Tuesday, November 10, 2015

a child of my own

Yesterday was World Adoption Day...yet another 'day' that I didn't know existed until social media clued me in.

Like...did all of these theme days always exist? But before hashtags and social media, only like two guys working in the Hallmark card designing basement ever knew about them? I guess that must be it. Because I feel like it's a new 'holiday' every day now. Sisters' Day. Siblings' Day. And all of these days are a nightmare of apostrophe inconsistency, but that's a whole 'nother issue. 

So November 9 is World Adoption Day. That's cool. At least there are no apostrophes. You know what else November 9 is? The anniversary of our failed adoption. Two years. Yup. So apparently we "celebrated" World Adoption Day in 2013 by...that. Now come on. If that doesn't just help paint a more balanced picture, then nothing does. For every smiley-face-hand picture I saw yesterday, I couldn't help but be reminded of the incredibly dark days when adoption was not a remotely smiley experience for us. 

It's a weird day to process. It was weird last year, it was weird this year. To be honest, it's still not something I can really think about too deeply without feeling really confused. I prefer to focus on the good, you know: if we hadn't gone through that, we wouldn't have Millie. And so in a sense, it was totally worth it. But in another sense...that loss and grief don't just go away because we have a child now.

Ugh. Like I said. It's weird, and I don't really know how to process or talk about it. So I'll just move on.

Anyway, what with it being #WorldAdoptionDay and all yesterday, there was a lot more 'adoption talk' than normal floating around my newsfeed. This article, All My Children Are My Own, resonated the most with me. To me, nothing is more (unintentionally, I'm sure, but still...) hurtful than when someone says (or insinuates) that I could/should/might someday "have a child of my own." Because SERIOUSLY? Just think about it. What they mean is "a biological child." That's fine. But the phrase "of your own" has got to go. Because Millie is my own. There is nothing lesser or inferior about her or my relationship with her because she grew in another woman's body. So I guess that's my adoption PSA of the day year. Erase the phrase "of your/her/their own" from your vocabulary when you're referring to adoptive families. Unless it's to say something like "now that you have kids of your own, you know what it's like to live without sleep," because that's a totally legit sentiment. Not that I experienced that personally, mwahahaha, because obviously Millie was the greatest baby in the whole world. And that's why I'm glad she's my own.

In case you need photographic proof that our apple didn't fall far from the tree...

Although Millie has approximately 2,382 books of her own (hahaha now I'm hyper-aware of how often I use that phrase...), apparently they aren't really to her liking. Fluff reading, she says. She's ready for the good stuff.

I like a book that doesn't resolve in eight pages of rhyming phrases. And no pictures, please. I prefer to use my imagination.
Yes, yes, I think this'll do just fine for my bedtime story tonight. Parents don't actually need sleep anyway, do they? Apparently I missed that memo when I was an infant, but it's not too late to make up for it!
I just laughed and laughed when I came upon this scene. Millie surrounded by a pile of our fattest books. It's too perfect. That girl. 

Speaking of things worth reading...(and for the record, I haven't actually read any of the books Millie is contemplating in these pictures. They're all from the Things I Should/Might Read but Haven't Yet pile.)...this hilarious post called All of my Issues With the "Goodnight Moon" Bedroom. Like, way too funny. And then when Millie actually did pull out Goodnight Moon tonight to read...I just couldn't handle it. So do yourself a favor and go read that. The blog, not the actual story. I'm sure you can already recite the story.

My surgery is tomorrow, so I spent today letting Millie crawl all over me like a jungle gym. Wrestling is her love language, and I'm going to miss it while my stomach is recovering. 

We planted a camellia last winter, and it has a ton of gorgeous blooms on it right now! It finally stopped raining, so we had to go outside so that Camilla could visit her camellia...her pseudo-namesake. She was pretty impressed. I could tell because she tried to rip all of the flowers off...yikes. "Gentle hands" are something we're working on...haha.

Ummm...gentle hands? More like boring hands. I'll pass.
She can give me all the stink eyes in the world, won't change a thing. This girl is my heart.


  1. So--the founder of adopt together goes to the LA branch of my church and spoke in San Diego a few months ago. His name is hank and his bio is on the page, he's legit! Anyway:) he actually realized there was NO world adoption day, no day to celebrate adoption, so he started it! Just a few years ago actually...and they even got big names like Ellen and such to support it. So cool, right? So really the people behind world adoption day are the people who started the crowd funding platform specifically for adoption (adopttogether.org). Anywayyyy. Fun facts :)

  2. Oh Erika I love this. I can relate to the weird "what's ifs". Obviously I wouldn't have had Noey and Beckom if I had got to keep Jude and Brinly. They make my heart so happy, but sometimes I find myself missing the "triplets" that were in me for that short bit. Bittersweet but way more sweet since we have crossed over to having kids of our own!!! By the way, people saying that comment to you infuriates me. It's stupid and dumb. Millie was made to be with you guys from day 1. People. Sigh. When I tell people we want a 3rd they ALWAYS say "wouldn't it be great if you could have a little girl?" This stings too because A. I had a girl and wanted a daughter. B. We know the gender of our embryos and what if there is no girl in that mix? C. I love my sons more than life itself so if I have all boys, that will be great too. It just makes me feel bad. Anyways, love the post and love the updates!

