Friday, May 3, 2013

Nontraditional Traditions

One thing I learned early on in this adoption journey is that our daily lives are not going to look like anyone else.  We are not going to be working on any type of "normal" timeline.  My kids will most likely not hit the same milestones at the same ages (that's a post for another day).  In the first two years of a new arrival it's always a gamble making plans with us.  Maybe we can make it, but on the other hand, maybe we can't.  It's all dependent on the new one.

Holidays are a lot like that as well.  We've celebrated Easter on a Tuesday and postponed more than one birthday dinner.  It's hard to sing the happy birthday song to someone who is screaming.  Adoption requires flexibility, something I didn't have much of when I first started.

Growing up, birthdays were a big deal.  Picking out special meals, opening presents, getting together with extended family for cake, it was a day all about you.  I loved it and wanted my girls to have the same kind of birthday memories.  I made plans, bought a cake, and wrapped presents.  Then I unmade plans, put the cake in the refrigerator and put the presents on hold for the day.  Rather than the big shindig I had planned, Hannah and I celebrated her tenth birthday just the two of us.   

Was it what I had envisioned?  No.  Was it the best we could do that year?  Yes.  

One thing I appreciate about those who support and love our family is their ability to roll with the circumstances.  I can't tell you what our day will look like in the first two years of a new one.  We hope for the best but are always prepared in case it starts going south.  And as a parent, I just have to be okay with that.

Looking back.  It wasn't as earth-shattering as it felt in those early years.  I still have the pictures.  We still have the memories.  And Easter basket opening on a school morning is kinda exciting in it's own rite.

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