End of Year Update

I’m an inspired blogger. Have I said that before? What I mean is that I am not systematic about posting or even writing. I will wake up with a sudden thought about something I need to share or be out running and connections are made. That’s when I write. It seems silly to me to force the writing. I take seriously the mission of my blog: to write about adoptive parenting. If my experiences don’t seem related to adoption – just plain old parenting issues – I don’t write. Occasionally, my readers tell me that I’ve misjudged and the topic I’ve written about IS just a plain old parenting issue. I learn something too.

This morning, I received a recap from WordPress that reminded me I have not posted in several months. There’s an explanation for this – or, perhaps, several explanations. I’ve been busy writing on a completely different topic: sexual violence. My new book, Sunday Confessions, will be available early in 2015. I’m a survivor, and I worked in the areas of education, prevention, and intervention related to sexual violence for several years before my family came along. The book was born out of those experiences with real people, places, and events, though I have fictionalized the story to protect identities.

Meanwhile, family life continues. I wanted to take this opportunity (while the plumber fixes a broken sink and I wait to move more boxes to our new/old home) to bring you up to date on recent events. (This may be another example of “just plain old parenting issues,” but I’ll let you be the judge.)

After seven years of owning two homes – not by choice – we are finally selling the one we currently live in in mid-January, and moving back to the one we left less than two years ago. Yes, it’s a PAIN to move. But we are delighted to be selling to friends from church who have fallen in love with this 1929 Dutch Colonial that John and I fell in love with years ago.

In the area of adoption, I am assisting some relatives of a friend find an appropriate adoptive home for their 4-year-old. Earlier in the month, I helped my son, Becton, complete his IB (International Baccalaureate) project on Open Access to Original Birth Certificates for adoptees. He did an amazing job, and I’m contemplating how to get his work in front of our Georgia legislators this coming term. I also had a conversation at a holiday party with an adoptive mother who may be interested in working with me on providing services to pregnant women contemplating adoption, both pre- and post-birth. This is a longer topic that I will come back to in later posts.

Now to the other members of the family –

Becton has been persistent and dedicated to trying to make himself “famous.” His latest idea was to sign-up online to meet with an agent. She called me yesterday, and I decided I would at least let him have his free interview and see where it goes… Becton was also cast as the Angel Gabriel in this year’s Christmas story and did a beautiful job.

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Journey almost killed me with her procrastination toward the end of the fall semester. Her dyslexia slows her down – but so does her inability to say “no” to other projects. She is in “Peter Pan” at Onstage Atlanta and found it necessary to add being a wrestling team manager to her schedule as well. Journey hates the camera these days. It has something to do with being a 9th grade girl. She was a liturgical dancer in the Christmas Eve pageant. But even when she doesn’t smile, Journey is beautiful (even if she doesn’t quite believe it right now.)

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Skye keeps to herself most of the time behind her bedroom door. For the most part, she refuses to involve herself in family activities like going to church or eating meals with the rest of us. Don’t get me started on chores or “helping out.” Without going into a lot of detail, I will just say that her distance is troubling and sometimes infuriating, but we work hard to make peace with it and hope that she will someday soon discover that relationships with her family members have value. On the bright side, she is enjoying getting to know her birth family members better. And though I sometimes find myself gritting my teeth and thinking, “You have no idea what she is like to live with,” I am also happy that she can explore this important part of who she is with her original family.

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Skye met her birthfather this Fall for the first time EVER.

K.J. has become “social K.J.” for the first time in his life. Oh, he always got along with peers. But he was never one to seek out friends once he got home. Now, on occasion, John or I will ask, “Where’s K.J.?” and discover that he has gone off to Harry’s house or shopping with Becca, etc. The downside to this new social K.J. is that he is spending ALL his hard-earned lifeguarding money. We suspect that this exuberant spending spree is part of the process he needs to go through to learn that having 18 new pairs of athletic shoes will affect his purchasing power in the future. We will soon find out if he is able to make that connection.

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This picture shows K.J. on our church’s Pride Parade float before his friends joined him from the sidelines on the trunk of the car for the ride.

Emily is off in Kentucky visiting her birthmother and brother – along with Dillon, the guy she isn’t dating anymore but spends an awful lot of time on the phone with, according to K.J., Emily’s carriage house living companion. I don’t ask her…She has a new dog, Zoe, that she brought home from Kentucky a few months ago AGAINST HER PARENTS’ WISHES. But Zoe stayed. I had to convince John that taking the puppy from Emily would be more traumatic than adjusting to all the mess that a third canine would bring. (I’m not sure John would agree now that I was right.) Emily and I had a great time on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk in San Diego in November – pictured below. Next month, we plan to begin exploring other educational options for her at Gwinnett Tech or elsewhere.

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You have to admit – they make a pretty cute matched set.

John is working hard at both his paid and unpaid jobs. Between fixing problems in both houses and hiring professionals to fix other problems, packing and moving what we can before the BIG MOVE, he is busy, tired, and body sore.

Well, the sink still isn’t done, but I better get back to packing. Happy New Year to All!

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