I will have pictures of our adventures later.
Today is finalization day! Noelle's birth family should be showing up at our hotel any minute for some baby time. In two hours, our hearing begins where our adoption will become legally finalized. Then we will go out to eat afterward. I am so thrilled that Noelle's birth family have decided to come to court with us. It means a lot to us and I think it will mean a lot to Noelle someday. Open adoptions are such a blessing. How can you deny how much love Noelle's birth family has for her? Their decision to place her in our arms is out of pure, selfless love. Warms my heart.
Tonight we will pack up everything we have. Noelle's birth parents have given us so many baby clothes and blankets that I think we may have to buy another bag to check on the plane. :) We'll shower and try to have a calm and productive night and then we fly home tomorrow just before noon. I pray Noelle is a good traveler or it will be a really long day!! :)
Over the past few days, we've done a little sight-seeing. Tuesday, we went to a quaint town called Eureka Springs and took a steam-engine train ride through the Ozark Mountains. We shopped in town and had a yummy Italian dinner.
Wednesday, we went to Pea Ridge National Military Park--a Civil War battleground where one of the most important battles was fought. We also saw the Trail of Tears where it crosses through the area. It was beautiful and informative. So strange to look across such beautiful landscapes and think of the pain and horrors thousands of people suffered there.
Thursday, we went to War Eagle Caverns. We saw a brochure for this place our first day here but figured it wouldn't be a good place to take a baby. We checked out their website though and realized that they were wheelchair/stroller accessible, so we went and it was really neat. We went on a guided tour through a neat cave and saw a bat, a baby beaver, and a salamander. Parts of the movie Frank and Jessie were filmed there - now I am going to have to check out that movie! We went back to Eureka Springs and I bought a blessing/sealing dress for Noelle that I admired the day before. It was spendy but I love it and it will be a relic from the state she was born. We wanted to do a few more sight-seeing things, but everything closes at 5:00 pm on weekdays. Kind of silly for a tourist town.
As we were driving home, I said something about being in the Ozark Mountains. Justin asked, "Where are the Ozarks?"
I said, "We are in them. Right now. We've been in them for the past few days." I pointed towards the wooded hills around us.
"What? These are the mountains? I've been looking for these mountains for days!"
We got a good laugh out of that. We are so used to mountains meaning snow-capped, granite peaks thousands and thousands of feet in the air. It's hard to imagine that there are mountains that don't break the timber line. :)
I will have pictures later. Stay tuned!