Nate’s Notes: The Strangest Places I’ve Been, and the Strangest Things I’ve Done … Because of Pictures

It’s no secret we end up going many places for Momma, and sometimes Daddy too, to take pictures.  I even take a few to show them how it’s done.   They simply don’t appreciate my angle, my lighting choices and the perfect amount of blur.  Whether or not I take better pictures really isn’t the point.  I do.  But that’s not the point.  But I do.  My point today is that we end up in many strange places and doing many strange things.

I never thought I’d be telling my friends at the diaper changing station about wearing Daddy or Momma and walking over burned wood and broken glass in abandoned buildings.  I bet THEIR Momma’s faces were priceless when they took those stories home!!  Also, I’ve been in a ditch, on the side of a tunnel, straddling a fence and wandering through an old concrete plant, walking on all the machines still there.

I’ve been parked on the side of an old railroad track so Momma could run across the road and take girly pictures of poppies growing on the tracks.  I’ve jumped through mud and puddles for “work”. I’ve chased chickens, smeared paint, and shared my toys with Momma…all for pictures.  I’ve been to more cemeteries than probably any other 2 year old I know.  That’s just odd, and actually quite concerning.  Just ask Daddy.  I’ve been to the market, but not to buy food for eating.  Nope, just to bring the food home and take pictures of it.  I’ve walked across big bridges, under bridges, climbed huge hills and even some trees, just to take pictures of grass or peeling paint!  I’ve sat in corn fields and grape fields.

IMG_1446I’ve accompanied Momma on strange neighborhood walks that are slightly crazy as she takes pictures of every chimney or mailbox.  The looks we get there???!!!  Oh man. There are just some things I can’t use my powers on to fix.  I’ve been on my back in the park to help Momma take a picture of a tree from below.  I’ve been on my back in sand to help Momma take a picture of a slide.  These ARE public places people.  I’ll be shamed at school even before I start!!!   

Are you starting to get the picture??? 

RSWL: The USS Hornet

It’s no secret our team at The Transmogrifier thinks our jobs are the best.  In our endless quest to photograph everything in the world (yep!), we are constantly on field adventures to capture our images.  These adventures take us to abandoned places, long forgotten and dilapidated, needing to be preserved and appreciated for their story in time.   They take us to gardens, full of beauty and color.  They take us through neighborhoods of varying architectural styles.  The adventures allow us to walk through history, discover, and learn.  We are constantly learning new things both by photographing and by researching what we have photographed. 

One recent field adventure was to the USS Hornet in Alameda, California.  I have lived here for over 30 years and don’t recall ever hearing of it.  And I liked school; I paid attention in classes!   One day in a work meeting, Tim asked if I had ever been, expressing that pictures from the Hornet would be a great addition to our warships gallery.  That was all the incentive I needed.  Assignment accepted.  That Friday, my little family headed out, eager to discover.  Just imagine my two year old boy’s eyes when he saw this huge boat (actually it’s a ship)!! 

The USS Hornet was a United States Navy aircraft carrier of the Essex class. She played a major part in the Pacific battles of World War II, served in the Korean WarVietnam War, and also played a part in the Apollo program, recovering astronauts as they returned from the Moon. The first steps on Earth of returning moonwalkers Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, with Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, are marked on her hangar deck, as part of her Apollo program exhibit.

 USS Hornet_0005 USS Hornet_0048 USS Hornet_0106 USS Hornet_0155 USS Hornet_0172

 

 

 

 

Some quick, fun facts about the USS Hornet:  Aircraft based on the Hornet destroyed 1410 Japanese aircraft and 1,269,710 tons of enemy shipping; 72 enemy aircraft shot down in one day; 255 aircraft shot down in a month; She supported nearly every Pacific amphibious landing after March 1944; a quarter of the crew that built her were women.  (Source: Wikipedia.org) 

 The USS Hornet is said to be one of the most haunted warships in the American Navy, with numerous reports of supernatural events occurring on board.  Luckily I didn’t know this bit of information until AFTER we were back home.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have spent so much time alone in the corners of this floating piece of history!

You can read more about this ship on the website.  And if you ever get a chance, be sure to visit this not-so-random piece of history.  Her story is inspiring.  

Nate’s Notes: It’s a Plane! It’s a Boat! It’s a Big Boat! Nope…It’s a Ship!

