Sunday was a completely overwhelming day for me, in the best possible way. My dear friends threw a baby sprinkle (a baby shower that happens after the baby already arrives) to celebrate the birth and life of Willow. I thought about posting on social media that day how much it all meant to me, but I was too overcome with emotions and exhaustion to say anything. Now, a few days later, I am ready.
One year ago, in the middle of August, Nathan and I decided to take our names off the adoption list for awhile. We had just experienced our third failed adoption in 7 short months, and it was too much for us to bear. After the third fell through we very quietly took a long weekend away in Alexandria. I got a massage, we ate good food, and spent time reconnecting. It was honestly a very difficult weekend for us. We were exhausted after just having come back from our second trip to Africa that year and emotionally worn out from all the turmoil that began with Joel's passing in January.
It wasn't until January that we put our names back on the list, but in the ensuing months, our profile book would only be shown to one prospective mother, who didn't choose us. By June we had mostly given up hope after 3 years in the process and nothing to show for it.
And then, yesterday, I found myself surrounded by dozens of family and friends, holding my baby girl in my arms, celebrating her life and the fact that she had come home with us. It was all too beautiful and one year ago, it felt completely impossible. I can only sit back and thank God for what He has done.
The other beautiful part of this story is the friends who put so much time and effort into an incredibly perfect shower. These are friends I have only known for about 6 months, but they have quickly become some of the dearest in my heart and those who know me best. As evidence of this, all the food served was Paleo - which is something I would never have asked for! From lemon tartlets to fruit salad to buffalo chicken dip with homemade mayo, so 'small' a gesture seemed huge to me.
The whole shower was decked out in Willow's nursery colors - gray and dark mint. There was a photo booth with a DSLR so I could have pictures of everyone printed out to remember and show Willow when she was older. The games were so fun, and opening presents filled my heart with gratitude. I kept telling Willow the whole weekend that she was seeing how many people love her and prayed for her, but it was a picture I truly couldn't fathom until I was there experiencing it.
I could go on and on, but I'll save the rest of my words for thank you notes which I can't wait to write. To everyone who helped, prayed, loved, and served - thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Words aren't enough, but for now, they will have to do.
Pictures below were taken by me and two of my sweet friends!