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!

Thankful for childhood traditions

Today the excitement to see what the Switch Witch brought them had our girls up early! And with fall back on our clocks it was even earlier ~5:30 AM it’s going to be a long day.

But it is this family childhood tradition that I love that woke our girls up at that hour.  I sit here wondering now that they are 8 and 6 years old, how much longer will their beliefs in these childhood traditions be?

switch witch 2014

At Halloween, we have the Switch Witch, who comes the night after Halloween and takes your candy and leaves a present in its place.  Our girls are allowed to select a piece of candy for their ages and the rest is taken by the Switch Witch. Which is great for my waistline!

balloon fairy

At their birthdays, we have the Birthday Fairy.  This began when our oldest was turning 3 years old in an effort to have her sleep in her big girl bed all night,  The birthday fairy started by coming on the night before your birthday for you to wake up to a room full of balloons on your birthday!  Each of our girls look forward to this for their birthdays every year!

earl 12-5-12

We added our “Earl” the Elf on the Shelf about 4 years ago.  Adding to the excitement of the Holidays our Elf, Earl, arrives the day after Thanksgiving.  From the first year our girls have enjoyed waking to comb our home to see where the mischievous Elf has landed to watch them and report back to Santa.  There have been one or two occasions where we the Elf movers have forgotten to give Earl a new place to sit.  But we have THE BEST cover story!  Earl didn’t want to report to Santa that night giving you a chance to correct your behavior another day!

Our girls also love the more traditional childhood traditions of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. The excitement that each of these traditions brings to our girls lives is amazing.  I hope for their beliefs to continue for many more years.  I realize it’s just a matter of a classmate or someone to dash the spirit and belief for our bubble of these traditions to break.  For doubt to creep into their minds and for the spirit of these traditions to change.

As I sit here today I hope for more time, more time for the excitement to continue with true belief of these childhood traditions.  I know we will be able to continue on in the spirit of the tradition but I don’t think it will be quite the same!

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

Birthdays are for celebrating!

Happy-Birthday-Cake2

 

Summer is a lot of things, break from school, vacationing with family, summer camp and fun with friends!  Summer for our family is also birthday time for our girls with one born in July and the other in August.

Birthdays are a BIG deal for us.  BIG in that we celebrate for all its worth (and by the way not just for our girls but our birthdays too)!

Our youngest will be turning six this month, how did that happen?  She is excited for all her birthday entails including an overnight visit from the birthday fairy who leaves balloons in her room while she’s sleeping and at the kitchen table.  Of course she’s excited for the gifts, the party and the time honoring her, but she is also very excited that it means we will spend time with her birth family.

In fact both her birth mother and her sister’s birth mother will be celebrating our girls birthday for a weekend together!  We are all looking forward to next weekend when all of us will be together to celebrate and to bask in the girls and our family!  Everyone is in countdown mode for the airport pick up on Thursday morning and then imminent arrival of the rest of our family on Saturday.

This is not the only time we are ALL together but it is a special time going back to when each of our girls were born and we were invited to be at the hospital.  That was the time that our family really came together with all of us joining together as one unit.

So it is these birthdays we celebrate with all our heart and soul and our girls are the benefactors of all of us coming together!

and so with all that we know Birthday are for celebrating!

Words are just words or are they?

definition of word
noun \ˈwərd\

: a sound or combination of sounds that has a meaning and is spoken or written

: a brief remark or conversation : something that a person says

: an order or command

Overheard as our girls were preparing cards for J’s brother to go along with his gift he is MY BIRTH-BROTHER, not YOURS!  J’s brother was born about 15 months after her and S along with her husband are parenting him.  Our girls have known him from inside S’s tummy and when he was born.  We see him as often as we see S.

My husband and I sat and listened to our girls speak about who has sisters and who has brothers that don’t live with us but are still our family.  We wondered when voices rose should we step in to calm the fighting down?  Or should we just let them figure it out on their own?

They had it right in knowing that A has 3 sisters through her birth father and J has one brother from S and one from her birthfather.  It was interesting to hear them assert who belonged with whom to each other claiming their own brothers or sisters.

It is just words that they were using with the prefix of “birth” to claim their siblings.  What was so great about this discussion they had was how natural it was for them to talk about these siblings that live in other parts of our family like it was nothing out of the ordinary.

The words we have used to explain our family story are something they have taken in and processed themselves.  They know their siblings they know what part of the family they are part of, and to us that is what is important.  It is our girls who add the prefix “birth” when talking about their families when claiming their territory.

So while they fought over the wording and logistics it was comforting to us they understand who their family is, all of them.