Well...we're finally at home. I woke up this morning to find Alexandra staring at me this time. I smiled at her and she smiled back and we sort of "talked" for about 15 minutes before Candace woke up and joined us. It was a neat first morning back in Canada. Candace's sister and her husband kept their Christmas tree up so Alexandra had a chance to open presents under a tree, probably for the first time. Thanks to Camille and Anthony for your thoughtfulness and caring. It is these qualities that helped us decide that you should be our daughter's godparents. After breakfast and some visiting we hit the highway. We stopped at Portage to visit Walmart but it was in the process of relocating so we decided to pass through Brandon to go to the store there. Despite our eagerness to get home, we spent two hours in Walmart. I knew we were in for a long visit when I left Candace and Alexandra in the toy section to go back and get a second cart. Later, after catching up with them after a brief side trip to the electronic department, I found their cart overflowing with alot of size 3 clothing. After stuffing the three of us and our new purchases back into a vehicle already full with luggage, we finally made our way back home. As we pulled in the driveway, we were greeted by a sign that welcomed the three of us. Rumour has it that the handwriting matches a certain retired principal from Shoal Lake. Thanks so much for the wonderful gesture.
Originally, we were going to come home, get settled, have a quiet supper, and then retire early. After a short time however, we decided to invite some friends over to meet Alexandra. That was pretty exciting to say the least. There were more presents for her to open and we talked about our experience a bit more and watched video excerpts from our trip. The best part was having this little girl walking around calling us mommy and daddy with witnesses to confirm that it actually happened. I know there are many different ways to start a family, but I expect the end result is the same. It is hard to articulate what this end result is...but I expect it was close to that feeling I had as I sat there watching our daughter hug and kiss everyone as she was on her way to bed. I am not sure what is in store for me as a parent, and I know I have countless things to learn in my new role as a dad. As I sat in my living room watching Alexandra make her rounds I felt so many emotions...pride in being able to share this wonderful little girl with others, excitment about being able to introduce her to even more people, hope that her lifetime would be long and rewarding, and even a bit of fear, for those times in the future that I may not know exactly what to do as her father. It's ironic that when you get married, you pledge an oath to your new spouse that you will love, honour and cherish them until death causes you to part. Yet, people who have children aren't required to do anything similar. I expect that for most people the responsibility is understood. I am new at this, so I feel the need to be more concrete. So, Alexandra...my promise to you is very simple...I will do everything I can for as long as we are on this earth together to show you how much you mean to us and how deeply you are loved.
This is the last post that I will be making. The blog's purpose was to chronicle our experiences away from home so that everyone knew what was happening. We also wanted to keep a record for future reference, mainly to give Alexandra a sense of how we all came together. But we are home now and our Ukrainian adventure has ended...and so too must this blog. Now our Canadian adventure begins.