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.


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


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

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