The best two words I have ever heard put together in my life.
Hannah's* first words to me after finding out about the adoption.
She said it with joy and excitement. She said it with promise and hope. She said it with all of her being.
And I melted.
My heart lurched out of my chest and tears filled my eyes and I cried out, "Oh! Hi, Baby!"
Seven in the morning here - they told her just a few hours before.
They gave her a book - a book I prepared with pictures of family, of friends and of our home.
Together they read the first pages of her new book, Hannah's New Family:
Once there was a little girl named Hannah. She lived in a city called Johannesburg in the majestic land of South Africa.
Hannah was a very kind and happy child. She loved to sing and dance and play with her friends, and her friends loved to sing and dance and play with her. But even though she was very happy, deep down in her heart Hannah longed for one thing more than anything else in all the world - a family of her very own.
Each night when Hannah said her prayers, she would ask God for a new family. She would ask God to make them loving and kind, and "Please God," she would say, "they can't have mean faces. Oh, and no hitting or smacking, please."
God heard Hannah's prayers, and looked the world over for a family who would be just right for little Hannah.
One day He looked down from heaven and saw Hannah playing in the garden with her friend Amanda. "Hmm," He thought, "I wonder. Perhaps this is the perfect match after all." So God began to sow seeds of love and affection between Hannah and Amanda until the day came when he asked Amanda, "Will you be Hannah's mother? Will you trust me and adopt Hannah?"
Amanda thought for only a moment before answering, "Of course, God. I can think of no better daughter than Hannah. I know deep in my heart that you have created me to be her mom."
It was at this point, I am told, Hannah's mouth fell open and she realized I would be her mother.
I told her in my conversation about how I had prayed for her to be my daughter for a long time, and she told me whenever she was sad and missing me, she would talk to my picture, saying she wished I could be her mother and how she wanted a mother just like me.
This was the moment I knew - more than any other moment before - this story being written is a story authored by God.
It will still be some weeks before I travel to fetch Hannah, but knowing she knows, knowing she knows I am coming to fetch her, makes the last of the waiting bearable. It makes it possible.
Nothing is set in stone yet. Her immigration must still be approved by the US and a court date has to be set in South Africa. Everything will be stone and final when we walk out of the court having her declared legally my child just as if she was my biological child. It's a moment I'm longing for and hoping for, but in the mean time, my Hannah knows - after two years of not being able to share with her - my Hannah knows I'm coming back for her.
*Hannah is a pseudonym. In order to protect her identity until she is fully and legally mine, I use "Hannah" in all online activity regarding my someday daughter and her adoption.