Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Canada - - Take Three

This part of the trip was extremely meaningful to us.
It was exciting and fun, and so very sad.

Those of you who have been with us for the last several years will remember this post about our first meeting with the O'Hara's!

Three years have passed since we met one another in person, and we have been talking for the last five years.
Although we have only met twice, Jenn is a very dear friend to me.
She has been my lifeline, my sounding board and the first person I turn to when I desperately need someone just to understand.

I have said it a million times before, I am so very fortunate to have Addie - and for her to be doing so well.
The odds have been against her since the moment she entered this world and despite her gregarious little self, each day is a challenge.

Jenn has the picture perfect family, and they are the most loving, caring and close knit family I have met, and I honestly can't say enough good things about them.
It was Hanna who brought us together and although the challenges Addie faces is different than the ones that Hanna faces, we share an extremely rare bond - through a heartbreaking diagnosis of Microcephaly.

Since we were passing through Canada, I had to make sure we met up with the O'Hara's, even if only for a little while.

Gracie is Hanna's older sister and she is absolutely precious!
The girls brought Addie a bag full of gifts, one being a monkey apron - it is so incredibly adorable and couldn't have been more perfect!

Jenn and Matt also made sure they brought my family a bag full of special surprises as well.
It.  Was.  Awesome.

Thank you Gracie for being so sweet to Addie - we miss you!

Hanna is a doll.

My entire family met the O'Hara's for dinner, including my brother and his best girl from Detroit - it was a lot of fun!

Baby Ben has three older sisters to keep him busy and from the look on his face, I think he was hoping that this little blond girl wasn't going to be permanently added to the mix.

Hailey is Hanna's younger sister and this is the first time we got to meet her.
She was so sweet, but was so very quiet throughout dinner.

Addie was - in heaven - being around all the girls.

We got into town much later than I had anticipated, and it was close to bedtime.

When I asked the girls if I could take a picture, they all climbed up onto the bench and just happened to be in order by age and height.
They are all absolutely beautiful!

We took one final picture before the night started to come to an end.

It was much harder to say goodbye than I thought it would be.
I so wish that Jenn's family lived nearby, for my own selfish reasons, but also for Addie.
She was so happy being surrounded by the girls.

One of the gifts The O'Hara's gave to Addie was a photo album full of pictures of them.
It was one of the most thoughtful gifts Addie has ever received.
As soon as we got her in the car, she began looking through the album again, and asked, "Where going?".

She didn't want to leave - and neither did I.
It was hard.

Thank you Jenn and Matt for meeting us for dinner and for being who you are.
I hope to see you again soon!