Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Holidays - An Unexpected Tradition

Holidays with kids is something truly special. Seeing the world through their eyes no matter what you have chosen as your traditions brings back the magic feeling you had as a child yourself. It's a time to reflect, be generous, celebrate with family, and have hope for what you may accomplish in the new year. As someone who dealt with infertility, this time of year was the hardest next to Mothers Day. Kids are everywhere...commercials, TV specials, sales at the store, Facebook posts with Santa, and even if you avoid all of that you have the cheerful smiles of families arriving to your mailbox reminding you another year has gone by.

You'd think now that we have children these worries and stress would have gone away. It has for the most part but it's morphed into something similar to guilt. It's the only time of the year the kids birth Mom contacts us and her words spell out the anguish she's in over not having them with her. It makes me wonder what she's doing constantly since I know she's thinking about the kids. It has me wishing we had contact with her to help ease that pain somewhat but also has me scared to do so because I know that longing for the kids is the strongest right now and I'm too worried about what contact like that could result in.

Last year and this year we're lucky in the fact this is a burden on only us the adults. Next year I might have questions from my sweet little girl about what her other Mom is doing and why she can't be there with us. It has sparked an inner competition in me to make the Holidays so incredible for the kids they couldn't possibly want for more. In a way that feeling is always there because it's the only way you feel you can control sparing your child pain over wondering about their birth parents. I know it's not possible or even healthy to think that way but it's the honest raw reality of what I think a lot of adoptive parents feel.

One of the things that weighs on my mind is a conversation I had with their birth Mom the only time I spent alone with her. It was last year in early December so Christmas was on my mind. I asked her if there were any traditions that were important to her so we could help give that to the kids. She told me no, she had no traditions and that she didn't have much of a family. That broke my heart and now I know why she must have the hardest time now because perhaps she hoped these kids would finally be a family of her own. I didn't have the thought at the time to push her a little more and ask if there were any traditions she hoped to have with kids but it's something I wonder about all the time.

I felt much of the same last year as I do this year...almost stolen moments of joy since I know someone else is longing to be doing this with the kids right now. Last year I had the added worry of it being our only Christmas with the kids because things were up in the air about if we'd finalize. I hope each year I'll feel less and less conflicted. I wanted to document this so I can look back and hopefully see how this tradition of guilt has faded to only joy and peace for us all.

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