Monday, September 9, 2013

The Start of School

Big transitions at our home.  Andrew went back to college.  Eliza started college.  Zach started high school, Bella is in first grade and Efa started preschool.  I am back in nursing school.  The school year starts with such a force that I have found that the first few weeks everyone is suffering from a little whiplash.  If you do this long get better at preparing and sometimes even avoid serious injury.

So much to update but today...I am just going to share a story.  Eliza texted the riding coach on Labor Day, while still in bed asking for more info on the riding team (a Div 1 team).  The coach responded...saying tryouts are right now, I will send someone to pick you up in 15 minutes.  Eliza threw on her boots, riding pants, chaps, and a t-shirt, only to find that all the girls were in full show dress.  Her response...Oh well, at least I get to ride a horse today.  She actually was offered a varsity spot.  That's my girl!  Except...I can take no credit.  No credit for the reaching out to the coach.  No credit for not being defeated when everyone else is dressed much more formally.  No credit for being grateful for the opportunity even when it looks like you won't win or succeed.  No credit for being self aware enough to say no thank you to the coveted position when you realize it may take away from your studies and leaving the door open to next year.  I was very different at 18.  I am reminded how much I have to learn from my children.  They are perhaps my greatest teacher.  I am struck by the faith that they were handpicked for teach me so much.  Hopefully, I will be a good student.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Finding the Joy

My mom has been gone for one month shy of 10 years.  She was a unique woman.  I could go on and on about her.  I wish I had appreciated all that she was when she was alive.  But I was young and stupid.  One of the greatest things I learned from her was finding the JOY.  I grew up in a family that adopted trans racially, in a time well before there were books to read and therapies to try.  My mom knew that love was not enough....but it was a great place to start and end.  All adoption stories have loss (and trauma) and with loss comes sadness and grief.  I have thought long and hard about this, I have attended seminars, webinars, and read countless books.  Just recently I had to put everything I have learned into practice.  A practice that is mine.  Not what the experts say.  Not what other adoptive parents would do.  I had to be authentic.  I want my kids to know JOY.

Bella recently asked me if I could tell her about the day she was born.  I told her that I was not there but I could guess what happened on the day she was born.  She wanted me to guess.  So snuggled up together, I imagined what that day was probably like.  I imagine it was as special as the day my other children where born.  I told her how big she probably was, and who was probably there, and what she probably looked like.  I told her what her first few days were probably like.  Some of it I don't have to guess too much on....She was one happy baby!  She probably rarely cried.  Bella loved her story.  She found the JOY among the pain and loss.  She has asked me a couple times to tell her her birth story again and again.

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, how she will continue to process the losses.  But for now, my sweet girl finds the JOY.