Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Blessing Trip - Part 3

"To be blessed does not necessarily mean to have pleasure, health, success or prosperity. It means to experience hope & joy independent of outward experiences. The world's view of being blessed is often different from the blessing that God intends. To be blessed is to be a part of God's kingdom; the hope & joy that we seek is found in following Christ."

We left Sarasota on Wednesday morning and headed to Orlando. When you start seeing power lines like this... and signs like these... you know you're getting close to this...Our first stop...Downtown Disney.We found out about this place three years ago when we were in Orlando waiting for our daughter to be born. I was about to lose my mind with all the waiting in the hotel room for a phone call and we didn't want to spend a lot of $$ my cousin Danielle told us about Downtown Disney. Admission is free and it was a perfect way to pass the time while we waited to meet our new daughter. Here is a picture of Caedmon at the LEGO store three years ago.And here is a picture from last week. We let the children each pick one thing to buy on our vacation. Caedmon decided he wanted to choose something from the LEGO store, but it was a tough decision. The look on his face makes me laugh...he's really thinking this through and weighing all his options.Finally a decision was made.Next stop...the princess store, of course. We didn't do the little girl princess makeovers that they offered, which were adorable, but Kaiya did get sprinkled with the free pixie dust. :)Daddy helped her pick out these...and she walked around the rest of the day like she was indeed a princess. :)Lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe'...we sat right next to the animated gorillas. I got a little worried how the kids would react when the lights went down and the thunder started rumbling...then the gorillas started in. Caedmon's eyeballs got big, but thankfully there were no tears.We left Downtown Disney later that afternoon and had a few hours before we could check into our hotel. I think the highlight of the day was coming here...blessing #5...because this is where our daughter took her first breath 3 1/2 years ago. I got butterflies in my stomach when we walked into the hospital where we fist laid eyes on our sweet little Kaiya. All the memories came flooding back...the anxious feelings of not knowing what was happening, the exciting anticipation of meeting our daughter for the first time, the moment we saw her birth mother being wheeled right past us (not knowing who we were) with tears streaming down her face...I'll never forget that.Kaiya was so proud as we talked to her about this special place where she was born.This is the spot where Kevin pulled up the car at the hospital to take our daughter home.The same spot three years ago.A long to dream land as soon as we left the hospital.Frequent ice cream stops are mandatory while on vacation.We finally checked into our hotel later that afternoon and after supper out, the kids begged to check out the kiddie pool.Off to bed early because the next day was going to be a very BIG day!Blessing #6 - We only had to pay for one ticket to get our family into the Magic Kingdom because of the generosity of a relative...and we were going to enjoy every minute of this amazing place!! We arrived when the park opened at 9 and didn't leave until it closed at 9 that night. This picture was taken on Main Street just after entering the park. The Dumbo rideGoofy's barnstorming roller coasterinside Minnie's HousePrincess pictures with Sleeping Beauty,Cinderella (yeah, I had to sneak in on this one),and Belle.The weather was so nice all day and at this point it got really hot...which lasted for about an hour before it started cooling down again. This was a perfect time for popsicles while waiting for the parade. This was the part of the day when the kids really started getting tired, but they got their second, third and fourth wind as the day went on. :)This was the first of three parades that we saw that day. Cinderella and the PrinceCaedmon had been asking all day if we could ride the race cars.Pictures with Mickey & Minnie.The second parade was a celebration parade including dancing in the streets by the fun!

Parade #3 - the after dark electric light parade. Then the beautiful fireworks show behind the castle set to music concluded our day. Kaiya's expression through most of the fireworks show. And two very tired children fell asleep before we even pulled out of the parking lot.Friday--our last day--was spent relaxing by the pool.

