Monday, January 23, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #23

A Year of Gratitude #23: Anne

Have you ever met someone and just instantly had chemistry with them? The first time I met Anne, I loved her. I thought she was so funny, witty, and just a fun person. Anne was a friend of my friend Amy Hoski. I know Amy through Phi Sigma Pi (at Eastern Michigan University). She and I are still friends, but I met Anne through Amy when Amy was a waitress at Sidetracks in Depot Town.

Anne and her husband Jon would go to Sidetracks for dinner/drinks and Amy got to know them through there... and I believe Jon and Amy's ex-fiance Jerry were friends (Jerry also worked at Sidetracks). Anyway... Anne was going to school for elementary education and I had just finished school and was teaching third grade. I invited her to come to my classroom to do some pre-student teaching with me (you have to get like 120 hours before you can student teach).

She took me up on my offer and came to my classroom back in 2003/2004. My kids called her Miss Anne and they loved her.
The kids in this picture are now seniors in high school

Anne would come to my classroom and just hang out for the day. She'd walk around and help the kids that needed it, she'd help me with grading and whatnot, and occasionally she'd teach a lesson to my class. It was so fun and I loved having her there!

Then I moved to 5th grade and she came and did some pre-student teaching hours with me while I taught fifth graders! While she did her PST with me that year, she and I talked about what we wanted for our futures and we talked about how great it would be to open our own preschool... 

Then Steve and I moved to NC and she and Jon moved from Ypsi... I think they moved out of state (not 100%) to SC where her parents live. I lost touch with her for a few years... we'd email every now and then, but we both lived in different states, so it was hard to keep up.

THEN... she told me that she was going to be in the Raleigh area because she and Jon were thinking about moving to the area! I was so excited!! She and I met for dinner in Cary, NC and had a GREAT time! It was amazing to see her again and she had two kids... I couldn't believe that enough time had passed for her to have two children!

I'll never forget when I told her about us starting the adoption process. She said, "It won't matter if you didn't birth your child, you'll bond with them and love them and it'll be the most amazing connection that you'll ever have." It was exactly what I needed to hear because I had been afraid that I wouldn't bond with a baby because I didn't birth it. 

Anne shared that she and Jon had thought about adoption and she was certain, after having two kids of her own, that no matter how a child comes to a mother, the love that a mom has for her child is undeniable and amazing. She wished us well and we vowed to stay more in touch!

Well... then the plans for her to move to NC fell through because the market wasn't good for Jon to find the right job, and then her dad ended up passing away unexpectedly.

When I found out about her dad I was so sad for her loss. No one deserves to lose a loved one, but her dad was one of a kind and so very special to Anne. It hurt me to know the pain that she was going through with losing him. I know that she still grieves his loss and misses him daily. I pray for her to find peace and to know that she WILL see him again... and he's there with her at all times watching from above.

Our adoption happened and we became parents in May of 2010 and then we were able to go home in July and because we had been in MI for so long, Steve didn't have any more vacation. In February of 2011, we were able to go back to MI for the first time since Gus's birth. 

Anne is one of my two MUST SEE peeps... one is Aimee and Anne is the other. So I let her know that we were coming and she met us at Jungle Java. It was the same day that we were meeting Gus's birth mom's family at Jungle Java. Anne thought it'd be weird to be there while they were there visiting us, but I told her she was free to stay and then we could catch up after. 
Anne with Gus

Anne, Gus, Ava and Cole

They gave him some brick-like building toys

He liked to chew on them  :-)

Gus and Ava

Gus and Ava

Ava and my nephew Alex (she had a slight crush)

Anne and Cole

After our visit with Gus's birth family, Anne and I visited more and she gave us her take on things... which was so nice because she was unaware of anything with Gus's birth family and had nothing to base an opinion on, other than what she saw. She said she thought they were loving, caring, and she was excited for us to have the openness that we have with them. She said that Gus was a very lucky little man to be loved by so many and to have all his needs met and more.

It was so great to just know that someone looking in on the situation, thought it was wonderful. :-)

The last time we were home, August of 2011, we saw Anne and the kids and this time we saw that she was also pregnant with her third!!! They are due in March and aren't going to find out the gender... I think Anne is the most amazing friend and such a great mom. I wish she lived closer to me because she'd easily become my best friend. I adore her and cherish every time I get to see her.
Ava, Gus, and Cole

Ava and Gus

Cole, Anne, and Ava

I'm thankful to have Anne there for me to bitch and complain to... and I'm thankful for the advice she gives me. She is very wise. I'm thankful that I know, no matter what I'm doing, I always have her there in my corner and she'll have my back no matter what the situation.

Anne is the kind of friend who is very loyal, honest, and one in a million. I don't know how I got so lucky to have her in my life, but I am so glad that she's there. She means more than I tell her, but I know she knows.

I can go months without talking to her, and then pick back up where we left off as if no time has passed at all. She loves my husband too... which is wonderful. Her maiden name is Walker, and she has a brother named Steve, so I say Steve's her brother from another mother. It's fate that we're meant to be friends... we have so much in common and get along so well.

I'm excited to see her become a mom again and to meet her bundle of joy. She doesn't give herself enough credit for being the spectacular mom that she is, but I think she's incredible. I value her opinion and her insight to parenting things, and I have no problem going to her for advice or help.

I am so blessed to have her in my life and to be able to call her one of my best friends.

(Note to self: Get picture of me and Anne together next time I see her!!!)


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