Monthly Archives: June 2011

Time Measured in Love

Today is our twentieth (20th) wedding anniversary!

For some reason, we (Mark and I) are kinda giddy about it. In part, because it signifies that we have been married one-third of the amount of years that his parents were (sixty…yes). But mostly because, well, I still love my husband. More than when I married him, and, trust me, I loved him a lot then. (I feel those heads a-noddin’…)

Twenty years is a long time to spend with someone. And if I add in the time we dated, it is most of my (and his) lifetime. Twenty years has flown, because we have measured it in the growth of our family and development of our children, in friendships, and in joy and love.

I pray for another twenty and for continued good health, compassion and empathy, open communication, sharing of dreams, laughter, joy, growing wisdom, appreciation, friendship, and love. We are the role models for our children and others who know us. It is possible.

Happy anniversary, babe!

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Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Family, Family Celebrations, The International Mom

The Words of A Father

This is a post from me and my hubby Mark, The International Dad. :) This post is targeted to all fathers—those that are, those that will be soon, and those who are thinking fatherhood might be somewhere in the future, even if wayyyyyy down the road.

Before I share Mark’s thoughts I do want to say that becoming a father was always part of his(our) plan and adoption was part of it. With complete bias, I feel Mark is a superb father. Mark had a great role model in his father, who we lost on May 17th, and he has taken those lessons and improved upon them.

There is no other role in which Mark is as proud of or embraces more than being a father. When I think of my husband, a number of qualities jump to the forefront: a groundedness in principles and values, empathy, the ability to let his children learn from life’s lessons (correcting if necessary or catching them if they fall), and a profound capacity to love unconditionally.

From the International Dad:

“I am the proud father of four children. Each of which had their own unique path into our hearts and our lives.  In reflection, I’ve often tried to find the words to help those of us of the male persuasion to come to terms with the adoption process. 

Speaking as a father of a biological son as well as three children who were adopted, I thought maybe I could help perspective fathers sort through the myriad of thoughts that go through male minds.  I decided to speak to three thoughts for the fathers and prospective fathers of the world.

  • There is no difference in the love you feel for a child, adopted or biological.  I remember the warmth and love I felt for my son in the delivery room and thinking I could not love more than what I feel for this child.  I was wrong; the first time my oldest daughter greeted me in the hallway upon coming home from work dropped me to my knees as if I had just been sucker-punched.  The moments I watched my younger daughter smile uncontrollably, as she experienced the wonder of dance, or my youngest son giving me a thumbs up and a smile as he scored his first goal are memories I cherish.  A greater love for one over the other, I don’t think so.
  • Open your heart and mind, as wide as you think is possible, and then let it loose. If you truly can do this, the amount of love and kindness will be returned tenfold.  I can think of no greater love than that given by a child. This is truly the purest gift one can receive, one that has no expectations whatsoever of getting anything in return.
  • Do not put undo pressure on yourself as to how to be the greatest dad on earth. I was given a book by my wife when my son was born.  The book asks children what every daddy should know in order to get along with his children.  An eight year old replied, “You need to remember that you should spend as much time as can with your children, because sooner or later, they will be too old to run races against them.”  I think about this every day, not always doing the best job at it, but as a constant reminder. Keep it simple and love them!

I have been blessed in many ways during my life, none greater than having my wife and children to share all that it has to offer.  I believe as my wife does, that we do not choose our path in life, but are only given options that affect the outcome. To go along with that I believe that we don’t choose our children, but in fact they choose us.  I’m glad all of mine found their way home.”

To all you fine men out there, who help parent our future generation, thank you and Happy Father’s Day!

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Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Claiming, Family, Family Celebrations, Multiracial Families, The International Mom

Transitions

There is a lush fully-in-bloom orange rose that sits on our kitchen island. Every time I walk into or past the kitchen I see it—the constant reminder that my son has graduated from high school and that this is our summer of transition. We received the rose the evening of Holden’s graduation. Orange, representing one of his school’s colors. The rose for remembrance.

Always one to reflect, I find that I do so more since he has graduated. I think back to how active he was inside of me, craving refried beans, red meat (I don’t eat meat) and fatty foods. He entered this world a planned two weeks early, small and active, ready to forge ahead and he has never stopped. When young he used to line up all of his “guys” just under the fold of his covers, their little faces peeking out along with his as I read bedtime stories to him and the “guys.” And I remember his imaginary friend Peter, although he doesn’t.

Holden began dancing around the age of five, copying N’Sync’s moves and adding to his repertoire. In short order he began to take his boom box (remember those?) around with him in our neighborhood and on vacations, putting out an orange bucket that had “Tips” scrawled on the outside in black permanent marker, while he entertained others with his dancing. I don’t know how great the dancing actually was, but the entertainment value was priceless and he accrued those tips.

Holden exhibited early that he had great compassion and affinity for others. He was available to assist people with tasks, provide translation, and tutor children in younger grades. He also showed a voracious appetite for friendship and life, valuing loyalty and someone’s word.

Time this year has flown. Time with Holden—between studying, athletics, friends, other activities, and exams—has been fleeting. We have, as always, savored what little we have had. Holden stands at the threshold of a rite of passage, excited and prepared to be away from home and at college. We stand there as well, but with a different perspective—with great pride and sadness of separation. Most of our job is done and we hope that we have done it well. We will miss him.

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Filed under Family, Family Celebrations, Growing Tweens & Teens, Parenting, Rite of Passage, The International Mom, Traditions