Tag Archives: Miracle

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

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It’s Just You & Me, Kid

14 Nov

Dear Little Man,

Now quite obviously, it’s not just you and me. Even when I was pregnant and it really was just you and me, it was also you, me and my gynecologist. Then it was you, me and the ultrasound tech (who got to know me realllly well). Then it was you, me and an entire medical team on the maternity ward.

Then it was you, me and The B’s, and the rest is history!

However, a few days ago I was revamping my Letters to Little Man site. There were places where it still said I was 20 and I was boasting about how you could recite the ABC’s. I turned 21 in May and you can practically read now, so yes…updating was needed. So I changed some descriptions, added a few things here and there and lastly, I changed the pictures. You especially have a tendency to change rapidly as you grow, but luckily, J is on top of taking pictures as always, so there’s no excuse to have a photo of you that is a year old.

I went to change my photo too. Though I don’t change as much or as frequently as you do (wait, that’s a lie. I just got bangs for the first time in 3 years), I figured it couldn’t hurt to update my photo as well. So off I went, hunting through my most recent Facebook pictures for one that would be suitable for the blogosphere.

Though I wanted one of just me for the “Meet Renee” section, I also thought it would be super neat to have a few pictures of us together. I began the Facebook hunt again. Only this time, I found photo and photo after photo of you and I together. I’m generally so preoccupied with getting great shots of just you, that I truly failed to realize that there are a lot of pictures of us.

So alllll of those photos, paired with my natural inability to make decisions, has resulted in way too many pictures to post in the Meet Renee section. However, there is no such thing as too many photos for a letter to my Little Man :)

Technically one of our first pictures together. Technically.

Definitely our first picture together. You look so happy…

One of my favorite hospital shots!

A little over a week old. This was at Bethany during the interim period.

Exactly one month old! Oh, I miss your itsy bitsy days…

This was on a trip we took to an apple orchard with The B’s when you were 2 months old. Hey there, chunky legs ;)

At Sports Man’s 7th birthday party. You fell asleep in my arms. Then, you started falling OUT of my arms.

And so the hilarity of your expressions begins…

I could never resist giving you kisses. It’s a good thing too because now you’re moving too fast for me to even catch you to give you one!

You and I around your six-month birthday!

A Valentine’s Day visit at Grandma M and Pop-Pop’s house!

This was around the time you discovered you had a tongue. Apparently it was fascinating.

You were suuuper sick this day, but we still smiled together :)

Smoochin’ on you before our first Mother’s Day!

A perfect display of how happy you make me :) This photo is in your nursery!

This was the morning of our first Mother’s Day! J and I went to a “girls” luncheon to celebrate together. I’ll remember that day forever.

A month or so before your first birthday. This was probably the last time you ever sat still for a picture ;)

Little Man turns ONE! This was taken at your “little man themed” party. I got to celebrate the whole weekend with you!

This probably won’t be the last time you get exasperated with me. It also probably won’t be the last time I find it funny.

I would follow you anywhere :)

This past March, right after St. Patrick’s Day. J brought her camera on a visit and we had a little photo shoot! I think we’re applauding your cuteness ;)

You + Me + The B’s + Grandma M + Pop Pop + Aunt S = BEACH TRIP! We went to the Isle of Palms and hung out together for a few days. We even spent a day in Charleston which was funny because the last time I had been there, I was pregnant with you :)

At your second birthday party (time flies!!). Your hand was alllll the way in that cow’s mouth. All. The. Way. Giving mommy a heart attack? Yes.

The same weekend as you second birthday. You and I played in the hose for a while. We got soaked and it was lovely :)

I love every single photo we get together, but not just because you’re incredibly photogenic. I love our photos for the simple reason that we get to take them together. Adoption didn’t split us up, it didn’t cause me to miss out, it hasn’t separated us in any way except literal distance. The fact that I got to be around for all of this stuff — holding you at Sports Man’s party, spending Mother’s Day with you, giving you kisses and spending birthdays playing with you — it’s the part of adoption that I love the most. It’s part of the reason why I will love and owe The B’s forever, and it’s definitely the reason we will grow up knowing one another.

I cherish these photos. The silly, the blurry, the candid, the posed, the goofy the smiley, the serious and the fun. We’re creating a history together, you and me. And I hope that one day, you cherish them as much as I do.

The Best Part

5 Nov

Dear Little Man,

After attending my fourth event (and giving my second big speech) at Bethany get-togethers, I finally realized what my favorite part of the events were: after they were over.

First off, I just re-read that and it sounds rude. I promise I don’t mean it as it sounds! The food is always great, the people are amazingly nice, and the information you learn is special and irreplaceable. The only reason the ending is my favorite part is because that’s when people come up to me to tell me how much our story has touched them.

