Monthly Archives: May 2010

Bringing Ayoub Home

The day we brought Ayoub home from La Creche

**I started to write this post the day we brought Ayoub home, May 24, 2010.  I got very busy in my new role as Mom and haven’t been able to finish and post it until today, September 17!**

On our trip back to Morocco to be with Ayoub, Farhan arrived 2 days before me and was able to get things setup for us.  He visited Ayoub and found that he had changed sooo much!  It seems like he had blossomed in the 2 weeks we were away from him: he gained weight and rounded out a bit, smiled alot, and was generally more engaging and responsive than during our previous visit.

I had arrived on a Sunday and setup everything in the apartment (we rented for a week and then were looking for long-term housing).  Earlier in the day we went to visit him at the orphange.  I had butterflies in my stomach at the thought of seeing him again…I was SOOOO excited to hold and play with him!  I wanted to run in the door and up the stairs to him but I didn’t. I casually walked in and greeted all of the ladies there with hugs and kisses.  But to see him again was amazing…this little person had captured our hearts in such a powerful way that it was overwhelming!  I don’t think Farhan and I had been so giddy like that in a while.  He looked great and we had a wonderful visit with him.  It wasn’t difficult to leave him that day because we hoped to bring him to live with us in less than 24 hours.

On Monday, we visited the orphanage and had been told earlier that we would be able to take him home, but were prepared that it might not happen.  We arrived and met Fatima who went with us to visit the person in charge of making that decision to grant us kefala muaqita (temporary custody).  He met us graciously and we sat with him for a bit.  I was extremely nervous and quiet (imagine that!).  He told us that we had received temporary custody of Ayoub and then a weight lifted off of both us.  I started to cry.  Our lives had changed so much in such a beautiful way in that one moment.  Finally, we would bring home our baby and our dreams of having a family were a reality.

We went back to La Creche and the nurses got Ayoub ready to go.  I was practically bouncing around helping to get Ayoub ready while Farhan video taped us.  We took pictures with everyone and were finally able to take him downstairs and out the front door.  On the way out we stopped and took pictures with Haja Naima.  I started to cry again and thanked her for having confidence in us.  She is a very gracious woman, mashaAllah.

And then we did it: we walked out of the orphanage and into the world as parents. It was like the decade of trying to conceive, fertility treatments and the emotional rollercoaster that goes with it were all meant to lead us to Ayoub. And it did.  And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

There are no coincidences in life.  Only journeys that we may not understand at the time but ultimately lead us to where we’re supposed to be.

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Such a sweet baby

Getting to know Ayoub has been such a delight…MashaAllah, he’s such a sweet baby.  People say he looks like me.  I agree, and I add that he has Farhan’s personality.  Go figure!

He doesn’t cry much but when he does, it sounds like a seagull!  We heard one making noise yesterday and we both thought it sounded like Ayoub.

Alhamdulillah, Ayoub is learning to self-soothe which is really great.  He looks for his fingers and when he finds them he really goes to town!

I saw his first tear yesterday.

He loves it when he’s on his back and we stand over him and talk and sing.  We get lots of nice smiles out of him!

His morning ritual includes Farhan reciting Qur’an to him and he listens so intently.

We’ve seen such a change in him from when we first met 6 days ago, Alhamdulillah!  He’s got more hair, is more interactive, smiles, and I feel like he knows when we’re around.

We are both so in love with him!  When we leave him in the evenings, we go home, pray Maghrib prayer, and then look at all of the photos and video we’ve taken that day.  And then miss him and can’t wait to see him the next morning.

This is even more amazing that I ever thought it could be, Alhamdulillah.

May Allah protect him and keep him healthy, ameen.

I600-A approved!!

I spoke with USCIS in Athens this morning…they received the addendum to our home study stating that our child abuse registry checks came back clean.  The officer said that she’ll be approving our I600-A today!!!!  (For more information on what that means, check out the ‘lingo’ page here on the blog.)

Our social worker in Hong Kong and our certification agency in the US were incredibly helpful in getting documents written, notarized, and sent to us very quickly.  They are such amazing women!

Step 7b: check!

Just call me Fatimah Zahra

So couples who want to adopt/Kefala must be Muslim.  I thought, we’ve got that one covered, no problemo! Well, evidentally, being born in the US just erases any chance of being recognized as a Muslim here in Morocco, even though I’ve been one my whole life, cover my hair, pray, etc. I thought, no problem, I’ll sit in front of a sheikh and he’ll see for himself that I’m a practicing Muslim and give me the paper stating such.  Nope!  I had to answer questions and take my shahada again!  On top of that he didn’t consider Raana Erum a Muslim name!!  Farhan gave a few ayas from the Quran that had Raana and Erum in them but he just wasn’t convinced.  He told me I should have a Muslim name so I said ok give me one.  He said no, it has to come from you.  I was overwhelmed and shocked that my deen was being questioned but kept the big picture in mind, bringing home Ayoub. SubhanAllah.  Farhan suggested Fatimah Zahra and the sheikh liked that.

So I ‘became’ a Muslim this week and I’m now known as Fatimah Zahra.  All was well, Alhamdulillah.

A little vocab…

I realize I use some terms that may not be familiar to all, so I’ve written them here with their meanings:

MashaAllah: what God wills, used when you’re happy about something that has happened.

Alhamdulillah: All praise is for God, used to express gratitude

InshaAllah: God willing, used when you hope something will happen.

SubhanAllah: All glory is for God, used when you’re amazed or to marvel at something God has made possible.

Allah: God, creator of the universe.

I hope this helps. If anyone has a question about meanings or anything else, feel free to contact me 🙂