Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Where to Begin?

People have asked us why dh and I did not go to Aruba last year. Very interesting story actually. In the late part of 2003 we decided that we would like to become parents through adoption.

We already had a few "irons in the fire" so to speak, when we last visited Aruba in June 2004. Domestic adoption is much less expensive than International adoptions, but nonetheless, enough red tape enough to go around the world.

We received "the" phone call a few months after our return from our "home away from home". C. came to live with us as a foster child. It soon became of year of many "firsts".

When she came to live with us, she had only been out of state once and that was a car trip to Ohio. November of that year she had her first plane ride to New Jersey to visit with my in-laws for Thanksgiving. Boy the things we take for granted: her first plane ride AND her first visit to the beach and view of the Ocean! Then in December my grandmother took the entire family, including her on a Caribbean cruise for Christmas. Naturally this was C's very first cruise.

After a long winter, dh and I usually look forward to that day in June when we take our customary flight to Aruba and a week of sunshine, relaxation, beautiful beaches and good food. At the age of 9, C. had never been to Disney World. Most people, I think would agree, that each and every child, and adult for that matter, should be able to have this experience at least once in a lifetime. Many of us have been to the home of "the mouse" and there is nothing in the entire world that compares to this adventure.

Thus our annual trek to Aruba was replaced by a visit over the 4th of July. Dh's birthday is on the 4th, so why not celebrate with fireworks? We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge for 5 nights and as we anticipated- it was excruciatingly hot. Never in my life have I had the experience where it was too hot to putter around in the swimming pool. Aruba was cool by comparison.

My in-laws met us in Florida for our adventure and of course, spoiled C. to no end. We would get back to our room about 4 o'clock after a full day at one of the parks. C. would get right on the phone and call her grandmother next door and ask her if she was ready to go shopping (they had some shops in the lobby). My MIL loves to shop, so they were very happy shopping together.

There was a court hearing a few weeks before we left for Disney, to determine C.'s availability for adoption. The judge reserved judgment on his decision for 30 days, so this well planned and much anticipated trip was a fantastic summer diversion. C. knew the day she moved into our home that dh and I wished to adopt her when she was legally free for adoption. The judge rendered his decision 3 weeks after our return. The speed of the adoption process was almost unheard of in these parts, we were all extremely grateful when a month later we became a family. One where she would always have love, safety and a home. This year as a family of now 3, we return to Aruba.