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1 Blank Canvas, 2 Precious Granddads, and a Seat for 3

The adoption process differs from pregnancy for some obvious reasons. But one thing that is perfectly parallel is the maternal instinct to nest. And for the past two months, this mama bird has been nesting up a storm! I’ve been cleaning and cooking and plugging all the outlets. Reorganizing cabinets with the fun stuff (Tupperware, oh boy!) at the bottom, washing the pre-loved clothes, and knocking the dust off of our – eh hem – 35-year-old Fisher Price toys.

Our house is officially toddler ready… until she hits the ground running and proves me otherwise, of course.

The true joy though has been transforming our guest bedroom into our first nursery, and a happy place she can call her own. I so hope she loves it, and all the sweet things that fill it. Between the hand-me-downs, the hand-made goods, and the hand-crafted wall units, this little space is filled to the crown molding with big love.

We don’t know her favorite color yet, so I picked ours: blue. Blue is the color of my Gramma’s eyes (the little lotus’ namesake!) and of the ocean we will cross to become a family of three. First I scored a vintage world map and stumbled upon a steal of a rug – both saturated in shades of blue. Then, as with the rest of our house, I flea-market frenzied my way into finding all kinds of fun goodies to pull the space together at the 11th hour.

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While I stitched and sewed and patched together a menagerie of knickknacks, two other birds were also nesting just a couple hours south. My dad (“Granddaddy”) and Kevin’s step dad (“Papa Mark”) were very precisely engineering their contribution to her nest – custom built-in wall units for the nursery complete with loads of drawers and shelves to house her toys, duds, and books (thanks to the beloved Ordway gang who showered us with copies of their kiddos’ favorite reads!). There’s even a toy box/window seat sized just right for three!

It would be a gross understatement just to say these units are beautiful. They are, of course, absolutely beautiful! But they are so much more than that – they are perfection. They are the product of two talented, skilled, patient, giving, and loving Granddads learning and polishing a craft over the course of several long months. Countless hours were spent measuring, re-measuring, cutting, sanding, and assembling these beasts. Numerous trips to Nashville were made to draft, deliver, and affix the units to her room for good. Though Kevin and I have a pretty good handle on how much effort went into them, I’m sure we will never know exactly (view for yourself in the "Making Of" photos here). I am also sure they will never know exactly what this project means to us. Hint: it means what’s pictured in the map above her crib.

As I was diligently painting all the pieces prior to installation (talk about pressure for my painting skills to equal the carpentry skills!), I discovered some handwritten notes and measurements etched in pencil directly onto the wood inside the drawers. I decided to preserve and varnish these right into the finish for the lotus to one day find and appreciate for herself too.

In the days following the Granddads' final trek to Nashville to put the finishing touches on the units, I would eat breakfast (ok, ok... most lunches too!) in the nursery just to marvel at their handiwork. I would envision her reading books by the window and pulling every last toy out of the chest at once. I would also remember the sweet days I spent during installation with the Granddads working all morning, breaking for lunch together, and getting back after it until sundown. Such precious memories that further deepened my love, appreciation, and understanding of our parents – yet another blessing that has stemmed out of our own journey to parenthood.

So now as Kevin previously said, her room is 99% complete. We leave to pick up the missing piece (the pièce de résistance, that is!) in 11 SHORT DAYS!!!!!!!!!!

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"I am a lotus flower – delicate, fragile, yet strong... floating, unfolding, and blossoming into the life where I belong.”