And now I am celebrating with her; her daughter is beautiful and they will be very happy together. And I am remembering my own first meetings.
My first meeting with Little Fish. She sat, beautifully and immaculately dressed, on a little chair next to a box full of toys which she proceeded to throw across the room in a temper because her fostercarer wouldn't pick her up. She screeched and sobbed and cried and scowled and shouted and begged and pleaded to be rescued by her fostercarer. And then right at the end of the visit, she suddenly stopped just for a few seconds, and snuggled herself into my side, a soft and squidgy cuddle and a soft sigh. And happiness. Before she realised that I wasn't the woman she wanted, and the squawking began again.
It was enough though. Enough to carry me through the next three months before I saw her properly again, and the three months after that before I finally brought her home. For those few seconds, we fitted together, and I knew she would be mine.
My first meeting with Mog. She lay, a tiny baby with masses of black hair and deep wide blue eyes, in a cot in a windowless hospital side room. So beautiful, so lost. Not much waiting time this time; less than 24 hours between the initial phonecall and my arrival at the hospital. Her mother handed her over to me half way through a feed. And then we had forms to fill in, and more forms to fill in, and more doctors and nurses to talk to, and then finally we were free to come home.
My first meeting with Goldie. Many meetings, talks about talks. And then finally an early morning meeting. I sat in a hard plastic chair and waited, and waited, and in the fullness of time, someone wheeled her in to me. And she was huge. I had been fostering a tiny four year old, and this eleven year old girl seemed vast in comparison. She reached out from her wheelchair and grabbed my hand to feel who I was. And then asked me to "Sing a Rainbow" and then to sing "Had a little Nutmeg". We went out for a walk, and she Christened her new wheelchair "Whizzy Wheelie" which got us a few stares later on.
And then I went away, and came back, and went away, and came back, and then she started to come to me, and go away, and come back, and finally she moved in, and seven years of chaotic, noisy, enthusiastic, loving anarchy began.
Tomorrow, my friend will continue her introductions, spend time in that curious limbo where you fall more in love with your child every day, whilst your child belongs still to someone else, before finally bringing her home next week. And so we will begin a new chapter in our lives, two adoptive mothers
It's a lovely place to be. It's been two years now since I met a new child here, whether a fosling or an adoptee. Two busy years; weddings, new babies elsewhere in the family, the loss of my precious Goldie and all the fallout around that, surgeries and new medical needs and every day a new adventure. But I do miss that "new child" buzz.
For today though, Friend's news will satisfy me; Congratulations!
*You thought I meant one of my own, didn't you?
**I know that by social services timescales the wait was not long, in fact could be considered remarkably quick. It doesn't matter though; when your future is dependent on the decisions of other people then every day is an age.