Nonfiction Piece Published

When my first byline was published, it was in the Chattanooga Times prior to its merging with the Chattanooga Free Press, and I was sixteen years old. I knew I wanted to be a writer early on, but it wasn’t until I saw my byline that I realized how strong and serious that desire was.

Fast forward 23 years and I still marvel at my name in print. It is not vanity. Rather, it is incontrovertible evidence that hard work can result in accomplished goals.

Today my goals have shifted slightly. While I continue to write features for print and online magazines, I press on with writing fiction and hope to be recognized for those efforts before I die.

Seriously. That’s my only goal. Sometime before I die.

Anyway, part of branching out towards that effort is building a cadre of literary recognition, and to do that, I need to be writing unassigned stories and essays and submitting them wherever possible. This opens me up to more rejection, but WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

At the end of the summer, on a whim, I submitted a nonfiction piece about our infertility experience and subsequent first adoption to a new online literary journal written by women for women. It was accepted and the piece posted this week.

“The Theft and Recovery of Hope” begins with one of the most heart-wrenching moments of our infertility journey. It was Mother’s Day, and the pastor asked all the mothers, grandmothers, and mothers-to-be to stand and be applauded. Unable to stand, I sat and stewed. 

No worries, though. Our story has a happy ending.

Please enjoy “The Theft and Recovery of Hope,” and do take time to explore other essays and bits of poetry featured in The Same.

Signs of Life Day Twenty-Two

In October 2000, a 14-year-old girl who’d concealed her pregnancy secretly gave birth and placed the newborn in a shed. The baby died from severe dehydration and the young mother was sentenced to state custody. It was then that two women in our county, along with state officials, decided to act, and in June 2001, Tennessee’s State Haven Law went into effect.

In late 2015,  my associate pastor suggested I look into volunteering at A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee. Not knowing what it was, I did a quick look online and found that it’s a local nonprofit organization that supports and assists facilities where mothers can surrender their newborn babies (up to three days old), no questions asked.

It also operates a 24-hour helpline to answer questions and educate young women across the state about this legal alternative to infant abandonment. 

Immediately I filled out the contact form on the site and inquired about volunteer opportunities. As an adoptive mom and woman who believes every life has potential, I viewed any effort I made in this arena as worthwhile.  

After meeting with the director and clarifying to her what I was capable of providing, I soon became the organization’s on-hand graphic designer. In the last year I’ve designed event fliers, invitations, and other marketing materials, as well as proofread a few press releases when needed. The director sends me info and I crank it out. I’m never in the office or at any meetings, but instead I’m in my home, doing the things I always do, but contributing what I can to the cause.

To date, 89 infants have been safely surrendered in the state of Tennessee, and while that may not seem like a lot on the surface, those are 89 lives that were given a chance. Their birth mothers made a brave choice, a sacrifice unlike any other. I am proud to contribute even in this small way so women may know that the option of surrender is available if necessary.

If you’re looking for Signs of Life in this troubling world, then I hope this post encourages you.

Signs of Life is a blog series I’m writing for February 2017. It was born out of desire to replace the negativity and despair that’s been bogging down our friendships, families, and communities after a tumultuous election season. This series won’t solve the world’s problems, but I hope it will create a speck of light and positivity when and where it is needed. 

 

Come here. Sit down and look at me.

I do this often. I’ll be playing around with my camera, figuring stuff out, and suddenly I need a face in front of me. I’ll call a child, whoever is closest, and he’ll stare at the lens. I click, adjust, click, readjust. My handsome boys, the test models.

Jackson in mid-June 2016

Two things about this I love:

First, I always have updated photos of them. Not just blurry phone pictures, but real, detailed, up-close images of what they look like RIGHT NOW. Every freckle, every inch of peach fuzz. This is Jackson at ten years and ten days old. This is Jeremy at twelve years, nine months, and twelve days old.

Jeremy in mid-June 2016

The second thing I love is that while I fiddle with aperture and shutter speed, we talk. We talk about random stuff, like Pokemon cards, football stadiums, swimming with friends. Though neither avoids conversation with me (yet), this is a time and space when we have each other’s full attention. I’m looking at him, he’s looking at me. Though there is a camera between us, we have eye contact.

I’m not sure how much longer they’ll let me use them for test models, and if I had to guess, I think Jeremy will jump ship first. But for now, I will continue. Every month or so, every couple of weeks, I’ll sit them down on the edge of my bed, outside on the porch, wherever, and say, “Come here. Sit down and look at me.”

