Friday, January 11, 2013

A Cute Story

Last night my son said the cutest thing.  I wanted to record it.  My Catholic friends will appreciate this.

Growing up, any time any of us lost anything, the very first thing my mom would do is say a prayer to St. Anthony.  I have been known to be somewhat,well, "forgetful", so there were lots of prayers initiated on my behalf over the years.  Even as an adult, this continues.  I called my mom once in a panic because I couldn't find my engagement ring.  I was trying to tell her what I thought had happened, but before she could even hear the story she stopped me to say a prayer to St. Anthony (and wouldn't you know it, that ring showed back up shortly after).  Unfortunately, over the years, I have not out grown my "forgetfulness", so the St. Anthony prayer is said a lot in this house. My kids are very familiar with prayers to St. Anthony.  When my second born lost his beloved blankie, we all stopped for a quick prayer to St. Anthony, and soon enough blankie was found.  When my oldest had to pick a Saint for a school project, it was no surprise he chose St. Anthony.

OK, so to the point.  Last night, I was putting #2 son to bed.  Here is our conversation:
#2:  "Mom, I know!  We need to say a prayer to St. Anthony for our sister, because he is the finder of lost things".
Me:  "That is a great idea"
#2:   He recites his prayer, "Dear St .Anthony, please come around.  Something is lost that can't be found."  Then he adds:  "It is our Mei Mei in China".

Feeling satisfied, he rolled over to go to bed.

C'mon St. Anthony ..... work your magic!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Bittersweet December

I can't believe December has come and gone!

We packed our December with some very fun events:

Kate was "Mary" in her preschool Christmas program

We spent a great weekend at my in-laws with my husband's side of the family.  My husband has 1 brother, and he and my sister-in-law have 2 boys the same ages as our boys, and the sweetest little 6 month old girl.  The boys have so much fun together, and Kate immediately took on the role of taking care of her new cousin all weekend long.  She is in LOVE! 

We got home just in time for Christmas!  We had a wonderful Christmas morning:

We surprised the kids on Christmas with a trip to Atlanta to see our Clemson Tigers play in the bowl game on New Years Eve:

One of the highlights of our Christmas was this doll my mom gave to Kate.  She was SO excited to have a "Mei Mei" doll until she has her REAL Mei Mei.

Kate and Mei Mei went everywhere together.  They slept together, shopped together, ate together, ... you get the point.

Watching her with her doll was...well... "bittersweet".  So sweet to see her being so nurturing, but bitter because I don't want to see her carrying around a doll, I am ready to see her with her sister.  And really, that is how things felt all month long:  bittersweet.  We had such a great holiday and so much fun all being together, but yet, someone is missing and I can't help myself from feeling sad about that.  When we started this adoption, one of the things I hoped for was that we would not have to wait too long to find our daughter.  The waiting is hard.  Really hard.  But, as time has passed, I have come to appreciate the wait.  The wait is changing me.  It is changing my family. The wait is teaching me things.  The wait is helping us to prepare.   Every day, the love we have for this child is growing.  Every day, the longing we feel for her is getting stronger.  And that is all a good thing.  The wait is full of bittersweet moments.  But, you can't really appreciate sweet if you never know bittersweet.  I think it is a feeling I need to get comfortable with, because adoption itself seems all about bittersweet.  A family is found, only because a family is lost.  One woman becomes a mother, only because another gives up the chance to be a mother.  A child is given a second chance, only because because their first chance is taken away from them, for whatever reason.  Bittersweet.  

I do not want to wish away the next few weeks or months (or however long it will be), I want to live in the present and enjoy my family as it is each day. I want to embrace the wait.  I want to soak up the bittersweet moments, like this one,

so that one day, when my four kids are (God willing) together under one roof, I can really appreciate how sweet it is.
"Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity.   Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, earthy." 

-Shauna Niequist