For those of you who have been following along since the beginning, you may remember this post. Up until last week I had never met Donita, the dear friend who found me on-line that November night and shared some of our first glimpses of Olivia. I had also of course never met her precious daughter Cecelia who was Olivia's "sister" for her first 14 months of life.
Last summer, Donita let me know that their family would be traveling to SC for a family wedding. We were both excited that our girls would be in the same state and have the opportunity to meet once again. As the weeks drew nearer, I grew a bit anxious about how we would pull this trip off. The wedding was 3.5 hours from our house. I contemplated a day trip with Olivia but, wasn't sure how to work out child care for the other two. I thought about taking all three on my own but, that of course terrified me. Bringing Brad wasn't an option as we knew he needed to save his vacation time for a family matter later in the summer. I ran my dilemma by my most adventerous friend Mindy and the problem was solved within minutes. Girls Trip + 1 (Brooks).
Somehow we loaded five kids, two adults and all the stuff that was required into my SUV and off we went for our road trip.
I realize Brooks looks like he had two black eyes. I assure you he did not.
Kid boot camp. Planking on the beach.
Don't let this photo fool you. There was VERY little sleep happening.
Our "relaxing" breakfast
The other perk of traveling with Mindy is that she is a super talented photographer and offered to take a few shots of Cece and Olivia's reunion.
They look so angelic waiting for Cece to arrive.
And no, we did not plan these amazingly coordinated outfits....great minds just think alike!
I'm pretty sure that if I hadn't been worrying about Brooks collecting bugs and Kyrie hiding because she was shy I would have lost it at this moment. It was so special to finally meet this family who is so connected to our daughter's past.
In the moment the girls didn't seem to recognize each other but, this photo leads me to believe maybe they did.
Olivia is holding a photo we keeped framed in her room. It is of she and CeCe and the orphanage with the stuffed animals our families sent for their first birthdays.
Even if it was just for a moment, I loved getting to hug Cecelia who was such a part of Olivia's past. Those days when we were waiting, it gave us such comfort to know Olivia was in the company of a best friend. (excuse the formatting. I can't get this to not be underlined)
I'm pretty sure Kyrie wanted to sneak Cece home with us.
It was a whirlwind of a trip and our time with the Franques family was very short but, I wouldn't have traded it for anything. When there is very little you know about your child's start to life it's so important to cling to the pieces you have. Our goodbyes were not for long because we know that one day soon our girls will see each other again.