And it will be worth it.

Throwback to when we met Jackson

To say we had little time to prepare for Jackson’s arrival would be an understatement. We found out about his impending birth and potential adoption on Saturday, June 10. He was born on Sunday, June 11, and we saw him for the first time through the nursery window that afternoon around 5 p.m. He was 16 hours old. He wasn’t legally ours yet, but in my heart, he was mine all mine.

The first time we saw Jackson

It wasn’t until Monday afternoon, June 12, that I got to hold him and kiss him and call him by his name.

TBT to June 11

Over an unsuspecting weekend in mid-June 2006, we became a family of four. Adoption is the coolest thing ever.

Allow me a moment to gush

Normally, when prompted to write a few sentences to display his understanding of grammar and punctuation, Jackson writes about football. He used to write about Marvel (ah, the good old days!) or some other obsession of the moment, but the last year or two has been all about football.

Packers fan

Imagine my delight when I discovered that one of last week’s assignments on commas and clauses centered around us and not Aaron Rodgers  or Cam Newton. He was supposed to write four sentences about “someone you admire,” beginning at least two of the sentences with after, when, while, before, although, if, and so on.

This is what he wrote:

  1. Before I loved my mom, I was not even born yet, but I came in 2006 and loved her.
  2. I think my mom is cool, funny, smart, and a good cook.
  3. If I could love two people, I would choose my mom and dad.
  4. Mom and Dad are the two best Moms and Dads in the world.

So what if the last sentence doesn’t have a comma in it. AREN’T THOSE THE MOST FABULOUS FOUR SENTENCES EVER?

Jackson's eyes

Yeah, I think so too. 

P.S. For those concerned about the wire Jackson swallowed on Veteran’s Day, all is well. A follow-up X-Ray this morning showed that the “foreign body” had passed.

Blog Challenge Day 24: A difficult time

Describe a difficult time in my life.

By far, to date, the most troubling time in my life was at 23 and 24 years old. I was newly married and freshly off all forms of birth control. We were going to start a family. With all that potential in the air – and it was palpable – we forged ahead in anticipation that I would have a positive pregnancy test by the beginning of 2002, if not by the end of 2001.

Nothing happened, so we upped our game. Still nothing happened, so we went to the doctor.

It was at this point that a dark cloud came over our two-bedroom apartment in North Chattanooga and settled there for the next year and a half. It was dark, so much that the darkness crept in my heart and pushed out all the happiness. There would be no pregnancies. Ever.

All around me, friends fell pregnant, and one-by-one, they hesitated to tell me. We weren’t planning it, they’d say. We hate to tell you this, they’d say. It was as if all they had to do was run into each other in the hallway and – voila! – pregnant!

They hated to tell me, and I hated to hear it. The darkness got worse and I hated everyone. I was a horrible friend, a horrible person. Mother’s Day in 2002 was the worst. Pastors and preachers, don’t ever ask all the mothers in the congregation to stand up and be recognized with applause. I’m still surprised lightning did not strike me dead in the pew on account of my awful thoughts.

It was around Christmastime in 2002 that my best friend, Karin, cautiously, carefully told me she was pregnant. After feigning excitement for the duration of the phone call, I hung up and wept at Chuck’s feet. Not only was this the absolute lowest possible point I could fall, it was also the turning point. I resolved that I would enjoy pregnancy through Karin. If I wasn’t going to be a mother, I would at least be the next best thing – the auntie.

Starting in January 2003, I scraped myself off the floor, wiped my face, and helped Karin decorate the nursery. We shopped together and I helped host her baby shower. I put my hand to her belly and felt the baby kick. I did all the things.

The darkness in my heart was still there, but it had waned. Occasionally it resurfaced, like when we started the adoption process and the road felt long and hopeless, but I kept focused and diligent. I would be a mother eventually.

In August 2003, we met Jeremy’s birth mother. In September 2003, we were there for his birth. From the moment I decided to lift myself out of the fog to the moment Jeremy was born, it was exactly nine months. 

adoption quote

A Mother’s Day Confession

It wasn’t that long ago when Mother’s Day was the worst day of the year for me – that miserable Sunday when the pastor stood proudly in the pulpit, beaming at the congregation, asking all the mothers and grandmothers to stand and be recognized.

