My daughter is from Morocco, from an orphanage named after the King’s daughter.  For a year I had dreams of a little girl and I knew that I would find her in the orphanage.  On a Friday, after preparing and completing all necessary documents, I visited the orphanage in Rabat, ready to find my little girl.

Room after room I traversed, surprised  to find practically no girls, convinced she would be in the next room.  To my dismay all I saw were children of various ages.   Many babies, some 3 to a crib or laid out on the floor like the petals of a giant sunflower, but no girls.

I learned that few girls were available because they were quickly adopted to be raised in service to their adopting family.   Knowing that I needed and could take my time in the process, I chose to return the following Monday.  As I was leaving I caught sight of a little boy just 5 days old being brought in.

I wasn’t prepared for the fact that there may not be any girls available.  I hadn’t thought of the probability of choosing a boy, but I had the week end to examine my feelings, and the decision was made.  That should there be no girls, I would consider adopting the little 5 day old boy.

Arriving on Monday, I was still hopeful that a lifftle girl would be brought in over the weekend.  To my dismay, there hadn’t been any.  I chose the little boy.   When the final paper was to be signed, the nun overseeing the final process came to tell me that the birth mother had not signed the release papers after birth.  The ramifications of that was that she had the right within a thirty day period to change her mind and return to claim her child.

Since the process had been started, I was informed I could go through with the adoption at the risk of the mother coming back to reclaim her child.  The Sister attending asked that I go for a cup a tea and think it over before making a final decision.

I agreed.  During that time I decided I would take the risk, since he was the only child I had felt a drawing toward.  When I arrived back at the orphanage, lying in the crib next to the little boy was a little girl.  She was sound asleep on her side, with a warm pinkish glow on her little cheek.  Unusual as it was since babies were brought from the hospital at about 5 days old, she was just 24 hours old.

I knew the moment I saw her that she was the little girl of my dream.  Just so that the universe wanted me to be absolutely clear, the nurse pointed out that another infant had been brought in.  I turned to see another bassinet and in it another peacefully sleeping little girl.  But I knew, it was absolute, like night and day. She was not the one.

I said a prayer for the little boy and chose my daughter.   It happened so quickly.  All of a sudden I was dressing her in clothing and wrapping her snuggly in a blanket.  Signed the final paper and I was out the door making my way to the hotel.

The next day all that was needed was the birth certificate so I could get the travel visa to leave the country and return to the states.  But that was not to be.  Overnight there had been a political uprising amounting to the closure of the adoption program and I was not allowed the paper work to leave the county with my daughter.

I refused to go without her so I stayed.  I wrote a pleading letter to the King’s daughter hoping to make a difference.  A wonderful family, that had previously helped with my initial paper work, took me in.  They watched my daughter while I spent the days going from one official to the next trying get the paperwork released so we could leave the country.

After knocking on many doors, my baby and I got an audience with the Prime Minister.  It was Christmas Eve morning. For a Muslim country it was another working day.  In the palatial room I was given tea.  While we conversed the phone rang.  The King’s daughter was on the line telling the Prime Minester to let us go.  Just like that we were given the permission to finalize the paperwork.

I was given the birth certificate to create the travel visa and took the train immediately to the US Consulate in Casablanca.  Upon arrival I was refused the visa because the name on the adoption papers and the name on the birth certificate were different.  Which they were since she had been given a Muslim name and I had given her a new name upon adoption.  They explained I needed to return to the orphanage and get proper authentification.

I got back on the train, a two hour run, to Rabat.  Ran to the orphanage and had the Sisters draw up a paper that claimed the authenticity that the two names were one and the same and got back on the train arriving but twenty minutes before their closing for the holidays.

The official looked at my paperwork and said,  “this is not the right paper work”.  I was frantic, explaining it was what they had asked for.  He walked out of the room, coming back with an, I give in expression, and went forward with preparing the necessary travel visa.

I was exhausted yet elated, and crying in gratitude I got back on the train to pick up my daughter and complete our travel home.