I appreciated reading this post from another adoptive mom when I was going through The Gauntlet:
Every random month or six months, never knowing how long or when, we would receive one of the best things ever: new pictures of our daughter.
One month after being matched we received this picture. I thought it said, "Mama, please come and get me!"
Then, one of the families went to pick up their kiddos and made this video. I cannot tell you how crazy it was to see motion picture of our daughter. Painfully crazy. Even though the snippets were milliseconds, it was such a gift. I cried and cried and watched and watched. The music did me in every time.
I froze the video at the places where she was captured and made photos out of them. Zooming and staring. Dreaming and longing.
And as if these others weren't torturous enough, a fellow waiting adoptive mom shared this heart-wrencher. And, of course, I tortured myself more, watching, crying, praying and longing.
But then 5 months went by without anything. That was tough. And, finally, we received the next batch!
And, as if they previous still photo didn't say "Mama, come and get me" enough, this one was about broke me. Does that face not seem like an "orphan poster child" face? She was already about 14-15 months old in these photos.
I longed desperately to make that sweet face light up in a smile.
I tried to figure out her personality from just these few glimpses. She seemed quiet, reserved, observing and not-so-demanding.
And these photos were sent. Oh, sweet sleeping baby girl, Mama misses you terribly. Just wait, I will come to get you!!!
And, finally, two more months later, we saw a smile! But all of the sudden she seemed SO GROWN UP. Where did my baby go? Here she is at around 16 months:
And just before we were able to book our trip and go hold this precious girl in our arms, we got these cute photos. She was 21 months old