adoption related mushiness, waiting

the second time around

I have a constant sense of deja vu lately.  Like I’m in in my own adoption-themed version of groundhog day.  But I’m not repeating a day I’m repeating a year.  We accepted our two referrals almost exactly thirteen months apart.  And it’s a strange feeling going through the holidays and feeling so many of the same feelings I felt last year.  Thinking the same hopeful thoughts of “next year our family will be together.”  Waiting on the same paperwork.  I even got mixed up thinking that I had sent in a form that our agency said I hadn’t.  But sure enough when I went back and look at my files I was just remembering doing it last year.  What can I say, immigration paperwork makes a lasting impression.

When we dressed up Thane like a Dragon and took him to Nate’s work party I remembered thinking last year that we would have a baby to dress up for it and wondering what that would be like and what he would go as.  And this year I thought the same thoughts about K.

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Then Thanksgiving came and our family felt incomplete, missing someone.  We put K’s picture on our dining table and I once again found myself thankful for a baby I loved but hadn’t met yet.

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I decorated the tree and thought next year – he’ll be home.  The same Christmas song that got me through last year will get me through this year too.

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The danger of course is that in hoping for what’s coming I’ll miss what I have.  And I have so much.  I look at Thane and like I sing to him “you’re that star up in the sky, you’re that mountain peak up high, hey you made it, you’re the world’s greatest” (yeah, I like repurposing 90’s pop into lullabies.)  So while we settle into another holiday season with our heart in two places I try to remember that.  Remember to bottle up everything that’s happening and tuck it inside my heart.  I’m never going to get this time back.  I have to take in all the moments I can.

And we’ve had some of the best moments the last few days.  Sitting on the couch, the three of us.  Thane laughing his head off because I was using his hands to squeeze my cheeks into a funny face.  Listening to him say “uggamugga.”  Or asking him if he wants us to squish him and having him say back “kish me” and we hug him between us.  Or hearing him laugh in his sleep while he was sleeping on my lap.  Hearing his little “hiii mommeee” first thing in the morning.  Or waking up to see him curled up in his daddy’s arms fast asleep.  Those are some cave paintings for the soul right there.

Getting kicked in the face first thing in the morning not so much, but that’s not going to last forever either.  Thankfully.

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Uncategorized

a First Thanksgiving and being an American

One of the cutest (in my biased opinion) newest Americans celebrated his first Thanksgiving this week.  The day before the big day I was suddenly filled with doubts about our plans to go out to eat instead of cooking and decided I was going to do my best Martha Stewart, or maybe Mary Stewart (the slightly more emotionally and lesser known Stewart sister whose linens aren’t ironed, food isn’t from scratch, and who didn’t serve wine from grapes she stomped herself) after all.  So Thane and I took a trip to two grocery stores the day before Thanksgiving where I observed three fits being thrown.  Two by Thane and one by the lady ahead of us in line.  Thane did however also charm a cookie out of the bakery worker so he was pleased.  I didn’t even know many grocery stores did that anymore.  I looked down when I saw him doing his funny face at someone and realized he and the lady had been carrying on a private face-off so she asked if he could have a cookie.  I said yes but secretly I wonder if he’s going to be disappointed the next time he charms someone and isn’t rewarded by sugar.

So I cooked some dishes, bought some ready made, and we had a good if bittersweet time.  It’s been a rough week emotionally because of what’s happening in K’s birthcountry.  Because this is a public blog and I’ve chosen to not talk about his country while we’re in the adoption process I’m not going to say much.  But C__ is in my heart and thoughts constantly right now.  I’m concerned and heartbroken for the people there.   I wish I could say more.

Back to Thanksgiving .  For some reason this holiday brought up so many mixed feelings about my boys becoming Americans.  I’m so happy they are/will be a part of our family, and I’m happy/will be they are Americans.  This is a beautiful country full of opportunities and freedoms.  Regardless of the over-the-top emotional hand-wringing I saw this election season I think I’m lucky to be born here and lucky to have so many undeserved resources.  At the same time we have a history filled with less than good moments.  I remember once hearing Condoleezza Rice saying that we as a country were born with a birth defect (speaking of slavery) and I love that quote (the whole article really) but it falls short for me because it wasn’t something that just happened, it was something that our founding fathers chose.  And the racial segregation laws continued long, long after that.  Obviously as a white woman I’m not very qualified to speak to this issue but I do cringe when I see person after person on my FB feed  talk about “returning to our cultural values” and I wonder exactly how far back they want to go.  When we sold people like animals?  When we used children in factories?  When only landowners could vote?

