Thursday, April 29, 2010

I did it.

I set a goal and actually reached it...I think we all do that in little ways each day (getting Little Bitty to school fully dressed), but I hadn't reached a big-ish goal like this in a while.

So, I ran (yes, RAN) that 1/2 marathon I've been talking about for so long. And - I loved it. I wouldn't have said the "I loved it" part at mile 11 - but at mile 10 I was still feeling that way. And now, almost a week later I'm still feeling that way. So - that's awesome.

My amazingly supportive husband found a spot to cheer me on at mile 3.5 early in the morning while allowing enough time to scramble with both kids to get to Brother's t-ball game on time (he's the coach - so they kinda had to be there). Seeing them on the sidelines made me tear up and run stronger and faster. It wasn't about showing the kids how fast their Mommy can run (not very) but it was the moment of feeling their pride and love and all of us supporting each other - even if it isn't convenient right then (see t-ball game schedule). I just love my little family and I didn't expect this silly little race to make me so emotional and contemplative about it all. I've been truly blessed and I am so thankful.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stress Relief

I don't like to stress over small stuff. I consider small stuff anything other than the health/well-being of my loved ones. However, sometimes the small stuff adds up and it does get to me. This blog is dedicated to getting it out there and letting it go. It will all work out and my energy would be so much better spent living well and making a difference instead of worrying over these things.
  • I'm not ready for the 1/2 marathon on Saturday - but I'm doing it anyway.
  • Did I mention it's supposed to rain?
  • I found a jar of pickles on the back of our toilet. Gross. Did Little Bitty snack while doing her business? How is it that I let these things happen?
  • I hosted book club last weekend and drank too much wine. I felt too sick to go to Brother's t-ball game the next day and I'm wracked with self-loathing over this.
  • The rainy day race is going to make me miss his next game too. Perhaps the game will be rained out? I hope.
  • There is a pair of underwear on our counter. Why? Don't I spend most free time trying to straighten up the house?
  • The dog is shedding for the first time. Clumps of hair everywhere. Gross. And he desperately needs a bath. And I should take him to the park soon.
  • Uncertain job situations going on. Money doesn't equal happiness...but lack of money does equal stress.
  • I've eaten too many nutty bars this week. Running makes me hungry.
  • There are probably at least 4 permission slips/money requests for Brother's school stacked on the table. I can't keep all the field trips and fundraisers straight.
  • There are at least 3 laundry baskets of clothes waiting to be put away.
  • I just read that bananas are full of pesticides but my kids love them. It's not good enough anymore that I try to give them healthy snacks - now I have to only give them local, organic healthy snacks.

There. I feel better.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Our Success Story

I'm not usually on the ball enough to post topics to link up to anything specific. I can't even seem to post holiday pictures right after they happen (reference missing Easter pictures). However, a friend's post on Facebook caught my eye. It reads, "ATTENTION BLOGGERS: (From JCICS): "Today is We Are The Truth Adoption Blogger Day! Don't forget to blog about your sucessful adoption, or the sucessful adoption of someone you know"!

Here's the thing - yes, most people join their family by being born into it. However, some join their family through adoption. It's just another way of becoming a family. Kind of like getting married. You meet someone and you fall in love and they become your family.

The recent news of a mother "returning" her 7 year old son to Russia has spurred a media frenzy of adoption analysis. Yes - this one turned out badly. Yes - something went horribly wrong. But it is surely not indicative of most adoptions. Just like a horror story of a woman placing her newborn in a trashcan is not indicative of most biological births. That would never cause all pending births to be suspended, would it?

Our family's story of adoption is much like our story of deciding to have our first child. In both cases, I was ready a little before my husband was. In both cases he was focused on how our currently perfect life might change - and I was focused on how much better it was going to be. In both cases, we eventually added the perfect child for our family to our family. Both roads to getting them were emotional, trying and took about 9 months.

Brother came to us very quickly -even if not easily. Pregnancy is not easy. And mine was what would be called an "easy" one. He was conceived quickly, he grew perfectly and despite an emergency c-section - he came out big and healthy and beautiful. I still wasn't convinced for a while that I'd want to do THAT again. During the pregnancy I felt sick for about umm... 9 months. My hips hurt. I couldn't sleep, yada yada yada. Don't get me wrong - it was all very worth it - and I would have done it again.

