A Surprise from Mrs. E., and our Holiday Wish for You Comments Off on A Surprise from Mrs. E., and our Holiday Wish for You

A Surprise from Mrs. E., and our Holiday Wish for You

Posted by on Dec 24, 2016 in Christmas, Facing Forty Upside Down, Some Nerve

Mrs. E was my 8th grade social studies teacher. I feared and admired her. She was petite, Asian American, strict, and terrifying – I told G and R how I once cried in front of her when I got a B (i.e., an Asian F).  Since Some Nerve came out, we’ve reconnected, even getting our families together and now G and R think I’m nuts. “She’s so nice, how could you have been afraid of her?” (She gave us those ornaments above.) And yes, now that I’m a parent I see – her high expectations were just another way of saying “I care about you and your future.” She told me Some Nerve resonated for her and her approval meant the world to me – at last, an Asian A! Then a package arrived, a beautiful hand-knotted blanket in Some Nerve yellow and blue. “You are an inspiration to me and to countless others,” the card read. “I made this throw in your honor.” G pointed out the diving figures sewn in, and then looked up at me. “Wait, are you CRYING?” G asked. “Did Mrs. E. make you cry AGAIN??” Yes, she did. With gratitude, for all of it – the tough love, and the generous, open hearted,...

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Happy Christmas! Comments Off on Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas!

Posted by on Dec 25, 2014 in Christmas, Facing Forty Upside Down

Happy Christmas from our merry band of elves to yours! And for the sentimental, who remembers “Dear Santa, by R” and “Hallelujah, the Wait is Over!” from 2011? R is now 8 years old, G is 13. We tracked Santa on the NORAD Santa Tracker tonight and could feel time flying by us all.   Share: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Google+...

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Holidays and Milestones Missing Those We Love Comments Off on Holidays and Milestones Missing Those We Love

Holidays and Milestones Missing Those We Love

Posted by on Dec 23, 2014 in Adoption, Christmas, facing fears, Facing Forty Upside Down, loss, parenting, Remembering - Special people, Wisdom Quotes Teachings

On a recent rainy weekend G, R and I put together a 500-piece puzzle. It was a rainforest scene, lots of colorful feathers and fur, and different shades of green. Partway through piecing together a monkey, I started to worry. It was a used puzzle that one of the girls had bought at a school fair with her allowance. What if I never found this monkey’s head? What if, after all the work of putting it together, it wasn’t complete? “If there are missing pieces it’s okay,” I said, trying to brace the girls for disappointment. “It’s about the challenge, not the picture at the end.” It seems a recurring theme these days, after spending so much of our lives trying to put things together – getting married, having kids, building careers – in pursuit of a complete picture of how things should be, that when we come around to holidays or milestones we pause and see what we’ve built and what we haven’t, what we’ve lost and can never get back. Friends have lost parents, spouses and even children this past year. Others who want to find the right partner or have children wonder if they ever will. And our own children are thinking of birthparents they’ll never...

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Hallelujah, the wait is over! Comments Off on Hallelujah, the wait is over!

Hallelujah, the wait is over!

Posted by on Dec 25, 2011 in Christmas, Facing Forty Upside Down, Kid milestone

Before the meltdown “I AM DONE!  I CANNOT WAIT ANY MORE!  WE REHEARSED TOO MUCH!”  This was the fourth time our 5 year old R, in true diva style, quit her part as Shepherd #4 in the Christ Church Christmas pageant.  But this time, it appeared serious.  This time, she was stripping off her costume 5 minutes before service.  Angels and sheep were lining up, the choir was already seated, and R was down on the floor of the parish hall, costume strewn beside her, wailing “IT’S TOO MUCH WAITING!” I tried bribery (“Candy cane when you’re done!”) and reason (“You did all this work at the rehearsal, don’t let it go to waste”).  I tried stroking her ego (“Don’t you want everyone to see you? “) and appealed to her competitive nature (“Everyone will make a fuss over your sister”) and all she did was cry.  And then, watching her scratch – she has many allergies – I asked “Is the costume itchy?”  “YES!” A bargain was struck.  She wore the head dress, but not the robe.  “Look,” I said.  Bells were ringing.  “The waiting is over.  You’re ready to start!” I took my seat in the pew and watched my baby process with the shepherds, pretend to...

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Dear Santa, by R 4

Dear Santa, by R

Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 in Adoption, Christmas, Facing Forty Upside Down, Kid milestone, parenting

“Mommy, ” R asked, pretty much the moment we got home after Thanksgiving. Really, our bags weren’t even unpacked.  “Mommy, NOW can we write our Christmas lists for Santa?”  When I said yes she went dancing off kicking up her feet to find a marker and paper.  “OK, Mommy, you write, I’ll say.” And here is what my 5 year old said: 1)  A Bumblebee Costume 2) A cookie baking machine (aka “Easy Bake Oven”) 3) For Mommy to be my Mommy forever 4) Mercy Watson books 5) A case with monster trucks already in it. At #3 I stopped and gave her a squeeze, saying “you know that is true.”  It was kind of hard to see through the mist in my eyes for #4 and #5. R says that periodically: “will you be my mommy forever?” or its variant “Will I be your kid forever?” And I don’t know if these are questions all kids ask, if it’s about growing up and wondering how long they will feel safe and small in our arms, or if it’s rooted for her in questions about the birth mother she never knew and the foster mother she can’t quite remember.  Where do I fit in her life story?  Where does...

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