There are some limitations to what all I can say in this post for the sake of the IP’s privacy. They are international and we don’t speak each other’s language so there was a translator present. It was nice though because he was like the built in ice breaker.
Due to the length of the stay and some urgent business requiring his attention, IF was not able to make the trip to California. IM arrived safely with her sister though and reached out to me through the translator to set up our first ever face to face meeting. We have had skype calls before and chat using an app called WeChat on a regular basis but this was the first in the flesh meeting.
IM is staying in the Irvine area and we are staying in the north coastal San Diego county area (near Oceanside harbor and pier) so I suggested a midway point of downtown San Clemente for dinner.
The nerves started to go a little crazy as we were walking down the street to Port Brewing Co. (my initial pick) and went into full gear as we walked toward our group. It turned out that I didn’t take into consideration that it was a Saturday evening and a place like Port was going to be packed and loud. We ended up trying a place across the street instead and I am so glad that we stumbled across it! It was called Brick Pizzeria and they were able to squeeze us in without a reservation. The atmosphere was much more ideal and the food was all amazing. We might be driving back up again for a meal before heading to Texas at the end of the month.
Once we settled into the restaurant the translator helped us start some conversation and gifts were exchanged. It was so sweet, IM brought a Lego set for each of my daughters and they were over the moon! I received some wonderful tea that I can’t wait to try (I love all tea) once I get it home. And I gifted a hand knit fluffy cream blanket with red trim, red crochet baby hat, and a light blue knit baby hat. The blanket was a pretty good size so she kept it all in the bag but I did make sure she opened one of my gifts in person. I used a Moleskine cashier journal and gathered notes, test results, and ultrasound images in it since the transfer back at the end of March this year. There was also a DVD from one of the ultrasounds that I attached the paper case for inside the cover. IM loved it all and was thoroughly surprised which made me really happy. The translator also asked me to tell my fellow surros about my project because he has been working with IP’s for over three years now and had never seen anything like it. I believe that as I had searched for a book or template to fill before deciding to make my own because I couldn’t find any. Our dinner came out shortly after our gift exchange and everything looked amazing and tasted even better. We took some group pictures which led to my four year old daughter ending up in IM’s lap and taking a series of selfies and giggling away without having any concept of a language barrier. The innocence of the youth is a wonderful thing to observe. We were all a little reluctant to part ways but we were approaching the girls’ bed time and I wanted to keep the visit as pleasant as possible.
Overall I couldn’t have asked for a more smooth and pleasant visit. The only thing I was hoping for that didn’t happen was for surro baby boy to show off his skills for his mom. I had plenty of contractions but no dance moves. Oh well, she’ll experience him soon enough.
The next time we see each other will be in Labor and Delivery at the hospital to meet surro baby boy.