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More Than Life...


One week ago today was Mother's Day...and since then our lives have shifted...it's been one of the worst weeks of our lives and one of the very best...

We thought this would be my first Mother's Day with a human (not just fur) child, but that was not meant to be. Ten years ago on Mother's Day, I lost my best friend, my first fur child, Foxy. It broke my heart and shattered my world. I truly loved him to the moon and back, and to be honest, I still do. A few weeks later we brought home our Stormy boy. A week ago today, on Mother's Day once again, we took Stormy to the vet ER and lost our sweet boy on Monday morning after he fought like hell for nine months. I've waited to post this because I had no words. There have yet to be words created that are strong enough to describe the unconditional love I feel for him or for the unbearable pain I've felt since losing him. Heartbroken, shattered, destroyed, obliterated, decimated, devastated...none of them even come close to this emptiness I feel or this pain I've felt. I truly believe he was my soulmate...my soul dog.

I do want to thank those of you who have helped me through this week. You all know who you are...my family, close friends, adoption friends that I'm so fortunate to have found, our holistic vet who treated Stormy and us so well, and even Kelsey from Faith International. You all helped more than you'll ever know. When the storms rolled through over the last few days, my heart broke all over again...Stormy hated the thunder and would go nuts barking that wonderful sheltie bark at it for hours. I messaged a friend that I've been lucky enough to find along this adoption journey. She told me she honestly believed it was Stormy barking from the sky, letting us know he's okay. That made me smile...I certainly hope so. There's so much more I want to say on this, but I simply cannot find the words...and the tears streaming down my face are making it difficult to see what I'm typing. So I'll leave it with this...every night before bed or when I'd leave the house I would tell Stormy I loved him more than life, and those were the last words I said to him. And I mean it more than I have ever meant anything in my entire life. I love you Foxy and I love you Stormy boy...more than life...I'll see you both again on the other side of the stars.

This week has been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. It went from the worst week of my life and one of the worst for Vince, to the very best. I'll admit that it has been so hard to handle and figure out all these emotions. We officially received our referral for a beautiful perfect baby girl who is almost three weeks old. Opening that email and seeing those pictures of our daughter took our breath away. She instantly felt like our daughter...the one we have been waiting for. It was like my heart and soul said, "Oh, there you are...we've been waiting for you." We are over the moon and so thankful for this little cherry blossom and her beautiful, selfless birth mom.

Her birth mom gave her the name Ayame (Ah yom eh), which translates to Iris, the flower, and means strong brave woman. How perfect is that? So we decided to name her Everly Sky Ayame Banion. Stormy's full name was Stormy Lakota Sky, so we gave her his name. Since they never got the chance to meet, we wanted them to be connected in some way, and we wanted to honor her birth mom by keeping her given name in there as well. We love it and hope she does as well as she grows and learns the meaning behind her name.

A few people have told us that they believe the universe, God, Stormy...whatever you believe...sent her to us. I sure hope so. Of course I would rather Stormy be here with us to welcome her home, but if he had to go, I am happy we spent the last few weeks here with him loving him and giving him every ounce of our attention. What's meant to be will be...

We are waiting to hear back from Kelsey, but we are hoping to get our US Embassy interview set up for next Tuesday morning. If we do, then we will be leaving this next Friday night or early Saturday morning. And we should be returning home the following Friday with our little girl, Everly, in tow. :) We will keep you all updated. It's crazy to know we are parents. We can't wait to meet her!

I will now carry on my tradition with Everly. I will make sure she always knows that we love her more than life.

Like always we will leave you with some final thoughts and of course pictures. As Celine Dion (my favorite artist ever) says..."Love can touch us one time and last for a lifetime, and never let go till we're gone..." Stormy and Foxy are safe in my heart and "my heart will go on and on..." (Yes, I know how cheesy that was, but after the emotional week I've had, I'm allowed to be cheesy.) Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers...we have felt them wrapped around us through this difficult journey and especially this last week.

This was my Foxy...

And of course a few of my favorite older pics of our Stormy boy...

And now our beautiful girl...introducing Everly Sky Ayame Banion...

***Edited to remove photos of her face***


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© 2016 by Vince and Ashley

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South Charleston, OH, United States

Email: newbabybanion@gmail.com

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