Saying goodbye to the friendly peacocks on the resort grounds.
We left Saturday morning and began the trek back to snowy Indiana. The weather on our trip home was not that fun....rain and more rain most of the way. We made it to Tennessee that night right before tornadoes went through that area. I was relieved to get off the road for a few hours to have a nice sit down meal and rest. We debated where to eat supper and finally settled on Cracker Barrel. As we were eating, an 80 year old man came up to our table and asked Kevin, "Where did you get your children?" Kevin told him where we adopted them and the man pulled out his wallet and said he wanted to pay for our dinner...blessing #7. We were both so touched by his generosity...not knowing who we were, but just observing our family and wanting to bless left us speechless.
And the 8th and final blessing of this trip was a little metal angel hovering over two children that Kaiya found on the ground on our way back to our hotel that read:

"Guardian Angel
Protect me, my passengers and all who I pass by with a steady hand and a watchful eye."
I felt that the Lord had orchestrated this whole trip with all the blessings that had occured. He was telling us that He is there...watching over our family...protecting us on our way home in the nasty weather and even more, not forgetting about us and all that has happened over the past couple months...showing us that He loves us...He still loves us. For that, I am truely grateful and realize that I was already beyond blessed before this trip...blessed because of the hope & joy that I have in Jesus Christ my Saviour.


cheryl said...

Sherri, for many reasons, I really enjoyed this post. Fun pictures. How much fun for Kaiya to get to see where she was born even though she lives very far away from there. Caedmon's expression is cute. I can totally relate to wanting to make the best choice for the $. Most of all, I appreciated what you had to say about blessings. It's so true. It doesn't have to do with $, things, places, etc. It's all about God's kingdom. It's a good reminder to have every once in a while. I'm glad you had such a nice trip!

Nicole said...

What awesome memories girl! I am so glad you had so much fun and had some awesome blessings along the way! That is our God! The pictures with Kaiya at the hospital where she was born made me start crying! How precious that must have been to be back there. It seems like yesterday you went down to get your sweet precious Kaiya! And actually Caedmon as well! Miss ya guys and hope to see you soon! We will be back for Easter so I will see ya then!

heather said...

Sherri, what a fun post. I loved remembering back to the time when Kaiya was born. I can't believe how much Caedmon changed in just a short time. It was fun to see him at the lego store then and now. It was also so cool to see the picture of Sweet little Kaiya at the place where you put her into your car for the first time...I remembered that exact spot from your pictures when you sent them via email.....and wow to see her tiny sweet little self in that carseat. So amazing. I sure hope it renewed your hope and strength to remember back to that time and the amazing work God did in your family. I'm sure it's so hard to keep your chin up sometimes...but not to lose hope....I'm praying that 3rd adoption is right around the corner!!! And I can't wait to hear the news.

P.S. Do tell...where did the blessing of Disney tickets come from??? :) I would like some too.

Wynette said...

this was so sweet! I loved it...and I had to cry at all your blessings. I needed this!

Julie said...

Sherri - it was fun to read and look at the fun you and your family had in FL.
So sweet that you were able to go back to the hospital Kaiya was born - great way to discuss the special-ness of it all :-) I am happy for you all!

Jenn said...

Wow, the tears were rolling during the last paragraph. What great reminder that even the God of the universe wants to spend time on our vacation with us. He never leaves us!

Loved the Disney pictures. What a special day!

I still remember when Kaiya was first born. You brought her to Sarasota and we had just had Kaelin a month prior. What a special time that was to be together with you.

Yes, you have been blessed!!!!

Anonymous said...

ok, you guys are totally our kind of people...=) Lego store, Rainforest Cafe, ice cream, kiddie pools, race cars, popscicles...!!! A few of Ethan's favorite things. I can barely get him out of that kiddie play pool area at the FW zoo when we go. We totally need to try to get together this summer. Ethan would have a blast hanging out with Caedmon and Kaiya, total blast. Sweet sweet post.

Krista said...

I have so much to do to get settled back in after my parents left, but I am so glad that I got to read your post during the nap hours! It was so enjoyable to sit in the quiet and read about your trip, shedding a few tears, as most are doing. =) Can't wait to hear more details! We'll chat soon.

Anonymous said...

Sherri, I am really slow in catching up. You have really put your heart into a beautiful vacation for your children and into capturing the memories. Returning to Kaiya's birthplace was a special thing for you to do and brought special memories back to me too. God is so good! How blessed we are as grandparents to have Caedmon & Kaiya as our granbabes! Bless the man who paid for your dinner. Love, Grandma Ruby