Saturday, July 6, 2013

Wedding PARTY!

Months before Sara came home, she was asked to be a flower girl in a friend's wedding.  In all honesty, I've been nervous about it ever since.  Sara can be INCREDIBLY charming.  She can also be moody and crabby.  (Sounds pretty normal, huh?)  When she's not in a good mood, things can get ugly pretty quickly.  Sara also likes to do things the way SHE wants to do them.  She's not always a fan of doing what she's told.

I was worried.  Then, I got the 9 page itinerary for the wedding.  This couple is incredibly organized and had every detail planned out.  This wedding was going to go off without a hitch.....except that they had invited my daughter to be a part of it.  (Cringe.)

You also need to understand that I am hyper-aware of Sara's negative behaviors.  Much more aware than anyone else.  There have been several occasions where I've been mortified by her behavior only to have others comment on how good she was.  I think it comes from my job.  Teaching young adults with special needs, I've heard (and probably said) "Well, his parents created this mess" or "Did you see how she acted with her mother?" and other equally judgmental statements.  I really don't want to be the parent that staff are talking about in ten years.  And, I know that right now, Sara is young so the things she does are cute.  They won't be cute in 10 years.  Anyway, I was mortified to think that she might ruin the wedding.

The rehearsal on the 3rd went pretty well.  Sara was petrified of the ring bearer.  I have no idea why because he was the cutest little guy ever.  They were the only two kids at the rehearsal so he kept walking by trying to engage her.  She's cry and whine and climb into my arms every time.  She was not going to walk down the aisle with him but she was ok with doing it herself.

We had the 4th off from wedding festivities but had lots of other fun for Sara's first 4th of July.  All the fun left Sara very tired and a little crabby.  She took a nice nap on the way to the hotel on the day of the wedding.  (We actually ended up sitting in the parking lot at the hotel for half an hour so she could sleep longer.)  The problem with her long naps is that she has a really, really, REALLY hard time waking up from them.  

We checked into the hotel and headed off to the church.  She did NOT want to be there and she did not want anyone to bother her.  The bridesmaids were all excited to see her and she let them know it was not mutual.  Anna and I managed to get her dressed while dodging fists and fingernails.  Somehow, Anna got her hair up but there are not any pictures of little Miss Sara with the wedding party before the wedding.  She was not interested.

A little bit of attitude.  I can just hear the groan.  

We forced her to take this picture with us.  As you can tell, she was not happy about it (or anything at that point).  

I have learned that Sara loves people on her terms.  She prefers the people that are not in her face.  She likes the ones that don't act interested.  She also doesn't like anyone until she has woken up.  We found a quiet (and very hot place) to sit until it was time for the wedding to start.  After a few minutes of quiet time, she came over and apologized.  We found her spot on the stage and went out and joined the wedding party.

Practicing after pulling it together.  

She still didn't want anything to do with the ring bearer so she walked in with her Tia Anna who was the maid of honor.  I couldn't get any pictures of her from where I was sitting but the ceremony was beautiful.

Waiting for the bride.

The bride and her dad.  

Sara sat with me for most of the ceremony.  She did very well until I ran out of gummy Life Savers.  Fortunately, it was almost over at that point.  She walked back up on stage and excited with Tia and the best man.

After the ceremony, she was a little more willing to take pictures.  (The groom bribed her with some candy.  Smart man!)  
With Mommy!  (Quick!  Take our picture while she's in a good mood!) 

Tia Anna, Mommy, and Sara.  

This picture melts my heart.  6 months ago, she was living in an orphanage.  Now, she's a flower girl in a beautiful wedding.  She was a cast-off in a society that didn't see her potential.  She's now a beloved daughter, friend, niece, granddaughter in a position of honor.  

After a few more pictures, we did a quick dress change (all the fashionable girls have two dresses!) and jumped in the car to head to the reception.  It was so nice to crank up the AC.  The church was supposed to have AC but it definitely wasn't on!  If I was hot, you know it was miserable.  

Checking her "contact" in the mirror.  She pretends to pull it out of her eye, puts it in her mouth and puts it back.  

I knew that Sara would love the reception.  Food and dancing---her two favorite things!  

Making her entrance into the reception with the Bride's brother.  

She finally decided that Owen was ok.  

Waiting for the fun to start.  (Chapstick might be her third favorite thing.)  

I don't really have any pictures of her at the reception.  (The lighting wasn't great for pics.)  Let's just say that she danced EVERY SINGLE SONG until I took her to the hotel at 11:00PM!  She probably would have stayed for the last hour but I wanted to get her out before she got so tired that she lost all control.  She pretty much danced with everyone there.  She just went from person to person.  About 9:00, she started getting really tired.  She still danced but made everyone hold her while she did it.  She just arm surfed from one person to another.  She definitely enjoyed the reception.  
I do wish they hadn't paid for her food!  She had no time for such things.  The only thing she ate was bread---because it's portable!  

She crashed as soon as we got back to the hotel and slept until 9 this morning.  This is UNHEARD of these days.  Now, if I only I could get her to stay on her side of the bed.  Dancing is exhausting!

Thank you so much to Drew and Lauren for letting us be a part of your special day.  Thank you for loving Sara!  

Megan--You're next!  3 more months!  


  1. Oh, Natalie, I love this - you are both so lucky. Can't wait to see her in a few short (long) weeks!! And...I have been paying attention to letting her come to me in my own terms, etc. Lucy is like that, she had a spell a little bit ago when she did NOT want to be near Jared or Jason - she is much, much better now - as long as they let her be the one to decide when!! Love, Aunt Kathy

  2. Guess all the prayers going up on your and Sara's behalf were answered!! Her cheeks are so round in that picture with the bread! Love you two, Mom/Nana