Up to this point I've focused a lot on the difficulties we faced (because it was very difficult) but I want to share some of the special things that happened as well. We got our children on November 2nd and we had a timeshare in Virginia for Thanksgiving weekend. I was really sick and told Rob that I didn't think we should go. A six hour drive with three kids was not appealing to me. Rob was pretty adament about going though so I gave in....boy am I glad I did!
I prepared really well. I had snacks, drinks, kid's music and anything else I could think of to make the trip go smoothly. The preperation paid off. Other than the frequent potty breaks, we had a good trip. It was completely new for them. They had never traveled outside of the small town they lived in so leaving our county then state was pretty exciting for them.
We arrived at the timeshare in the evening and it was so fun to see their excitement at "the apartment" we were staying in. They loved it with the exception of a picture that Connor said was stupid. He was only three at the time and quite the art critic. The main bathroom had a huge whirlpool tub that could fit four adults in it. The kids called it the pool. They had just as much fun in that tub as they did at the indoor water park at the resort. It was fun to watch all of them going down the slides and having buckets of water dump down on them. Christian had so much fun being in the warm pool with me. We hadn't seen him smile too much up until that time.
One of the most special moments happened one day leaving the water park. Rob asked, "Who had fun?" and raised his hand and said, "Me!" The rest of the kids followed suit, yes, even Christian. That was the first word we heard him utter.
It was wonderful to get away for a whole week without thinking about their birth father, caseworkers, visits, school...we needed that. It was just us - a family.
I can't think about that trip without feeling an overwhelming joy and gratitude. When asked to write about something special or her favorite thing, Emily still writes about our trip to the water park we took over two years ago. We've taken many other trips since then but that trip was special.
It was the birth of our family.