Tag Archives: Sports

A ‘Magical’ Adventure

5 Mar

Dear Little Man,

In the past few weeks, your mama has been busy. Studying for classes, gathering undergraduate research, starting a new job, trying to plan my summer trip to Europe, getting my taxes together, working on a new budget for myself (being an adult sounds fun, huh?) and trying to maintain a semblance of a social life so that I don’t go completely nuts…it’s been hectic.

But there’s good news!

While I have been in the midst of a crazy last semester of college, you have been enjoying a magical adventure with The B’s in one of my favorite places of all time…Disney World!

You’ve only been there for a few days, but you’ve got many more to go and if J’s pictures are any indication, you’re loving it! Not to mention that you’re staying at a sports-themed hotel…which means Sports Man is in heaven. It’s a win-win for everyone!

The first time I went to Disney World, the person I was most excited to see was Minnie Mouse. I was too young to remember but according to your grandparents, when I saw her I ran straight at her. She got down on her knees, opened her arms wide and gave me a big hug. I can only imagine the cuteness :) We went back when I was older and I remember a lot more about that trip. I remember that my favorites were the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain and everything Animal Kingdom. I went back to see Minnie and I remember getting to tour her house and finding it to be insanely cool.

I don’t know what you’re up to tonight or tomorrow, but I know you’re having fun because it’s impossible not to with all of the Disney magic down there. You are certainly making some wonderful memories down there and even if you don’t remember them, J and E will cherish them forever for you. I wish I could be with you, to watch you take it all in. I wish I could share in the magic with you. Maybe someday I will. Or maybe you and I will just make our own magic :)

But until then (if I ever have free time ever again), I’ll be living vicariously through you and The B’s via J’s photos, and like I said before…it seems like a magical adventure!

My beautiful family in the Magic Kingdom!

My beautiful family in the Magic Kingdom!

Disney 2

My popular guys with Chef Pluto!

Disney 3

It’s Mickey! And P.S. I am in LOVE with your fedora.

Disney 4

Little man, biiiiig helmet!

Disney 5

This is the courtyard of the hotel you’re staying at…I think Sports Man is in love

Disney 6

Pop-Pop 3 would be so proud…

Disney 7

My main men with the Toy Boys ;)

Disney 8

There’s a reason we call him “Sports Man”…

Advertisements

Brought Together at the NFL Playoffs

20 Jan

Dear Little Man,

Today, you and I are going to be doing the same thing — just not in the same place. And no, I’m not talking about running around in our underwear.

I’m talking about watching the NFL PLAYOFFS!

At 3 p.m. the San Francisco 49ers are going the beat Atlanta (who I pulled for in their last game…but not now. Sorry Georgia) but at 6:30 p.m, I have a dilemma. I was born in Baltimore, but I was raised a Patriots fan. I had this problem last year — the Ravens played the Pats in the same exact game. Last playoff game. Winner goes to the Super Bowl. What to do?!

Last year, the Ravens kicker screwed up and lost them the game. But this year, Tom Brady’s passes remind me of those “trust exercises” where you blindfold yourself and let other people lead you around. Only they’ve ditched you so you keep walking around in circles and running into things. So we’ll see about Playoff Game 2013.

Either way, I know your brother Sports Man wouldn’t let you miss a big football day like today. You probably won’t watch the game (something about having a 5-second attention span), but you’ll be there while it’s on. To me, it’s kind of like being separated from someone you love, but at night you can look at the moon and be comforted by the fact that they’re looking at the very same one.

Only in this case we’re watching football. And that’s way better :)

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 NCAA Tournament and a Happy Realization

26 Mar

Last night, I went to one of the local sports bars in my college town, and I watched UNC lose to Kansas in the 2012 NCAA tournament, 80 – 67. Your Aunt S and I got to the bar just after the second half had started and we watched anxiously until the end of the game.

I went to UNC for a little while when I first started college. I worked my entire high school career to get into it and when I got there, I just wasn’t b big fan of the place ironically enough. I still think that it is a great school and I think that anyone who makes it in deserves a round of applause (it’s competitive as I’m sure many people will tell you). I was just in the market for a smaller school which is how I ended up at the wonderful college I’m at now. But even though I switched schools, I’m still a Carolina fan at heart.

However, I realized that last night, as I watched the game that would make the Final Four, I wasn’t cheering for UNC because I was really concerned for my first alma mater. I was concerned for Sports Man.

Sports Man is a huge for of UNC. He loves them. Carolina has been his favorite college team since I’ve known him; it was actually one of the first things I realized I had in common with him. I have no doubt you’ll grow up to be a Carolina fan too – not just because it’s in the family, but because Sports Man won’t have it any other way.

