I almost forgot one of my favorite memories of Ava… As I have mentioned before, there are so many things that were meant to be with regards to my life and the adoption of my children. Two years before Ava was born we bought a little house in the inner city. We had been living in a condo with a tiny yard and we needed a place for the boys to play. I love looking at houses for sale and the internet made it that much easier to browse… I found a little yellow house with white shutters (I love older homes) and it had a HUGE fenced in back yard (exactly what I was looking for). It wasn’t in the ideal location, but the price was right and I was dying to have some room for my boys to play outside. I just KNEW this home was where we were meant to be at the time and I realized later it was because the people we met while we lived there would become lifelong friends. A few posts ago I mentioned my friends who went and took Ava to meet her birth father. Well, those friends were actually sisters, Rachel and Leslie that I met when I lived in my little yellow house.
Ava on the front steps of our little yellow house
One of the hardest things for me about adoption was the planning (or lack thereof). I love to plan things; I like to know what is going to happen far in advance. The one thing I had no control over was when we were going to “have” children. I had no idea that a little girl was in our future after the adoptions of our three boys. I had given all my baby stuff away by the time Ava was even born, and if you have been following this story you know that I had less than an hour to prepare for her arrival (I guess less than that because right after I got the phone call I went and picked her up!). Anyway, my friends knew that I didn’t have anything for a baby, let alone a baby girl.
At this time in our life we were hanging out with some other neighbors that we had met, the Laings. They were a young couple who didn’t have any children so they would come to our house several times a week, sometimes we would watch movies, play with the kids, go play tennis, whatever we could think of, they were a little extension of our family and we had a lot of good times (I miss those days!). One night we decided to go out for dinner with just the adults (which was very rare), so we got a baby-sitter and headed for “The Pantheon.” The whole dinner everyone was acting strange (except me of course)… they kept looking at their watches and checking the time. We finally made it home and everyone was trying to find an excuse for me to go over to our church, and bring Ava with me ~ I finally made it easy for them and just went!
I walked in to an entire room filled with my friends and neighbors patiently waiting for me to arrive for a surprise baby shower! Many of the ladies who attended were over 70 years old and had lived in our neighborhood for a long time (I feel so bad that we were late!). They made Ava several beautiful hand-knitted and crocheted baby quilts, gave me pink girl PJ’s and clothes, gift cards to buy a stroller, and one of my friends had even made a wall hanging with Ava’s name and birth date on it. I cannot express how wonderful it felt to be in a room filled with people who were there to support me and my family. It is one of my most cherished memories. Most of my friends have since moved from that neighborhood, but I know we were all meant to be there at that time to help each other and to meet each other. Thank you!
Before I end this post and move on with the story of my youngest daughter’s adoption, I just wanted to add a few quotes that have come from my children over the years with regards to adoption (and being adopted). I know my children’s birth mother was concerned that they may be having a hard time with being adopted (she and I had lunch yesterday and discussed this a little bit), so I thought I would share some of their thoughts in their own words:
“I love you as much as Jesus loves us.”
“I am glad Ruth did the right thing” – Preston said this when he was five.
“I am so glad that you are my mother and that you adopted me.”
“Heavenly Father must have taken 2000 years to make you such good parents.”
“Thank you for adopting me, I love you.”
“We have the best family ever!”
“If your tummy worked you wouldn’t have had us!”
“Mommy, is love full of surprises?”
“I can’t stop loving you.” –Preston and I were holding hands and walking together.
“I love you mom” – My personal favorite that I get to hear almost every day.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein