Hard to put into words just how needed my trip to Seattle was. I’ll get to that, let me start with the activities of the week.
Jody picked me up from the airport after a harrowing journey for her and a vomit induced journey for me. We went right to a hotel and talked into the wee hours of the morning, catching up on too much time gone by.
Next morning we woke up early so she could be my Seattle tour guide. Our first stop was the ferry that was to take us from West Seattle into the heart of the city. We had to do some jogging to make it in time, but make it we did.
(A lot of selfies were taken on this trip) 🙂
We successfully walked around eating our way through the beautiful city. Great vegetarian restaurants are there, as well as cupcake bakeries, so really what could go wrong? We also took a tour of the Underground city. Though perhaps a little anticlimactic, we did enjoy watching the other people also on the tour. Here we are trying to draw out the ghost that lives there with our flash. It did not work.
On the way back to West Seattle I snapped a few pics of the beautiful city. Really do love how it’s surrounded by mountains, water and then there’s a big city!
That night Jody dropped me off at Sarah’s where Cathy, Deirdre and Jayme had been deposited after their flights. After a night of wine, story telling and bonding we set off to hike a mountain the next morning.
I LOVED seeing this side of Seattle. Though cities are fun, I must admit nature is where my heart really belongs. Hiking? Talking with great friends? Watching kids fall in love with nature? These are a few of my favorite things!
After a delicious meal in Seattle we met at Sarah’s again where Chandra, Christina and Carrie were waiting for us. Alas, we headed to the house Sarah had rented for us. Near the beach, big enough for all of us (except Deirdre who decided she’d sleep in a closet a la Harry Potter).
It was perfect!
The next day was Cathy’s birthday. We spent a good deal of that day on the beach where Carrie brought homemade paninis. You guys, she made paninis and then carried them to the beach on a baking sheet. It was then that I asked her to marry me.
Chandra needed to put sweet Juniper down for a nap so Cathy and I walked back with her. Cathy’s family called her on FaceTime to wish her a happy birthday. Her face was pure mama joy, I had to capture it.
Deirdre and I had left to get some goodies for that night’s meal and to grab a few things for Cathy. She loves tea, so we had a little too much fun picking out her gifts.
We got home to news of George Zimmerman being found not guilty. I’ve spoken on that but let me just say, I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else but there-with these women. Celebrating Cathy’s life and talking about every. single. aspect of our lives.
Super thankful for each one of them, really.
Carrie said it so well, “But what I did not know as I took those first sure steps towards family is that along the way you would be woven into our lives. To support. And to listen. To encourage. And to share. To lean and be leaned on. Without judgement. But with a heck of a lot of laughing (and wine) along the way.”
It’s so true. Before adopting Tariku I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me I would find a few of my greatest friends online ( 🙂 ), through adoption chat groups. That adoption would perhaps end up being the least of the things that we had in common. I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me I would find my soul sisters in this group. Other women who are navigating the really wonderful parts of life: motherhood, marriage, friendship, etc and all the not-so-wonderful: other aspects of motherhood, disease, death, race, attachment, trauma, etc.
And yet, there we were, in that beautiful house discussing all of those things as well as the stuff in between. Laughing until we were crying, crying until we were laughing. Holding hands when needed, rubbing backs at times. Spoiling Juniper, spoiling each other.
Here’s the reality: female relationships can be interesting. Sometimes I’ve tried to create a friendship and realized, often too late, that it’s too competitive or not nurturing enough. I’ve walked into a room of women and sensed if I spilled all of my secrets I wouldn’t be understood or would be judged in some way.
But not here. Not with this group of women. These women are the best of the best. Offering advice but not pretending to be experts, recognizing when it’s just time to listen. Offering wine when needed, food always. Makes me incredibly sad that we’re all spread so far apart in this great nation.
Above all, I’m just so thankful for them. And thankful for my parents, sister/brother-in-law, brother/sister-in-law for watching my kiddos. Thankful for Zach who allows me to stretch our limited income every year far enough to take these trips. I’m thankful my mom once told me to pour energy into friendships that will sustain me through all the ups and downs life throws at me. Thankful I listened to that advice. Thankful to God for creating these women who would end up becoming such a blessed part of my life.
Love you, ladies. Thank you, thank you for being you and for accepting me.