Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Resolutions of a New Adoptive Parent

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My uncharacteristic flirtation with holiday cheer started to run out around 11:00 p.m. on Dec. 23rd, but our first Christmas was still a success. There were some ups and downs–thankfully mostly ups–and I’m happy to report that we were all in good spirits to ring in the new year last night.

We spent New Year’s Eve watching The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers after going to see The Hobbit earlier in the day. That’s a lot of LOTR, even for a Tolkien fan like myself!

I have to admit though that I’m a little reluctant to bid adieu to 2012. It was an incredible year of firsts: the first time that we met DJ, our first overnight as a family, the first time that he met our extended families, being called “Mom” for the first time (although to be perfectly honest, he was trying to persuade me to run down a hill & recover a soccer ball at the time), and our first Christmas.

Frosty Footpath - winter snow

Photo credit: blmiers2

As I imagine they are for many waiting moms & dads, the holidays have been pretty difficult for me in the past. I’ve often felt more disorganized than usual amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas. By Jan. 1, the introspective nature of the season has propelled me into an all-too-familiar cycle of self-pity. Despite my best efforts to be present and be grateful for all of the wonderful things that I did have in my life, I’ve struggled to be genuinely optimistic about the new year.

This year, of course, my attitude about the new year is dramatically different. Instead of my standard resolution to work harder on the adoption process, I’m resolving to make 2013 the very best possible year for our new family–physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Here are a few of my parenting resolutions:

1. Continue to work on DJ’s self-esteem. Like many adoptive children, he’s developed a very negative image of himself. We’re very quick to correct him when he says these types of things, but I’m hoping with the adoption finalization and our continued reassurances that we’re his forever family that he’ll learn to be kinder to himself.

2. Work on incorporating more whole foods into Dom’s diet or at least expand his daily menu beyond boxed mac & cheese, mini ravioli, frozen burritos, and candy.

3. Keep up the good fight against screen time (video games, TV, computers) and promote DJ’s creativity and appreciation of the arts in any form. In particular, I’d love to see him spend more time drawing, writing, and knitting. He got lots of great art stuff for Christmas, and we bought him both a diary and knitting book for kids.

So what kind of family resolutions are you making this year? Any advice on how I can accomplish mine?

Happy New Year! May 2013 be filled with health, happiness, & peace.

New year's eve, 2000, pittsburgh

New Year’s Eve, 2000, Pittsburgh (Photo credit: DeathByBokeh)

Giving Thanks

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I know it’s been a long time since I posted, but with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I couldn’t help but feel inspired.

While it’s been far from easy, life with DJ has been a dream come true. The last five months have been so full–bringing DJ home for the first time, introducing him to family & friends, developing our daily rituals like nightly storytime, going to the bus stop for the 1st day of school,  getting together for family celebrations, watching his soccer games, going over spelling words, doing battle over shorts vs. pants, and so much more.

There have been rough patches that I will probably explore in future posts, but I’m honestly grateful for every minute since DJ became a part of our family. And I’m especially indebted to everyone who helped to bring DJ into our lives and kept us sane during this huge transition. Adoption is definitely not something that you can do on your own, and my only hesitation in writing this post is that I’m going to forget someone. So let me say right now that I’m deeply thankful to all of the family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers who have made the last five months possible.

I am so thankful for all of our family and friends who have been so amazing throughout this very long process. Nothing has given me more joy than watching you get to know our dear DJ. Whether near or far, your support has made all the difference.

I am so thankful for our caseworkers on both the east and west coasts. We never would’ve even known about DJ if it wasn’t for our matching coordinator at Three Rivers Adoption Council sending us an email to check out a little boy on the Northwest Adoption Exchange. In the weeks since DJ’s arrival, all of our caseworkers have done an outstanding job staying on top of the multitude of paperwork and answering our numerous questions. It is because of them that we will hopefully be able to finalize DJ’s adoption early on in the new year.

I am so thankful to DJ’s former foster parents who have done an amazing job loving & providing support for a little boy who was coming from a hard place. DJ’s relatively easy transition into our home is due, in no small part, to their kindness, patience, & generosity over the years. It sounds cliche, but words cannot express how grateful I am for the care that you took of our little boy while he was “waiting”  for his forever family.

I am so grateful to DJ’s birth mother, who despite making some bad choices in her own life, made it clear to DJ that he was loved and that none of her mistakes were his fault.

Last but certainly not least, I am so grateful to my dear husband and DJ himself. It has been a wild ride so far, but your courage and love make it all worthwhile. Although I’ve sometimes approached Thanksgiving with  a fair amount of trepidation in the past, I couldn’t be more excited for our first Thanksgiving as a family.

Happy Thanksgiving!