Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vacation and 1st visit 2011!

Our hike at Chimney Rock!

Wow! Whats an amazing 10 days we just had. First off I have to brag a bit because I'm pretty sure we have the best baby ever! Last Friday started our journey north. I was pretty nervous because, aside from the drive home when Lovebug was 13 days old, we've not driven more then 2 hours with her in the car and at 10.5 months old she knows she can get up and move and doesn't like to sit still! But, much to Mommy and Daddy's heartwarming surprise, she was an absolute angel in the car(not that she's not usually an angel... but you know what I mean)! She napped, she played, we read books and for those moments when it seemed she was about to flip, we had the back up Baby Einstein...Shhh..don't tell anyone!

So our vacation went something like this:

For the first 4 1/2 days we stayed in a cabin with dear friends in North Carolina. We went to the zoo, hiked up Chimney Rock to see the most beautiful view, hiked to a waterfall, the boys went mountain biking and the girls hung at the beautiful cabin, swinging on the huge porch swing(I mean seriously, it was a twin bed on a swing!), picking blackberries and soaking up just being in the quiet, beautiful smokey mountains. To say it was relaxing is an understatement.

The cabin

Next we went south to Georgia to visit Aunt M and Uncle P! While there we visited the Georgia Aquarium, went to an amazing indoor pool that had a playground in the water (Lovebug was all over that! I swear she's secretly a fish!) and while in GA we got to see Lovebugs birthfamily!! The aquarium was gorgeous! Within 10 minutes of seeing the fish, Lovebug learned what a fish say's. If you ask her "Lovebug, what does a fish say?" She's opens and closes her mouth in kind of a "pop, pop, pop" way. It's beyond adorable!

At the Aquarium

But, I want to stop the story here for a second before we talk about our visit...I know I referred to Lovebugs "birthfamily", but I've come to realize that I don't like adoption lingo too much. To me "birthfamily" doesn't really fit. They weren't just her family at birth. They're still her family. They're our family. After our visit this became even more apparent. So, lately I've been stewing over whats appropriate. Do we say "other family"? Then I feel like there's a divide for Lovebug. Maybe "first family"? I'm not sure. Maybe we'll just refer to them as "The 'insert last name'" like we do with other extended family members. And for C, I don't know what to call her. Some use "Tummy Mommy", C herself sometimes jokingly says "Wommy" for womb mommy, some use Mama C. Not sure, I think I'll ask her what she comfortable with and we'll go from there.

Ok, back to the story. So our visit was great! Being the normal ball of nerves I can be, I was shocked at how calm I felt about the whole thing! In the days leading up I didn't feel anything but excitement to see C and her family! But, as we parked the car and started to walk up, knowing that right around the corner stood the women that brought our daughter into the world and the family that loves her so, I got nervous. What was this going to be like? Would they crumble as they saw her? What if Lovebug was unusually clingy to me or Hubby and didn't want to go to anyone? What if I can't keep it together? As we walked up, about to round the corner, I looked at Hubby and said "It's 'bout to get heavy up in here!" Breaking the tension slightly, we laughed and made the turn. The first faces we saw were C and her mom with huge smiles and a welcoming "hello"! Immediately, my fears vanished and we greeted each other with warm hugs. For the rest of the afternoon we ate lunch and played in the near by fountains, enjoying talking to each other about life and Lovebug. They got to see of Lovebugs newest tricks. On the trip she'd learned what an elephant and a fish say and loved showing off her new skills to everyone! I kinda felt like the paparazzi snapping pictures left and right, but I wanted to remember these moments forever. I loved seeing each of them hold Lovebug for the first time since she was born. Taking in all of her little self. I loved each of the little moments they all sole away with her. Watching C hold her face to face as Lovebug traced her facial features (before grabbing her nose, but hey still sweet!) watching C's sister introduce C's niece to her cousin for the first time, seeing C's dad gaze down at Lovebug and watching Lovebug cuddle up on C's mom's shoulder as we walked over to the fountains.

It was overwhelming to see how much love our daughter has in her life.

After the girls played in the fountains for a while, it was time for C and her family to head home. I was sad that our afternoon with them was ending unsure of when we'd see them again. As we said our goodbyes, C said she was planning to come down our way to visit a friend in the fall and gestured that while she was down she wanted to head down our way! We're so excited! I was especially excited because we initiated this visit, so to have her initiate the next one felt awesome!

So to cap it off, vacation 2011 was huge! Not only was it our first family road trip where we had an unbelievable time, but also Lovebugs first family reunion. God has so richly blessed our lives in the past year, it's sometimes hard to take it all in. But, in every moment we're thankful to the One who was faithful to give us the desires of our hearts. Desire's that at time's we couldn't fully see, but now we see in plain view.

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