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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Celebrating Tracey

The night before last the three of us (Marc driving Ben and me chauffeur-style) drove down to The City to spend an evening with Tracey. A group of her friends had planned a special dinner to celebrate her. When we found out we were invited, there was no way we wanted to miss out on an opportunity to join in a celebration like that for a woman that we hold so dear to our hearts. 

It has rained all week. On the drive down we found that parts of the freeway were flooded. In addition, we came across an accident that was blocking the entrance to a connecting freeway that we needed to be on. We tried to find a detour, without any luck. But fortunately (and unfortunately) searching for a detour wasted enough time that by the time we decided to go try the same exit the accident had been cleared away and we were able to continue on our way. Because of the weather and traffic, what would have been a little over a two-hour drive ended up being almost four. We left early, hoping to have some quality time with Tracey and her parents before gathering with her group of friends. Any lead we had tried to give ourselves was eaten away on the crowded and chaotic freeways down to her house. (There are five different freeways that connect our house to hers.)

But, we made it. I was happy that we were able to meet Tracey's father for the first time and let him have a few, though much too brief, moments holding Ben. Tracey had properly warned us of his joking nature, which started the moment we walked through the front door... but I was struck by his big heart and welcoming arms. He is the perfect fit for his equally warm and kind-hearted wife. From the beginning we knew that we wanted Tracey to be a natural extension of our family, but we feel so blessed to also add the rest of her family into our circle of intimate relationships. Benjamin is such a lucky little boy to have so many people who just adore him to pieces. I'm so happy that he is so loved by so many.

Marc and Ben were the only "boys" at the dinner. When Tracey first told us about the dinner, I think we expected a small handful of people gathered around a small table together. Instead we entered the hostess' house to basically find such a large group of women that they were all scattered and gathered in at least three different rooms in the home. I don't even know that I personally met every single person there. The feeling of love and support was overwhelming... and Tracey is so deserving of that and more. 

It was the first time bringing Benjamin out and passed around, since I've been staying home from Church with him until the wintry and virus-y months are behind us. After gulping down his bottle at the start of the party, he slept in many different arms through the evening. I couldn't help, though, but want him to be held by Tracey and her mother. For the short time we were there, that was where I would have preferred for him to be. They did get some cuddle time in, but I just wish it could have been more. 

As dinner came to a close, the large group of women gathered all together. Tracey shared her story. We knew it already. In the very first email Tracey sent us she shared the same details and experiences that led her to choose us. But, standing there in front of her and among this group of women that could appropriately be labeled her Fan Club (of which I'd like to think I'm president), hearing her recount the story with our own ears, witnessing the emotion... it was a moment I will never forget. It will be saved among the most cherished of my life experiences. It was her conclusion, though, that really got me. 

Did she really just thank us? I was stunned. I think I shook my head in awe and the tears just flowed. 

At that point we were invited to say something. Of course we wanted to say something! But, what can you say in a moment like that? My mind was racing, trying to bring all the feelings together into some appropriate phrases that would adequately express some portion of what I was feeling, and have felt for the last few months. 

I know I started off by saying that this all felt very surreal... and after that it's all a blur. I'm pretty sure it was jumbled and disjointed...and totally not anything near what I really wanted and intended to say. Since Thursday night there has hardly been a moment that has passed that I haven't tried to reconstruct whatever I said and then try to change it to be more fitting of how I really feel. And, unfortunately I'm still grasping for the right words... and have almost completely resigned myself to the fact that our language must not contain words that can represent these feelings I have.

But, I won't quit trying because it means a lot to me to put these feelings into words for Tracey's sake, but also for Benjamin's. I want him to know everything about the incredible woman who gave him life. I am in complete awe of her... and still left speechless by her grace in the face of challenge, her selflessness, her courage, her heart that has been refined into the purest gold. I'm convinced that this one act alone qualifies her for the greatest of Heaven's blessings.

It was the highest honor to share in celebrating Tracey on Thursday night. I hope she knows how she's celebrated every single day in our home... and will continue to be for the rest of our lives. Tracey is clearly the one who deserves our expressions of gratitude. Hopefully soon those expressions come flowing into words so she'll know just how much we love and admire her.


Allred Mom said...

What a great post!
Ben truly is a lucky little boy to have such a wonderful birth mother and a wonderful mother in you! I am so glad that you were able to share a special night in honor of Tracey. She sounds remarkable! I'm grateful that you shared a tiny bit of that experience with those of us who love you and Marc.
Ben truly is a lucky little boy!

Brenley said...

I know exactly how you feel! There really aren't word, I promise! I have tried to find them the last two years. But I am terrible with putting my feelings into words and for you it seems to come much better, so if anyone can find them I am sure you will.

I am so glad that so many people love Tracey so much that they support her and want to celebrate her, that is amazing!

dust and kam said...

What a special experience for you!

And what an amazing blessing adoption is.

Calamity Jane said...

I am imagining what it must have been like, I wish I could have been there with more than my heart

LilMisfit said...

I don't think I have commented since I read about Ben! Congratulations!! He is absolutely beautiful. I have seen and had lots-o-babies and this little boy looks completely perfect! He is so gorgeous (in a handsome, manly kind of way!) I am so thrilled for you guys. And the way that you talk about Tracey... you and she are all such incredible people and great examples.

hillishilarity said...

I love that she got that night. We all should be celebrated when we are so selfless...but I know I've never been that selfless. What a woman!

GlassBeach92 said...

wow meg! what a neat evening. someday I hope I can meet Tracey. she has blessed our family eternally.