Thankful November, Day 30: You start where you are.

This is my last Thankful November Post. I am glad I tried the challenge, but there were days when I was a fish out of water, desperately flailing around, trying to find something to write. Today I have a lot to say, so please be patient- I will come back to gratitude.

This morning was a good morning. The girls were up in time, both in good moods, and dressed without any hassle. GB took care of Ellie, Hope started breakfast. When they were both done eating, Hope went to finish last night’s HW and GB had a couple of more invitations to fill out. I was sitting between them. Hope needed continual help, because the HW was way beyond her current capabilities (but that is another post). GB said something about one of her classmates being adopted. Hope said, “He can’t be adopted. He’s white.” GB looked at Hope like she was from another planet and repeated “He is adopted. He is white.” Hope got the look*out*your*stupid look on her face and insistently said “Only brown kids get adopted”. GB told her again “J is white and he was adopted.” Hopes arms were crossed and her chin jutted out. I quickly sent GB to watch some TV before the bus. I helped Hope finish her HW and just as she was done, she looked at me and said “Only brown babies get adopted, because nobody wants them. White babies stay with their Mommys”.  All I said to her was I wanted to adopt her, not just any baby, and it was time to go.

After the kids were one the bus, I came back in and realized today was easy. I am grateful that God has given me a chance to change this child’s self image and broaden her knowledge base. It is my job to expose her to the many non-brown kids who have been adopted. I can’t help wondering, though, where she got these ideas from.

Thankful November, Day 29

I am thankful for the sun shining, GB being kind, and the real hug Hope gave me before bed last night. I am thankful that MK came with us for Thanksgiving and was a cheerful, helpful part of the family, the whole time. I am thankful for my husband, who did ALL the driving both ways. I am thankful for Garrett, Danae, and Josiah, my sister’s three kids. They always leave me feeling appreciated.

The Weekend in Pictures

My sister and the girls work on stuffing.

Danae helps, too.

Danae works on Chinese Dumplings.

Josiah turns the BIG 13!

Danae and her favorite Uncle.

Big kid at play.

Caught with a soda before dinner.

Josiah got Kapla blocks for his birthday.

First project.

Top view.

My sister makes turkey soup.

Lynn and Danae.

Playing Ultimate Frisbee. Grateful no one got hurt.

Hope, GB and Ellie, feeling safe.

MK and Malachi- a great addition to the weekend!

Hope had her locs redone!

The Dad worked a lot over the weekend.

Snowman.

What a good holiday! Hope had some problems, one of my nephews also had one bad day, but both recovered. This weekend, we built tall buildings, played ultimate, kicked around a soccer ball, had two family game nights and watched Santa Paws.

Hope had obviously played before.

Everybody is looking forward to spending Christmas together.

GB always enjoys her cousins.

Black Friday

For the first time in years, my sister and I opted out of shopping on Black Friday. We have been simplifying holidays a little bit at a time for years. The past year has contained so many changes for both of our families, that we agreed it was time to do something completely different. Tonight, we put everybody’s name in a hat and everyone drew out a name (MK drew a name for Malachi). Everybody will be responsible for choosing a gift for the person whose name they drew. The kids under 13 will also get  stockings. At least, that’s what we are aiming for. Neither J nor MK are thrilled, but if they choose to have Christmas with us, they will have to go along with it.

I am thankful that I still have my sister to share the good times with.

Thanksgiving Day

With all the deaths my family experienced 3 years ago, family holidays have changed and some of those changes are really noticeable. Today is Thanksgiving Day. In my family, Thanksgiving was the first, most important holiday of the year and my Mom’s favorite. I am thankful that with all the changes, it still feels like Thanksgiving has always felt. MK and her baby are here and MK has been as much of this holiday, as when she was little and eagerly waited for Thanksgiving to come. We are staying at my sister’s, instead of my mother’s.  The kids think “cousin” is the best word in our language. Most of our kids contend with various disabilities, but all of them make allowances for each other’s quirks with out consciously thinking about it. They have cheerfully drawn Hope into the crowd, waiting for the tantrums to pass, and then pulling her back into the fun. Nobody cares that GB is now autistic, as we have had two autistic  kids already. Some of the kids are busy making steamed dumplings, the older set is outside playing Ultimate. GB is happily coloring a page with cats, Hope is one of the dumpling makers. The Black Friday circulars are organized, pen waiting, to help plan tomorrow. The kitchen smells great; different then it did when my parents were alive, but still… like Thanksgiving.

Shortly the turkey will hit he oven and the board games will come out. Computers will be off. Phones will go unanswered. After dinner,  we will go for a walk, weather permitting, followed by dessert and more games. The flow and ebb of family goes on around tantrums, meltdowns, and sick children, sweeping everybody with it. In its essence, Thanksgiving Day hasn’t changed since I was a girl.

GB is Finally Finalized! (Thankful November, Day 23)

It is Legal!

GB and the stuff the judge gave her

GB and her godfather

Today I am thankful because God is faithful and GB’s Adoption  has been finalized in His time, although in my time it took 7 years too long. Thank you to everybody who has supported me while I adjusted to God’s time. Maybe I developed some patience.  I can breathe again!