The other day I met a woman at work. Later, I overheard her ordering cupcakes and sandwiches while chatting on her cell phone and I asked her if she was planning a party. She went on to tell me she was having a birthday party for her twins who were about to turn three. For whatever reason, during our conversation she mentioned that her children are adopted. I swear, sometimes you have to just think that God intervenes and puts you into certain circumstances because really there is no other way to explain how that conversation came to be and the turn of events that followed. She shared this with me not even knowing I had a daughter, let alone that Coco is adopted. It was such a defining moment because through conversation I shared with her that my daughter was also adopted and as you adoptive parents know, there was an immediate bond.
But then amazing things kept on happening. This conversation led to her inviting me to their party. How nice was that! I don’t at all feel she had to because I knew about it; it felt really genuine and natural. This was confirmed when she then shared that it was also simultaneously a large adoptive families meet up! They say you shouldn’t eavesdrop and why I let on that I had is beyond me, but how fortuitous was the result! Coco, the yaya and I ended up going to the party/meet up which was held at a farm about an hour outside of Manila. And would you believe that it was lush and green and full of kids activities and they sell organic produce to boot?! Seriously! I mean, wow. Amazing on so many levels!
I dressed Coco in the farmiest clothes I could find, packed a cooler full of snacks and the three of us headed on the (dreaded) SLEX down to Laguna where the farm is located.
Driving here is a nightmare all the time. People are constantly cutting you off, drifting into your lane, not signaling, and pedestrians run right in front of your car regularly; it’s always so stressful and not for the timid or faint of heart. There is no way you can be in your car for more than five minutes without cussing. Seriously. I dare you. It’s impossible. Add to that, it is incredibly frustrating when you are driving longer distances that things aren’t clearly marked. I don’t expect streets outside of Manila to have signs but I would expect the highways to be clearly marked. Like where the entrances are, which direction you are traveling, what exit you are on. Nah. I got on what I thought was the SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) and I wasn’t sure if I was going North or South! After traveling about 20 miles I figured I better get off and ask. I pulled off at the next exit and asked the woman in the toll booth, “Is this (pointing to the highway) the SLEX?” You know what she said?! “I don’t know.” I don’t know?? Great. Luckily I found a police officer who could confirm that it was indeed the SLEX and I had in fact been going in the right direction. Getting back on proved difficult though because not only was the entrance not marked with a sign but when I did a u-turn and found my way back on I also noticed that it wasn’t marked South. I don’t know, these seem like basic things but maybe not here in the Philippines. Always an adventure, I tell you, always an adventure. As you can imagine, by the time we arrived I was even ten times more appreciative to see this as I pulled up.