My dream has always been to inspire others — to touch someone’s life in a small way that makes a big difference. Ever since I had you, my new dream is to be great mom, even if I have to do it from a distance sometimes. But hopefully, as we both grow, I’ll inspire you a little bit, too.

But for now, I’ll just play with you at every chance I get and I’ll tell our story until I run out of people to tell it to. Because at the end of every informational meeting or banquet or fundraiser that I’ve spoken at, people catch me as I’m leaving and they say things like this:

 

“Thank you for sharing your story! It was very touching and special.”

“What an incredible journey. It’s so inspiring for those of us who want to adopt.”

“You sound like you have a very special son and adoptive family (*Renee nods her head vigorously*). It was lovely to hear about, it really boosted my spirits.”

And the best one…

“We had never considered open adoption until now. It sounds so beautiful. Thank you for sharing about it!”

 

We may not change the world, but even if our story only touched the lives of these four couples, that’s enough.

Actually, even if I just touch your life and inspire you, that will be enough for me :)

Funny Faces

1 Nov

 

You make some great faces. Ever since day one, you have been Mr. Personality and you’ve never been afraid to show it. But on this monumental day, I have to say a new face has taken first place in my book: this one!

I love this face because it’s funny. I love it because it has attitude. I love it because it’s so you. But I also love it because it’s my face. Literally days before J took and posted this picture, I was talking to The Boyfriend about how I make that face. When I make it, it’s generally saying, “Seriously?” or “I’m humoring you but also rolling my eyes just a little bit.” I’m guessing your face is saying, “I’m busy strutting my stuff in this pumpkin patch and I don’t have time for your shenanigans.”

Someday, I’m sure you’ll make this face to me. Maybe I’ll make it right back at you, but it’s more likely that I’ll think back to this moment and laugh. Partially because it’s just funny to see this much attitude coming from a two-year-old, but also because it is one of the first times I’ve truly seen my face in yours.

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.

Adoption and Christmas Morning

24 Apr

I’m pretty sure this is the first picture The B’s ever saw of you. I took it with my phone the day after you were born and sent it to E’s phone. J said your chin was one of the first things she noticed too.

I really wish I could have been there to see them get that photo. It’s kind of like Christmas – you like getting presents, but you’re almost more excited to see the reactions of the people you bought presents for. I would have loved to have seen their first glimpse at you. But I got to be there the first time they saw you in person, and it was very cool. I got most of that day on film.

My excitement over sending them this picture reminds me of the beautiful side of adoption. Of course, the beautiful side is the side I have always seen, but there were times when the thought of adoption would make me cry, just at the thought of losing you. But I never did lose you. I never will, thanks to The B’s.

The side of adoption this picture reminds me of is the giving side. Babies and children that go up for adoption are these beautiful, angelic answered prayers. They aren’t” just babies” or “just kids.” They are miracles. 

I spoke at an adoption convention for Bethany Christian Services a little less than a year after you were born. I was the only birth mother on a panel of adoptive parents and we were all asked to share our stories. Every single adoptive mother, father and family cried telling their stories. They cried because they were so grateful. They were so happy and felt so blessed to have their adopted children in their lives. These children were dreams come true for them and their happiness was so uncontainable, it couldn’t possibly fit into words. No matter what these parents had to do – no matter how long they had to wait or how much pain or sadness they had to endure, they stuck it out. Because to them, miracles such as yourself are worth more than all the pain in the world.

I know that you are an answered prayer for so many people in so many different ways. You are a gift. You came into this world destined to bring love not just to me, but to so many others. And to me, that is the beauty of adoption, especially an open one like ours. Love is spread. Dreams are realized. Prayers are answered. All because of one, tiny person that one brave woman was willing to share. I’m so glad I did, too. You were – and are – much too special to have kept all to myself.

If it were possible to thank the actual concept of adoption, I would thank it for allowing love to be spread like that. But most of my thanks is to you, for bringing joy to the lives of many, for being a ray of hope and happiness to all of your families.

You’ll have to ask your parents about that picture one day, and their thoughts and reactions when they first saw it. I’m sure it really was just like Christmas morning :)

Happy Easter Little Man

8 Apr

You and Sports Man on your first Easter in 2011!

 

Happy Easter, baby boy! I hope you are having a wonderful time celebrating this miraculous and joyous day with all of the people who love you so dearly. I know I love you more than I will ever be able to convey with words, and I wish I could be there today to see you in all of your springtime glory. I wish a happy Easter for the rest The B’s as well – they are certainly one of the best gifts God has ever given me. Save an Easter egg for me, Little Man :)

 

You this Easter :) Thank you J

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