Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Next Step

As soon as we awakened yesterday, we loaded everyone up in the big, blue van and headed north. With a quick coffee stop for Hubby and me we traveled the two hours to the next large town north of us where we had a busy, busy day planned.

We arrived early enough to take a few minutes to get refreshed and change the baby in a handy McDonald's. We all used the potty, I applied lipstick, which shows what an occasion it really was and the bigger kids had a snack.

Then we headed to the Idaho Youth Ranch where we had Baby Bear's post-placement meeting. Although my stomach was in knots the whole time, everything was fine. We fielded all the questions about Baby Bear's routine, health, personality, hubby's job, the older kids, our family in general...

Afterward we drove to the next town over for a delicious homemade lunch by a blogger friend whom I had not previously met. She and her children made us welcome, provided weary travelers with food and friendship and let us use her bathroom.

Back on the road again, we ended up back at the exact same McDonald's as the morning where we settled ourselves into the playland and let the kids burn some energy while we had our third meeting with Baby Bear's birth mom. This one was the best so far and we had a delightful conversation while she held and cuddled the baby, who by now was getting really tired. She also showed us a picture of Baby Bear's bio-dad whom we had previously not seen. We were delighted to see a handsome black man showing his sense of humor in a silly pose. Staring out of the picture was my baby's brilliant, dark eyes and his shapely eyebrows. I now know where those came from!

As the kids showed ominous signs of overstimulated meltdown mode we headed to E&K's house just south of town where I put Little Mister and Baby Bear both down for a nap. E and K cooked us homemade lasagna and more or less treated us like royalty, letting us lounge our tired selves on their couch and providing scratch paper for Curly to draw pictures.

Once refreshed and fed, we explored the downtown tourist district where an art gallery tour and chocolate tasting were in full swing. Of course we ended up at a coffee shop, one of our favorites up there, where there was a toy corner for the kids and where the four adults fell into animated conversation for a delightful hour.

Awakening to the fact that it was the kids' bed time we reluctantly said our goodbyes and snuggled the kids in their car seats with their lullabies playing over the speakers. Baby Bear was instantly asleep and the big kids followed shortly into dreamy-land while hubby and I chatted and I read my current braille book through the long, dark two-hour drive through the dormant wheat fields.

We got home exhausted but happy at the successful meetings. As quickly as we could we shipped off tired goombas to their beds, fed a now-awake baby and headed to bed ourselves. Hubby gets extra credit for staying up with Baby Bear who, having slept in the car and threw his schedule off, was determined to stay awake as far into the night as he possibly could.

Now that our agency meeting is out of the way, we are on track to finalize with a local adoption lawyer as soon as we can set a court date and get all the paperwork to all the correct people. Of course we're impatient, but I feel pleased that a big step has been taken toward Baby Bear joining our family forever.

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