Forever Family: notes for my 20-something self

Lately I’ve been thinking about my younger days.

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See that sweet face?  (Yeah, BrightSide, too.)  How innocent, how naive…ready to go along to get along, keep the peace, calm the waters no matter what.

Well, lately I’ve been thinking about what I’d tell that 20-something me.

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Forever Family: 25 things, adoption style

Writing a stream of consciousness birthday post was so much fun I thought we’d roll with it for Forever Family.  (I first stumbled across this concept over at The Captain’s Speech.  Paul’s sharp wit keeps me in giggles – you should check out his blog.)

So buckle up and let’s go.

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Forever Family: ’tis the season

We love Christmas.

BrightSide hangs wreaths on the front of the house every year.  We light them with spotlights in the evening, washing the whole house in a Christmas glow, and it’s quite a sight when we return after dark to a home bathed in the spirit of the season.

Pretty white lights are tucked into our Christmas tree, spiraling upward toward the ceiling. Bright red bows add splashes of color while years of ornaments pepper the branches high and low.  Ones I’ve hung since my own childhood, ones from my teaching years, ones for T-man and Bear.  Our tree is one long memory walk…my eyes flit from branch to branch, remembering family celebrations and mom’s crafts and the small gold angel my own grandma gave me years ago.

BrightSide has the honor of adding our angel to the top.  (Translation: no one’s crazy enough to think me tottering at the top of a ladder to balance the angel is a good idea.)  She’s serene and seems to emanate kindness with her gaze, and our tree never quite seems complete until she’s looking down over our family.

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Forever Family: Bear shares

It was the most overpriced dinner ever.  I typically avoid buffets because I can’t shake the feeling my inability to eat large amounts in short periods of time makes me the person who covers the quadruple plate crowd’s cost.  And while buffets seem like the perfect solution for a picky eater, Bear actually needs less choices, not more.  $20 for 2 egg rolls, 4 fries, 2 bites of chicken, 1 bite of the other chicken, 2 cubes of jello, and a cup of ice cream made my eyes roll back in my head.

It may have been her discarded plate with bread that “has some kind of sauce on it” and “the thing that just looks weird” that knocked this place permanently off my list.

Then again, the company was perfect.

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Forever Family: it’s not you, it’s me

I’ve been thinking back on my Forever Family topics, things that have moved me since I began writing the series, and what sticks with me is this…man, I hope these don’t come off as whiny finger pointing rants.

A few posts have talked about me and my own issues but the vast majority have looked at other people’s perceptions, my kids’ emotions, and how adoption affects (or doesn’t affect) our everyday lives.  All worthwhile topics, true, but in the pursuit of balance let’s turn that focus inward.

Pregnant women scare me.

 

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Forever Family: we see what we expect to see

All in all, these kids of ours are pretty awesome.  They’re funny, polite (especially to other people), responsible, good natured…there’s only one question we hear from folks more often than the compliment that we’ve got great kids.

“Are they biological sister and brother?”

I honestly didn’t get this at first and truth be told it still perplexes me.  T-man and Bear didn’t come home together, which is the first and most obvious sign of adopting siblings, so this isn’t a timing thing.  Their skin tones and body types are different enough that you’d think it would give people pause, and yet we get this question a lot.  This is how the conversation usually goes.

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Forever Family: it’s more than politics

We’ve had quite a week around here.  Inside our own little world the kids are working on moving rooms, giving each of them a bit more breathing space for when they need to get away for a while.  I’m keeping up with Bear’s science fair project and T-man’s sinus infection, kicking my own bronchial infection and praying it’s gone for good, vet appointments and UPS deliveries and dog boarding.  You know, the same old same old.

But it’s been far from a same old same old kind of week.

T-man and Bear have been extraordinarily aware during this entire election cycle.  It started way back before the primaries, when we explained repeatedly that a candidate wasn’t “winning” the presidency because the polls had him or her ahead for a state’s primary.  We discussed the two party system, the primaries, the Democratic and Republican tickets, the conventions…

Things got real in the fall.

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