Seven days later, a cruise in the books, and here we are. We put down our phones and talked to each other, and we slept…holy crap, we slept. We both reached a state of relaxation we haven’t felt all year. We visited a few of our favorite islands in the Caribbean, we walked a bunch, had a few drinks, dressed up for Halloween, and we enjoyed time together off the grid. We even got to hear from a life coach – highly recommend doing that when you’re in vacation mode! It’s amazing how much more open we were to the questions and process because we were relaxed.
This perfectly-timed break gave us the space we really needed together to process all that we’ve chosen to do this year. Like everything else, we talked it all through, and when the conversation turned to emotional or difficult stuff, like Apollo 13, we leaned toward one another instead of away. That’s how we’ve always done marriage. (What can I say? Two women…lots of discussions.) 🙂 This gift of a week together was delightful, and gave us time to properly prepare our hearts and minds for what is ahead.
Adoption processes are unique in so many ways, and the baby’s name is just one of them. Which is to say, there is a chance that a birthmother may name the baby she has decided not to parent (with understanding that the adoptive family may keep or change it). When Apollo 13 happened to us, the birthmother had, in fact, given the little girl a name. It’s a beautiful name, and we had talked about how to incorporate it into the name we would use. Like anything, well…everything, that we learn about a birthmother or baby, we did, and will likely next time, keep most of the information to ourselves. We weren’t 100% sure if we were going to incorporate the name, although we really wanted to honor the birthmother, and didn’t want anyone to have name baggage about our baby in the event we didn’t use it. So…we didn’t tell anyone that the birthmother of that little girl named her Emma Louise.
We have talked about her often since that event a few weeks ago, and now we always use her name, Emma Louise. This vacation gave us the chance to reconcile that she is not ours, was never meant to be ours, and she IS Emma Louise. We wish so many good things for Emma Louise. We wish her good health, love, family vacations, crust-free sandwiches, Wonder Woman Underoos, and so much more.
On the last stop of our cruise, we went to Half Moon Cay – an island in the Bahamas. We have been there many times, and we adore it. It has pristine powder beaches, clear water, and gorgeous views. The island has a bar that’s shaped like a wrecked pirate ship, and cabanas you can rent to have some shade, lounge chairs, and your own space on the beach. Last time we visited Half Moon Cay, we were on a family cruise with a larger group. On that trip, we rented a large cabana and the family hung out there for the day. When we were there yesterday, we were in a small cabana, right next to the one the family spent a day in together. It was cool to be near the larger cabana, and to remember the family trip. It was a sweet time.
Laura decided to head into the ocean yesterday…she wandered out into the clear blue water, and turned to look back at our rented cabana. She reflected on the sweetness of the day we were spending together, just the two of us, reading, resting, enjoying music and hanging on the beach. She reflected on the cabana next door, where the larger family had spent a day together taking in the island. And then her eyes wandered to the bar that looks like a pirate ship. And she saw something she had never noticed before. We’ve been to this island probably ten times, and never noticed before that on the back of that pirate ship bar, there is a sign that holds the name of the ship. There it was on a huge sign in big letters, right on the back of the ship facing our cabana. The Emma Louise. Seriously.
Waiting for a sign that everything is gonna be okay? Sometimes, it’s hanging on the back of a pirate ship.