Some higher power knew that our daughter was elsewhere, because when it was time for our second child - something had changed - and we didn't conceive quickly. Instead, we found out that our best (maybe only?) option was to adopt. I'm not going to lie - the news was surprising - life changing, really. It had to sink in for a bit. But, surprisingly quickly (within days) I woke up and just knew what we should do. Memories of me telling my mother years before that I'd like to adopt internationally some day came back to me. And visions of a little girl I met at a recent playgroup popped back in my head. She was from Guatemala. I've told people how I always pictured having a brown haired, brown eyed little girl as my child. When my blue eyed, blond haired boy was born I was ecstatic. He was - and still is the perfect son but I think I knew that there was another child in our future. My baby girl.

She was born on the 4th of July. We met her for the first time about 10 days later. We saw her again about 3 months later, this time bringing her big brother to meet her for the first time. And then - on January 4th 2007, her 6 month birthday, she got her Mommy and Daddy forever. She's perfect for us. She's ours. I can't overstate how much Little Bitty is a part of our family. Someone recently asked me, "When did you get her?" It seems strange...she's always been mine, hasn't she?? Side note: I do not minimize the role that her birth mother had in this - I love, respect, and owe the world to her.

So, to think that anyone, ESPECIALLY my daughter, could be subjected to mass over-generalizations and stereotypes about "adoption" makes me crazy. Every adoption is different. Every birth is different. Every family is different. It doesn't matter. People have issues. They have issues if they were raised by their bio family with June and Ward Cleaver, they have issues if they were raised in an orphanage, they have issues if they were raised by wolves. The 7 year old from Russia obviously has some BIG issues. As does the woman who sent him alone, back to Russia. However, I can't pretend to understand ANY of them. I wasn't there. I've never been to Russia - I can't even see it from my house. I've never adopted an older child who lived in an orphanage for years. The one thing I do know is that the word "adoption" is where any similarities between our two families stop.

I'm pretty certain there are just as many people who secretly (or not) think "wow - this didn't turn out how I hoped" about their bio kids as there are people who think this about their children who were adopted. The difference is that with adoption - there is some thing more obvious to try to blame. I don't know the Russian child's circumstances any more than the rest of you who have heard it in the news. But it seems that this was a case of an older child with emotional issues that had been hidden? minimized? covered up? and then placed in an incapable home without an adequate support system. That's the issue here - not the fact that the child was adopted.

If the media wants to put energy into getting fired up about adoption - good. Get fired up about all the government laws and bureaucracy that make it so hard to adopt and bring kids home to their families in a reasonable amount of time. Let's look at what happens when government corruption and unethical professionals cause children to languish in orphanages with no food or medical care instead of being home with people who LONG for a baby to love and nurture. Research DOES show that the sooner a child is with their "forever" family the better. Let's look closer at organizations such as UNICEF who promote themselves as caring for children all over the world but actually cause usually unnecessary delays in adoptions and are fundamentally opposed to children being raised anywhere other than their country of birth, even if staying in their country of birth means they die by age 5.

So, where was I? Our successful adoption story? We have two kids. One of them has a tendency to be hard on himself and is prone to anxiety. The other one has a temper and is a little bossy. Neither of them eat enough vegetables. One wears glasses. One probably will eventually. One is going to need braces. The other one is going to be short. They are both beautiful. They are both affectionate. They are both pretty funny. Although - one is prone to telling dirty jokes. It's not about having a perfect family. It's about having a family perfect for you. Whatever that is. Our successful adoption story? It's really just a successful family story.

Monday, April 12, 2010

File under: Weird things you do for your kids

I completed a class quilt for Little Bitty's pre-k silent auction. It turned out very cute and someone better cough up a lot of money for this sucker I'm sure someone will enjoy it. For pictures - go here. If you're interested.

In other news, I mod podged a potato for Brother. Because it has a face and he doesn't want it to rot. I don't see this ending well.

Friday, April 9, 2010

For your viewing pleasure. Not great pics - but great times.

Out on a hike. Momma made them dress alike so we wouldn't lose them in the woods.

Brother and his BFF at their school egg hunt.

Brother finding an egg.
Little Bitty on her egg hunt at school.

Off to grab another one. She was all business.