THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES

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A VERY SPECIAL VIDEO

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Over Christmas, my sister-in-law (thank you!) made the most amazing video about Sienna’s journey to us. Warning: you may cry.

The lyrics of the first song are most poignant (from Norah Jones, “Seven Years”):

Spinning, laughing, dancing to
Her favorite song
A little girl with nothing wrong
Is all alone

Eyes wide open
Always hoping for the sun
And she’ll sing her song to anyone
That comes along

Fragile as a leaf in autumn
Just fallin’ to the ground
Without a sound

Crooked little smile on her face
Tells a tale of grace
That’s all her own

Fragile as a leaf in autumn
Just fallin’ to the ground
Without a sound

Spinning, laughing, dancing to her favorite song
She’s a little girl with nothing wrong
And she’s all alone

She’s alone no more!

DEAR SON

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Dear Son,

Today, you turn three years old. I well up with tears just thinking at the immense joy you have brought us these last three years. By your birth, you filled in us a longing that ached so profoundly. You filled our arms. You made us parents.

Son, you were chosen before the dawn of humanity to be ours. We believe God destined you to be ours from the very beginning. And His perfect plan was that you would be placed in another woman’s belly, but would be called ours.

I still remember the chills that ran up and down my spine when your birthmom asked us what name we had picked for a girl. We said Hanna. Her reply? That is her last name. And then the second set of chills when she asked us what name we had picked for a boy. We said Brae. Her reply? Her middle name is Rae.

You were meant for us.

I am so thankful to your birthmom and can never repay her for the gift she gave us: you. She took care of you from inception until birth and then out of an incredible act of love, handed you to us.

Son, Mommy and Daddy were there at your birth. We held your birthmom’s hand as she pushed you out. Mommy cut your cord. We kissed you in all your nakie glory, weeping.

One day, I know you will understand what all of this “adoption stuff” is, and that you will likely have a lot of questions. We will be ready and willing to answer all of them.

Giving birth doesn’t define what it means to be a parent. Genetics doesn’t define what it means to be a parent.

Son, as you read this one day, know that we loved you before we even knew who you were. You may have been placed in someone else’s belly, but you grew in our hearts until we could hold you in our arms.

You can never lose our love.

In honor of the gift your birthmom gave to us, and in honor of your special day, we dedicate to you “Your Own” by Nate Huss.

Happy birthday, baby boy.
— Mommy and Daddy

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THE EXTENDED FAMILY

PhotobucketLast weekend, we had our third visit with Brae’s birth father’s side of the family. We met at a local amusement park that Brae hadn’t yet been to. It was nice to see them all show up to see Brae. All except for one. Unfortunately, Brae’s birth father didn’t make it. Apparently there were some internal family dynamics that caused him to decide not to come. But he did give Brae a birthday gift (a huge stuffed teddy bear that says “I love you”), and he wrote him a card.

By far the biggest hit was the Ford F-150 truck they brought for him. Although Brae was a little hesitant at first, he quickly caught on and was zooming all around the parking lot. He’s definitely the envy of the neighborhood (adults included).

Here’s a video of him riding it for the first time:

At the end of the visit, Brae’s biological great grandmother asked if we could do this again next year. I said, “Of course. We’ve always said that we will continue these visits so long as it is in Brae’s best interest. Right now, because he doesn’t know what is going on, these visits are mostly to create memories, take pictures, and for you. But we feel it’s important that Brae knows his roots and have a connection to his biological family. But, if he ever decides he doesn’t want to come to a visit, we won’t come.”

They appeared to understand. I have a feeling the presents will only get more extravagant as the years go on. What kid doesn’t want to go somewhere and get presents? ; )

In all sincerity, these visits are important to us, for Brae. We have a semi-open adoption and although we have no piece of paper that says we have to do these visits, we love our son tremendously, and don’t ever want him to feel that he was abandoned. He was not. He has a biological family (on both sides) that love him SO much and are grateful for the adoption decision that was made. And if these visits help him see that love, then they are important to us. We don’t expect everyone to understand this (especially if you have not adopted), but as Brae’s parents, we believe strongly we know what is best for him, and for now, these visits are good for him.

In other news…

— This story cracks me up every time I tell it. I picked Brae up from school the other day and we passed by the “time-out” chair, a little chair in the corner of the room all by itself. As Brae and I walked out, Brae points to the chair and yells, “Look, Mommy! That’s Brae’s chair!”

— Sienna started ‘school’ too. She’s at the same Spanish immersion school Brae is at. It’s taking some time for her to adjust. But, on the bright side, I’ve found an alternative to Babywise’s method of getting your child to sleep through the night — take her to a new school where she stays awake all day.

A VERY SPECIAL EMAIL

PhotobucketA couple days ago, we received a very special email. It was from the aunt of our son’s birthfather. She made this incredible video/music montage for our son. It made us cry. I hope it brings beautiful tears to you, and reveals some of the tenderness we have in our hearts about adoption.

Adoption can be, and is, a very beautiful thing.

(PS— the last series of photos with Brae at the zoo were taken by Brae’s birthfather’s side of the family. It was our first visit with him since the day Brae was born. One of my favorite pictures is of Brae on his birthfather’s shoulders, with his Daddy (my husband) walking right beside him).

If that is not the ultimate picture of redemption, I don’t know what is.