Friday, May 19, 2017

things worth remembering

Although it seems I'm long past the point where I blog a recap of every holiday (much less every weekend...or DAY...ahhh, the good ol' days of blogging, RIP), there are a few semi-recent events that merit sharing, if only so that I can more easily look back on them in the future (and not just wait for TimeHop to remind me about it). 

We had a particularly special Easter this year. I mean, every Easter is special...but this one a little more than most.

We enjoyed egg hunts and extra-cute outfits and church and time with our family as usual.

The cousins on Matt's side of the family! Five and counting!
I'm not going to be able to hold her like this for pictures much longer. HOLY COW SHE IS HEAVY.
After lunch with Matt's family, though, we were thrilled to go across town to attend a huge Easter party on a farm, hosted by Millie's biological family.

Millie's "tummy mama," J, has relatives that live near Athens, which is how we got connected in the first place (her relatives are friends with one of my coworkers). They live on a big awesome farm and throw huge bashes for Easter each year, inviting family, friends, and neighbors (there were about a hundred folks there this year!). We were thrilled to be invited and spend the day with not only J, but with J's mother, grandparents, friends, aunts, and uncles- many of whom we met in the hospital and/or whom came to Millie's dedication, but we haven't seen them in a few years (with the exception of J). 

It was a beautiful, sunny day, and there were plenty of games and activities, food and drinks, and people to catch up with. Many members of Millie's biological families have remained in touch with us through social media, so they feel somewhat "in the loop" with her life, which is a blessing for all of us. They were delighted to get to experience her in all of her abundant joy and chaos in person, and we were equally happy to get to spend time with them! 

I think one of the sweetest moments for me was when an elderly man (I guess Millie's great-grandfather) came over to us and said "well, I'm not on Facebook, I don't know how to do all of that stuff, but every time you post something, Aunt Suzie [not her real name] calls me to tell me what crazy thing Millie has said, and we just laugh and laugh! Thank you for letting us stay a part of her life." I love thinking that there's a little Millie Phone Tree going on, getting out the news to relatives far and near every time our sweet girl says something wacky.

At any rate, it was a wonderful, nearly magical day. To me, it was a picture of the absolute Best Case Open Adoption Scenario. This is what we had hoped for. What a blessing to live it.

I share this picture with permission. This is our beloved Mama J.
Naturally, Millie ran straight to whatever activities would make us all the messiest. :)
We had a pretty dedicated egg hunter this year, too!
We are so thankful for J and her family's desire to include us in their lives! Happy, happy, happy.

In less emotional (well, maybe not really), more sparkly news: Millie had her first ballet recital this week! After a mere two months of weekly lessons, she and her four classmates were deemed fit to show off for a small group of parents (and large group of adoring relatives known as the Millie Fan Section). GUYS. Seeing my sweet girl all dolled up in a costume and makeup?


I guess this will be her headshot for her professional dancing career.

To put it mildly, she was a joy to watch.
In the entire 25 minute performance, this may have been the only thing she did that actually looked like ballet. HAHAHA not even kidding.

One little dance had props! AKA things to distract Millie.

What she lacked in skill, she made up for in enthusiasm.

She's literally floating away from the excitement!
In conclusion, there's not an ounce of stage fright in this one! Although it was a very low-key recital, as you can see- just a few rows of chairs in a church fellowship hall, no stages or lights- I still wasn't sure how she would react once she saw us sitting there and realized she was supposed to be performing. Clearly, though, those weeks of hardcore ballet training (lol) paid off and she went right to her sticker and assumed first position as soon as her teacher said to! 

I was SO very proud of her, and proud to be the mama of the child giggling and having a ball and generally causing the rest of the crowd to grin. (A friend asked if this is how I was when I used to have dance recitals. The answer is no. I loved dance and I loved following rules and doing everything exactly right (and I loved costumes, makeup, and recitals!), but I have never been precocious or bubbly or thrived under the spotlight or the attention of strangers! This baby is all her own person in that regard!)

I've said it a million times, and I'll keep saying it: it really just keeps getting better. If her baby days were amazing...well, there are just not even words for how fun and joyful her days are now. I want her to stay exactly like this forever, but she won't- and I can't wait to see what's next.


  1. Well I was not expecting to need a tissue to read this, excuse me for a y'all!

  2. Well that is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen!!! So glad you all had a wonderful Easter and got to share it with J and her family as well. Millie seems to be a joy to everyone :)

  3. CANNOT HANDLE THE CUTENESS! I've never seen a little girl so happy to be doing ballet. Sooooo adorable!!!!!

  4. What a beautiful relationship you share with J and her family. Millie is blessed to be raised in such an open adoption. That bond is unique and so incredibly special. Kudos to you all for the willingness to open your hearts and make it 100% about Millie!

  5. Millie is still and will forever be, My Spirit Animal.

    And not to get sappy... buuuuttt :) I looked at the picture of your family and J, and like I do with all kids tried to see the genetic resemblance, but you know what I saw? Your Face in Millie's! It's so crazy how much she really does look like you!! (I hope this is coming across as the sappy sweet comment I meant it to and not something sad or offensive!) I have friends who did an embryo adoption, and they had twins. It is FREAKISH how Twin S is a clone, a CLONE of the husband. She was days old and was making the same facial expressions I have saw on her Daddy's face! God Is Cool :) <3

  6. Love love love that you all spent the holiday with J. What a blessing.

    And also love Millie's face in her ballet performance pic!! So adorable! And now I need to sign Camille up for ballet. :)

  7. I love everything about this post! Even though there is far less time to blog these days, isn't it much more enjoyable than it used to be? :)

  8. Love all of this! Not sure who lucked out the most in all of this - Millie or y'all :)

  9. Millie is such a little girl now! She looked beautiful in her dance outfit, and I loved the picture of Millie and her moms. :)

  10. "At any rate, it was a wonderful, nearly magical day. To me, it was a picture of the absolute Best Case Open Adoption Scenario. This is what we had hoped for."
    Oh how I love this. And oh how I'm crying through this post. I mean, clearly she's adorable and I love your posts, but this story about her biological relatives and birth mom... I can't. I'm crying. I'm so happy for you. So happy you got this wonderful adoption scenario. And I would have paid good money to be at that recital. I bet the cuteness was overwhelming.

  11. I have to give you mad props for your relationship with J. In theory I think I'd want to be in touch with a birth family but I'm not sure I could totally handle it, and I am just blown away by you! Amazing! BUT I do get that the point is more people to love Millie who is just the most adorable tiny dancer ever!

  12. "But she won't, and I can't wait to see what's next" Que the tears! My first baby just finished her very first year of preschool today (she's 2.5) and I know exactly what you mean by this sentence. I so miss the beautiful baby days, but the toddler days have been the best ever, and things just get better and better. I've silently followed your story for a long time (pre-Millie, was there even such a time in your life? - I'm sure you wonder), and your daughter is absolutely a treasure. And I have 2 treasures of my own, so I totally know what I'm talking about. :)


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