Sunday, September 10, 2006

Reflections on the Day

Today we attended a social event for our agency. I'll give you highlights, since I am too tired to be all that witty right now.

1. A referral was assigned today to the couple who was next up in the process. The way they did it was very cool. A little girl came out holding a bunch of pink balloons including one that said "It's a girl". Then another older child (adopted as a baby from Colombia) read a letter "from" the baby. It basically said, My name is xxxx and I was born on April xxxx. And my parents are...." And after a heart stopping pause they said the couples names. It was a great thrill for them and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. The picture was adorable.

2. I won a big basket of hair care products (KMS, Redken & Kiwi) in a raffle. I was very exicited. I don't even know how to use half the stuff I got (Blow silk? Sounds personal).

3. We got a thank you card from Arturo, the founder's husband who we entertained last month. He can't wait to see us in Bogota. We can't wait to see him either.

4. We got our official acceptance letter from the orphanage hand delivered. Now we just wait for THE CALL. We have NO idea how long this will take. The couple who got the referral today waited two months from their acceptance letter. The couple that is next up should get their referral tomorrow (there is a fundraising event and a referral is usually given there) which will be about 2 months for them too. We are next up after that. That would mean around November for us. Unless our agency doesn't get anymore referrals this year (they usually only get two in the fall) which means it wouldn't be until next year. I wouldn't mind so much except Christmas is in the middle there, and I would really like to know if we will get the baby before or after. Oh well.

Tomorrow is September 11th. As someone who works only a few blocks from ground zer0, I am not looking forward to going into work. To be honest, I will try to think of it as any other work day tomorrow, mostly so I don't get too nervous on the subway or on the street. I will try to take time to reflect on the day, probably later on when I am back home.

My story from that day is one of inconvenience...nothing in comparison to the things some people had to face.

On the radio that morning I heard a plane had hit the building. Thinking it was only a small plane that met an accidental end, I got on my normal commuter train into the city. Thanks to cell phones, we all quickly found out the truth. The train continued on into Penn Station. When we arrived, they evacuated the building. I walked with a group of people towards the 59th Str bridge with the intention of walking over into Queens. As we walked, a police officer stopped a city bus, ushered a group of people on, and let the bus go through the Midtown Tunnel. Once on the other side (we all applauded on the other side), I had no choice but to walk miles and miles to a working subway station. I took the subway to Jamaica station, and took a very crowded (but deadly silent) train back home. I left the house at 8 and didn't get home until 4. Because cell phone service was non existent, my family didn't know where I was until I got home. I didn't understand the impact of what happened until my husband ran up to me and hugged me when I got out of the car. I cried when I finally got to watch television and saw what happened. There are things I will never forget about that day. The crisp clean air and blue sky as I walked by a little park with children playing. The dead silence of the city streets as hundreds of people walked towards the various ways out. People silently standing at the open windows and doors of bars watching the television coverage or around cars listening to the radio. It was like a movie. The days after were surreal. We returned to our building 2 weeks later. Big trailers holding generators to supply electricity to the buildings. Huge cables snaking through the streets. Buildings covered in ash and soot. National guard manning the barricades surrounding subway exits, checking IDs to make sure you belonged downtown. Running my department out of the company board room because our other building was still unsafe.

Fortunately for me, I didn't know a single person who died that day. I heard lots of stories, and knew people who lost family and friends, but no one I knew personally. So it's a little easier for me. But I will take the time to give thanks for my good fortune, and to pray that the affected families continue to heal, and to just....remember.

17 comments:

Margaret said...

I didn't know you were so near by on 9/11. No wonder your husband hugged you tight when you got home.

Here you are 5 years later and you're literally bringing new life to New York.

wavybrains said...

I think your 9-11 story is actually pretty frightening and common. I have relatives who work all around ground zero, and I went to law school with many, many who had family working all around there too. We spent the day hoping that like you, everyone was merely just inconvienenced, scared, traumitized, and alive. Luckily, like you, neither I nor any of my classmates lost anyone. It was still really hard to be the ones waiting for news and I'm sure your family is really happy that you were okay, and thinks that you are incredibly for still going back to work every day. I know I do. Have an okay day tommorrow--I won't say good, but I hope it is at least okay. Maybe the news of the referral to the other family will make it easier. On the happier news, does the news of the age/gender of the child tell you anything about your referral? Any better guessing? My boy guess just got stronger for you :)

Debbie said...

Wonderful news about your letter. I will hope and pray your wait is shorter but it's good to know the norm. It would be so great to have your little one home for Christmas.

Thanks for sharing your 9-11 story.

Jenni said...

Thanks for sharing your 9/11 story. For those of us on the opposite coast, it all seemed so unreal, kind of like some horrible movie. I can't imagine the confusion, anxiety and grief that New Yorkers went through during that time. I hope today at work went well for you and your colleagues.

On a happier note, I'm excited about your acceptance at the orphanage. Here's hoping for more good news in November!

Amy Lane said...

Bless you, sweetheart--it was scary enough from 3000 miles away. But, like Jenni--I'm soo excited about the progression of your adoption... I'm surrounded by impending mommies but I may be the most excited for you because you've worked so hard for it...(Yes, as a breeder I do recognize that the success of the y-chromosome swimmers with the x-chromosome pin-up cell is sheer, stinking dumb-ass luck. I never take it for granted, and my cheers for you are twice as loud!)

Ruth said...

Hey, wonderful news about your acceptance letter from the orphanage. Every step is one step closer right. Hope it all happens quickly for you. Btw I love the way they announced the baby's arrival. I got all teary-eyed just reading about it.

MAMB said...

Guess we were both at events on Sunday. Nice way to give a referral - very dramatic. But a little insensitive to those still waiting I guess.

I can't imagine having been in the city that day.

MMrussianadoption said...

I really hope it happens for you this year. That would be a great reason to give thanks at Thanksgiving.

Elle said...

I have never read a description of that day more vivid. That is amazing. On the west coast we no longer realize what that day means. It was amazing to me to be in NY 2 years ago and hear people stil talk about it. To us it is over, but to some in NY they live with that giant hole everyday.

I will say it was very emotional to stand there and see what once was. Probably the most memorable moment of our trip.

Leggy said...

That's great about the acceptance letter. I hope you get a referral in the fall and baby by Christmas.

What an experience for you on 9/11. We lived not too far away at the time, but not in NYC itself. I remember how crisp and clear and beautiful the day was and how horrible it was to think of what had happened only a few miles away.

Beagle said...

Congratulations on your acceptance letter. I'm so glad that your referral is so close now. This should prove to be a very Merry Christmas for your family. I'm looking forward to reading along.

9/11 still feels so fresh and so surreal.

Chelsi said...

I appreciated hearing your 9/11 story, too. Great news about your acceptance letter. I love the presentation of the referral letter at your picnic, what a heartwarming way to annouce it!!

jill said...

woo hoo about the acceprance letter... the presentation sounds so sweet...

with you...

del said...

Wow, it won't be long now, will it? Though I'm sure each day feels especially long. I really hope everything comes together before Christmas because that would be such a wonderful gift!

Lauri said...

I cant wait to hear about your referral... Its an exciting time and I remember how drawn out the wait can seem.. even though I only waited less than 2 months from dossier submission to referral( dont hate me)

Hope it happens soon for you... do you know the gender??

Anonymous said...

It sounds like our adoption process is going very well and I hope that you receive your referral very soon. My wife, our new daughter and I are in Bogota right now for her adoption. She is amazing and so is this city. I wish you continued good luck and hopefully you'll be flying down here soon.

John Andres said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to be "Anonymous" just clicked too quickly.

Greeting again from Bogota!