Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall is here!

What a gorgeous fall day! The windows are open to let the cool early autumn breeze inside my house, I'm planning to make chili mac for dinner tonight, and I'm enjoying an afternoon cup of coffee with a slice of cherry almond bread leftover from my sister's dessert reception this weekend.

I got to dress Sassy in one of her adorable new fall outfits that has been waiting in her closet for months, and she was SO well behaved at the store today! I'm so proud of my little girl. :)

I checked out our library's children's programs for the upcoming month, and there are a few I'm really excited to take her to. I love this stage she's in of REALLY enjoying fun outings and crafts!

I have plans in the coming weeks to do more canning. I've never canned anything before until I tried canning strawberry jam a few weeks ago. It turned out great and was so much fun! Super easy, too... and store-bought can't even compare with the taste of homemade.

I finally have time to slow down a bit and reorganize my house. I feel like the past few weeks of wedding frenzy have resulted in a dumping grounds of sorts around here, and I do NOT like clutter.

I have just enough fun little crafty projects to keep me busy and entertained. It's nice to have a little something fun to work on just because I enjoy it. There may just be a giveaway in the future... keep checking back... just saying. :)

The next few Saturdays will be spent at fall festivals, visiting family, apple picking, pumpkin patch, and family pictures. So excited for everything coming up!

I love fall. :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Emotional day

Today has been a tough day. I knew to expect certain things, but others were a curve ball that I didn't see coming. I awoke with a headache, which was with me for most of the day. I'm sure the events of the day didn't help.

At church this morning, a visiting ministry team performed a skit in which a husband and wife receive the news that they've had a failed adoption. Dramatic skits are normally a little overdone, but this took the cake. I felt my face get hot and seriously considered finding the nearest exit. Instead, I sat and squirmed in my seat, focusing hard staying calm. It was a little too ridiculous for a short paragraph in one post, but I want to come back to this later. It had to have been in the top five most uncomfortable moments in church I've ever had... including many painful childless Mother's Days.

We rushed home for a quick lunch, and then shortly after, I was off to a bridal shower for my sister. It's an exciting time for her, and I will be ever so delighted when all the wedding festivities are over by this time next week... but the realization is hitting me that she is moving away, and not just for the school year at college. Out of the three girls in our family, I am the only one who is living near our parents. One sister lives almost six hours away, and the other will soon be living almost four hours away. And I am here. Alone. And, as in the case of recent months, the one who is daily confronted with our father's potentially terminal illness. (Though we've gotten more good reports than bad as of late, which we're thankful for.) I know we all love our parents equally, but I feel like the brunt of the responsibility falls on me, not only as the oldest, but also as the only local one. There's also be no more last minute shopping trips, Starbucks visits, or lazy afternoons spent at my house together. It will be different now, and though it's obviously a wonderful time in her life, and I couldn't be happier for her... I feel, well, sad for myself in a way. It's the end of an era in some sense.

I came home from the shower to meet two very nice people who drove over an hour to visit us today... for the purpose of taking our dog home with them. We've had our dog for more than four years. He will be seven years old on Saturday. He was part of our family long before we ever got our infertility diagnosis or had adoption on the radar screen. He was my baby when I had none. And while I still love him, he's had a difficult time adjusting the past (almost) two years to sharing the spotlight with Sassy. He's not good at playing second fiddle, and it's been showing more and more in his behavior. We've talked about this and debated (postponed?) it for months, but as he began to show signs of mildly aggressive behavior toward our daughter, we knew it was the choice that had to be made. We were so fortunate to find family members of our neighbors who were so excited and thrilled to be taking him home with them. He'll have more land to run than he knows what to do with -- more than he's EVER had before in his life -- and plenty of love and all of the attention. Many reasons made this the best decision... but I still cried when he left, and off and on all evening. I know it's the best decision, but it was harder than I expected it to be.

It's been a tough day. I'm so ready to go curl up in bed next to my husband, probably cry a bit more, and have a good night's sleep. It's a busy week ahead, and I need all the energy I can get.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thank you, Mommy

Sassy has started saying "thank you, Mommy" instead of just "thank you" in the last few weeks. It is adorable and melts my heart every time I hear her sweet little voice say those words. It really is too precious!

Thanking me for anything from a snack of Cheerios, a book to read, a little toy, or even just at a completely random time when I haven't "done" anything in particular for her has become a hobby of sorts for my sweet twenty-one month old. But I know she understands what she is saying, because she will thank other people (grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles) in the same way, and using the appropriate name for the person.

Last week, as I was putting her to bed, I tucked her in and handed her the first comfort item within reach, which happened to be a little pink stuffed bunny that she's had since she was very, very small. It plays a lullaby and has soft fuzzy ears that she always liked to feel. This bunny was a gift from her grandma -- her biological grandma, "Grandma M."

As I handed Sassy the bunny to snuggle with as she drifted off into dreamland, she looked up at me, and with that precious little voice said, "Thank you, Mommy."

I know she was just thanking me because it has become a habit, a ritual in a way. We have always worked with her to say "please" and "thank you" when appropriate, and so far, we've always had a (mostly) polite little girl. She was happy I had handed her the little bunny to cuddle with, and she thanked me. But, I couldn't help but think of how we never would have had that little bunny from her first grandma, had we not allowed our hearts to be opened toward Sassy's biological family.

Open adoption is not the cure-all for the loss and grief that is caused by severing a family through adoption while creating a new one. It's not a quick and easy fix; it's not a Band-Aid. It's not "adoption without tears." There are still tears, and there are still lots of them sometimes.

But, open adoption is worthwhile. There is value in it. It will provide my child with access to her genetic heritage, and what may be more important to her someday, the option of having a relationship with those from whom she came.

It's not always easy. Sometimes, it's challenging. Often times, it's confusing. It can even be downright hard. But, my daughter? She's worth it. She's worth every single ounce of it.

You are so very welcome, sweetheart.