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The No-pocalypse

21 Dec

Dear Little Man,

As I’m sure you’ll hear many years from now, the world was set to end (for the hundredth time) on December 21, 2012. That’s today. I haven’t perished yet, as far as I can tell.

J and I planned out Christmas get-together last week and without really thinking, we said, “Hey, Friday works for me!” not remembering that “Friday” happened to be the end-all-be-all of world happenings.

 

Here is why I don’t accept the December 21st apocalypse theory (a.k.a The No-pocalypse):

– I haven’t graduated college yet. I’m set to graduate in May. I want recognition for all of the gray hairs I’ve earned in the past four years. The world cannot end until I graduate.

– I already bought Christmas presents with what little money I have. I did not buy presents with the anticipation that they would incinerate before they could reach their recipients.

– You can’t rent a car until you’re 25. For some reason, I’ve always wanted to achieve that milestone.

– I want you to be old enough to understand your circumstances: all about your adoption, how it came about, everything since then and everything in between :)

– I want you to be old enough to hug me because you wanted to, and not because I chased you down.

– I want to be a grandma someday. Not for 25+ years mind you, but still.

– I STILL haven’t found out who Ted’s wife is.

– I want to know how mortgages work before I die.

– Actually, maybe I don’t.

– I have never been to see the circus. Neither have you. Go together?

– I’ve always wanted to plan one of those super cute, kid birthday parties that you see on super-mom blogs and Pinterest. You know, the ones with the incredible handmade decorations, adorable cupcake toppers, cute gift bags, etc. In other words, I want to plan a party like J can.

– I’ve never read The Lord of the Rings series. The Boyfriend has informed me that this is unacceptable and possible grounds for a break-up. But I went to see The Hobbit with him earlier this week, so I think we’re still solid.

– I want to see what you’ll look like in a year. And in five years. And ten years. And twenty.

– I want to watch you graduate!

– I want to see if Sports Man grows up to work for ESPN someday. I’m putting money on that.

– J’s craft shop Out On A Limb is just getting started, and is WAY to cute to go up in flames today.

– Because Grandma M, Pop-Pop and I still haven’t decorated our Christmas tree yet.

– The Boyfriend is in a far away land called Cleveland, or The Part of Ohio Where the Browns Are. I’d at least like to give him a good-bye kiss.

– I want you to fall asleep on me like you did when you were a baby, just one more time. It’s the sweetest thing ever.

– I want to provide you with a half-sibling (or two) someday :)

– Because watching you grow is way too much fun to stop now.

 

But here’s the really good news about today. Whether it’s the end of the world or not, I get to spend it with you :)

And no matter what day it is — universally significant or not — there’s no place I’d rather be than with you and the rest of my lovely (extended) family!

Happy No-pocalypse Day!

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Dirt for Dinner?

26 Nov

Dear Little Man,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday! This past Thursday was Thanksgiving, and on that lovely holiday I reminisced on how thankful I was for you. Your existence was and always will be my own little miracle. Though I’m thankful for you every day I was reallllly thankful this past Friday because I got to see you!

You and The B’s came down to The Boyfriend’s farm in North Carolina and our families spent the day together. There was a tractor so you were all set for most of the visit, but I was able to tear you away to play catch with one of the dogs when you first got there. You actually spent most of the day with Pop Pop, and if you weren’t with him, you were asking for him. He was definitely the favorite on this trip. You wanted him around for everything. It was actually pretty adorable.

However, during the few minutes I was able to get you off the tractor, The Boyfriend and I took you to play in some dirt flats out by their driveway. You had a ball — you were picking up the dirt and watching it sift through your fingers, totally fascinated by how it felt, your little face screwed up in concentration as you tried to figure out why you couldn’t keep a hold of it. It was one of those “little kid moments” that adults witness and it makes them pause for a minute. And as we watch how filled with wonder our children are at the small things in life, we smile and realize how the small things really are what matter the most sometimes and how the world is filled with magic in places that we’ve forgotten to look as we’ve aged. I was having one of those moments as I wanted you dig your little hands into the dirt.

And then you ate it.

The magic was pretty much gone after that, but it was replaced by laughter and a familiar fondness that I’ve always had for your adorable quirks. You seemed pretty surprised that the dirt tasted bad…or maybe it tasted great and it was just the texture that threw you off. Either way, you made one of your ever entertaining funny faces and The Boyfriend helped you get the dirt out of your mouth.

I fed you some ham later. You had a better reaction to eating that.

But I just wanted to remind you that I am always, always, always thankful for you and your existence. You are the smile on my face and the warmth in my heart and I am thankful every day that I get to write letters to someone I love as much as you.

xoxoxo

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About

3 Nov

Tonight, I’m speaking at another Bethany fundraiser in Asheville, NC. And before you ask, no, I will not be starting this talk with an underwear joke.

In a way, I’m almost more excited for this talk than I was for the last one. Someday, you will learn that once you give a speech, no matter how well you plan it out, inevitably you will forget to say something. Around midnight or so that night, you will sit bolt upright in bed and think, “Oh shoot, I forgot to mention [insert important factoid here].”

I did that after my talk in Charlotte — it didn’t even take me until midnight. But luckily for me, I now have the opportunity to add the things I forgot to mention. I won’t give you any spoilers, but I’m happy I have the chance to add my “important factoids.”

Also — since my last speech was given in front of a surprisingly large audience — I’m pretty sure all of my stage-fright nerves are already fried. That sounds like a bad thing, but the silver lining is that tonight I won’t have to worry about having excessively sweaty hands and a heart rate of 100 beats per minute. Knock on wood.

Sadly, you and The B’s can’t make it to this talk either (Sports Man’s baseball team is in the playoffs this afternoon…probably because Sports Man hits so many home runs :) ), but I know they’ll be there in spirit as always. I love talking about them almost as much as I like talking about you. They are beautiful, remarkable people who (along with my parents and friends) are responsible for making my life as lovely as it is. I love, love, love spreading our story to everyone that I can. But also, I just like to brag about having you all in my life :)

So wish me luck (again) and keep your tiny fingers crossed that I stay far, far away from any undergarment-related material.

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.

Head Injuries and Good Texts

29 Aug

Do you remember that letter I wrote you about how fearless you are? I still admire your moxy, definitely. I love how tough you are. I like to think you get it from me, but I scream bloody murder every time I see a spider within five feet of me, so that might be giving myself a little too much credit.

But it seems as though your bravery gets you into situations like these:

One fall, three staples and two scared mommies later, and you’re acting like nothing happened. My brave little man, playing and napping and acting just like he didn’t fall onto the corner of the coffee table and cut his head open. Aww. J and I couldn’t be prouder of how tough you are. We also couldn’t be more terrified how many things you dive head first into (pun mostly intended). Okay, well maybe not terrified. But let’s just say when E’s mom  said, “He’s just like his dad,” I opted not to hear the stories of all the crazy things he did when he was little. I’d like to keep my blood pressure at a healthy level while I’m young.

I’m glad you’re okay. So, so, so, so, so, so, soooo glad. Beyond glad. Nothing bad is allowed to happen to you, ever. I just think you should be aware of that little caveat of your existence now.

On the plus side, I have also learned that J is highly adept at sending very comforting, reassuring “something bad happened but it’s all going to be alright so don’t freak out” texts. I mean, seriously. That’s an acquired skill right there.

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