Personally, I love sports. I used to play them a lot when I was younger, but I gave them up when I got braces (I got hit in the mouth one too many times and Pop-Pop 3 requested that I find a different hobby). After that, I took up ballet, and by the time the braces came off, my talent for sports had waned and I was really into dance, so I never picked them back up. I still love to watch though – NFL football is my favorite, followed by college basketball. I have no doubt that whatever sport you end up liking or playing will become my new favorite.

But I’ve also come to realize that whatever sport Sports Man likes or plays will be a favorite of mine too. Of course, his liking of sports is kind of all-encompassing so I should probably narrow that down. But the point is that I have truly come to care for him as I do for you. I love him. I actually see him as a little brother, which was not a connection I expected to make when I joined The B’s family.

I didn’t know how to see him at first – I knew he wouldn’t be like a second son or anything (although when I tell people you have an older brother who is eight, they tend to look at me like, “How young were you when you started having kids?!”) But the more I got to know Sports Man, the more I realized I cared about him as if he were my brother as well as yours. Of course, I absolutely love him for loving you, but I love him for being him, too. I find myself rather protective over him actually. Like when my heart skips a beat if I see him pegged in the head with a football. Or like when I’m desperately cheering for a basketball team only because I know he would be devastated if they lost.

I keep getting more and more out of my relationship with The B’s – more that I ever could have possibly imagined. I couldn’t be happier that open adoption was an option for me because I couldn’t have had it any other way. I need you in my life too much. But I’m even happier that it’s turned out so positively – just when I think I’ve gotten more out of our situation than I’d ever dreamed, another wonderful thing pops up. Like a little brother. And maybe instead of just gaining a little brother, Sports Man also gained an older sister.

Thank you again for bringing us together. We all love you more than words can say for that, and many other things. And don’t worry – when UNC lost last night, Sports Man wasn’t even watching the game. Apparently he was so worked up and upset mid-game about the bad calls and the bad playing that they turned the TV off before it was even over. I’m pulling for Ohio State to win this year anyways.

The Sports Man Cure

16 Mar

Everybody loves kids. They’re cute and (mostly) sweet and they’re curious about everything. They open our eyes to a world that has just become the norm to us – they help us to see the colors and wonders of it all over again. They have an aura of innocence, they love to play and their miniature size just adds to the whole cuteness package.

I never thought I was good with kids. Your Aunt S is a natural. Every kid she comes into contact with loves her, and I’ve always been jealous of her for it. She says the right things, she tells the right jokes, she knows what games to play, she can make them up on the spot…I truly think it’s a gift. Being good with kids is something I feel like must come naturally. I was not naturally endowed with that particular gene. Me around kids is a mildly awkward experience to witness. I’m the baby of my family. I never had any kids to practice on.

You are miraculously a different story. Of course, you are also as much of a “go-getter” as an almost-twenty-month-old can be, so I never have to come up with games because you always know what you want to do. I love playing with you. It can be exhausting because unlike me, you never seem to get tired. But I love, love, love it. Even doing the smallest things, even doing them over and over again, so many times that you’d figure I would get bored. I don’t – you’re so happy when you play and anything that makes you happy makes me happy. When I’m around you, I don’t even think about whether or not it seems “natural.” Being comfortable around you just…happens. That makes sense to me, though. I figure sharing 50% of my DNA with you helps.

It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but I was sonervous to meet Sports Man. Before I met him, before you were born, The B’s were over at my parent’s house for a day visit with me and they brought some videos of him (see? Videos just run in the family). There was one of him reading, one of him playing basketball, one of him getting an award for basketball, and a couple of others. He seemed like a really cool kid. He seemed like a really smart kid. Smart enough to see right through someone who had no idea how to deal with kids. I was afraid he would think I wasn’t fun.

As per usual, when we finally met, he took right to Aunt S. He still loves her to this day and the whole family has a joke about Aunt S and her crazy hugs, because Sports Man always tries to resist them which only makes her try to give them more. Her instant awesomeness with Sports Man only made me more nervous. Writing this now I realize how funny it must seem that I was so nervous about the impression I was going to make on a 6-year-old.

However, when I got to know Sports Man I remember thinking, “He’s like a miniature adult.” This could be true of all kids I suppose, but I meant it in a different way. He talked about statistics. He talked about sports. He knew how to work an iPod. He knew how to navigate the internet. He knew how to operate a Wii and a DVD player. He knew how to read and he loved school. Of course, he was still a kid – he still loved to play and he still acted like a 6-year-old, but he was the most adult 6-year-old I’d ever met.

So I just talked to him. Actually, I asked him questions. Lots of questions.  Mainly because he actually seemed to know a lot more than I did about quite a lot of things. I remember coming to The B’s house for a weekend and I spent at least 20 to 30 minutes in Sports Man’s room with him, talking about college basketball teams and looking at his books. When he comes over, I look at the new games he has on his iPod because chances are, I’ve never heard of them. We like to FaceTime each other while we’re in the same room. We show each other YouTube videos. He’s almost like the friends I see on a daily basis, only smaller and way more knowledgable about the NFL.

