The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Friday, November 14, 2008


The Way It Began

It all started with a photo of a cute Chinese baby, about eight-months old, in a too-large blue silk robe. She was the just-adopted daughter of my husband’s friend, Nancy.

“Would you like to do that?” my then-boyfriend asked? “Yes, yes, I would!” I instantly replied.

You see, I had wanted a baby for a long time. Ever since the end of my first marriage I had pursued that dream, and it had taken me down some strange and crooked pathways.

Then I met Mick. We dated, and lived together for several years. But we lacked the motivation to become husband and wife. That is until the fated photo arrived. Within weeks we were planning our wedding and soon tied the knot.

Within six months we found an adoption agency and completed the application process. I was almost fifty years old by then. It took another six months to complete our “dossier,” involving thirteen forms that each had to be locally “notarized,” “certified” in Sacramento and “authenticated” by the Chinese Embassy. Then fourteen months of waiting for a referral from the Chinese government. Finally, the Fed Ex envelope arrived with our prospective baby’s photos and information.

Next came the visit to the doctor to review our baby’s scant medical history. We entered in a rush of excitement. This was soon doused by the doctor’s concern about our daughter’s small head size. She wanted more information. Could we get it?

Happily, the adoption agency came up with updated photos and data. I found a helpful doctor in the Midwest, who wasn’t worried about the baby’s head size. It turns out that our social worker was right: “Adopting a child is a leap of faith,” she said. We decided to leap.

That March, as we prepared to board a plane to China, my husband was paged. Our adoption agency was on the phone.

“Don’t get on the plane,” the rep said. “The U.S. government has changed the rules. You need to get new fingerprints. If you go to China without updating them, you could be stuck there and not be able to bring home your daughter.”

What could we do? We left the airport and headed straight for the INS office in San Francisco. What a nightmare – no one knew about this change in rules. After a day of waiting, my tears got a positive response. We could get fingerprinted the following day.

Two days later we boarded the airplane. We were finally on our way to Beijing and our new daughter!

By Nina Katz

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How exciting!
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