Archive | October, 2012

The Pumpkin, the Giraffe and the Mini-Mario

31 Oct

Since you’re only two years (and three months) old, your Halloween experience is somewhat limited. You’ll learn to love it of course, but for now, we just get to love dressing you up and marveling at how adorable you look in cute costumes. Here are all of the Halloween’s you’ve had so far!

Your first ever Halloween costume. You were literally my little “pumpkin!”

Your first Halloween again (in case the bib wasn’t evidence enough). I love the whole outfit, from the hat to the onesie! And the adorable chubby cheeks, of course…

For your second Halloween, you were a Giraffe. The costume is adorable but your “What? No I didn’t just shove candy in my mouth!” face is the best part of this Halloween photo :)

This year for Halloween you’re going to be Mario! I’ve only seen you in the hat (courtesy of this photo by J’s best friend H), but I can’t wait to see the rest of it!

Trust me…once there’s a photo of you in full Mario costume, it will be posted. Happy Halloween Little Man! And happy Halloween to all of our wonderful followers! :)

The Audience in Their Underwear

21 Oct

“I feel like I should make one of those ‘imagine-the-audience-in-their-underwear’ jokes, but I feel like that might be mildly inappropriate.”

That is what I opened with at my banquet speech Friday night. That was the first thing I said. Yep. My opening line was about underwear.

When I think about it, I have an image of the real me on stage actually saying it, but I also see an imaginary, invisible me trying to catch the words as they come out of my mouth and shove them back in, silently whispering, “Oh my God! Shut up!”

I’ll defend myself by saying that this banquet hall was packed. One-hundred-and-fifty people, easily, all affiliated with Bethany Christian Services (the adoption agency I worked with), all staring eagerly up at me. I honestly don’t mind speaking in front of people, especially when I’m speaking about a topic that I’m passionate about (like you!), but that doesn’t stop me from getting nervous (and making bad underwear jokes). Likewise, being nervous doesn’t stop me from talking about the things I believe are important — and raising awareness about open adoption is certainly one of those things.

I love telling our story. I love telling the part where it was just you and me and those seven months we spent growing together. I love telling the part where The B’s and I met and how we came together as a family. I even like telling the parts that were difficult for me: having to sign the adoption papers, trudging through those ten days, and missing you all the time.

But my favorite part of telling our story is seeing the looks on the faces of others as I tell them about the relationship I’ve had with The B’s since the adoption became official. They all look a little…stunned. Wide eyes that look a little incredulous, even a few dropped jaws here and there. But they’re stunned in a happy kind of way: Like they didn’t know that adoption stories could turn out that wonderfully, or like they’re thrilled to hear that happy endings aren’t just for the movies.

I love seeing that look because I know that there is one more person out there who knows that adoption has changed people’s lives for the better. When I hear about adoption in my classes at school (if I hear about it at all, which is rare), the only things I hear are negative: negative impacts on the child as they grow up, negative impacts on the birth mother after her child is gone, abuse, neglect…the list goes on. And the sad part is that they’re not entirely wrong. In some cases, things end up that way: bad families, damaged children, etc. But that’s why I feel it is so important to share our story. Because if awareness is raised and optimism is spread, maybe the stigma can be lifted and people can learn about how openness can really change everything.

I know I always say that you are my inspiration, but I really mean it. The reason I love to do these talks and give these speeches and attend these banquets and info meetings and fundraisers is because I have you. You are a miracle, but not just my miracle. You’re a miracle for The B’s and their friends and family, too. Your existence has brought so many people together which, in turn, has spread so much love and happiness…how can anybody not want to share that? Personally, I like to sing your praises from the rooftops (or through social media, the new age “rooftop”) and judging by the great feedback I got on Friday after the rest of my speech, maybe your story will become someone else’s miracle too.

But hopefully, when that person retells the story I told them — about you and me and the wonderful family I found in The B’s and through open adoption — they’ll leave out the part about the underwear.

Banquets and Fundraisers

19 Oct

Today, I am headed to Charlotte, NC to speak at a fundraiser for Bethany Christian Services.

I won’t lie, I’m a little nervous. I remember when I was in seventh grade, I made it to the final stages of the middle school science fair. This meant that I had to speak in front of the entire school about my science project (it was about evaporation and whether heat sped up the evaporation of water in sponges or not). I was incredibly nervous. The only thing that calmed me was Grandma M: she told me that to keep calm, I just needed to keep my feet planted on the floor. That sounds silly and simple, but it was a life saver. Every time I got nervous, I just stood as firmly as I could on my two feet and I felt the ground beneath me — I was steady…as nervous as I was, I felt steady.

I won the science fair that year. I beat out all of the 8th graders and everything. My evaporation project took the gold — not just in the seventh grade, but the whole school! I was so excited. Well…I was in shock for a couple of days, but after that the excitement kicked in.

Tomorrow, I’m speaking in front of a lot more people than the people that were in the 6th-8th grade science fair convention. I know what I’m going to say and I’m pretty sure I know how I’m going to say it, but that doesn’t stop me from getting “the shakes.”

I’m speaking about my adoption process with you. I won’t give away any spoilers, but my speech starts with something that happened in school recently, and ends with what a blessing you (and The B’s) have been to my life. I feel like the ending is no surprise, but I’ll still keep it under wraps. Just know that every time I have a bad day, I think of you and my mood improves. You are my angel, my baby, my savior.

So tonight, when I’m speaking in front of (possibly) hundreds of people, instead of thinking about how firmly planted my feet are, I will think of you and your beautiful smile and the way you say my name. I adore you. Ever single inch of you. You are perfect to me, and I will love you no matter what. For as long as I shall live.

And tonight, when I get the jitters, I will be thinking of you, just like I do every day.

I love you Little Man. Forever and always.

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