Thursday, November 07, 2013

Adoption Means...

It is National Adoption Month!  You know what adoption means to us?

Hope and love without conditions.

There are no conditions to the love we have for our boys.  They are our sons...we love them no matter what.  We will forever be their Mommy and Daddy, their supporters, their advocates, the ones who love them no matter matter their past or their future.  They are our sons forever, but they weren't always "ours".  There was a time when another mother and father called them theirs.  And we do not take that lightly.  We do not ever forget that we missed a part of their lives...that we weren't there from the moment they took their first breaths to love them and protect them.  That was not the way it was meant to be.  Their pasts are a huge part of them, their birth families are an important part of them and we don't ever want them to feel that what happened before coming into our family didn't happen, that it wasn't important or special or part of them.  The moment they entered our lives, our home, our family, we vowed that they would feel the love that they deserve from us, the love without conditions.  We also vowed to never let them forget the value of their past, their roots...ALL of the vital parts that make them who they are...the good and the bad.  Our boys were blessed to each have a lot of good before we came into their lives...there was also much trauma and hurt and pain.  Each of those things are part of them...the good and the bad...those things will always be part of them and shape who they are.

These 3 boys all came from such different situations...completely different things led them to us.  They need completely different things to thrive.  Don't we all?  One thing that came with each of these thing that was the same was HOPE.  And hope in so many aspects.  There was a time when I had lost hope.  All I ever wanted was to be a Mommy...when Sean and I struggled to have a child, my hope began to slip away.  There was a time that I thought it may never happen.  Adoption, restored that hope for us.  Tate restored that hope.  We brought him home when he was 2 days old and we were filled with hope and unconditional love.  There are almost no words to describe the wave of hope that came over us when Tate was placed into our arms the first time.

The years went by and Sean and I looked at growing our family once again.  As we explored different avenues, we realized it might not happen for us.  We were possibly meant to have only 1 child.  The hope of having more children was slipping away.  All hope was restored when Wesley and Cason entered our lives.  It was like reliving that feeling all over again.  They were such huge blessings to us!  We had 3 incredible boys and our hope for having this family we dreamed of was restored.  It happened.

With adoption, often hope is restored for the birth family as well.  During their struggles with parenting or making the decision whether to parent or the fact that the choice has been made against their will that they will no longer be the parent to their child or children born to them, there should always be hope.  Hope that the child that they love so much will be loved unconditionally by their adoptive family.  Hope that they may see their child again.  Hope that their child will be safe.  No matter how a child ends up being in the position to be adopted, there is hope...for ALL parties involved!  Sometimes you don't feel that hope, but it's there.

The hope that comes with adoption comes in another, even more important way as well.  Hope for the children who are being adopted.  Hope that they will be loved unconditionally, have a family...forever.  Hope that they will have the love and care they need to meet their highest potential.  Hope that they will have stability and know that they will not be moving from home to home forever.  Hope that they will have a Mommy and Daddy who have the ability and means to protect them and advocate for them.  Hope that all of their dreams will come true.  That is what adoption gives to families and children...a hope that helps us survive another day, that helps us stay strong and confident and makes us realize we matter.

With the joy of adoption comes great heartache and struggle and pain.  It is a fact.  Adoption can be complicated and messy and has so many facets.  Adoption is not simple.  What is simple about adoption to us?

Unconditional Love

When nothing else is simple, simply cling to hope and love without conditions.

Adoption created our family...we would not be a family without adoption...adoption is our world, our everything here on this earth.

Lani's Surprise Birthday Trip

When Brigg turned 10, Sean and I surprised him with a trip to St. Louis and 2 Cardinals games to celebrate him turning DOUBLE DIGITS.  It's a big deal, people. ;)  So Lani was our next niece to turn 10...and it's now a tradition.  10 is going to mean a special birthday gift for our nieces and nephews. :)  So we showed up at Lani's house after school on Friday with balloons and swept her off for the weekend.  We took the train to Chicago, stayed in a an awesome hotel with an amazing view right in the heart of downtown and went to Wicked as well as some other fun things!

Our view from our room...

We had a great time walking around the city and going to Millenium Park...

The Bean is always a hit!

Then Lani and I got gussied up for Wicked while Sean and Tate went to Shedd Aquarium!
Wicked.Was.INCREDIBLE!  Oh was truly amazing! 

That night we went to The Rainforest Cafe.  The kids (and adults) had a BLAST!!!

I LOVE this girl...she is so sweet and kind and loving...really, she is an incredible 10 year old! 

Thank you Cassie and Paul for keeping our 2 littles so this weekend could happen!
I hope Lani remembers this trip always...we sure will!

Halloween and the World Series

A bit of a catch up post...short and sweet....

Halloween this year was rainy and yucky!  Sean braved the storm and took ALL (yup, even Cason) of the boys out to trick or treat while I handed out candy at home.  Cason is MAD in this picture, but he was fine after a few minutes.  The boys came home SOAKED with LOTS of candy. :)

The Red Sox won the World Series!  We even let Cason stay up LATE and watch with us! :D  It was an exciting win as Sean is a big Red Sox fan and has made me a bit of one too...though I am certainly not the fan he is, it was fun to support them and watch them win!