Monday, March 25, 2013

Road Trip 2

Since our Wisconsin road trip was pretty successful, we drove down to Tennessee to spend Thanksgiving with Mia's cousins. They live out in the country now. Way out in the country.
With chickens.
And cows.
And there was a horse, too. Not my sister's animals but they live on the same land she does. It was a little strange for this city girl to put Mia down for a nap and hear cows mooing right outside the window.
We were too busy having fun so I didn't get my camera out much. But Mia had a great time with her cousins. And she got to go for a swim in Aunt Carla's big bathtub with Tess.
Tatum helped style her hair.
She looks just like an elf to me in this one. LOL!
We're so excited to be making the 5 1/2 hr drive again this weekend to spend Easter there. Well, we're not excited for the drive... but we miss Aunt Carla, Uncle Bobby and all the T's. And we can't wait to see them. I'll just have to make sure to take some pictures this time....

Road Trip 1

Back in Sept, Mia and I took our first road trip. I was nervous. Driving nearly 8 hrs alone with a 2 yr old was more than a little terrifying.
I timed our departure right at nap time. So I got the first 2 hrs of driving behind us without issue.
We stopped to eat our picnic dinner and burn some energy at the halfway point.
Mia traveled much better than I expected. I was very proud of her. Finally we made it to Wisconsin. The next morning, I got to introduce my daughter to her great-grandparents for the very first time.
They were so excited to meet her.
We spent a couple days hanging out while she got to know them a little better.
We went to the zoo and Mia experienced her first Wisconsin cheese festival.
She also met her mommy's Aunt Deb.
And Uncle Mike.
The trip threw Mia off kilter for a few days once we got home. All the driving, being in a different place, out of her routine and off schedule did not bode well for my girl. But she bounced right back once we got back into her normal groove.
My grandfather had a stroke a few years ago and is unable to travel now. Time is never promised. So it was important for me to get Mia up there to meet both my grandparents. I'm so glad we made the trip.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More Than All The Stars

During the 5 years that I waited for Mia, the stars took on an important role for me. I'd look up at them every night as I stood on the deck during Griffey's last potty break before bed.

It was a place I felt really connected to Mia. I knew she was eventually going to be somewhere on the other side of the world... but under those same stars. That gave me comfort. The stars helped me to find some peace in the insanity of the wait.

I said lots of prayers for her there. I prayed she would be healthy. I prayed she'd be referred to me very young so that she wouldn't spend much time in the orphanage. I prayed I'd experience as many milestones with her as possible. I prayed that a caretaker would love her. Because I knew she'd be better cared for if someone loved her. 

I imagined what she'd look like, what her personality would be like, how our life together would be.

And I talked to her. Well, I actually talked to the stars as if they were her. But it seemed to help.

So eventually, professing my love out into the sky for the hope and dream of my daughter evolved into me saying
"I love you more than all the stars in the sky".

I said that a lot over those 5 years. 

After we came home and read "Guess How Much I Love You" where Big Nutbrown Hare told Little Nutbrown Hare that he loved him "to the moon and back" it changed again.

"I love you to the moon and back. And more than all the stars in the sky. Forever and ever and always."

That's what I've said to Mia for the past 21 months just before her last kiss goodnight.

It became our thing. Our special little catch phrase. I knew someday she'd probably repeat it after having heard it over and over. 

I was surprised to find that happened much sooner than I expected. 

For the past 3 nights, my almost 2 1/2 yr old has broken out in a big grin when I start. Then she joins in and repeats the last of it. She says "stars in the sky. Forever and ever and always."

I tried not to let her see me cry the first night. The second night my heart grew ten sizes. And by the third night, I knew more surely than I ever had before what true love and happiness really feels like.

And I thanked my lucky stars for it.