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. ..talk 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
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