Okay, let's get this out of the way, right up front - I have been listening to Christmas music since October 1st. I am not ashamed to admit it. I love Christmas...love, Love, LOVE CHRISTMAS! Frankly, I'm a little irritated that Target STILL doesn't have their Christmas section finished.
Don't get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving just as much and lament that it only gets a brief passing in stores, jammed between Halloween and Christmas, before it's whisked away to storage until next year...totally NOT fair. But there is just something about Christmas. I tolerate Halloween, adore Thanksgiving and positively bask in Christmas. It's a magical, joyful and contemplative time if you can get past all of the obligations we like to heap on ourselves. Several years ago, I let it go. Anything that caused me stress because I felt I had to do it to have a holly, jolly Christmas was *POOF* gone. Now, I focus my energies on things that bring me joy - Christ's birth, giving that perfect gift, planning fun (not stressful) activities for my family and just breathing it all in with the occasional peppermint mocha in hand. If I'm running frantically from one self-imposed activity to another, I hate life and, therefore, Christmas. Ain't nobody got time for that! When you're almost 40 (yes, I said it publicly), it goes too fast for that nonsense!
It's National Adoption Month. I'm not really sure what to say about that. Two years ago, I blasted it from the rooftops. Now, I'm sitting quietly and watching several dear friends struggle through some of the most difficult situations in their lives. Hear me on this - I still advocate for adoption. It can be valuable and good and redemptive. What you won't hear me say, ever, is that it's easy. It's not. Adoption is born from loss. Someone always has to lose for adoption to take place - the child loses their first family, a parent loses their child, there is loss of heritage, culture, security in knowing your history. Many times there is loss for the adopting family, as well, and if you aren't willing to accept that then you shouldn't become an adoptive parent. Even if you adopt an infant, you lose the ability to be the only mom or dad for that child. Whether you admit it or not, there is always another parent in the story. If you aren't willing to acknowledge that loss, if you aren't willing to change your life and the way you envisioned it to meet your child where they are, then please do everyone involved a huge favor and step back until you can. We need to count the cost. Adoption is hard. It's not all about you and, as Guitar Hero is known to say, "If you don't want your heart broken, then don't get into the adoption game." If you can stand it, you should Meet the Kids. And, good news, Evan and Nakada from that documentary have been matched!
Speaking of adoption, I ran a Hail Mary pass today. I'd been avoiding it for months, maybe out of pride or fear of alienating the powers-that-be? I'm not sure but, regardless, this afternoon, I sent an e-mail to the adoption coordinator in our county's children and youth office. It was an introduction to our family with a description of each family member (even though I know she has read and considered our family several times over the past two years). I was professional and respectful, laying out all of our strengths as a large family and giving examples of how we consider and provide for the needs of each individual child. I then asked her to consider us for children who may need adoptive placements and closed the letter with, "I understand that every child is unique, as are their needs, and I know that the
dynamic of the family is crucial in a placement, however, I would encourage you
not to discount our family simply because of our size, as many other caseworkers
have done. We have a lot to offer children who need a family." At this point, I figured we have nothing to lose. Let's address the proverbial elephant in the room and lay all our cards on the table. Call me cynical but I'm not holding my breath.
Now...which Christmas CD should I listen to next???