Yesterday’s post details our adventure in getting to the United States. In this post I’ll tell about getting from NJ to VA to NC.
After a good night’s sleep we were really hoping the weather would cooperate. Hurricane Dorian was threatening to make everything extra difficult.
On September 5th we woke up in the hopes that we could catch a flight to Norfolk, VA. There was one on the list but with the hurricane coming I felt certain that the flight would be cancelled. We got there at 8:00 and waited in the fantastic family room at McGuire.
We were the only people competing for the seats so when our names were called, we were the only passengers on the flight. Not only that, but Parker got to sit in the cockpit through the entire flight!
We landed safely (ahead of Hurricane Dorian) at the naval base in Norfolk. Unfortunately, the USO was closed but the base did have a family room that was open with plenty of toys for Anna. We had a few hours to kill before Mama Kim could meet with us which gave us time to get lunch at the flight line. We still had no phone so I used Facebook messenger to chat with Mama Kim and my parents.
After some downtime we took a cab to the restaurant where Mama Kim works: she wanted to introduce Anna to her boss and co-workers.
A treasured moment of mine was watching Anna run full speed toward Mama Kim only to stop dead in her tracks when she got right to her, look her square in the face and cock her head quizzically to the side. (Mama Kim and I were both expecting Anna to jump into her arms and were surprised when Anna froze in her tracks.) As soon as Mama Kim realized what was causing Anna’s reaction she burst out laughing and said, “She does that every time!”
Turns out Anna had noticed Mama Kim’s lip & nose piercings and they always fascinate Anna: it’s a fun history that the two of them have. This picture is blurry but it shows little-bitty Anna noticing them.
We walked in and got cookies right off the bat. Anna warmed up instantly and Mama Kim said, “We know she gets her sass from me!”
Yep! What a great trait… we are never bored!
We sat and visited over a meal for about two hours. Anna made sure to show Mama Kim her booboo:
For dessert, a “pink” milkshake! As soon as she got one sip she was done… she wanted pink, not strawberry. (The chunks were NOT her favorite.)
Also, please notice Anna’s shirt! It was given to her in a bag of hand-me-downs and since we were going to visit Mama Kim in Norfolk/Virginia Beach she wore that shirt.
Hugs when it was time to leave. This part of our particular open adoption is never fun because we know there will be another extended period of time before we are able to visit again. When we are stateside we try to visit every six months, but the ocean makes that impossible.
Anna’s face… She didn’t want to say goodbye. I didn’t want to say goodbye, either.
In a perfect world we’d live near each other. (And I do have permission to share her picture and name or I wouldn’t use them.)
I could write for hours about the time we spent with Mama Kim but that time is private and special to us. You are welcome to peek into our Open Adoption but the intimate details are ours… and specifically, they are Anna’s and Mama Kim’s.
I do want to take this opportunity to say once again that we are so glad to be a part of Mama Kim’s life and that she is a part of ours. We see her as a part of our family… she’s not just the person who gave birth to the little girl we love. She is and always will be Anna’s first-mom. We like the term “first-mom” because it indicates that Mama Kim was not just a part of Anna’s life for the pregnancy and birth. I think of it like this: Hayden is my first son. When I had my second son, Carson, Hayden’s position as my first son didn’t evaporate. He’s still my son. Anna has two moms… she has two dads. And they are welcome in Anna’s life to the extent they are comfortable and as is good for Anna.
After our visit I left Carson in the restaurant guarding our booth-full-of-luggage and walked over to Walmart which was in the adjacent parking lot. I purchased a phone while the rest of Norfolk was stocking up on bread, bottled water, and toiletries in preparation for the hurricane.
With burner-phone secured we headed back to the restaurant where I called my parents (who were heading to pick us up) and ordered an Uber. Once settled into our hotel for the night and tried a new tool: Doordash! Chick-fil-a delivered to our hotel-room door! It was as good as we remembered. (I have kids who are extra and order their sandwiches with American cheese and no pickle.)
Got some wiggles out before bed at the pool:
Because of the storm our hotel was a filled to the brim with power company employees in place to prepare for the worst. On the drive from VA to NC we passed dozens of these trucks heading toward the storm.
Very thankful for a safe journey from McGuire, New Jersey to Norfolk, Virginia.
Off to North Carolina!