My hope was to combine two monumental events that took place over the past few weeks: a baby shower and Kaylin's first Thanksgiving.
On November 19th, we had a huge baby shower thrown for us at Tara's parents' house in Allentown, PA to celebrate the homecoming of our little peanut. The event was attended by much of our combined families and several of our friends. All in all, some 60 or so people came, which was amazing considering it was such a busy time of year. What's really interesting is that baby showers usually occur before a baby is born and often times with just ladies present. But Tara and I tend to go against the grain. Not only was the event attended by both men and women, but everyone got to meet and interact with little Kaylin...or at least as much as one can interact with a month and a half old infant. Kaylin pretty much slept through the whole thing anyway...
There were a number of highlights from that day. We got to briefly share our adoption story in front of the whole group, as well as the incredible open relationship with now share with Kaylin's birth family, which continues to blow us away. We had a make-shift photo booth, courtesy of Tara's sister Lindsay. And we ate a ton of great food made by Tara's mother. We are so grateful to our families for organizing this shower for us, especially to Tara's parents, Jim & Mary Ann, who went above and beyond to turn their house into baby party central.
We spent Kaylin's first Thanksgiving as one big family with our parents and siblings...and our dog Bailey of course. Unfortunately, Kaylin was not able to take part in the eating of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and various desserts, but she was a big consumer of formula that day, and for the time being, I guess that will have to suffice. We did however, dress her up in various Thanksgiving outfits that she will surely be embarrassed by as a teenager when I show them to all her friends. As Kaylin's dad, I'm already looking forward to that day.
In all seriousness though, we could not be more thankful -- especially at this time of year -- to have become parents of the most beautiful and incredible baby girl and to have such a terrific relationship with her birth family, a wonderful and inspiring group of people who we already consider close family. There simply are no words to adequately describe our gratitude and joy.
Ok, I know I said this entry was just about the baby shower and Thanksgiving, but this past weekend, Kaylin also attended her first wedding. And well...I just have to share. Our dear friends, the newly crowned Alan & Erin Popoli, got married in an beautiful space called the Skybox, which is in a large, newly renovated building called 2424 Studios that also houses our church's location. The ceremony and reception went off without fail and Daddy was even in the wedding party and got to share in our first ever father/daughter slow dance. Aside from the bride and groom, I'd like to think Kaylin was the other main attraction of the night.