It's Up to YOU! New York, Neeew Yoooork!!

My original plan for Day 18 was to bring dinner to two different households that could use a little break from the everyday stresses of meal planning and prep. I had good intentions, but my plans quickly changed when we got the okay to go ahead and travel to Manhattan. The meals weren't a total casualty, they will just have to arrive a little later than Day 18.

So... WE ARE ON THE ROAD!! We were offered a place to stay in Manhattan, a luxury highrise apartment overlooking the Hudson. This place is so beyond our spending capacity, that I actually had to ask for instructions about tipping a concierge. I picture myself giving him a snickers and then getting slapped with pristine, white bellman's gloves. It was brought to my attention that this is an irrational fear likely shaped by something I had seen on TV. Too true, all too true.

Because we have a place to stay, we are able to go now, before the baby arrives so that we can be available to support the birthmother in any way she would like. Or to respectfully keep our distance... whichever she decides.

We are trying to keep the kids focused on seeing the city and enjoying our time as a family, because we honestly don't know how else to handle the very real possibility that we will be there waiting, respecting, supporting... And still come home without a baby.

The only way I can describe what we are feeling is reluctant excitement. It is a hard place to be, but my greatest hope is whether we interact with her or not, that she will feel loved, ministered to, and supported by somebody.

The truth is that I am passionate about my role as an adoptive mother, and part of that role is facilitating whatever relationship with biological family members that is healthiest for my child. A lot of times people say really horrible things about women who have made an adoption plan for her child. Some common ones are "I just don't understand how anyone could do such a thing." and one I hear frequently, "at least you don't have to deal with the birthmother."

Not "dealing" with the woman who gave your child life and the gift of a family, is tragic in my opinion. I long to support this girl in my own way, but the most supportive thing I can do for her is to respect her way. So, I am getting my game face on.

We are expected to arrive at the lap of luxury by 10:18pm and to feel out of our league and keenly aware of our poverty by 10:20 at the latest. For my Random Act of Kindness for Day 18, we have treats for the toll booth operators and a fresh cheek, ready for a good glove-slappin'.

We will see how this all turns out, but I can't help but feel tickled that in the middle of the month that I have been trying to honor God and my own brother's memory... we are coming very close to giving our kids a really special gift, their baby brother.