I haven’t been nervous around Sports Man in a long time, since the first time I met him. I don’t worry about whether or not I’m “fun” enough around him. I don’t worry about whether or not he thinks I’m cool. For lack of a better term, Sports Man and I just…hang out whenever we’re together. We chat, we goof around, we talk sports, we swap info on games or movies or books. You definitely have the coolest brother ever, cooler than anyone else’s brother. Possibly cooler than me, but I won’t make that statement definitively for the sake of my own pride. But he’s taught me quite a bit, about a lot of stuff, but mostly about myself. You cured me of my fear of babies. He cured me of my fear of kids. He’s going to teach you a lot, I know it.

If anything, you should heed his warnings about Aunt S’s hugs. They really can be mildly terrifying.

The Business of Being a Brother

15 Feb

 Your biological dad, C, has two adopted siblings. He’s the oldest – he has a younger sister and a younger brother, both of whom were adopted by his parents. When C and I dated, I got to know his siblings pretty well. They’re both great kids – actually, C is about six years older than his little brother, just like you and Sports Man.

 After I had been working with my adoption agency for a while, Bethany Christian Services, they had me go through “prospective family profiles.” Moms and dads who were looking for a little one to bring home would put together “books” that would tell birthmothers a little bit about themselves. The B’s had the coolest book by far (I still have it), but one of the many reasons I chose them was actually your big brother, Sports Man.

 When I was first considering adoption, I thought that if I went through with it, I wanted you to go to a family that had no kids. I thought that a couple without kids would appreciate you more since you’d be their “first.”

 But then one day, my dad – you call him Pop-Pop 3 – made an offhanded comment about couples who already had a child. He said, “If a couple already has a child and he or she is still alive, I’d say that’s a pretty good track record.” I found it humorous, but the more I thought about it, the more truth I found in it.

 I always wished I’d had a sibling. I thought it would be fun to grow up with someone, to have someone to share secrets with or play games with, someone who would always stick up for you and have your back, someone who would never judge you too harshly, who would always be there for you – I thought it would be like having a built-in best friend. Of course, never actually having a sibling, my idea of one is rather idealized; I know siblings get annoyed with one another and fight and call each other names. But I figured the days when you’re each other’s best friend would make the rest of it worth it.

 I picked The B’s to be your family for many other reasons that I’ll tell you about some day, but the fact that you would have a big brother was definitely one of them. It was comforting for me to know that you would always have a playmate, a “partner in crime,” someone a little closer to your age who could teach you the fun stuff about being a kid. And if anyone knows about fun kid stuff, it’s Sports Man.

 Sports Man has his name for a reason – he is a sports encyclopedia. He knows stats for every NFL or NBA team. He knows who plays what positions now, who played them in the past, how many winning seasons each team has, how tall every NBA player is, how many yards every NFL player has, the history of Super Bowl wins…I am astounded by his intellect most of the time. Maybe even a little intimidated. We met him when he was six and now at eight years old, he’s only gotten cooler. He loves to play games and learn things, and most of all, he loves to do those things with you.

 And he was so, so excited to get you as a younger brother. J and E told me all about how, before he even knew about you, he would go on and on about the things he wanted to teach his little brother or sister, or the games he would play with him or her when he finally got a younger sibling. The same August your adoption became official, Sports Man had to go back to school and he cried on his first day because he didn’t want to leave you. So on the days that you two fight or get annoyed with each other, just remember – you were a dream come true to him.

 And even more than that, Sports Man was a dream come true for me. It made me feel like I could truly give you absolutely everything by placing you with The B’s. As if J and E weren’t blessing enough, I got to give you something I never had. And Sports Man is a gift to me because he is a gift to you – you love him to pieces. You follow him around and play with his toys and you want to do the things he does. Sometimes, he is the only one who can make you smile. I’ve seen him make you laugh when you’re in the middle of crying. He loves you and you love him and one day, I hope that you’ll be the closest of friends. Grown men who come home for Thanksgiving and joke about the “younger days.”

 And not only that but I got siblings out of this deal too. I got a brother in E, and I finally got the sister I’d always wanted in J. While I may not have grown up with them, I tell my secrets to J. We go shopping together and go to lunch together and talk about the future together. She is on my speed dial and we talk frequently in between visits. I swap music with E. We have our morning routine of coffee and chit chat whenever I come to your house for a weekend. He send me cute, e-mail videos of you. I share stories and joy and laughter with both of them. I love them and they, like you, are my gift.

 I suppose this means that Pop-Pop 3 does have some wisdom in him after all ;)

The first time Sports Man met you at your adoption ceremony :)

 

%d bloggers like this: