Some of the biggest milestones in my life have taken place in very odd places. For example, I proposed to Janelle in a hotel parking lot just outside Denver, CO. I had a different spot picked out. It was a nice park in the evening, but after a sprinkler system scared us off, I had to improvise.
All last week I dreamed up what it would be like to walk Malachi through the doors of our house to introduce him to the other three kids. We would walk him in his car seat into the middle of the family room. Janelle would pull him out as their awestruck eyes would lock in on his tiny frame. Introductions would be made as we all huddled in and Janelle's dad or some other bystander would snap photos.
It didn't quite work out that way. Because we were given permission to leave the state Malachi was born in but not allowed to enter Indiana, we decided to rent a car and make the drive to the Ohio/Indiana border. Once near the border, our options were limited, so we decided a McDonald's (free wifi) would be the best spot for Janelle and Malachi to camp out and wait while I drove into Fort Wayne to meet up with the kids and pick up our van from my in-laws. To add to the drama, the snow started heavily kicking in just as I left for Indiana.
The excitement of my kids on the drive into Ohio included them changing the
lyrics to the songs we were listening ("I gotta feeling, that we are
going to to meet Malachi" to the tunes of the Black Eyed Peas). It took me about 3x longer than planned to do the trip. In my white-knuckled driving (nearly went off the road twice with the kids in the back seat) I completely forgot to give Janelle the heads up to let her know we had arrived.
The reunion was not the picturesque scene I had in my head, but it was no less perfect.