International Adoption Book

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's A New Year Already?

Wow has this year flown by. So much has happend that I am thankful for and so much has happened that I wish hadn't. But, as I sit here typing this post I bear in mind that each fall from dreamland gives us something new to learn from and something unique to look forward to. Whether it be a new life or a new car, getting rid of old things or saving old memories, or simply seeing out an old year and being able to rejoice in the new I try to remember that everything has it's purpose in my world.

These last several months have seen friends who have waited for years for their children are finally bringing their little ones home. And they've also seen friends hurt and devastated by the loss of children they had fallen in love with and hoped to adopt. Even Matt and I have experienced this type of loss this year, with the loss of a beautiful 4 year old little deaf boy whom we had applied to adopt from China. But, he was adopted within his own country and we are thrilled for him. He is such a doll and he deserves to have a beautiful life with people who will love him just as we would have.

We've also attempted to help our family grow through other methods. Adoption through foster care is finally back on our plate. We are more ready to take on that risk of heartbreak again.

Matt's father has slowly begun having contact with us again. this has been a huge surprise, but welcome. I'm sure it's been just as difficult for him as it has been for us. We can easily forgive, though it's often difficult to forget actions and words that have been done and said (by both sides). We sincerely hope we are all able to continue to work through these early days of a renewed relationship and are hopeful that, one day, we will be able to be closer. Although we have no clue where Matt's sisters or step-mother and the rest of their family stands on the issue of a renewed relationship, we are grateful that J has taken this huge first step in opening communication. If I had to pick the single greatest surprise of 2008, this moment would be it! Thankfully it was a pleasant surprise.

Speaking of Matt's father, this past year Little M has been interested in learning about his extended family (both biological and adoptive). He, in fact, now tells me that he's going to tell my mom, his Nana, when I do something he doesn't like. He often asks about Matt's family and doesn't quite understand why his daddy's daddy isn't known.

I completed writing two books this year. One is titled "Adopting An Angel" (the link is at the top of the homepage) while the other is entitled simply "Honu". Adopting An Angel has two versions. The first version (completed late 2007) is a private version that is a detailed account of C's journey into our world, while the public version (completed in 2008) is less personal with names of our guides and coordinators changed for privacy, though it contains all other non-personal details as the original. Honu, on the other hand, is a personal book written solely for our son and is mainly a photographic history of his first years. They were both such fun and worthy projects and I've decided to do one for each of my children in the future.

C has also grown by leaps and bounds. The progress she has made both in her education and her personal abilities (such as bonding/attachment abilities) has been tremendous. At the beginning of the year, when Matt returned from his one-year hardship tour in Korea, C was obnoxious, telling Matt to leave and she didn't like him, every day. But now she sleeps in his arms and cuddles out of the blue... It's such a precious sight to see! In addition, she has grown so much taller and has thinned out, lossing much of her baby-fat. Her hair is luxurious and lays all the way to the center of her back. She's so beautiful! I can't stop looking at her!!!

M, too, has grown emotionally (and physically). He's made such huge strides in school, though he'll still repeat 1st grade this upcoming school year (which will give us two 1st graders). He's better able to focus and is less angry and touchy with his peers. He's able to follow directions and complete tasks. I am so proud of him. In addition, he's grown so tall that, at just 6-1/2 years old, he stands at the top of my breasts (and I'm no slouch at 5' 7"). He's so skinny that I worry about his health, though I know he's perfectly fine. He's in 8 slim pants, though he's growing out of those so quickly we're going to have to buy him 9 slims before too long. He's a weed that I just can't control!!! And he, too, is so beautiful that I can't stop looking at him.

I love my kids and can hardly wait for next year when we can begin the process of adopting another child again.

2009 holds many trials for our family... Matt will deploy in March and the kids and I will be moving home to be with family for support. But, we'll be as strong and as willing to make this sacrifice as our many predecessors, for whom we are hugely grateful.

Wishing each and every one of you a Happy New Year, a peaceful resolution to all of your dillemmas and many huge thanks to all of our men and women in uniform and their families who, too, must sacrifice so much!


Beverly said...

thank you and your family for your husbands service and thank him too. happy new year from one CHI family to another.

Mary Ellen said...

I hope you'll be blessed in the new year.

My sincere appreciation to all the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to serve our country - both those who serve directly, and their families who support them.