Military Jet on USS Hornet

Military Jet on USS Hornet

Aircraft on USS Hornet

Aircraft on USS Hornet

The USS Hornet

The USS Hornet

Rescue Helicopter on USS Hornet

Rescue Helicopter on USS Hornet

Lyla wearing Momma

Lyla wearing Momma

Actually it’s a boat WITH a plane.  And more than one plane.  Another one plane…and another one plane…and another one plane…and a hepiloctooper …and another one hepiloctooper.  I have to say that we do get to see some pretty cool stuff, but PLEASE don’t tell Momma or Daddy that.

This time, our field adventure was to a huge huge boat!  There were other boats around too, but we only got to go on the one boat.  That’s okay, the big boat we went on had planes and hepiloctoopers on it.  Really!  It did!   They were just hanging out on there like they were confused.  So I asked them,

“You go fly?”  But they didn’t answer.  Silly planes.

There were nice people on the boat telling us stories.  I love stories!!  I wore Daddy, and Lyla wore Momma. I had to keep squirming to get people’s attention.  Daddy used his angry voice to tell me to stop.  Oops.  I just wanted to talk to people!!!  If people walked by without saying hi, I just yelled at them, “Hi!  You go on boat?  You fly plane?  Hi! I’m Nate!  Nice to meet you!!”.  Momma slapped her forehead a lot and shook her head a little.  What?!  

One of the nice people who told stories stopped me and said, “Actually young man, this isn’t a boat.  This is a ship!”  Who’s HE calling young? A ship?  Okay. Sure.  “Oh, I see,” I answered him.  Get it?  Like a boat, in the ocean, or a sea…and I said see?!  Okay, maybe Momma helped me with that one, because I don’t get it.  So it’s a ship.  Okay. Fine.

So this boat…I mean SHIP was so super cool.  I wish I could take it home.  There were planes.  Oh, I think I told you that.  And hepiloctoopers.  Wait, did I say that too? These planes and hepiloctoopers helped a lot of boys and girls.   And also there were special plane thingies that touched the moon!  Yea!  Like they took boys to the moon!!!   I see the moon at night.  I wonder if I could go to the moon?!  I even got to touch one of the planes!  We went down small stairs, had to duck and bend over, saw lots of beds where people used to sleep, some really shiny kitchens, even went on the roof and saw more planes!! I……LOVED IT!!!!

You guys have to go to this huge huge boat…I mean SHIP!!  You gotta see it.  (Get it?!)

RSWL: The English Language

A while back, during one of our travels, we spent some brief time on a Jeep tour in the mountainous area of the United Arab Emirates, which also took us into a remote area of Oman.  Our driver/guide was very familiar with the area as he had been giving tours in that area for more than 25 years. As a result, he knew many of the people who lived in the area and had a good plan of where to take us for photos.

He knew that I was particularly interested in unique architecture and photo opportunities (he had already taken me off the “beaten path” to get some great shots of some old metal gates – which you can see on the site).

After a few hours of bouncing through the rocky desert mountains, he took us onto a nice paved asphalt road with a clean yellow stripe down the center.  While I have to admit, my back and various other typically unused muscles that go to work when you are bouncing in a Jeep were relieved for the break,  I still felt a bit of presumptive disappointment that what we would see on a road like this would only be ordinary.

So, imagine my surprise when the nicely paved road rounded a gentle curve and ended… into the side wall of a building.  Well, a small, simple mosque to be exact.  We got out for a few minutes to look around (and take some photos of course).  He told us he was friends with the family and they had built the little mosque for themselves at the end of the road. We were free to look around and take as many pictures as we wanted as he went through a small doorway in a smooth plastered wall to say hello to the family.  As we looked around, a curious little boy his equally curious sister and an even more curious goat came out to look at us.  The little boy and his sister appeared to be about 4 and 6 respectively (no idea how old the goat was).

We smiled and waved to the two children, who giggled, smiled shyly in response and slowly backed around the corner of the doorway with that universal childlike body language that can express both curiosity and cautiousness at the same time.

The goat on the other hand was not shy at all and trotted up to us, his mouth in a perpetual chewing motion.  The expectant look on his face appeared to be his only expression.   We had nothing on us to give him so we showed him our empty hands and continued to walk around.