I hate you all, I said under my breath. Every last one of you can suck it. 

That’s what Mother’s Day feels like when you’re infertile, when the doctor quietly, gently tells you that you won’t be getting pregnant like everyone else in the free world, that having a family is going to require that you submit applications and convince the public that you’re capable and worthy of being called a mother.

It was horrible and I make no apologies for my contained bitterness of 2002 and early 2003. It was a season I was meant to weather, and though I didn’t grasp it at the time, I can look back now and see where my spirit was stretched and twisted and bruised.

Thankfully, those wounds have healed.

family of four

But that isn’t the case for many women who loathe Mother’s Day, and not only due to infertility. There are miscarriages and family fractures, those who’ve recently lost their mothers and those who are still mourning years after. Mother’s Day isn’t all flowers and breakfast in bed, photos on the front porch or construction paper cards made with Daddy’s help. There are single mothers and overwhelmed mothers, and moms who are faking their way through a celebratory day when really they’d love a good, long vacation away from everyone.

Even though I don’t hate Mother’s Day the way I used to, I’m conscious of those who harbor the burden of bitterness I once carried. Yes, we should celebrate our moms and enjoy the sweet – albeit short-lived – gratitude shown by our own children, but we should also take a moment to consider those who aren’t smiling today. There’s a lot of hurt that gets amplified on Mother’s Day, and while we are all dealt a different set of cards in life, it does us good to remember that we’re still sitting at the same table.

Chromosomes and Adoption: Not my favorite Science lesson

The subject of our boys’ adoptions come up rarely, so rarely that we all forget that that’s how we became a family. It’s a non-issue most of the time, and when it is an issue, it’s only a remark, like “I wonder if I’ll ever meet my birth mom/birth dad,” to which we respond with, “When it comes time for that, we’ll be right there with you.”

Every once in a while I’m caught off guard and don’t have a Standard Adoption Response on the tip of my tongue. That happened this morning and I’m still trying to figure out what to do about it.

Jeremy’s learning about blood and bones and what makes up our bodies, so it should’ve occurred to me that we’d eventually make our way to chromosomes. We were reading about blood cells and then all of a sudden wound up here:

Chromosomes and Adoption

It’s meant to be a fun experiment to see how a child could’ve looked with alternative traits from his parents, but all I saw was a BIG RED STOP SIGN. It would be cruel to have him fill in information about Chuck and me, knowing that none of our physical traits were passed down to our children. It would be more cruel to fill in his birth mother’s physical traits and leave the birth father’s blank, a reminder that someone didn’t take interest in his existence.

I didn’t have an answer at the ready, so – on the fly and in a panic – I turned the page and muffled something like, “Oh we’ll come back to that.” 

This must be dealt with. Jeremy needs to learn about chromosomes and blood type and do that graph thing where you figure out the probability of eye color, but I’ll have to get my words sorted out beforehand. I’ll have to find a way to celebrate his reddish hair, freckles, and long eyelashes even though we aren’t sure where they came from. Jackson too, with his zigzag hairline, tan skin, and eyes that smile.  So far, I think we’ve done a stellar job of reinforcing how much they were wanted and prayed for and how their adoptions fell perfectly into place for both our family and their birth families. Neither child, to my knowledge or intuition, feels short-changed or discarded. But this sort of Science lesson flies right in their faces and reminds them, “Oh yeah. I don’t have this information. It doesn’t apply to me.”

Maybe I’m not giving Jeremy and Jackson enough credit here. Just this afternoon I overheard Jeremy tell his brother, “I bet I could play soccer against ninth graders. I have soccer in my blood.” A true statement, I might add. His biological mother and half-brother are soccer pros and I have no doubt Jeremy is like them. Likewise, he favors his biological aunt in the same wonderful way Jacob favors me. Jackson, too, shares the same bright smile as his birth mother. Their childhood photos are incredibly similar.

Even with all of these parallels we’ve drawn, I still feel a need to patch holes, to pull them in a suffocating Mom hug and say, “IT’S ALL FINE! WE’RE ALL FINE HERE!” But then they’ll roll their eyes and tell me to calm down and that I’m making a big deal out of nothing.

UGH. Why does it all feel so HEAVY?

TBT: The old morning routine

I didn’t intend to be a stay-at-home mom, much less a homeschooling stay-at-home mom, but stranger things have happened. Eight years ago, these two were my daily companions:

TBT January 2007

Obviously, they are still my daily companions, but their faces and needs have changed greatly over time and they continue to challenge me in every way possible. When I see photos like this I’m reminded of the sweetest parts of having little ones – and a tiny piece of me yearns to have it again.

