God's Child, Our Joy

An adoptive family's journey in faith and life

Weekend with Eva

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A friend of ours got married recently. The wedding was out in Portland, Oregon, and Steph needed to go. It was her best friend’s wedding, and she couldn’t miss that. However, we are now the proud parents of two children, so that complicates things. Due to the two kids, I was light on vacation days, needing to save them for future things, so I would be unable to go. There was no way that she could take both the kids, but she could take one. Since Eli hadn’t yet been to daycare, we determined that he would be the easiest to take with.

If you are wondering why I didn’t keep both of them and think that the daycare excuse is weak, you’re right. After a couple of times of Steph coming home from somewhere only to find me shellshocked on the couch after watching the two of them alone, she decided that it was in my best interest (and to prevent her from worrying about us the entire time) to take Eli with her. Besides, she wasn’t quite ready to be without him.

Their flight left Thursday and returned Monday with a stop at Denver in between. I picked them up and took them to the airport. We parked in the ramp which gives us up to 30 minutes to leave without charge. This should be no problem.

We get in line at the Southwest desk. The person in front of us goes up and gets her tickets with no problem. Then we step up. The lady behind the desk types in the information. Her face changes from smiley to confused Quinton. Something wasn’t working right. Each computer starts to fail, as there is a system wide error that has just occured. For whatever reason, while the computers are down, the kiosks are working just fine. Steph enters her data, but is stymied by the kiosk. She needs a form that only the lady can fill out. What is this vital form that we need? Well, verification that this child, who is going to be a lap child, is under the age of two. He’s not even two months old yet.

The minutes tick away. Now we are running into questions of if she can be at the gate in time. TSA is now involved, and is talking about not allowing either of them on the plane without proof that they actually belong on the plane. Luckily, Steph had forwarded me the confirmation e-mail and I still had the e-mail on my phone. This, combined with the fact that she came up as being on this flight on the kiosk prevented disaster.

With time running out, they go old school. Pen and paper. The lady runs into the back room and undoubtably dusts off the old forms and provides the verification for Eli. They write up a boarding pass, and put some garage sale labels on the luggage. TSA opens up a special lane for them to go through security, and all is moving along again. I kiss them goodbye, and hope their luggage makes it there.

Steph makes it to her gate and wouldn’t you know it, but the system is back up. They print fancy boarding passes for the two of them, but the luggage has already (hopefully) been loaded onto the plane. Fingers crossed.

I pay the parking fee and head back to work for a little bit. After work I head to pick up Eva. We head back to a nearly empty house (Quinton was still there waiting for us). I am unsure how she is going to handle the news that it’s just Quinton and me for the next few days. This picture says it all.

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I manage to feed her real food and get her to bed at a reasonable time (actually early, because she was pretty tired.) Day 1 has passed, and she is still breathing.

“Wait, if she went to bed early, then you really only had her for like an hour and a half.”

“Still counts!”

Steph arrives in Portland and, miraculously, so does her luggage. She is playing for the wedding, and her music is in the luggage as well. Now she can scrap the plans to just play chopsticks as they walk down the aisle.

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Sleeping in Denver

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Denver sunset

We talk on the phone and she tells me about the flights. First off, Eli did great on the plane and really only fussed at the airports, but not on the plane. Two grandparents flying to Denver sat next to her (on purpose) and were helpful when she needed an extra hand for making the bottle and such. She’s tired, but should adjust to the time change by the time she leaves.

Friday back in Ohio is a normalish day. Drop Eva off at daycare, work and then pick her up, but instead of going home we venture out to get some dinner for daddy. There is this pizza place I had been meaning to try out, but Steph was uninterested. So we stopped and picked up a pizza from Jet’s Pizza. They have no inside seating (take out and delivery only) and they have one of those counters where the table top flips up so you can walk through. However, the counter is taller than Eva. You can probably guess how I figured that one out. Eva thought it would be fun to run back and help with the pizzas.

So we go home and eat, and I decided it’s time to give her some chores. First up, dust the piano bench and put away daddy’s shoes.

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After Eva’s bedtime, I talk to Steph to see how her day went…er, is still going because they are three hours behind us. Things out there are going well, Eli is acting pretty normal, and Steph is handling it all really well.

Saturday arrives, and now I’ve got to find a way to entain Eva all day! Two nights have been easy, but two full days may be a challenge. That morning as I was getting ready, Eva discovered the girl in the mirror.

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After saying bye to the girl in the mirror, we jumped in the car and went grocery shopping. To change things up, I find the children’s station on our XM radio. They are playing “Hound Dog”. Is that really a children’s song?

We spend some time in the afternoon and play outside. She loves her swing.

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It’s chore time though, clean out that dryer vent!

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The wedding was successful in Portland, and Eli made nary a peep during the ceremony. This relieved Steph to no end, as she had to let one of the bride’s family members watch him while she played.

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Eli stylin’

Sunday is church. Church is normally difficult with Eva, but thankfully she takes it easy on dear old dad. Afterwards she makes a new friend.

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We stop at Jimmy John’s for lunch and advice on life.

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“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the the best of everything.”

Sunday after her nap is play time.

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I decide to take Eva to the park. Eva’s chore for the day is to take Quinton for a walk.

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I setup the stroller and we all head out to the park.

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Just before the park we stop. There is a caterpillar who is blocking our path. Rather than squishing him, we wait for him to cross. The caterpillar of course starts to crawl on the wheel.
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We get to the park and play on the playset, but a day of sun has made the slides far too hot. We start to head back, but I realize we are walking directly into the sun and she has no sun block. It’s hot and now I’m worried that Steph will come back to a burnt Eva. I pick up the pace, but Quinton has had enough. He was too warm to go on. So we give him a lift.

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We get home and the dog drinks all the water. I strip Eva down and worry about the redness, but realize that her whole body is red. It’s not sun, just Eva being warm. As she cools, the redness goes away. Disaster averted.

Eva gets ready for bed. Tomorrow mommy and Eli will be home.

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Sunday is a down day in Portland for Steph and Eli. They hang out with the bride’s family and meet the happy couple for brunch.

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Mommy and Eli

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Brunch makes Eli happy

Monday I pickup Eva from daycare and we head to the airport. We park in the cell phone lot and wait for the call. I get out of the car to put Eva’s shoes back on ( her favorite car activity is to take off her shoes and sometimes socks). A lady steps out of her car and walks over. Her car has died. So Eva and I go over and jump her car. Good deed for the day.

We get the call and park in the same 30 minute lot. We get in the elevator down and another mom is in there. She asks who we are meeting and I tell her that we are picking up mom.

“So mom got a nice relaxing weekend. How did the weekend go? I see she’s clothed.”

“Well actually she took our six week old son with.”

“Oh! So you had it easy!”

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Last flight!

We arrive just as mom and Eli were walking down the hall. Eva sees mom and runs into her arms. A happy reunion.

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Daddy happy to have his children back.

She had come back more bonded to Eli, and nothing can be wrong with that.

If only we knew the news that awaited us later that week, we’d might think different.

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