 2007 would not be wrapped in a pretty box and placed under the Christmas tree. She was right in front of me reaching out to be picked up. What a difference a year makes.