Start with....the happy stuff:
It probably goes without saying that there has been a lot of joy!! No matter what happens, we are ecstatic at the chance to love this little girl from a distance, and to prepare our hearts and home for her. What an absolute privilege. So, lots of happy moments and giddy joy feelings - especially right after the match.
We were showered with love, twice! First at Bethany's work: her kind and generous coworkers arranged a lunch where we could eat together and celebrate our adoption through cake.
Funny story: before the lunch, we went to Mass (at work) and received a special blessing. The priest gave it after the homily - we stood up and he prayed over us. Well, the blessing was about parenthood, yes, but didn't mention adoption at all - so afterwards, several coworkers who didn't know about adoption congratulated us, asked "when are you due?" and had hilarious reactions when we said "April! ...Oh, we're adopting!"
Anyway, the lunch was lovely. Bethany feels so blessed to have such a supportive work environment with so many people who have become friends. #love
And, we were showered with love once more at our house! Two good friends offered to throw us a shower, which ended up being on March 19, which is usually St. Joseph's feast day, although it was moved this year because March 19 was a Sunday. Our two friends, plus their husband/fiance, plus my parents and another good friend, did all the decorations and food. We enjoyed a lunch out and then came back to a house full of lovely people and JOY!
|This is approximately 2/3rd of the attendees - the others are in the kitchen or backyard or out of sight|
We requested a coed party and said people could bring their kids, so it ended up being packed - standing room only - and so much fun! Thankfully some snowy weather in the morning cleared away so the older kids could run around outside.
Several of our guests had sent presents in advance (since we didn't know when we'd be leaving for California), so our hostesses devised this really neat present-opening system: everyone wrote what they brought on a popsicle stick, and then when we read it off, they'd give us the present. There were a lot of fun surprises! And people were so very generous!!
It felt like a tornado of love had swept through our house. Afterwards we went to bed around 8!
Overall, it has been just so exciting to think of being parents in a few weeks/days. We've talked about a name, set up the nursery, washed a bajillion baby clothes, packed our suitcases, and so much more all in preparation.
The more difficult stuff:
Even with such a happy event on the horizon, there have been sad parts of the month too. Most especially was losing our dear friend Louise, who died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 93.
|From her 93rd birthday party at our house|
Louise was a special part of our lives for the past five years. We first met her through mutual friends who asked us if we could take her grocery shopping. We did that for a long time, then after she got more unsteady we brought her groceries. Then she moved to assisted living and we visited her regularly. She became a really good friend - very fun to talk with, always interested in our lives. She did not have children or any family to speak of, so we and some other local friends really were her family at the end. Dan and I had the privilege of planning her funeral and helping with some of her affairs after death. It has been hard to say goodbye, and a bit challenging to deal with all the logistics on top of all the adoption preparations, but more than anything it's been a blessing to know such a special lady and get to play a special role in her life.
Adoption related hard stuff....wow, so many emotions. And honestly a lot of anxiety. There is the anxiety over whether the adoption will happen in the end. We trust and pray that the baby's parents will make the right decision for the baby & them, and we don't currently have reason to think that they'll decide to parent. But it's never certain until it's certain. So there's that anxiety.
There is the anxiety of the travel itself. We have all our bags packed pretty much, with the exception of toiletries and last-minute items (which are all on a list so we don't forget!!). We're waiting until we get word that either mom is in labor or a c-section is scheduled. So we don't have flights or a place to stay yet, which is a bit nerve-wracking - but it will come together, we're sure. Dan's mom is coming down from Erie to house-sit for us, which is wonderful and puts our minds at ease about our house.
There is the anxiety of baby's medical needs, which we have some indication of from what we've been told but of course don't know the extent until birth. Will we be able to meet baby's needs? What will it all be like?
And there is simply the anxiety of such a HUGE change in our lives. Very, very wanted - but still a change. We've both worked really hard the last few weeks at work to set things up so there is a smooth transition from us being there to others taking our projects for a while. It's strange now to be working on projects that we may or may not see the conclusion of. It's just strange in general to think of being away from home and all that's familiar for the next few weeks. It's hard to envision what it's all going to be like...
So that's what it's been like in a nutshell since match. A lot of different emotions! Trying to take it one day at a time! Pray for us!