I want to somehow to raise my kids to love their adopted country while being realistic about what it is and isn’t.  What it isn’t is a magical unicorn that has done no wrong.  It’s a flawed country founded by flawed men.  And somehow I thought that was the whole point of Christ, that He came for the flawed man, to teach him and show him how to love.  So why the religious right wants so often to instead have us believe that it was a country that was perfect and has since fallen is beyond me.  We’ve improved so much from when we were founded.  We’ve come so far.

I’m thankful to be an American.  I’m thankful for the opportunities that America will give my children.  I’m hopeful that we will as a nation continue to become not more like what we were but more like what we could be.

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{{The table runner was made in Thane’s birthcountry.  I wanted to use it to honor his roots during our American Thanksgiving.}}

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{{Self portrait complete with bangs that were crabby.  Good thing we have a baby to cute up the frame.}}

adoption related seriousness, waiting

please let him have a family

The truth is I miss my baby.  The one on the other side of the world, the one I’ve never met, the one I don’t know when I’ll meet.  There is no magic pill that makes this easy.  Putting “adoptive” in front of “mother” in my title doesn’t mean I am suddenly immune from the ache of having my child so far away.

The truth is that I think about him when I wake up and when I go to sleep.  I think about him when I’m rocking his big brother to sleep.  I ache that I’m not the one putting him to sleep at night and at naptimes.  I hurt that it isn’t my face he sees above him when he wakes up. I think about him when I walk through the store and see a baby around his age cooing or crying.  The truth is I’ve now seen more of that baby than I’ve seen of the one I think of as my own.

Loving someone you’ve never met is possible.  So possible.  You can have an ache and a fire in your gut that is unlike anything you’ve experienced before.  You can love this tiny thing more than you thought possible.  And all the chants of “worth the wait” doesn’t make the wait easy.  So you cling to faith.  Faith that this dream of him having a family will become a reality.

The truth is I’m a world apart from the one I love. And that makes it hard to breathe sometimes.  But it’s not death I fear the most for him, though that thought makes me ache.  It’s what else is out there waiting for him if neither heaven or a family become a reality.  I want him to have a family, it doesn’t have to be mine.  But dear God, please let him have a family.

Uncategorized, waiting

baby brothers

My mom is in town this week and we’re getting my life organized.  It’s amazing.  The big project is getting the office turned from a hideous mess of messiness to a darling nursery for K.  Considering the mess that was the office this is impressive.  Nate and I went through boxes that haven’t been opened since we moved in.  Clearly I need to watch some episodes of Hoarders to scare me into better habits.  But it’s cleared out now and then the fun started, filling it back up with all the cuteness that comes with a new little boy.

We took a trip to the quilt store to fill in a few fabrics to add to the ones already collected.  Which meant Thane got to see the chickens that live next door to the quilt store so he was happy.  He says an adorable “cluck cluck”.

We ended up with green, teal, and gray for the main colors and in a happy happenstance a little banner I made for Thane’s first year birthday party went perfectly.  Poor K, not even home and already getting his big brother’s leftovers.  Welcome to life as a younger child kiddo.  It’s amazing I promise.  Even with the hand me downs.

N and I took a late night trip to Ikea to grab the crib.  Going simple and modern this time.  And in reason number two hundred and three of the reasons I love my husband when I mentioned we needed to go to Home Depot today and get some wood to make an upholstered headboard for the crib he didn’t even blink.  And he cut out the design I made and I love it.

Still at least a few months away right now from baby coming to join our family.  So these little things I can do make the time go by just a little easier.  And it’s good to know he won’t be coming home to a room filled with “to be filed” piles.  Thanks Mom.