After about fifteen minutes our guide came out and asked us if we were ready to go.  We said we were and we climbed back into the jeep.  A few minutes down the road, the way we had come, our guide slowed and asked if we wanted to go back and meet the people who lived there and visit with them.  We immediately felt a mixture of wanting to and not wanting to intrude on them.  He said it was no problem, that they liked visitors and insisted that we return.  As her turned around, we hesitantly agreed.

Upon our return, we got out of the Jeep and decided to leave our cameras in the vehicle (it just didn’t feel right.) We followed our guide through the narrow doorway in the wall that the children had been observing us from.  Within minutes, we were greeted by members of the family with smiles, hospitality, and food and drink.  The mother held out a large tray of sliced melon, smiled, nodded and greeted us in Arabic.  We smiled back, thanked her and took a piece of melon.  Fresh, plump dates and hot aromatic Arabic coffee followed, all of which we accepted by returning their smiles with our own and “thank you”s confident that even though we did not share a common language,  smiles and nods of gratitude were universal.

Our host family gestured for us to sit, and we sat on a low wall around a planter in the courtyard.  After a few moments the shy children must have decided that us being on the inside of the wall made us okay now and they came quickly over to us, stood about three feet from us, and beamed with some of the warmest, most genuine smiles I have ever seen.  (I am not sure where the goat was at this point.  He was probably nibbling on the tire or bumper of the Jeep. )

After just a brief moment of grinning at us, the little girl must have realized that we were speaking English, and started counting.  At first it felt a bit random, especially when she switched to letters in English.  We soon realized that she was reciting her ABCs and 123s and was pausing for feedback from us.  Once we clued in to what she was doing, we gave her our undivided attention.  She recited her ABCs half way through and stopped.  We smiled larger, and nodded, saying, “Yes, that is very good!”  She responded with a giggle, clapping of her hands, and a little hop of excitement.  Next, we were treated with her performance of 1 through 10.  Our affirmation of her work was again greeted by her with even more joyous, well-earned self satisfaction.

Our guide explained that even out here, in the rural, fairly remote areas of Oman,  the children learn English in schools.  As I turned back to the little girl who was excitedly repeating her performance over and over with absolute glee, I couldn’t help but think what a wonderful thing human communication is on any level, but here, far from any city, people were making an effort to learn a language that was native to me and not at all to them, so that one day we might be able to communicate more effectively.

I will probably never see that family or that little girl ever again, but her unbounded enthusiasm to learn one of the most complicated, exasperating,  contradictory languages in the world, and her pride in sharing what little she knew of it, touched me…

I wish her, and all of us who seek to connect to others through a common language (any language!), all the support in the World.

Nate’s Notes: I Can Do It Myself!!

I’m 2 and ½ years.  That’s a pretty big deal. That’s two years of lots of watching, lots of brain development, lots of learning.   I have my own ideas about how the days should go.  I spend a lot of time planning my day and what I think Momma and Lyla, even Daddy, should do.  Most of the time I’m pretty good at making sure things go according to plan.   I can do a lot myself, even if people think I can’t.  I can sweep, and then put the dirt back where it came from.  I can use the spray cleaner and a rag to wipe things…and also to clean Lyla.  I can kind of vacuum; we just need a smaller vacuum, that’s all.  I can put clothes away…where I think they should go.  I can pour my drinks, which also gives the thirsty counter a drink.   I have my own camera and can take my own pictures, artistic pictures.  I can do puzzles, build towers, and draw.  I can sing, play the piano perfectly, and steer the cars. You name it, I’m pretty sure I can do it myself.    

The big people in my life look at me like I’m a child, incapable of such strategic planning, incapable of doing things on my own. That’s why one phrase is so important:  “I can do it myself!”.  I have to use this phrase about 31 times each day.  At least I think that is the number…I can’t really count past 19.  It isn’t just about the words.  You have to look them in the eye, use hand gestures and a loud voice.  They still don’t get it.

 Some big people really don’t get it at all.  One day on a field adventure, a woman came up to us with this strange, high pitched voice, squishy lips, a wiggling finger, and what she thought were words.  She looked and sounded like an idiot.  I stared at her…then looked at Momma…then looked behind me at Lyla, who actually had a goofy, toothy, grin on her face.  Ah ha…the woman was talking like we were babies.  Leave it to Lyla to encourage her.  She messes up everything!! Momma was too awkward to fix it, too busy looking for pictures to take.   I had to take control.   I would do it myself.

The woman asked Momma how old we were.  I can answer myself!!  Momma told her.  The woman looked at me and squished up her nose and lips, saying,Wow…a biggy wiggy two year old!  What a big boy!  Yes you are!!”  She grabbed my fingers (really, I didn’t know this woman at all, and she had the nerve to touch me!).  I looked at her, done with the shenanigans, and said, “It’s time to let go!  Momma, it’s time to say goodbye.  I’m a big boy, I can do it myself!  Lyla no talking!!”  Momma’s mouth opened, then shut.  By looking at her eyes, I could tell she was trying not to laugh.  The woman gasped and then started to talk again, but just sounds came out.   So I looked her in the eyes, talked slowly and loudly, and said, “Use your words.”  

Momma mumbled something and whisked us away so fast I could barely hear the woman call after us, “Well, he certainly is a spirited boy.”  And then Momma mumbled loud enough I could hear her, “And you my friend, certainly are an annoying woman.”   Since I really needed Momma to push us away, and couldn’t stomp off myself, I was so glad when she did!   Sometimes, I still need help.  Some days, Momma is my superhero.  

Nate’s Notes: Books Are the Best

I love books.  I love cars and trains too.  But books are the best.  Books are amazing.  Maybe even more than … well, than most things. ALMOST as good as a Momma or Daddy hug.  Books teach you things.  Books have great pictures.  Books tell you stories.   And who doesn’t like a good story??!!  A good story takes you to other places and people. 

By the time I was two years old, I ran with giraffes and bears, went swimming with dolphins, got stuck in a whale’s belly, drove a train, climbed a tall tall tree, found a wocket in my pocket, danced with wolves, built an igloo, flew on a train to Africa, played peek-a-boo with a strange robot, got stuck in a mud puddle with a blue truck, said good night to the moon, put pajamas on with elephants, rode a submarine, and…and…and.  Well, I could go on and on. 

Read a book.  It's good for you!

Read a book. It’s good for you!

All that I did because of books.  Each book is an adventure. 

I have so many shelves of books that Momma has to move them around to remind me what books I have!   Some of my books are short, some are long.  Some make me happy, some make me sleepy.  Not only do I get an adventure with each book, but I get to spend time with the big people that I love each time we read them.  Sometimes I read the books by myself.  Sometimes I have Momma or Daddy read the same book over and over and over and over…mostly because I like being with them. 

Books aren’t for everyone…I guess.  Apparently Lyla feels they are better as food or to throw.  She rips books out of my hand and hits me with them.  What?  She doesn’t like stories?  I guess we can’t all be readers.  Someone should really talk to that baby girl about books.  I guess I could show her how cool books are. 

I have a few books that have really pretty pictures.  I wonder if someday I can use my camera to take pictures for books?  I HAVE been practicing my picture taking!  Hmmm… For now, I’ll just go read another book.  

Nate’s Notes: Sharing Is Caring

Sharing is Caring.  Really? (Picture this with as much sarcasm as a 2 year old can muster.) It is? There are big people in my life like to say this.  Actually, big people who don’t even know me, like at the playground or market, like to say it too.  Have you ever heard something so ridiculous?!   I heard it again the other day when Lyla tried to play with my Legos. My Legos.  

Uncle Tim Legos

Uncle Tim Legos

Baby Legos - Pfff

Baby Legos – Pfff

Here’s the thing about Legos.  They. Are. AWESOME!!!  You can build something different every day with Legos.  They have great colors.  There are big ones, mostly for babies, and smaller, “regular” ones.  Actually these smaller ones we call “Uncle Tim Legos”.  My Uncle Tim and Legos go way back.  He is kind of a super hero with them.  

Anyway, Lyla always tries to play with my toys.  Please tell me why the pronoun “my” exists because I NEVER get to use it.  When I say “my toys”, or “that’s mine”…I get angry eyes, a couple sets, and a story about sharing.  Really?  Does the whole world share?  Will life always be full of sharing, nice people?  I don’t THINK so!   I am probably doing Lyla a favor by teaching her this.   The sooner she realizes it, the better.  Moments like this make me wonder why THEY get to be in charge. 

Speaking of THEM, if sharing is caring, then why don’t they share their stuff with me?  No good answer?  Hmmm?  Yea, that’s what I thought.  If sharing is caring, then Momma could show me how much she cares by sharing her camera, her computer, or her popcorn!   If sharing is caring, then Daddy could show me how much he cares by sharing his tools, his beef jerky, or his cell phone!  

So, about those Legos… 

TMG Philosophy: Stronger In Waiting- The Wait is Over

This was the day.  This windy, blustery, autumn day in November was the day.  After a distracted morning at work where I waited for the clock to tell me I could leave, it was time.  I picked up Chad nearby and we headed to the meeting.  This was like no other meeting we had ever attended.  This was the biggest meeting of our lives.  Today we would meet Nathaniel, an 8-week old baby boy.  We had been chosen as a match in the fost-adopt process, and today would be the first day in the transition period of moving him from the Emergency Foster Home to our own home.  Today we would determine out how long that transition would be, how often we would see him, and if/when he would come home with us. 

The ride there was quiet.  Nerves and anticipation coupled with impatience and fear filled the car.  Questions swirled but were never uttered.  Was our wait over?  Was this right?  Were WE the right people for this baby boy?  The social workers involved could still stop this…could still tell us they had made a mistake and the match wouldn’t work.  So I waited to see signs of that disappointment as we approached the house. 

The emergency foster mother, Jane, caring for Nathaniel had fostered 96 babies, a number that both impressed and intimidated me.  I waited to see her face, meet this person who played such a heart-filled role in this baby boy’s life.  Would I like her?  Would she like me?  Did it matter? 

As she opened the door, I looked away from her almost instantly, done with those questions now, and ready to meet this baby boy.  The smile on my face became forced as my eyes darted around the room.  My shoulders sunk a little when Jane told us he was in his crib still.  I barely heard her ask us to sit down.  What? Sit down?  Why?  What were we waiting for?  Years of pain and grief, years of wondering, years of yearning, years of waiting…and she wanted us to sit down?  Was she going to offer us tea next and share holiday stories? 

There is no manual for emotionally charged, awkward moments like this…moments that bring people together through extraordinary circumstances that include both loss and hope.  This baby was here because of tragedy and trauma.  This baby’s mother suffered loss when he came home from the hospital with this woman we met today instead of with her.  This baby had lost the connection to a woman he grew inside for almost 9 months, the way she moved, the sound of her voice.  And now Jane had loved and nurtured him for two months, and she was getting ready to say goodbye to him.  Yet here we sat ready for our beginning, for our waiting to be over. We knew the story, recognized the loss, felt the bittersweet mixing of sadness and joy.  It was huge.

While I continued the awkward, pasted smile and watched the clock above Jane’s head, I felt myself ready to lose it.   We answered her questions and listened while she talked about Nathaniel’s routine and his traits.  Just. Bring. Him. Out. Already!  And then I heard her ask, “I wonder why they chose you?”  One question.  That one question was almost my undoing.  What did THAT mean?  Was this not going well?  Was my smile too big?  Was I mumbling?  Were my clothes not motherly enough?  Did she have a say in all this? 

Just before I threw up in my mouth, Chad’s hand on my knee steadied me.  While I recovered from the shock, Jane went to get Nathaniel. I watched her walk out…and I waited. 

As she walked back into that living room carrying that blue-eyed, brown haired tiny baby boy, I felt stronger.  I looked at him, and I knew.  This baby.  This boy.  Nathaniel.  We had found him.  He was why we had to wait so long. We were supposed to wait for him because all that time had made us stronger, made us ready for how much our hearts would stretch and grow.   He was why we had cried so hard. He was why nothing else had worked.  He was why.   He was ours.  

Time brought our hearts together:  our first day.

Time brought our hearts together: our first day.

 

 

Stronger In Waiting- Part 3

Stronger In Waiting- Part 2

Stronger In Waiting- Part 1

Nate’s Notes: Singing in The Rain

Ever since I was a baby, when the sky starts leaking a lot, we get to go outside and dance in the water.   I guess I was a baby the last time it leaked, ‘cuz Momma and Daddy say it has been a long time.   Well, I was worried now that baby Lyla is here to stay that she’d ruin everything.   I worried that we wouldn’t get to go outside this time because she cries so much about anything.  She cries when I take my toys away from her, when I try to sit on her, when the dogs bark, when you don’t give her food fast enough, when I push her, and when you tell her ‘no’.  Well, THIS time, I was wrong. 

Rain_0011I was so wrong!  Not only did Lyla not cry, but when the water hit her face, she laughed and did a happy squirm!  I guess she’s not THAT bad.   “Lyla like the watew!” I joyfully announced to Momma.  “Yes Nate, Lyla DOES like the rain! Actually she LOVES it, just like you!”, she answered back.  That’s right, I forgot.  This water is called rain!

So for a few minutes we danced and jumped and sang in the rain.   We smiled at the sky, at the rain, at each other.  I was so happy, I didn’t even mind that the camera was along again.  (Actually, it seems stuck to Momma’s hand.)  We laughed. We laughed so hard I had to pee…which made me dance funny.  Oh well, at least I looked like Momma then when she dances.  Hmmm…I wonder if she has to pee?  Anyway…

It has "JUMP IN ME" written all over it!

It has “JUMP IN ME” written all over it!

The BEST BEST part was finding puddles.  Now I’m not sure which one I like better: mud or puddles!   Both splash…both are gooky…both are fun!  Lyla actually made it all better.  She may not have mad skills like me yet, but she CAN splash and make a mess.  The more the messier, the merrier!   And so we smiled and laughed at each other all over again, singing and splashing and dancing. 

That night, after a massive clean-up effort, I fell asleep smiling about the day.  The puddles.  The mud.  The rain.  The happy faces.  The singing.   Best. Day. Ever.    

TMG Philosophy: Stronger In Waiting- Part 3

It was September 11, 2011.  Chad and I had just finished a 24-hour local Relay for Life event.    Drained and raw with emotion, we arrived home only to be bombarded with all the special programs to remember and honor those lives lost and forever changed 10 years earlier on September 11th.   By evening we were saturated with emotions: from Relay, from evocative 9/11 shows, and from the fost-adopt process we had set in motion.  I always considered it strange that I could remember everything about the day with absolute clarity, and yet can’t usually remember what I was about to say.  A few more months of waiting, and I would know why.  

While we were waiting for that emotionally charged day to end, a baby boy we didn’t yet know was fighting to be born, struggling to feel loved, waiting to meet us.  Waiting to heal us.

The next two months were a whirlwind of home study meetings, social worker visits, anxious dreams, more paperwork…and more waiting.  They were all at once the fastest months of my life, and the slowest months.  The quiet times that came found me questioning if this was right.   Not whether this was right for us, but if we were right for this.   Could we actually welcome a child into our home and give love from our scared and aching hearts without the assurance of being able to adopt? We were ready to be a forever family, and not strong enough to be a helping family.  We were ready to grow and to give.   The very real possibility that we would take a step in that direction only to have it taken from us often left me frozen and crying with fear.  “Wait and see”, was the phrase we so often heard. 

While we worked through the process, waited to hear of any potential match, that baby boy grew stronger and stronger waiting for us. 

In early November, on a rainy, Friday morning full of the most hope I had felt in years, we arrived at the agency offices. Here, we would preview all the available children for fostering and fost-adopt in the county and state.  After hours of reading about these children, babies and teens alike, we once again felt that heavy saturation of emotions.  The stories crushed our hearts, chipped away at our resolve.  Did we really have the strength to help these children?  Did we have enough love to heal this pain?

We left with a heaviness that was made lighter only by the possible matches we held in our hands.  Chad drove, and I stared at the pictures and words on the pages in my hands.  Which one? How do we know? Do we wait some more?  The phone rang. 

One phone call.  One phone call started answering what ten years of pain, ten years of waiting were for.  As I listened to the words from our social worker, the tears came.   I waited until she was done talking…and cried some more.  With very little information about a 7-week old baby boy, we agreed to a disclosure meeting, and waited three of the longest days of our lives. 

Because so much of the fost-adopt process is about matching and chemistry, we knew that the two social workers we met at the meeting were scoping us out for compatibility.  We knew each question was carefully asked to “test” us, with the baby’s best interest in mind.   We waited to hear we were not a good match.  We waited to be asked to leave.  We waited while they told us about the baby’s sad beginnings.  We waited while they warned us of the risks associated with the case.  We read court reports and waited for the next question.  As we held hands under the table, we answered the questions and waited for more of the story.  We waited to hear his name: Nathaniel.  We waited to see his picture, although by the end of the meeting when they showed it to us, we already knew our answer was yes. 

Yes.  And so we waited two more days to meet him, two more days for time to bring us together.  

 

Stronger In Waiting- Part 1

Stronger In Waiting- Part 2