gratitude: our not-so-little T-man

I’ve read that Gotcha Day can be a hard concept for adoptees.  The idea zeroes in on a narrative that says “we’re so lucky you joined our family [and therefore you are so lucky we came along]”  and shies away from what might be difficult about this particular day.  Skirting the pain of feeling abandoned by a first family, ignoring the possibility that a child might be torn between what is and what could have been.

I acknowledge this and honor the possibility that May 31 might stir conflicting feelings in your heart.  So here, in my little corner of the world, I’d like to sing my praises for this day.

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We dreamed of having children, and when we didn’t we waited for you.

We dreamed of being parents, and one day your birthmother trusted us to be your family.

We dreamed of being a mom and dad, and one day we were blessed to call you our son.

We dared to dream, and then you were there.

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Today I’ll tell you I love you, each and every day.  That I’m blessed to be your mom, and what a joy it is to watch you growing into a strong, smart, kind young man.

two, dos, deux…hooray!

Bear was looking over the calendar this month when I heard her exclaim, “Blogiversary?!  Mom, what’s that?”

That, my dear, is the two year mark for Riddle from the Middle.  And yes, it’s definitely calendar worthy.

It’s been a remarkable ride, y’all.  I know I bitch and moan about laundry and all the crazy (Why can’t Gracie eat the cheap pens?!), but even with all the ups and downs I feel more alive than ever.  Answering the call to build RFTM makes my Top Ten Best Life Decisions list.  Here are some of the things I’ve learned during my time with the blog.

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the Power of Firsts

Life is filled with firsts, and they usually pack a wallop.

First kiss.  Oh, boy, that first kiss is a doozy.  So much uncertainty and confusion wrapped up in an explosion of feelings and fireworks.  So much opportunity for bumping noses and awkward misses.  So much anxiety about bad breath and whether they like you back and if you’re any good at kissing at all.  It’s one of those rites of passage…there’s nothing quite like the first first kiss.

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a year in the life

No one’s ever prepared to lose their mother.  Intellectually I understand nobody lives forever, but it’s one thing to know death is inevitable and another thing entirely to find myself walking the earth without the woman who’s loved me my whole life.  It’s a permanent shift in the universe.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned in 365 days without my mom.

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Forever Family: celebrations and grief

Celebrations are powerful, especially for children.  They don’t understand I’m not really up for Christmas this year or let’s just let this birthday pass quietly.  They understand the inherent joy in special days, and they’re drawn to reveling in them.  They’re children, after all, even after they’ve morphed into bigger bodies, and if we’re lucky they haven’t lost the magic in marking milestones with joy.

Which has made this past year somewhat difficult for me.

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four and a half decades, gone in a flash

Well, son of a gun, guess who has a birthday today.

Both kids are wishing it was them ‘cuz, you know, presents, but no such luck…BrightSide won this particular lottery.  That’s right, 46 years ago today some doctor smacked my fella’s bottom so he’d take his first breath.  (Just kidding.  I don’t really know if they smack baby’s bottoms in delivery rooms anymore, but it made for funny imagery so let’s run with it.)

This is one of those moments that can slip sideways so easily.  What if BrightSide hadn’t been born in Virginia?  Would he still have ended up at UVA?  What if he focused on chess or chemistry or becoming an Olympic athlete?  Would we have found some other way to meet? Does this whole tapestry that’s become our lives begin in that delivery room?

Whoa, step back, mind spinning.

I guess I ought to send that doctor a thank you note for getting BrightSide safely into the world. I know my world sure wouldn’t be the same without him.

Everybody sing along now…

“You’re older than you’ve ever been.
And now you’re even older.
And now you’re even older.
And now you’re even older.

You’re older than you’ve ever been.
And now you’re even older.
And now you’re older still.”

Older – They Might Be Giants

Happy Birthday, BrightSide!


ps – My bad, but I blew it on remembering to get a separate birthday present.  Sorry!!  This is why December babies end up resenting their birthdays, I know, and here I am adding fuel to the fire.  I love you!