But then I snap out of it because having a baby at this stage of life would cause a crack in the Earth. Did you know it was at our age now that Chuck’s parents spontaneously got pregnant with him after being told they couldn’t have children?

Yeah, we’re taking steps to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself.

TBT: Meeting Jackson

This was our first time meeting and holding Jackson. He was one day old and prior to this moment we had only been able to look at him through the nursery window.

It was on this day that I realized miracles can happen twice.♥

TBT meeting jack

Silent Videos from 2005 and 2006

My first digital camera was a Kodak EasyShare that took sketchy video with no audio. Chuck gave it to me for Mother’s Day in 2005. I loved it because it meant I could take digital photos and video without developing film or hooking up the video camera to the television. It all seemed so convenient. Instant gratification and all.

Then, in December 2006, I got a second Kodak EasyShare that took video with sound. What a concept! That meant we were left with a year and a half of silent footage. Toddler Jeremy and newborn Jackson didn’t make a peep.

Earlier this week, I decided to pull bits of those videos together into one compilation set to music. It’s nearly nine minutes, so I realize only family and friends will commit to that sort of length. The first 4:45 minutes are all Jeremy. Then Jackson is born and there’s footage from the first time we saw him through the nursery window. He was less than 24 hours old.

There are also a few cameos of friends and cousins. Grace is at 2:45, Hank is at 4:15, Jacob makes an appearance at 4:30 and again at 5:56. Jackson is born at 4:54 and there’s a brief glimpse of Brenda, Chuck’s mother, at 5:37.

(Ignore the ads. Just click the little X in the righthand corner to close them.)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN9OjuaxcqA]

Nature talk on a nature walk

While Jackson was at a church activity last Wednesday, Jeremy and I took Major for a nature walk at the Greenway. By nature walk, I mean I didn’t calculate anyone’s heart rate or attempt specific mileage. We strolled. We looked. We chased squirrels. Nature-y stuff.

Just when I thought our conversation was safe and comfortable with hawks and their prey, Jeremy swung us in another direction (as usual) by asking why specifically Chuck and I could not conceive a child. Not generally, mind you. Not in a “God wanted us to adopt you” kind of infertility answer, but a real, biological, uncomfortable, and blushing kind of answer.

Yeah, I told him. I said all the words I needed to say so he could understand biologically why we were infertile. We also talked about DNA, explaining why his physical features resemble his biological aunt, why my face is similar to Grandma’s but my height is from Grandpa, why Chuck is the spitting image of Papaw. We talked about how he may get mannerisms from us simply because we live together and our habits rub off on one another, to which he replied, “Which is why I’m funny like Dad.” Yes, exactly.

Our ten year old is growing up fast. Since he is quickly unsatisfied with simple answers, Chuck and I have chosen to give Jeremy more information regarding these mature topics much sooner than we anticipated. We already know that Jackson is readily able to accept answers like, “Ah, buddy, you don’t need to worry about that stuff right now.” But Jeremy is wholly insulted by such a reply. He is mature and almost an adult, because being ten is being a pre-teen, which is almost a teenager, which is practically an adult. (As you can see, Jeremy is nearing retirement.)

All this is to say that I can no longer assume that a nature stroll with this child will be casual. Instead, it’s Jeremy’s primetime. It’s the opportunity to ask questions without little brother around, without other distractions, with Mom’s full attention.

Our conversations, as a whole, are shifting in this house. Case in point: On the way home from the pumpkin patch Friday night, we didn’t talk about autumn things. We didn’t talk about Halloween or costumes or the corn maze. We didn’t talk about carving the pumpkins we just picked.

No, we talked about what it means to be a wingman.

It all started when Jackson lovingly said to me, “Mom, you’re my wingwoman.”

Oh really?

“Where did you hear that word?” I asked.

“On Wimpy Kid,” he said.

“Do you know what a wingman is?”

“No,” said Jack.

To which Jeremy piped up and answered, “I do. It’s a guy who helps you get a girl.”

“Well, yes, I suppose that’s right,” I said.

