I was getting off of an airplane from Atlanta on February 19, 2011. I had attended a conference that week to prepare me for joining OM Ireland in the fall. That week was a reminder of why God had called me to Ireland. But it was also a reminder that this was very real. I would be leaving for two years. I would be leaving my friends, my family, my niece who wasn't born yet. And then I was leaving someone else. Someone who had suddenly, what seemed like overnight, become really important to me. I had come to terms with leaving friends and family- I had done it before. But only a week earlier had I held someone's hand for the first time. For the first time, I had experienced liking someone and knowing they liked me in return.
I stepped off the plane, wondering what conversation I would have with Andy. Should we start something? Why would God let this happen now? Andy picked me up shortly after I got home and we went to dinner. I remember holding hands and looking through the Yankee candle store while we waited for our table at TGI Fridays. At dinner I told him the whole story of why I felt called to Ireland. I don't think he knew it yet, and I wanted him to understand the importance I had to place on this calling in my life. I had to let him know that God would come first. always.
He was so supportive. He thought that was amazing, and was so proud of me. He made me feel such peace between us. That night we went for a walk through the USI campus. We sat down on a block of stone and had the following conversation:
Andy: i have a question to ask you...
Andy: are...you my girlfriend?
me: HAHAHAHAHA I don't know? yes?
Andy: does that mean I'm your boyfriend?
Andy: okay good.
February 19, 2011 - my first boyfriend.
My mom woke me up Sunday, February 20, 2011 to tell me that we were leaving for the hospital. My sister in law was having the baby. We jumped into the car, and that's when I finally had a moment to think. I said to my parents "I don't want to steal anyone's thunder today, so I'm going to tell you now.. but Andy and I are official."
When we got to the hospital, my sister-in-law's family was already there in the waiting room. Her sister, Annie, and I ran to and from the waiting room to the door to our siblings' room. The third time, we heard a baby cry. It was more exciting than Christmas. After the entire family was invited into the room, and I looked down at little Quincy Mason Chaudoin, I first got a glimpse at what unconditional love felt like. I loved her before she was born, and nothing will ever change that.
February 20, 2011 - my first niece. Happy 1st birthday Q!