Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Favorite Things

Whoa dude.  Another year is over.  2013 is upon us and it's so, so, so crazy to me how much we pack into a year even though sometimes the days seem long.  One of the (many) reasons I maintain this little space is for me--to keep a running record of our lives, my thoughts, stories for Georgia, and how much I want to remember, forever, all of the little things, all of the big things, and the in-between things.

I looked back at the year Pink Shoes has had and chose a post I really liked from each month.  Check them out if you haven't yet!

January: Stories
February: Mom Guilt.  Stop Ignoring it.
March: Not on the Same Team
April: 30 Amazing Minutes
May: Pictures
June: Oh darling don't you ever grow up.....
July: And Then it all Goes to Crap
August: At Midnight
September: Traditions.  Are you building them? 
October: What I've Learned in 35 Years
November: Last Week at this Time
December:  This Wall

I didn't include many of my adoption posts in this list--December is really the only one.  And there's a really silly reason for that, because my adoption posts are hands-down my favorite; no pictures.  I generally don't include a lot, or any, pictures in my adoption posts--the really serious ones.  I can't always find pictures that I think are appropriate and I don't want to necessarily take away from the words because I really mean them.  Maybe I should change that though.  I sense a resolution taking shape.  You can absolutely always get to all of my adoption posts however, through my adoption button in the left side-bar.

Adoption is the cornerstone that allows this blog to exist--you can be sure.  It's my cause.  It's the most important thing I've ever done and I hope I never tire of talking about it and fighting for all that it means, both for birth-parents and adoptive parents.  I am so grateful for all of you that return to Pink Shoes over and over to read what I write, leave an amazing comment, let me know I'm not alone, and in the course of a year have become a tremendous support system.  I've 'talked' to some of you via e-mail at great length about amazing things and about really hard and horrible things when it comes to adoption.  I learn everyday what it means to be a brave and a selfless parent from so many of you.

The stories you share.........I hold them as some of the most precious that I have.  The battles that some of you are fighting.......they're so hard, unimaginable really.....and yet you do it relentlessly because you know what it means to love a child.  You make yourselves vulnerable because being a mama is that amazing and you know it's worth it.  I stand in awe and am humbled by what I've learned from some of you.

Thank you for standing in the trenches of to my daughter's birth are my heroes.

2013.  I pray it's miraculous in exactly the way you need it to be.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Round-Up.

My wedding day and Christmas 2012 now share a delightful commonality.....I went to urgent care on both of them.....because I was horribly sick.

That's right. Sick on Christmas....and still sick....and that's really not what I asked for.  I prayed for a positive strep test so I could take some magic and it'd be better in 24 was negative.  So now I'm just nursing the worst sore throat I've ever had.  It settled in Christmas Eve day and it's still holding on.  It's pretty awesome.

Regardless....we had a great Christmas and a fantastic time together as a family!  A few pictures for you.....

Wrapping is serious business in our family.  Serious business.

As is cookie decorating....gingerbread to be exact.  It's all about the frosting--the good kind--and the red hots.

My sister had some custom Peter Pan costumes made for Georgia--Wendy and Peter-- and Georgia has been wearing them for three days straight now, even sleeping in them.  Could it be that we've found the Wizard of Oz's replacement? As I type she's watching the Cathy Rigby stage version of the play........for the tenth time or so since Christmas Eve.

Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of appetizers and desserts.  We've been doing this as long as I can remember and I'll never stop.  We make a table of our favorite appetizers and cookies, load up our plates, and sit around the tree eating until we're stuffed.  And then.....we open presents....all of them. I know....gasp....what about Christmas morning?  We've always just done stockings in the morning--that's what Santa would bring.   It's how my mom did it when she was little and it's stuck.  I think it's fantastic.  A cozy and very memorable way to spend Christmas Eve.

Sisters. She's so pretty.

Hope you all had a sore-throat free Christmas and you got to spend time with your families.
A new's right around the corner!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Everyday Heroes {A Tribute}

When Chris and I started the adoption process we sought advice from a variety of sources...most of them through our agency.  At the time we didn't really know many people, closely, who had adopted domestically, and were at a bit of a loss for who to turn to.  We just had to plow through on our own and learn as we went.  

However, we did have this one couple in our lives who shared intimate details with us about birth parents.  They were extremely open regarding the feelings of birth parents, the struggles they face, what they hope for their babies, what makes them happy about their babies, what makes them sad, what they want in a set of adoptive parents, and the hopes and dreams that birth parents may have for a relationship with adoptive parents.  We counted on them to give us insider information to the other side.  We ate up everything they had to say.  It was gospel.  We wanted to do right by our potential birth parents because we wanted to 'do adoption' the best we could.  

My brother-in-law and his wife.  Pete and Marci.  Birthparents.  Everyday heroes. Selfless. 