  3. Preach! With my time in social work/adoption I am hyper aware of adoption related language. As with so many other areas of life, while I don't think people mean to be hurtful, it is hurtful. There are so many positive ways to frame words related to adoption.

    Ex: The birth mom gave up her child. (negative) Vs. The birth mom made an adoption plan. (positive). I am always correcting people in conversation not by calling them out but by using positive language in my response. :)

  4. I consider my dogs my own and I definitely didn't birth them, so I totally get what you are saying ;) But seriously, great PSA and 100% true! Thankful that you have sweet Millie to call your own (and teach to read and love flowers, obv)!

  5. Feel better soon!

    I hate "your own" and "gave up". Grrr!

    I can understand your feelings about world adoption day and a past loss. I feel similarly about my miscarriage.

  6. I love how babies use "their own" legs to squat while they are looking at something. "My own" legs would promptly cramp and fall asleep then you would have to help me stand but babies can do those squats without any assistance all day. No problem.

    I'm sorry people say those things at all. I'm sorry people do a lot of dumb sh**.

  7. Love this, and you guys! Prayers for your surgery, and a speedy recovery too.

  8. Good luck with your surgery tomorrow! I know recovery can be rough! Hopefully Millie will be extra sweet and use gentle hands with Mommy!

    Also, Millie is so stinking cute! You should do a round up of her favorite kids books! My son loves Little Blue Truck and Giraffe's Can't Dance!

  9. Sure am thankful for how much life has changed for you since November 9th, 2013, but I know all the good things don't cancel out the bad. Thank you for sharing your unique perspective with everyone!

  10. Ugh people sometimes! Millie was always meant to be your own precious daughter and is just that :). Prayers your surgery is successful and that your recovery is quick.

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  12. I very much remember that day two years ago and I strongly dislike it. The good and glory that often arises out of heart break is awesome and Millie pretty much takes the cake!
    You'll be in my thoughts tomorrow. FYI...I would have happily flown in to babysit Millie and nursed you back to health. I'm quite valuable, you know! xoxo

  13. People are so rude, it's mind boggling. I have 3 gorgeous boys, all grown now, but when they were little I can't count how many times I heard "Well, you're still young enough to 'try' for a girl"...right in front of my boys! Millie is your mini-me and she's yours:) She looks so much like you too!

  14. I have my own issues with World Adoption Day, as you might imagine. Smiley faces on hands kind of paint a certain picture and there's definitely a really unsmiley side to adoption. However, World Adoption Day was founded by some people from Adopt Together. I know that they get that, the less-than-smiley parts. I know that it's not their intent to gloss over the hard parts. It's a lot like Orphan Sunday (the day before World Adoption Day this year). Orphan Sunday gets a lot of push back...is orphan the right word? Does it have negative connotations? Should we celebrate that their are orphans in the world? I think World Adoption Day is just a moment to bring awareness to adoption and to celebrate families. A day to celebrate our own REAL children. There will always be tension in adoption, but we should still celebrate. I'm so thankful that you have someone to celebrate with on World Adoption Day, and everyday. Beauty from ashes in real life right before your eyes.

  15. Awwwww so cute baby...........Thumbs up to you. Well written and well described.
    I have seen that many people who don't have any options for conceiving a child with their efforts they opt surrogacy and some opt IVF Center in India. In surrogacy child is partially genetically yours and in IVF with intended parents, your child is fully yours.

  16. I'm just now catching up on everything since the fall retreat. I'm glad you have your own little girl!

  17. Dave can tell Millie that "War And Peace" (which took him longer to read than it did to write his doctoral thesis, by the way!) is not worth it. I would tell her that it is. Especially if you are in Europe for a year and don't have a lot of access to English books.

    I hate "Good Night Moon." The whole book bugs me and I LOVED that blog post. The lights being on in the dollhouse have bugged me for AGES.

    And Millie and that "gentle hands are boring hands" picture is hilarious!!!

    World Adoption Day -- why wasn't that around when I was a kid? I was always annoyed about the adoption stories I saw on TV which mostly revolved around a 12 year suddenly finding out they were adopted and their world ended. Adoption was never portrayed as something normal but rather something devastating. All the teen TV shows in the 80s had their own (HA!) version of this story and it always pissed me off.

    Anyways...there's my rant about adoption.


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