To say that Emily is a blessing is an understatement. She found us during a time when the only two children we'd found through the internet with CCMS had major physical and cognitive delays. Seeing that Emily was living a typical life with plans to go to college (she is now in her sophomore year) gave us so much hope when the doctors weren't.
So we were thrilled when she asked back in October if she could come visit us during her winter break. We picked her up from the airport Thursday evening, after her parents managed to get her an earlier flight to avoid the worst of the snowstorm hitting the east coast. (Her hometown got over 9 inches of snow!) Good thing they did, because her original flight was severely delayed.
On the way home from the airport, the kids fought over who got Emily's attention, and we introduced her to the amazing musical stylings of Family Force Five. She learned what a "Cray Button" is and Caleb taught her how to crank it like a chain saw. (This will mean absolutely nothing to you if you don't know any of Family Force Five's music!) Abby decided that her gtube scar is her "Cray Button" and pushes it to make herself crazy. She thought it was great that Emily had her own
gtube scar "Cray Button!"
Although our area didn't see nearly as much snow, it was enough to give Caleb and Abby a day off of school on Friday! This worked out really well, because then we had a lot more time for the kids to play with Emily and just hang out. We collected enough snow clothes for Emily to wear so that they could play outside, but the idea of playing in the snow proved to be much more appealing than actually doing it. Poor Abby was freezing, so we didn't stay out long.
Chloe loved playing the most out of everybody, I think!
We warmed up with a little hot chocolate, then got ourselves ready to visit THE place to go for Maryland crab cakes. If you're local, you know where we went! Emily had never had a "real" crab cake, so I think she enjoyed it!
Friday evening, my family came over for pizza and to get to know Emily a bit. Everyone agreed that she is wonderful!
Anna tried to get Emily to come home with her. :)
Saturday morning, we headed out to DC to visit the Museum of U.S. History and a monument or two. It was FREEZING!!!! Thankfully, we got a good parking spot that allowed us fairly close entry to the museum.
Caleb had never been to this museum too, and we knew our little history lover would find it very interesting. We were right! His favorite exhibit was (shocker) America at War. He even recognized a few of the famous WWII photographs from a WWII book he got from the library.
I think he might need a footstool if he wants to be POTUS...
Or will Abby be the first woman POTUS?!
Matt and I were both laughing about the original iPod being part of a history exhibit...it made us feel pretty old! (We still have ours!)
Dorothy's ruby slippers
After that, we drove around for
much longer than planned a few minutes until we found the Lincoln Memorial. We were going to visit a few memorials, but the temperature was just too cold for a lot of walking. Abby fell asleep during our drive over, so Matt stayed in the car with her while Emily, Caleb, and I went to the memorial.
We also got some good views of the Washington Monument, even though it's currently closed for repairs.
Emily and Caleb
Please ignore my disheveled look. It was COLD!!
After thawing out on the trip home, we had dinner and played some games together--including a very modified game of Pictionary to include Caleb and Abby. After such a busy day, this was a nice way to spend some time together.
Sunday morning, Emily and I left bright and early to get her to the airport. Caleb and Abby went with Matt to church, but they said their goodbyes the night before. After a blissfully uneventful time through check-in, Emily and I said our goodbyes.
So that's the run-down of Emily's visit! I have lots to tell you (and more pictures to share!) about the connection Abby and Emily had, but I am going to save that for its own post. This is plenty long enough as it is!