Monthly Archives: June 2009

Joy

Today is our anniversary – Mark’s and mine.

Aubry and Greyson were eating breakfast this morning when I made my third or fourth trek downstairs this morning in an attempt to get an early jump on the day’s “things to do list”. Holden and Josi were still slumbering upstairs.

“Good morning, sweeties! How’d you sleep?” I asked as I hugged them. They answered that they had slept well and began to tell me about their dreams. Nothing remarkable this morning. We share our dreams every morning, because it’s fun to talk about them. Dreams fascinate my kids, especially when they have experienced similar one to on another.

“Did you know? Today is Daddy’s and my anniversary. We’ve been married eighteen years!”

IMG_0082Aubry replied, “That’s not so long.”

Out of the mouth of my babe – half the age of our marriage.

Greyson asked, “Do you still like him?”

“I do and I love him even more!”

“Holden was born after you and Daddy got married,”  said Aubry. 

“Yep.” 

“Did you plan that?” asked Aubry.

“We did, honey.”

“Did you plan us?” asked Greyson.

“Yeah, did you Mama?” Aubry followed up.

“We sure did.”

 As I sipped my second cup of coffee I began to wonder where the conversation was going. Questions and comments about adoption flit in and out of most days without any pattern. I’ve learned to always expect them.

“Oh, look – a hummingbird. Greyson, be quiet,” Aubry whispered. 

We watched the beautiful small bird as it darted among the flowers outside the kitchen window. It stayed only for a moment, but long enough to distract them and alter the direction of the conversation.

“Can we go swimming today?”

“Yeah, can we?”

I just smiled and nodded. Living in the moment – what joy.

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Filed under Adoption, Family, Parenting

About Hair

P6130135When adopting I didn’t think much about hair. Perhaps, because I sported the only yellow locks in the house. I’m not one to spend a lot of time on myself. But I’ve got girls who do and they pay attention to everything. Josi has had years-more of experience in makeup and nail care than me already. Aubry isn’t far behind her. (Mama Rule: No make up outside the house.)

There was a development this week. I cut my hair. Quite short, but not as short as I sometimes do – which used to indicate, to Holden, that we were going to have another child. Funny how my boy used to pick up a connection between hair and a new child…

When I came home Aubry jumped up and down with excitement and a HUGE smile, “Mama, your hair! It’s like mine!”

And although it wasn’t intentional, yes it is like hers, the same length. Granted mine is blond and darned curly, especially when the humidity sets in. I truly just sat in the chair with no thoughts of having anything other than my hair trimmed when that wild hair kind of – well, you know; I got a “wild hair” and told Morgan to chop it off.

Feels good. And I made my daughter happy. Perhaps this will stop some of the talk about how she wants her hair to be like mine. She’s asked about often about changing her hair over the past year or so. I’ve told her how beautiful her hair is.

I love to run my hands over it, feeling it’s wiry softness and can’t imagine her without her dark thick silky locks that have highlights of auburn and chestnut in the summer. But now mine is like hers, if only in length – and that’s even better.

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Filed under Adoption, Multicultural Families, Racial Identity

It Doesn’t Matter

Holden arrived before our second wedding anniversary. We were thrilled to be parents and didn’t wait long before P7080095trying to have another.  In short, it didn’t happen and during those two years we struggled with “secondary infertility” and lost a child. We lost a dream. It was devastating.

Fortunately, Mark and I had talked in–depth about having a family; it had been part of our discovery and evaluation of one another while we dated. We explored the topic of adoption within these talks and settled on the size of our family, four or five children. I believe that after facing infertility and losing our child, we came to accept the reality of our situation quickly because we had had these discussions.

We did an “about-face” and began to earnestly research adopting. We’ve done some silly things, like writing down our answers to tough questions and then flipping the paper over to see what the other has written, to make sure we’re not trying to please one other. Such as it was with the first of our adoption decisions – domestic or international? Our unanimous decision was international.

The next step was, Where?

I will never forget asking Mark this, “If you came into a room filled with children representing every conceivable ethnicity, race and culture, what would you do?

I will never forget his answer, “I couldn’t choose.”

Wow.  And beautiful, liberating.

For the purpose of this post, I will keep it short, but I could write (yes) a book about our experiences of becoming the family we are today. (I have written a few stories.*) My point is this, by Mark being on board with me, by being completely open, our family came to be what it is. We were able to follow our hearts and bring our children home. We were able to go with and follow our gut feelings and, like many adoptive parents, felt that the decisions to form our family as we did were bigger than us.

P6130126Mark is an amazing and flexible father. He is present when he’s with his kids and isn’t above being playful – like painting the girls’ toenails, dancing with the kids, or jumping out and scaring them. Devoted and loving, he is also a wise counselor and mentor. I’ve seen him patiently help with homework or explain a concept to them, like the value of “your word”.

Mark’s children are just that, his children. Mark, the father of my children, who feels profoundly blessed and enriched by the rich love and joy that his children bring.

 

* My story, “Souls Speak”, is featured in A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families the newly released volume of the national best selling Cup of Comfort series,  available at your local bookseller and on Amazon.

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Filed under Family, International Adoption, Multicultural Families