That's what was looking at me at about 7:00 this morning when I opened my eyes. Four of the eyes belonged to my two younger kids; the others peered out from the faces of four of Sharla's kids. The moment they saw that my eyes were open, they burst out into chatter and laughter and tumbled all over the room and bed, and all I could think was...thank goodness my butt was covered up by the blanket!! (and yes, I was wearing PJs!)
It felt like an early start, given that Sharla and I talked until close to 2 this morning! Last night, after finally getting all three of my kids to sleep, Sharla surprised me by bringing out "the snacks" - plates of food she'd prepared at some point during her busy day (layered dip, salsa, roll-ups, guacamole, chips). We sat there for hours with our cups of tea, talking and nibbling at the yummies she'd prepared.
She's quite something, this woman, I've gotta tell you. Not only does she coordinate seven children, manage some of their unique needs, and school five of them at home, she's thoughtful: amongst the various offerings of her feast of a breakfast this morning, she cut up a pile of oranges just because she knows that Seth loves oranges; she included a jar of jam in a welcome basket in our bedroom when we arrived yesterday, knowing that this same kid is a little jam-obsessed; she gave me spa socks and some other spa thingee because she thought I needed a little tlc; the list goes on and on of things that she's done just because she thought it would mean something. It's been more than a little moving.
And today was another great day to remember: more visiting; tons of play time for all of the kids (who are getting along like gangbusters); driving to get slurpees this afternoon with a bunch of kids who were wearing pajamas (only h/scholers!); etc. And to culminate a really good day, another long-time friend whom I've never met came over with two of her kids this afternoon and we got to spend a few hours together: Sharla, Darci, and I...plus one husband and eleven kids. It was awesome meeting Darci for the first time (and I wasn't nearly as nervous today, given that I'd already gone through all of my nerves yesterday!)...she was somehow everything I'd believed her to be over the years and then some. Though I'd heard her voice over the phone line, and though I've seen her face via photos, there's just nothing quite like connecting those things with reality. I've been feeling very blessed these days, knowing how fortunate I am to know such awesome people, here and in Calgary. My only regret is that I've had several emails from other people I've come to know through the world of adoption wanting to meet and whom I'd love to meet but we just have no time to do any more...it's going to have to wait for another trip.
And so we draw near the end of another day in our adventure. The last of the kids has finally fallen asleep and I hope soon to join him in dreamland. I need to get some sleep...after all, who knows what tomorrow will hold!