Then Chuck entered the conversation and explained more fully what a wingman is, and I just sunk deep into the passenger seat wishing for the good ole days of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Privileged

When you are told you cannot conceive a child, you begin the process of what can only be described as mourning. A tidal wave of shock, denial, disappointment, anger, and sorrow come crashing into your being, and no amount of consolation can build a barrier strong enough to combat it. You crawl into a dark place to hide while every woman around you (it seems) rubs her pregnant belly in joyful anticipation. No, infertility is not a pathway to adoption. It is its own thing entirely, and until you choose to reconcile it, it is a haunting reminder of failure and defeat.

Mother’s Day, following our diagnosis, was brutal. The Sunday morning church service was punctuated when every mother and grandmother was asked to stand up and be recognized by the congregation. Applause erupted as a hundred or so women stood grinning. I sat in the pew staring down at my feet.

But.

Exactly nine months after being told we could not have biological children, we were given our first incredible gift through adoption. We spent four weeks preparing for Jeremy and he rocked our little socks off when he finally arrived in September 2003.

2003And just when one child would’ve been enough, God went and did it again. Jackson arrived in 2006.2006

To the women who are still wishing and waiting for their children to arrive, I share your struggle. I hear you. I know that darkness, and Sunday will be a harsh reminder of what you’ve yet to attain. There are no words to bandage that wound. Take comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone in that cave.

To the women with whom I’m privileged to share this charge, I wish you a peaceful and joy-filled Mother’s Day.

And to my own mother, I miss and love you. I wish we lived closer.

mom, me and becky in the snow

Did you try out other babies?

There I was, driving down the street and singing my little heart out with the new Killers album when Jeremy pipes up from the back seat.

“Mom?”

I heard him but kind of ignored him because I was really digging the song and wanted to finish the chorus.

“MOM?” He yelled louder. I couldn’t pretend twice so I paused the iPod.

“Yeah?”

“Did you try out other babies?” he asks.

“What do you mean?”

“You know, in the hospital. Did you try out other babies and hold them?”

“Try them out for what?” I ask.

“To make sure I was the right one.”

Continue reading “Did you try out other babies?”

A Chattanooga Recharge

We left for Chattanooga Friday afternoon and I have to say – it was the most amazing weekend. The weather was absolutely perfect in the Tennessee Valley, which meant nearly everything was done outside. Playgrounds, grilling out, and a fabulous run along the Riverpark Saturday morning. (Oh how I’ve missed that!) But what made it especially wonderful was everyone we got to see.

Friday night Chuck and I stole away for dinner (at J Alexander’s) and a movie (Limitless at the Majestic), which we haven’t done in, oh, say a year or two. Seriously. After we reintroduced ourselves, we had a good time – especially in the VIP theater room. Recliners, drink menus, waiters, the whole bit. I never realized how fun it would be to watch a movie while sitting in a recliner. I’m sold.

Afterwards we drove around North Chattanooga to see what’s changed, what’s new and what’s still the same. Why oh why didn’t we buy a house in North Chattanooga all those years ago? What used to be the questionable, up-and-coming part of town 12 or 15 years ago has become the hipster epicenter with gorgeous remodeled craftsman homes, walkability to restaurants and entertainment and an amazing view of the cityscape and river. I went for a run Saturday morning and parked midway down the Riverpark so I could run towards downtown. It’s the same pathway I trained on for six half marathons and one full, 26-mile race, and it was just as beautiful as ever.

We spent Saturday afternoon at Matt and Amy’s house, our Fred and Ethel Mertz, and I also got some one-on-one Amy time Sunday morning for coffee and shopping. Later in the afternoon, Jeremy and I scooted off to another park to meet his biological aunt, uncle and cousin, which is something we discussed prior to arranging. (More on that later.) Jeremy was thrilled to meet them and I was happy to see him happy. Here’s a snapshot of us waiting for them at the playground.

Saturday night was a long overdue dinner with Karin, and Sunday morning was coffee with Amy followed by lunch with Kathryn (my high school bestie). When it was all over, I bid a sweet farewell to Chattanooga and got back on the road towards the Foothills. (Chuck and the boys left for Knoxville with Bill that morning.) I probably smiled the entire way home. This weekend was just the recharge I needed.

While Chattanooga is a really great town, I’m happy to be home in the mountains. It’s hard to explain how a place you’ve never lived before feels like home, but that’s exactly what’s happened. Like I told my dad on the phone a few weeks ago – as an Army brat, home was wherever the Army sent us, and after Dad retired, home was wherever my parents lived. I’ve never had an actual hometown. Until now.

