Friday, January 9, 2009

Ayla's World Tour of Love, 2008-2009

Below is a YouTube compilation of images made from your visit to Atlanta and New York City. Just click on the play button, turn up the volume (soundtrack courtesy of Phish) and enjoy! (The full 250 photo gallery can be viewed on Ayla's Picasa site here -
It was an amazing visit! 11 days, 2 cities and Ayla must have met over 75 friends and family (50 alone in Atlanta!). We had such a great time. It was chaotic, frenetic, fun, exhausting, very special and such an honor. To be loved by so many, to have so many friends and family go totally out of their way to visit us and meet Ayla speaks to the depth of our love for each other and the happiness that people have for our new family and life.
Ayla was, of course, a rock star. She basically slept the whole time we were traveling in the plane and in the airports. Very lucky and blessed with that! She met for the first time 2 of the 3 grandmas (Leigh's mom came out shortly after she was born), both grandpas, both aunts, cousins, great uncles and aunts and so many friends we lost count!

It was such a special time for everyone to meet her too because she is just starting to interact with her environment and look outward. For the first 6 weeks or so, she would get upset if we had her facing out. She was only happy facing our chest or looking over our shoulder. But now she has begun to really explore the outer world a bit and it is so much fun. She just learned to smile at people right before we left and so that was such a sacred and pure gift to give everyone - her full face smile. She would just beam the love at people. I think it made their whole day or week after seeing such a pure, beautiful baby smile!

We are very thankful that she was able to meet so many people this early. I look forward to the day when folks meet her again in 5, 10, 20 years from now and say, "I remember when you were this big..." Witnessing the growth of this human being is such a joy and wonder. We are so happy (and proud) to share Ayla with other loved ones.
A huge thanks to all of you who came to visit us! And of course a special thank you to our parents and family for making this trip possible, giving us a special place in their homes, driving down from Indiana and North Carolina and flying up from Tampa. And thanks to friends in New York for giving us their apartment to stay in while they were out of town, an invitation to a great, fun wedding, driving down from Vermont for a well overdue visit, and a brunch afternoon full of delicious food, warm hospitality, old friends and new life!

We are blessed. Enjoy the movie!