After Maddie was born, I desperately searched the internet for people who were in our situation, people that would be able to give Mike and me a glimmer of hope. I entered in all the search words, never expecting that I would stumble across the perfect blog by accident.

Maya’s twins were born two days after Maddie, ten weeks premature. We started commenting on each other’s blogs, then emailing, talking on the phone, you get the idea. When Maddie was hospitalized when she was four months old, Maya sent an amazing care package. We had so much in common besides our daughters, too: we’re the same age, have the same interests, and she was from my home away from home.

Maya and her husband came out to visit Mike, Madeline, and me in Los Angeles at the beginning of 2009. We made plans for the three of us to visit Maya’s family later in the year. We wanted the girls to meet, our three miracles. Unfortunately, that never happened. I am so thankful that Maya and her husband got to meet Maddie.

A few months ago Maya told me that she and her husband had decided to move to Israel. I knew I had to go out to see her before they left. I found an amazingly cheap flight (you know, a red eye next to a drunk a-hole), and I packed Annabel up for a quick whirlwind trip.

Meeting her daughters has been amazing for me. Wonderful, but so hard. It is the closest glimpse at what Maddie would be like. Her girls talk in full sentences, have distinct personalities, and love their mommy and daddy so much. Looking at them, I now feel like I can close my eyes and imagine what Madeline would be like.

I wish we’d had more time together on this trip, but I have wonderful pictures. This one is my favorite:

annabel and maya

I’m so sad they are leaving the US, the time zones will require some creativity with communication. I know we’re up to the challenge. Distance makes no difference with true friends.