Date: Sunday, January 24, 2010. Location: Ottawa (Richmond) Hosts: Trish and Laura
I've had a dinner, then a lunch, and now a brunch. I woke up feeling very relaxed and excited. My friends were there from the beginning, even before the the adoption process. It was a lovely morning filled with good friends who happen to also be my co-workers. The people who I spend at least 6-8 hours a day with. They were there when I got the crazy phonecall and watch as I cried "It's a girl!' from class to class. These women are my Ottawa family. Katie (and Maeve) had come all the way from Montreal for the occasion. Heather (and Ainsley who was just born 7 days before) came too!
The first thing I saw when I walked in:
I laughed as I drove up because I had just came from the grocery store vowing one day to use those mother and baby stroller parking spots. And there it was...how did she know? :0) The sign has a special spot in the garage now. Only I can park in the garage. hehhe
Everyone arrived soon after I got there. Astrid brought a beautiful diaper cake. ( It is now a center piece in the dining room table because it's so pretty. hahaha) We all sat around and admired it with our coffees. I love brunch! We had mimosas and yummy baked goods. Then we got to the games! The great toilet paper diaper game. Working in the education field, the creativity of these women was not surprising. They were all so pretty! That's why men don't go to these things. hahahha
It was a hard choice, but there was a clear cut winner. As we were playing our games, Laura distributed ""New Mommy Advice Cards" and some redeemable coupons for future "services". It was awesome!
My Advice to you at this special time is
"Buy extra memory cards for your camera. Take a zillion pictures and make lots of videos!"
"Write things down and take lots pictures- they grow so fast. Always make time to cuddle."
"Sleep when you can, eat when you can, and enjoy every minute of your time."
"Enjoy every moment- even those middle of the night wake-ups! Time passes so quickly that one day you'll miss those quiet times alone together."
"Keep a note pad on the go. As Olivia does or says something adorable, jot it down and put it in a memory box."
"Relax and let other things slide so you can fully enjoy your time with Olivia."
"Get losts of rest before the baby comes."
Thank you so much for the advice super moms! As we finished the games, it was time for the presents. Again spoiled like crazy. I pretty much got everything off the registry. I was finally at ease because we are all ready for her now.
What I wasn't ready for was my last gift. It was a gift that threw me for a loop. Way back when I found out about Olivia, a friend had bought me this wonderful book "We Belong Together" (by Todd Parr). It was a story about adoption. I had to tell you this because, when I opened this gift, I was staring at the cover page of the book. But this time, it was set in a mahogany "memory box"! I can't even fathom the amount of time it took to make every detail perfect with this box. Trish's father, truly a gifted craftsman, had taken the time to carve out the title and picture for the top of the box. He used special wood to make this piece of art. I couldn't stop staring at it, even though my eyes were swelling up with tears. Because of his work, our family will always be connected to theirs. We will be able to put special memories for Olivia in the box, and later in the future, she will be able to put her own memories. This is a gift that Olivia will have for the rest of her life, and I will make sure she knows that it was made with love by a man who has never met her, but will be in some way part of her past, present, and future.
Sigh. It was a perfect day. To my family in Ottawa, thank you for being part of our journey (and helping me get through it hahaha) I came home excited to show Martin all the things we got for Olivia. Then crashed on the couch with exhaustion. We're ready.