A little spot in the February Issue

(see Amarillo Magazine article here)

Then I Knew They Were Mine

I remember that Sunday quite perfectly.

It was Mother’s Day, 2003, and my husband and I were in our second year of reeling from infertility. We longed to adopt a child. We were surrounded by friends who were getting pregnant with ease, and on this particular Sunday we were surrounded by a congregation of mothers at church.

“We want to recognize all of the mothers in this room,” rang the pastor. “So if you’ve had the privilege and joy of being a mother, please stand up!”

The room erupted in applause, but I sat bitterly in the pew with my hands clenched. I couldn’t raise my eyes for nary a second. I choked back tears and steamed with jealous anger.

To be told you cannot conceive a child is something out of this world. The words come out of the doctor’s mouth and float around the room before stabbing you right in the heart. What once represented hope and anticipation was suddenly a ripping of what should have been natural and easy. You grow up, you get married, you get pregnant and make a family. It felt as if we’d been robbed.

What I didn’t know, as I pouted in the church pew, was that there was a plan already in motion. Unbeknownst to us, our son was already growing in his birth mother’s belly, and in early August, we were introduced to her by a mutual friend. By September, she gave birth and placed in our hands a most treasured gift. Finally, I was a mother.

All of the bitterness I held on to for two years was instantly replaced by an immeasurable well of love. I had not carried him tenderly inside me for nine months, but from the moment I laid eyes on Jeremy’s tiny body, I knew he was mine.

By his fourth month, I had to defend my position as Jeremy’s mother. He was scheduled for a minor day surgery, and on the early morning of his procedure, we sat in the hospital room filling out all of the standard paperwork. When I arrived at the spot to fill in his social security number, I called for the nurse. We were two months from the adoption being final, so Jeremy didn’t have a number yet. The nurse went across the hall to the physician and my face went flush as I eavesdropped.

“We can’t do this surgery,” said the doctor, “unless we have permission from his real mother.”

Instinctively I stormed into the hallway and before I could censor myself, the words flew out of my mouth for the whole floor to hear: “I am his real mother.”

They stood there in shock before gently explaining their legal dilemma. The solution was an early morning phone call to our lawyer who provided custody documents on our behalf. Though Jeremy’s surgery went about as planned, I fumed for a solid week on the doctor’s tactless slip of the tongue.

Nearly three years later, we were delighted again to receive a second son. This time, instead of having the luxury of four weeks to prepare for a baby, we had 24 hours. We woke on a Saturday morning an oblivious family of three, but by Sunday night we had grown to a family of four. Even in the rush of his birth, being chosen as his parents and meeting him for the first time, from the moment I saw six-hour-old Jackson through the hospital nursery window, I knew he was mine.

Fast forward seven and four years respectively. Our house is busy, noisy, and, depending on the day, it is a galaxy far, far away, a battlefield for Army men or a super-speeding race track. It is a place where laughter fixes nearly every problem and table manners may never be achieved. It is place of properly set boundaries, where hugs are given free and clear, and one bite of your vegetables is good enough for now.

It is also where we talk openly about their adoptions, using words like sacrifice, gift, and, above all else, love. It is because of love that you are here.

With Jeremy, we’ve reached a pivotal place of starting to answer hard questions, and we agreed a long time ago that we’d always answer them as honestly as possible and with age-appropriate information. Our conversations are sweet and mostly benign, which confirms that the hardest challenges are yet to come. It is never far from my mind to affirm both boys of their place in our family.

In the quieter moments of this bestowed motherhood, I imagine my boys at an age of rebellion, when they are looking for answers that I cannot give, and it’s then that I imagine the worst. It’s a fear every adoptive parent harbors. There could come a day, when in anger, they might yell at me, “You aren’t my real mother.”

Now, I can’t say for sure what the context of this argument may be, and I can’t say for sure how I will respond as a whole, but if my instincts are correct and my love is still strong, then I’m certain I’ll begin with, “Oh yes I am.”

 

Love Makes a Family

I’ve continued to seek and find on Etsy this week and stumbled upon these adorable nursery prints from Barking Bird Art. I love how simple line drawings are, especially when paired with a muted color palette.

Because it takes love to make a family (and in our case, a subsequent court date), this one is my fave:

You can see the full line of nursery art pieces here.

And do not read into the “nursery” flavor of this post. That ship has sailed, people.