Almost a year ago now, I posted a message on our agency's yahoo group board, she responded, and that was that. Even from the first few e-mail exchanges it was apparent we had much in common. Not only had we both been through the same grueling court process with our kids, she was the first person I've ever met that actually had heard of the small burg in Germany where I had grown up. She knew what it was like to be from a military family and she was a rock and absolute wealth of information when it came to raising a family and adoption. To this day, if I have any questions, I ask her first. Instant friends.
Up until the very last minute, we had no idea whether we would be able to meet each other in Ethiopia. I think it was literally 48 hours before Daddy O and I boarded the plane that she e-mailed me with the good news. We were all staying at the same guesthouse and made a pact that (since we arrived at different times) we would make sure that someone wouldn't forget us at the airport, no matter how late it was.
If I remember correctly, Daddy O and I arrived in Ethiopia very late at night (or very early morning) and she along with staff and another fabulous lady were there to greet us and show us the ropes. With very little sleep, the next morning arrived too quickly and we traveled together and took pictures of her meeting her son and daughter and she in turn was there to take pictures of us meeting our two boys. She was there to see us elated to meet Boy O and she was there to see us confused and discombobulated when meeting a very sick Baby O. It's hard to believe that we only spent a little over 72 hours in each other's company-honestly the only way I can explain it is a suspension of time-the highs and lows we went through during that time felt like a lifetime.
We have kept in touch this past year via blogs and e-mails and finally got our families together this past weekend. I felt like I already knew everyone and can't express how amazing it was to see her two kiddos that we had met in Ethiopia and four more that I had only read about. We played, we talked, her daughter watched and chased Baby O (thank you D! You are amazing by the way!) as he investigated every corner of their house and Daddy O was graciously welcomed by her husband (and spent the ride home talking about snowmobiles). Thank you to the girls for putting up with Baby O dumping out their legos for the hundredth time and for B standing by while Boy O demolished his lego plane. The afternoon felt like 15 minutes and we were back in the car, headed for home.
How beautiful is this?
I think they are talking about politics or baseball, probably superheros.
Baby O was EVERYWHERE!
Say Bunny Rabbit!
No less than 10 minutes after we got in the car to go home:
Andrea, the spirit of family you and your husband displayed during our visit was inspiring. We will always think of you with love and hope to see you sooner rather than later!