It's been nine months since I was in Albania. As I finally sat and edited my pictures tonight, I also read through my journal and experienced the whole thing over again. I remember the exact way I felt when meeting my cousins for the first time. It makes me sad, but it makes me happy at the same time. I'm so grateful for the many blessings that week and being with Alexandria and Stephanos. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to meet the family that my Baba always told me about. I'm so grateful for the experience. I'm so grateful I wrote it down.
November 26, 2013; 2:00am
"I was sitting at their kitchen table, dining with them, and casually chatting as if I saw them everyday. I was thinking back to a couple nights ago when I met them for the first time. We met at Hotel Tirana. I will never forget the way it happened and the way it felt; the way they looked, the four of them sitting in the corner and I could see their jittery excitement through the window as they recognized me from the pictures. When I walked in to greet them, they jumped and ran at me with open arms and kisses. It was like they had known me and loved me forever. As we talked, I could see Lluka's heart through his eyes as the tears welled up at the corners. The kids were shy and giggled, and gave me the most generous, loving hug. I can't take it. I don't want to leave them. I just want to be with them forever."