After the initial chaos of bringing Anna home, we quickly adjusted to our new family of four. That first week we had Anna home may just be the best week I’ve ever had. It was as if time stood still.

Justin took that entire week off (it was the week of Thanksgiving, as well). We had nowhere to go, nobody to see, no schedules to worry about, no cooking or shopping to do because so many people were taking care of us. We had nothing to do except be together as a family. In the midst of my sleep deprived haze, I was able to fully appreciate the bonding that took place over those few days – bonding between mother and daughters, sister and sister, father and daughters, husband and wife. I don’t know how to describe it except that “we just were.” It was us and only us, almost as if we were in a cocoon. Sadly, the reality of life eventually took over. Justin had to go back to work and the hustel and bustle began again, but it seemed a bit easier somehow. I think that week really strengthed our family and made us whole, again, after a busy year where external worries and commitments often got in the way. It was a good lesson for me of the importance of taking time off to reflect and just be with the ones you love. I pray we can find ways to do that more often.