Martin and I married a decade ago in a lovely, chic, restaurant, surrounded by our closest friends and family. That upscale venue has since been replaced with a mighty tasty authentic Mexican restaurant. Bonus points? The exact spot where we took our vows is now adorned with an awesomely tacky Tequila advert mirror. Olé! Margaritas for all!
We make a point of visiting the tequila mirror on New Year’s Eve. This year, looking at our own reflections behind the gold lettering, it was pretty clear things had changed since we rang in 2013. Back then, we had just had another failed IUI and adoption was no longer a word hinted at with the careful preface of, “well, what about, you know, maybe…”
Fast forward 365 days…..we’ve completed our PRIDE training, done our homestudy, fulfilled every possible security clearance, obtained a gazillion pieces of paper work. We are sitting on the runway ready to go.
So as we wait, engines revving, there are a million practical things that I’m starting to realise we know nothing about. Things that, I’m not going to lie, can make me break out in a pretty intense cold sweat!
– What do I say when I first meet them? I mean, “Hey, we’re your new parents” sounds pretty sinister. A simple, “Hi” in Lithuanian, plus a smile enough? I know we aren’t supposed to overwhelm them, but how will it feel to hold him or her the first time?
– How will I know when they need the bathroom?!?! Seriously, this one concerns me.
– Food. Nothing here will taste the same as in Lithuania (and no jokes about my awful cooking).
– How do we clear customs on the way back through Canada? “Anything to Declare?”…”No, I had this child in my carry-on when we left for Lithuania. Really”.
– What do I say to neighbours or my Starbucks barista when we go out for the first time? I don’t want to be thought of as the lady who kept her kid in a basement for three years!
The list of questions goes on and on. Do we get a crib or a bed? What size shoes do they wear? Allergies? Are they afraid of thunderstorms, like me? Do they like football like Martin? Will they hate the yellow we painted their room?
(And the very quietest of questions I only allow myself to ask when I feel brave enough: When will this child look at us and think, “Yes, you are my Mum and Dad”?)
This New Year’s Eve, after a couple of margaritas, Martin and I came up with another one of those “practical” questions….the name. For a number of reasons, we’d like to respect the original name (although, we may anglicize it for ease of pronunciation). Still, we don’t have any idea what it might be. So like two giddy kids peeling off a corner of wrapping paper for a quick peek, we Googled “Lithuanian names”…
When we decided to have a family, of course we spent a few gooey hours talking about baby names. It was comforting to see that some of our favourites were on the “Lithuanian List”. Many names are similar to the Polish names I grew up with and are in my family. It was also warming to be introduced to new, wonderful, names that we never even imagined.
(Side note, one Lithuanian boy’s name is “Tadas”, which sounds like “Ta-Dah!” with an “S”. We’re secretly hoping for this one because how cool would it be to say, “Here’s my son – TA-DAS!” Or, “Look who just learned to ride a bike – Ta-DAS!” Or “Show us the picture you drew, TA-DAS!” Yes, we were a wee bit giddy by this point).
There’s a lyric by ColdPlay that seems to be by mantra of late: “maybe I’m in the gap between the two trapezes”. We have made this huge leap of faith. Now we are waiting for what’s out there to greet us.
Not too shabby for a couple reflected in a tequila mirror.