Yesterday marked the 18th anniversary that their first child was born.  An amazing little boy that they loved enough to know that they were not ready to give him the life he deserved....they weren't ready to be the parents for him that they knew all kids desperately needed.  They were young.....but oh so wise.  

They're married now and have three more amazing babies who call them mommy and daddy.  And my husband and I couldn't be more proud to know them and call them family.  They were invaluable to us as we walked through the adoption process and made me love birth-parents before I'd even met Georgia's.  

And the fact is not lost on me that one day, they quite possibly could be exactly what Georgia needs as she begins to understand her own adoption and what that means.  I know that if she wants to fully grasp how birth parents make that decision, and how much they love children and that's why they do it--Pete and Marci will be there for her.  Whatever they'll tell her, it will be perfect.  I know that. To have the other side of adoption represented in our family, for her, is another piece of our adoption story that I believe was written by God eighteen years ago, before she was even conceived, before any of us even knew each other.  

Pete and Marci. Birthparents. They make our world a better place.  They change the world for one child.  They give adoptive parents the greatest gift.  

Thank you Pete and Marci.  Thanks for teaching me how life-giving birthparents are. Thanks for giving me one more reason to love them like crazy and thanks for working to build a culture of adoption in this country.  We need more of you.  A lot more.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hold Tight.

I bet all the mama's and daddy's in Connecticut have pictures like this with their babies that they'll cherish forever. They'll look at them over and over and they'll become wrinkly and worn out and torn and tear stained and creased and faded.  They'll take their breath away.  

And tonight....this one of Georgia and I takes my breath away.  Because she's sleeping upstairs right now in her bed.  Safe.  Alive.  And days like today remind me not to take that for granted.  For a second.  

Hold your kids tight.  Really tight.  Nothing is more important than them.  

Thoughts and prayers, so many of them, to the families of Newtown.  

An unspeakable tragedy. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This Wall.....

the one in all of these pictures.....the one with the cute birdie decals, or as Georgia used to call them, "Peep Peeps,"...... is the wall I was sitting against, amidst boxes and fabric swatches for baby bedding, and random household items, when I got a call from our social worker in February of 2009 telling me that there was this awesome set of parents that wanted to meet us.  They had a baby due in March and they'd settled on our profile.  She told me they were amazing kids; high school students who were involved in sports and academics, and had supportive families; did we want to meet them?

I still have the paper that I scrawled all my notes on that night.  It's a completely unofficial, wrinkly scrap; the back of an old map quest print-out to somewhere inconsequential.  I don't know why I landed on this wall.  The room, at the time, was in the process of being transformed from a half-hearted office into a baby room for a baby we didn't even know about yet.  I must have been in there when I answered the phone and thought it was strange our social worker was calling us at night so I just sat down, ready to listen, figuring it must be big; grabbing the first piece of paper I could find.

I sat there and I wrote down everything she said about these phenomenal kids....our potential birth parents, the ones that we would come to love and cry over and crave visits with.  Those notes....they're the first connection to my daughter that I have.....kind of like a positive pregnancy test for us adoptive mamas. They're the first indication that I knew she was on the way; that she existed.

Sure, we had to meet her birth parents yet, they had to officially say they wanted us, we had to bring her home from the hospital, we had to go through the waiting period where they could change their minds, and everything else that comes with adoption.....but that paper.....I'll never get rid of it.  I look at it now and there is so much meaning embedded in the words that I wrote about her birth-parents...meaning that I didn't even know about at the time that I wrote them.

But "those kids"..... they are real people to us now.... people that Georgia loves and talks about....people that we love and talk about.  When I read how I wrote that they both played sports and loved athletics I smile......because a year and a half ago, when Tarah was a senior, she played a good part of her lacrosse season with a broken hand; she didn't want to go to the doctor and have them confirm it was broken--which would keep her from playing.  And I know now, how true it is, that they love playing sports. And I love that I really know that.  Because I know her. And she picked us.

When I wrote that, sitting on the floor up against this wall, it was true, I just didn't know how true, and it's been life changing to learn it. 

We moved last week and people have been asking me if it's sad.  Do I feel sentimental?  Do I feel upset about leaving our first house; about leaving the house we brought our daughter home to? And to be honest, not really.  I think there are great things in store in our new neighborhood and I think we took advantage of all our first house had to offer; it's the right decision.  But this wall.  That's what gets me. 

On Sunday we went back to our old house for the last time to clean it and get rid of those last few boxes of junk that plague everyone who moves.  I brought my camera because I wanted to make sure that we memorialized 'this wall.'  I wanted to have documentation of what came to be as a result of the hastily scratched notes I took all those years ago sitting up against it. 

