Thankful for family

thanks·giv·ing (thngks-gvng)
noun
1. An act of giving thanks; an expression of gratitude, especially to God: a hymn of thanksgiving.
2. Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving Day.

grati·tude (grat′i tood′)
noun
1. a feeling of thankful appreciation for favors or benefits received
2. thankfulness.

fate (fāt)
noun
1. the power or agency supposed to determine the outcome of events before they occur; destiny
2. a. something inevitable, supposedly determined by this power
b. what happens or has happened to a person or entity; lot;

family photo collage adoption

November and Thanksgiving especially brings out many emotions…thankfulness, gratefulness, love, happiness and gratitude. Have we always felt like this at the holidays? Does everyone feel the way we do now? I can think back to holidays when we were trying to have children and I am pretty sure we were not feeling much happiness and gratitude but what changed for us?

Back in 2005 we had come to a place of unknowns knowing that the one thing we wanted most was to be parents. After trying on our own and subsequently fertility treatments with no success it became for us about being “mom” & “dad” and not needing to be pregnant to get to there and realized adoption was the path we needed to take to become a family.

Our journey to parenthood was not the original one we planned but we see that this is how it was meant to be. Now here we are the proud parents of two beautiful girls! and now have a very large extended family that combined from each of our girl’s families!

All the twists and turns were made easier with the guidance of the wonderful professional, Ellen Roseman,  we worked with who helped to prepare us for the relationships we share with each of our girl’s birth mothers, birth father’s and their extended families. We know that our children cannot have too many people in their lives who love them and it has been our blessing to have our family expanded so seamlessly.

So most especially at this time of year, we feel enormous LOVE and GRATITUDE for those who chose us to be parents. We realize their decisions demonstrate the true meaning of unconditional love and we will always share an important and unending bond with them.

We LOVE our girls unconditionally and are raising them to appreciate the selfless gift of adoption as much as we do.

There are many other bloggers participating in BlogHer’s National Blog Posting Month.  Click here #NaBloPoMo to read more, Enjoy!

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and so the school year begins …

and so the school year begins here is an email sent to my younger daughter’s first grade teacher today.
 
 
Hello Ms. N,
 
J is currently working on her homework, all about me and it prompted me to write.  
 
I wanted to let you know in advance so you may have an understanding of what she is sharing. Our family was built through adoption.  Both of our girls were entrusted to us at birth and we have continued family relationships with their birth families including and not limited to their birth mothers, birth fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents and siblings.  
 
So on her page she has listed she has 2 brothers and 1 sister.  This is true and how she knows her family (her sister has 3 other sisters).  They each live with her birth family, one with her birth mother and the other with her birth father. We see them, have pictures of them, etc.
 
Our family has blended beautifully and J is choosing to share this.  She is at an age now when she can decide who she shares with.  If you think at any time I need to come to class and help explain how our family was built for the other students to understand, please let me know I’d be happy to read a book and talk about it with them.
 
Please let me know if you have any questions.
 
Thanks,
 

Adoption is closer than you think …

MK-908

As we continue to settle into our new neighborhood and school, I am finding that our family is not quite as unique as I thought we may have been.

You see there are more people/families tied to some form of adoption than I realized. Why do I say this? When I introduce the topic of how our family was formed I may hear from another parent “oh my sister was adopted” or “I had a child and placed them for adoption when I was a teenager” or still “my oldest daughter has a relationship with her birthfather even though my husband is the father that is raising her”. Not only have these people shared this but in our conversation I learn about the relationships that have developed in their adoption story which I find so awesome and something our girls can learn from these adults in our lives.

When this happens, I relax and realize we are not such a different family after all in this world we live in. I have always thought I needed to create a separate community for my family of like-families reaching out to friends we met along the way on our journey to parenthood through adoption. I felt that I needed to provide our girls with peers with families like theirs and for my husband and I a place to talk about our family without having to always explain the whole story. We still have that but at the same time in our everyday lives I am learning that adoption is closer to us in the circle of friends we now live among.

When I learn something about a person in our lives I do share with our girls, and in turn to them it’s like okay Mom thanks. I think somewhere in their minds it is registered but at the same time it’s no big deal to them. Adoption in our house is our normal. We have family through both our girls families on both their birthmother and birthfather sides. They have siblings that they know and talk about and for us this is our family and it’s never been any different and at the same time I am learning our normal is normal in other families too.