waited and sweated for about an hour, and then they began to call
the names of the parents to come to take their babies from the caregivers.
We were third or fourth to be called. As I watched two babies being
handed over to their new parents, my heart started to come back
to life. I was no longer numb. I think I was hyperventilating. I
had a smile on so wide that I looked like Wal-mart Parent of the
finally called our names, and we walked over to the caregiver. And
there was Milan -- the same Milan from the picture, the same Milan
whom Tom had spotted when we walked into the building. She was alive
and alert and she looked completely puzzled. I thought, "Exactly,"
as I took her in my arms and pulled her to me. She whimpered and
cried a little. It was downright surreal.
three of us went back to the hotel and tried to get some rest. When
we would lay Milan on her back, she would cry. I mean, scream. She
did this all the time. When we would change her diaper, she screamed.
And when it was time to go to sleep, the only way that she would
drift off was if one of us held her and rocked her to sleep and
then, very gingerly, placed her down, and slowly pulled the supporting
arm out from under her.
took two nights for us to become completely and utterly exhausted.
At the same time, Tom and several others in our group became violently
ill from one of the meals. Guess what we learned about China? They
have HORRIBLE Chinese food. Who would have guessed that? I had to
go out to buy Tom Gatorade with Chinese writing on the bottle. I
was pretty sure it was Gatorade. It was blue liquid, and there was
a picture of someone surfing on the bottle. So, I thought it was
that point, however, I didn't really care if it killed him. Tom
was in an awful mood and had lost all patience. I remember standing
at the window of our hotel room, over twenty floors up, and thinking
to myself, "Oh my god. What have I done? We have a baby who
won't stop crying, and I hate my husband. I can't believe how married
we are. Now the question is: Do I have the physical strength to
lift his body and throw him out this window?"
at Milan, who had finally fallen asleep lying next to Tom, who was
also sleeping. And I realized that this man, whom I hated, would
someday be the man that she hated. And my heart softened. I got
into bed next to Milan and passed out.
that moment on, my life has been so completely different in ways
that I never could have anticipated. Every day, there are things
I realize I had taken for granted that are now distant memories.
Things like showering. Brushing my teeth. Peeing in a room by myself.
Going to the movies. Boy, do I miss going to the movies. One night,
Tom was away, and I was with Milan, and I wanted to go see Million
Dollar Baby, but I couldn't because I had to stay home with
Twenty Thousand Dollar baby.
outlet malls. I really miss the outlet malls. It's close to impossible
to shop for bargains with a two-year-old who's wiping her nose on
a rack of peasant skirts.
it's really hard to have a baby. A lot of the time. Most of the
time. All of the time. Do I wonder if I did the right thing? Yes,
sometimes. Would I do it again? Yeah, most of the time. Do I know,
in my heart, that we're a family? Yes, all of the time. Okay, most
of the time.
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