Georgia.  A crazy, hilarious, energetic, too smart for her own good, artistic, lover of life.  The notes on that map quest print-out have come to life in front of me and I never want to forget where that started.

We tend to think of walls in our life as things that stop us, keep us from moving forward, change our plans, and thwart our good intentions.  But are they really?  Don't they often push us in a direction we may never have gone in otherwise?  Don't they frequently force us to stop and think and set a new course?  Don't they help us see that when we least expect it the best plan might be right in front of us? 

Walls can be good. 

And I will allow this wall, and the life that started at it forever remind me to think of the good things that walls can bring us. 

What's your wall?

Friday, December 7, 2012

SITS Day.....It actually came!

Hello, hello, hello to all of you that are stopping over from SITS today....and of course to my fantastic loyal readers as well!!  Your featured SITS day kind of starts to feel like a mirage; you think you can see it coming up've been leaving comments on blogs all over the world for like a year, but starts to disappear again and you think, "I've got to be getting that e-mail soon....right?"

To have it finally be here is pretty darn exhilarating! 

It's so great to have you stop by this little space I have.  I hope you'll stick around for a while.  (And for my everyday readers who love to blog as well make sure to check out the SITS website--link above--to find out what being a featured blogger is all about! And also to discover some pretty amazing blogs to follow!)

Pink Shoes was born out of my desire to write about adoption, and the name of my blog comes from one of the most important lessons I learned while going through the domestic adoption process.  You can read that story here!  If you're a fellow adoptive mama, birth mom, or someone who is starting to explore adoption in general I'm so happy to 'meet' you.  Nothing has changed my life like adoption, and it's become my personal mission statement to cultivate a culture of adoption in our country.  It's a little........a lot.......mysterious to many people and that is too bad.  It doesn't need to be......and hopefully my voice can be one of many working to change that. 

And while adoption is most definitely the foundation upon which Pink Shoes is built, everyday life and what I'm learning from it resides here too.  I'm no expert........on anything.......but I do believe that if you have a voice to share you should....we all have something to learn.....and you never know when you might be the vehicle by which someone learns something, grows personally, or gains some confidence....and in the meantime you'll reap the benefit of all those things too! 

Some of my favorite posts from the last year for you to check out if you'd like......

Discussions that make me thankful for open adoption.
Airplanes & Expectations.
The "B" Word.
Drying my hair in the dining room.
The moms in your village.

And, you can also find me over at Mom Colored Glasses on a regular basis; a fantastic online magazine for moms that covers pretty much anything moms think about; DIY's, recipes, healthy living, adoption, faith, special needs, kids and pets, app reviews for kids, and on and on.  We're hosting a pretty awesome Shabby Apple giveaway today over there that you'll for sure want to check out.

So again.....thank you, thank you, thank you for coming by today.  I hope you're hear to stay! Happy Friday to you all.  Drink some hot chocolate, watch Elf, and stare at some twinkly lights this weekend! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Moving Trenches

So we officially moved this past weekend.  And for all you chronic movers out there I have but one question: Why?  We lived in our first house for nine years.  And in nine years, no matter how small the house, you can acquire a lot of..............stuff.  Just ask me.  And then you have to move said stuff.  And it's exhausting--even with movers. But, it's water under the bridge now.........and we're excited about the new place.  It's just kept me from writing as much as I'd like/am used to...........and I get a little itchy thinking about how I haven't written in almost a week. 

But quickly....some great things about our move this weekend.........

I have this great little retro tea kettle from my grandma and it has finally found a perfect home in our new kitchen.  Kind of like it was made to brew tea there.

My amazing friend Rachel, who is also now my neighbor, had a private cooking lesson on Saturday and the results were unreal.  So not the typical Taco Bell that we were planning on eating for dinner when we knew that Saturday was moving day.  Beef tenderloin, mushroom risotto, and home-made cheesecake aren't your typical moving fare food........but we'll take it.......any day Rachel.  Just let us know a day and a time!

We found this guy!  Georgia has a little Wizard of Oz play set that Tarah gave her for her birthday, and we lost the Scarecrow about three months ago.  And this is sad because the Scarecrow is hands-down her favorite character from The Wizard of Oz.  But lo and the movers tipped our love-seat up to move it, he came tumbling out.  Why I couldn't find him in there all the times I looked I'll never know...but he's back in his rightful spot and all is well in Oz. 

First I must say, I am not an apple pie fan...until I tried this one, brought to me warm by one of my new neighbors.  Chris and I ate the whole thing right out of the pan in about an hour while unpacking boxes on Sunday.  I think I've been converted. 

Anyhow...I'll be back on Friday for an exciting day!  Six months in the making.'s not a baby.  Just wanted to get that all cleared up before any wild ideas started floating around out there. 

Happy December!

You Might Also Like....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...