adoption related mushiness, family age

six months together

This week we celebrated six months together.  That seems unreal.  It’s been an amazing six months. It’s been perfect and beautiful and messy and amazing.  I love this kid.  He’s clever and brilliant and courageous and trusting.  He’s also really cute and has a smile that makes even gruff old guys and too hip-for-life teens smile back when he works his dimpled magic on them at the grocery store.

Six months ago I was so nervous. Just waiting to meet him, hold him, and to begin the journey of getting to know him.  In those early days people would sometimes ask “how is he fitting into your family” and it always struck me as funny because for me it wasn’t about him fitting in, it was about us growing to welcome this new member of our family that would transform it in so many ways and make it infinitely more beautiful.  And as the months pass and I get to know this child, our little Thane, I find myself filled with gratitude that he changed us.  He changed our family and life will never be the same.  And that’s a beautiful thing.

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tents, movies, and his first father’s day

I remember camping with fondness when I was little. So carefree, so easy, so fun. And holy cow, my mother must have done a crapload of work because the amount of stuff I drug with for one child was insane. How she did this with seven kids I don’t know. But it was worth it all because oh my word we had so much fun.

For his first Father’s Day my husband requested a camping trip to beautiful Whidbey Island (one of our favorite places) with a side visit to the drive-in theater there. He didn’t have to ask me twice. We haven’t been to a movie since the baby came home. We used to go about two times a month and since we’ve been married almost nine years it’s quite the habit. In fact, when our social worker asked what the most challenging part of parenting had been that’s what I answered – not getting to go to movies. We’re deep like that. Not that we resent it or anything, we knew it would be that way. But we have missed it. (We’ve chosen to not leave him for awhile in order to facilitate bonding/attachment. We did actually leave him in CO with my mom last month but I digress.)

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{{It was beautiful and misty and from this outlook you can see the ocean, the mountains, and it is divine.}}

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{{An astute tracker will notice the crawl marks leading to the fallen log.}}

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{{He absolutely loved explorer everything. From the minute we put him down on the ground he was off feeling everything, tasting lots of stuff, and in short having the time of his life. And yes, that is a raindrop on his head. But we’re from Seattle. We’re tough like that.}}

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{{His expression says: “But why I can’t I crawl down the cliff that leads to the bluff that falls into the ocean? Huh? Whyyyyyy????}}

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{{N is an amazing father. Amazing. The love and energy he pours into this kid astounds me. I love him for that. And for so many other reasons.}}

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{{The lighting was so strange at the drive in, I love how it makes this picture look like it is from the 70’s or something.}}

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{{I thought nothing was cuter than a baby in pjs but a baby in pjs in a tent is just that much cuter. In the bottom left picture he’s helping Daddy turn the pages on his reading thingie.}}

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{{The end. Heh.}}

adoption related seriousness

random thoughts

Adoption/fostering is such a contradiction in emotions at times I think.  Because whenever I get excited for one of my friends that has a placement or a referral my heart is also breaking a little thinking of what the kids had to go through to bring them to the point where they needed the placement/referral.

Even with Thane I feel that. My love for him is so strong that to think of being separated from him makes me feel my heart is crumbling, but at the same time if I could go back and change his life so he never needed a second family I would do it in an instant.

But I don’t have that power, so I can only hold up my feeble efforts at extending grace to a broken world and hope that God will make all things right in the end.

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{{Taken through our front window, April 2012.}}

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Dear Time,

What’s your hurry? Are you late for something, the end of the world maybe? Couldn’t we slow down a little and make the time he’s little last a bit longer?

Because this baby is growing up so, so fast. I blink and he can do something new. Is trying out a new word. Is understanding more. And I sometimes feel like I’m in the middle of the ocean trying to stay unmoving. And the more I try, the faster I’m swept along.

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Couldn’t you be kinder time? Couldn’t we hold still for just awhile?

And then I think how kind you really are. Time is passing, Baby is getting older. Is getting older. As in growing up. As in not dead. And I think of all the babies and the mommies and the daddies who never got that chance. And I realize these feelings of moving so fast aren’t something to resent, they’re something to embrace. I need to lay back and relax into the waves. Letting them take me up and down, up and down. No fighting. Just breathing. Just being. Because just being is a gift not everyone was given.

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And these waves aren’t just taking me away from where I was, they’re taking me someplace new. Someday these baby days will be gone, but I’ll have others. And they will have a beauty and wonder and heartbreak I can only imagine.

So I take it all back Time, you are  kind. And I thank you for the moments I have, and the moments that are still to come. I promise to treasure every one.

-Thane’s Mommy

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{{This face will never get boring to me. Which is good because he makes it about 104 times per day.}}

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this one is for you Auntie A.M.M. (because you asked)

My sister lives on the other side of the world. In China.

And in one of those “seriously universe”? moments she left the country exactly one week before Thane came home.  A few weeks earlier we thought we’d been given a crazy gift and their paths were going to cross. But the wheels of the US government move slowly and we didn’t receive the paperwork when we hoped.  So, they’ve never met. I’m not sure when they will as she and her family won’t be coming back to the States for awhile.

So Skype has become our friend. We even set up a laptop the day of his 1st birthday cake so she and her hubby and kiddos could watch.  We’ve often joked that he’s going to grow up thinking they exist only on computer screens, like some TV show where you feel so close to the characters even though you’ve never met.

In my parents home they have a wall with all their children’s pictures on it. We each have an 8×10 place of honor.  And with 7 kids here and 1 in heaven it’s quite the lineup. But what made me laugh so hard was the first time Thane noticed the pictures he seemed to zero in on Auntie A’s with her family, his face broke into a grin and he waved like he waves at the computer screen. Because really, to a baby what’s the difference between a picture and a computer?

So because Auntie A has been asking, here’s a new picture. Just for you. And for Thane’s other 400 Aunts and Uncles.

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