The mood - "One Day More" from Les Mis...........energizing!!
If you would like to pray - we fly out of Baltimore/Washington at 8:10 a.m. We are keeping baby and her parents in our constant prayer as the day draws near. We found a place to stay for a week when we arrive, an airbnb apartment rental that has a full kitchen and is about 20 minutes away from the hospital. After that, we'll see! Hopefully we'll have a good read on the situation: where we need to be, how close to the hospital, etc.
Preparations are going well for our trip. Bethany was in charge of packing baby's suitcase, which was a challenge! Mostly difficult to decide what adorable outfit NOT to bring.....we chose a medium-sized suitcase to keep it all reasonable. Only four pairs of baby shoes.......! haha (totally necessary, right?)
Dan chose his favorite onesie to take along (says Daddy's Girl).
And here's our packing list - mostly checked off! (We are so not travelling light.....thank you Southwest baggage allowance.)
Dan's mom arrived on Saturday evening. She's going to house-sit for us the whole time we're gone, which puts our mind at ease. On Sunday we introduced her to many friends at our parish so they can say hello at church and maybe have her over for dinner. One friend offered to mow the lawn for us, which was really sweet. We are so thankful for our church family! We've only been in Bowie since July and already it has become such a supportive place.
Other preparations: we had a great hour-long conversation with a social worker at Barker (our home study agency) about what to expect at the hospital. Realizing that the situation will likely be fluid, emotions will be high for everyone, how to be respectful of the baby's mother, legal considerations, and so on. It was really helpful.
We got a letter from the adoption lawyer to bring to the hospital social worker when we arrive. They will send a copy directly to the hospital. Since we will most likely be arriving before the birth, we plan on going to the hospital on April 5 to get a feel for it and maybe meet the social worker.
Monday was our final day of work. What a surreal feeling, saying goodbye to coworkers for several weeks/months.
In sadder news......on Sunday afternoon, Dan's dad called to let us know that his grandpa had passed away early that morning. It was a bit of a shock. Even though he was 93, his health was fairly stable and he was still at home, with the help of Dan's dad, aunt, and other family members. What sad news to receive. Thankfully Dan visited him in Erie just a few weeks ago - he had debated travelling the 7 hours because of preparing for the adoption, but now is so glad he did. (Bethany had a work trip the same time, unfortunately.) Grandpa Meola was such a special person in our lives. He was an immigrant from Italy and kept a love for his native country alive, especially through food. Christmas and New Year's were feasts in Grandma & Grandpa's home. We've shared many a cup of espresso with him. He was a fixture in Dan's family and in our experience of visits to Erie - Sunday lunches, afternoon visits, and of course holidays. We are going to miss him so much and visits to Dan's hometown just won't be the same. (Grandma Meola passed away a few years ago.)
|We miss you, Grandpa. Cheers to you.|
Plus the sadness of not having Grandpa meet our baby....that hurts. We are now down to one grandparent (Dan's Grandma Cullen) and we for sure are going to get that baby up to Erie asap for a 4 generation picture!! And we know that Grandpa, and Louise, are still close to us and will be smiling down - can't wait to see them both again one day!