Last weekend was our regularly scheduled monthly meeting at our consultant's house. It was our turn to present (aka tell our story and show off the Wee One) and we wanted to do that when the weather was still nice enough for an outdoor meetings.
We chatted with our consultant a few days before about some of the things we wanted to cover and some of the things she wanted us to cover. She gave us our instructions for what to bring (several bottles of champagne and some of sparkling juice). We were excited to introduce the Wee One to the whole community.
It was an incredible day.
The weather was perfect. The garden looked amazing. Our presentation part went well. Everyone was so very excited to meet the Wee One.
There were two very special people there that the Mister and I were beyond thrilled to see: the NPL and her mom.
Long time readers might remember our very first NPL. If you've started reading more recently you can select the category related to adoption to the right and get all caught up. Sorry to be so lazy and not do proper links but I'm trying to get this all written while the Wee One takes a wee nap in her much loved swing (thank you Auntie Liana and bff-to-be Zara).
We haven't seen the NPL since before her son was born. We skipped a couple of meetings out of deference to her needs. She's been at a few more recent meetings but we happened to be out of town for those.
So when I saw her smiling face I was just so very happy I broke into tears. So did she. We knew she'd been thinking about us a lot and always asked about us. We'd done the same with her. But to see her again and reconnect was just so wonderful.
She saw the email that we planned to present and was so excited for us she changed her schedule so she could attend. Her mom was also thrilled for us and there were more tears when we greeted each other.
She showed me pictures of her son and caught me up on her life. She held my daughter. It was one of the most healing and touching moments I've ever experienced.
She lives even closer to us and offered to babysit. I can't believe we haven't run into her around town but maybe this was how it was supposed to be (don't tell the mister that, he *hates* any talk of "meant to be"). We were so honored she wanted to share in our joy.
She set the bar incredibly high for what we hoped to find in an open adoption situation. Every time things didn't work out we went back to the NPL and our connection and hoped we'd find something like that. I think what we have now with Ms FoodNetwork is very similar to what might have been with the added possibility of more information and an eventual relationship with the birthdad.
So there was much celebrating last weekend and it was a beautiful thing.
Finally a few photos (that likely won't last long) and name stuff.
Here is one of my favorite photos. Look closely and you'll see the Wee Ones feet, then Ms FoodNetwork's hand, my hand and the mister's hand.
Now on to the naming story. First, I must say she has a much longer name than we originally intended.
Her last name is my family name (I'm the last in my extended family to carry it). Ms FoodNetwork changed her own name to another family name when she came of age so she understood why it was so important to me. When we were talking about names when the wee one was a few days old and I said I was the only one besides my parents with my name she said "Not anymore."
Her second middle name is a family name from the mister's side. It's similar to his last name but more feminine and American sounding (his is very VERY Scandinavian sounding). It's similar to a popular name that means inspired by grace (eloquence or beauty of form, kindness, mercy, favor), which is derived from the Latin gratia (favor, thanks) according to the Namepedia.
Her first middle name is a family name from Ms FoodNetwork's side. It's also a word that has two entries in Merriam-Webster: as a noun it means "a group of related individuals,one's relatives,family relationship"; as an adjective it means "of a similar nature or character, like or of the same ancestry". What could be more perfect, right?
Her first name was on our short list for a long time but seemed perfect for this situation. In my family tradition and somewhat commonly in the South, one daughter is named after new grandmothers. We were lucky in that one name honored three of the Wee One's grandmothers (and was in all family lines somewhere). It means bright shining one and that is certainly true. It met all my crazy naming requirements and we all agreed on it. It's a serious grownup name with some totally cute nicknames.