Sunday, September 23, 2012

So many reasons to celebrate

I've said it many times before but I feel so blessed to have the experience we've been given. Yes our road to being parents was hard, damn hard, but that makes the rewards all the sweeter. We have been given so many more milestones to celebrate because of how we have become parents. There was a huge out pouring of congrats and love when we were placed with the kids and that was reason for all the normal celebration that comes with most new babies.

Over a year ago we experienced the baby showers, the dinners people lovingly provided, and visitors from near and far to meet the new members of our family. All of this was wonderful and to be honest a blur. We were so overwhelmed with having just become parents we didn't relish in all the cute little gifts and organization of all their goodies like most parents I imagine do. It was wonderful none the less.

Becoming a parent through Foster to Adopt some unique milestones that may or may not happen with an adoption where the child has been relinquished by their birth parents. There's the day you find out you have been matched, which may or may not be the day you meet the child(ren). Then there is the day they come to live with you which could also be the day you were chosen and met. Finalization is the last step in the Foster to Adopt process and worth the biggest celebration of them all.

I'm a person who LOVES traditions so I've taken full advantage of being able to celebrate things that have been unique to our experience in addition to birthdays, holidays, and family events. We will always celebrate June 30th as Family Day. It's special because it was the day we met and started this journey together. It will entail a photo of us all together, doing something everyone in the family will enjoy doing together which will of course change as we all age, and Jay and I writing a message to the kids in their journal from us to them.

This weekend we threw a HUGE party inviting both sides of our large families and friends who have helped us along the way in celebration of being so very close to finalizing our adoption. I envisioned the party happening and then finally being able to show photos of the kids at it but that will have to wait. We wanted so many people to be part of the celebration because so many have helped us tremendously. We decided to take advantage of the last bit of decent weather and invite everyone to our house. We did a theme of family and had a photographer available for people to take family photos (ironically I'm not sure if we got a decent one of the four of us) and a family tree with finger print leaves as our guest book.

We're just weeks away from knowing what the Finalization date will be. I'm sure we'll do a much smaller scale celebration on that day, such as dinner out, but the joy in our hearts we felt in celebrating this weekend will be alive and well. We'll feel the cheers and hugs we've received from everyone all along with us there in the court room as we're pronounced a legal family.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bring on the evidence of my life

This is kind of a heavy topic for a Friday night but it's something that's been rattling around my brain all week. Not long before my Dad passed away I discovered Greg Laswell and listened to him a lot. One song I loved but haven't been able to bring myself to listen to until just a few weeks ago is What a Day. If you've never heard it, give it a listen.

There's a line from that song that brings up so much emotion "bring on the evidence of my life". I am the evidence of my Dad's life in a physical sense. As I struggled to have a family of my own, this line captured the essence of one of my deepest fears - having no evidence of my life. It depressed me to create scrapbooks because I would think to myself no one is going to care about this crap when I die if I don't have kids. Of course that's not entirely true but if it's in your head it can make a pretty convincing argument when there's no one to bring reason to it.

Listening to this song again made me think about this fear and how my thoughts on it have changed since I've become a mother. It's taken actually becoming a mother, especially through adoption to realize how entirely irrational that thought process is. I'll never have physical proof of my existence unless I'm somehow mummified. It really doesn't matter if you have kids or not. Your life is about the connections you make and the impact you have on peoples lives in whatever form that may take.

When you want something so bad it's all consuming, it can be hard to be rational. I doubt coming to this realization sooner would have changed our decision on becoming parents but wow how I wish I'd figured this out to save myself some depression. It makes me realize seeing a physical version of me is entirely something that would be pleasing to me but how I parent that child is what matters. To both them and the world they live in. This is pretty basic stuff but maybe someone else is struggling with that fear and all they need to hear is there was another irrational person thinking about it. It's important to recognize your progress as you grow wiser and I'm proud to say I've accomplished a big "a ha" that will help me be better in every sense.