The Beginning Is The End

Our Day in Jamestown

The Beginning Is The End…

As is in life for one chapter to begin, another story must end.  Today marks the day that we have to say goodbye to Axelle who has been a part of our family for the past 10 months.  The experience has been made even more meaningful to Jenn and I because she has been such a significant part of our journey to Nolin.

At the beginning, Jenn & I thought maybe it would be more ideal if we could match with a birth parent sometime towards the end of the summer.  That would give the two of us some time to enjoy the ability to be free-spirited and have no major responsibilities, but also allow us to start our family soon.  As Nolin’s arrival came closer, we figured out that this is the way it was supposed to be.  It has created a unique bond for our family as Nolin will always have an older sister and Axelle (an only child) will always have a younger brother.

Our last trip to Disney

I must admit, I am not very good with goodbyes and will miss Axelle dearly.  It has been fun to have her be a part of our lives, have the ability to teach her & introduce her to new experiences, and to learn from her.  I will say that some of my fondest memories will be when the TV was off and we weren’t watching Gossip Girl or One Tree Hill (one of the downfalls to only having one TV in the house and a teenage girl), but instead sitting in the kitchen and talking about news events, politics, fashion (or lack thereof), teenage love, etc. and getting feedback from a teenager as well as someone outside of our country.  I will miss those moments.

I will also miss having someone who laughs at all my jokes (even the few that aren’t all that funny…although it is very rare that my comedic timing is off) and believes 95% of the BS that comes out of my mouth.  I still have a little time before Nolin will be able to fill that role. A few of my favorites:

  1. Vegetable Week:  For a teenager who won’t even attempt to eat a vegetable, nothing could be worse than an entire week in the U.S. when restaurants, grocery stores and households sell and serve nothing but vegetables.  Axelle’s panicked look as she tried to figure out how she would eat anything for an entire week was priceless.
  2. Invictus’ Alternate Ending:  Axelle really wanted to see the Morgan Freeman movie Invictus, until I told her I heard it was really good and stayed true to the story until the ending when Aliens attacked the soccer stadium in the final match and killed everyone.  She immediately exclaimed…That is so stupid, I’m not going to see that movie then.
  3. The Thanksgiving Tradition:  For Thanksgiving it is customary for the host family to dress like Indians and the guests to dress like Pilgrims.  They eat together and after dinner is over, the Pilgrims chase the Indians out of the house and take it over.  She played along with this and we had a very interesting Thanksgiving celebration.

This year has definitely been a crazy one for the O’Brien household.  We started off with a temporary stray cat and ended with a 16-year-old, a dog and a new born all within 10 months. about turning your world upside down!  We could not have asked for a better experience and I often have to ask myself what we did to be so lucky.

So now it is time for Axelle to head back to France, graduate high school, fall in & out and in & out and in & out of love, go to law school and most importantly experience life.  I hope that we played a small part in the person that she will become and I can’t wait to watch the rest of her story unfold.  While this is the end to this particular chapter, it is hopefully only the beginning of a life long friendship…

At the Magic Game

6 Thoughts

  1. Paddy, I am almost tearing up for you and Jenn right now! What a year and this has definitely been one for the record books. Axelle will surely remember these 10 months fondly…and if she doesn’t, give her an alternate ending! 🙂 Best of luck to her and to you and Jenn during this transition! Oh, and don’t knock “One Tree Hill” – it is filmed where we live! 🙂 Miss you guys.

  2. Bonjour,
    Votre blog est extraordinaire ecrit avec beaucoup d amour de tendresse et de sincerite. Merci encore pour Axelle et beaucoup de bonheur à tous les trois..

  3. We were thinking of you the day Axelle left and remembering how hard it was last year for us to say goodbye to Coralie. Thank goodness for modern technology and skype to keep us close and planes to fly her back to us in just under a month. We are so happy everything has been falling into place for you two because it could not happen to a nicer couple. We can’t wait to see you in a few weeks and meet Nolin! Lots of love, The Gans family

  4. I miss you guys a lot !! thanks so much for the article , its really nice from you . I have so many good memories that i will never forget , like the vegetable week ( the joke that made me laugh but in the same time didnt because vegetable week wouldn’t be fun at all for me )or again all the expressions you taught me ( Axelle is in the Izzie) .This year was by far the best year of my life so Thanks again for hosting me this year , you were awesome parents and Nolin is lucky to have you .
    Hope to talk to you soon !

    1. We miss you too, and it was so great to be able to catch up with you on Skype the other night…thanks for staying up so late. I thought about you last night when Jenn made me watch Valentine’s Day…yeah that is 2 hours of my life I will never get back. I don’t think I’ll be watching your other favorite movie Dear John though. The Step Up 3D movie that you wanted to see comes out this weekend, so I in honor of you, I am going to wear white pants and bust some of my killer dance moves at the opening night…I’ll send you the video.
      Hope you and your family have a great time on vacation, and let us know when you are available again so we can jump back on skype. We had a blast having you be part of our family this past year, and hope you’ll be back soon. We’re also looking forward to going to the Discotheque when we come to visit next summer. Nolin and Jenn also say hi, and we’ll talk to you soon!

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