Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dear Sugar: It's My Baby's Birthday!

Dear Sugar:

Today is my baby girl's first birthday!  I'm completely head-over-heels for our little queen, affectionately nicknamed Juice. Everywhere we go, people stop in their tracks and can't help but grin. She is sunshine.  She is joy.  She is beauty.  Her siblings cannot get enough of her. 

It feels like it was just yesterday that I shared with you the happy news that we were parents again.  We kept our long match quiet out of respect for her birth family and, if I'm honest, to protect my own hearts.  We were dealing with our own colliding emotions, explaining adoption (again) to our children, including what a match means, while also trying to still live life as normally as possible.

Ali Cummins Photography
In my new book, I talk about what it was like to wait for her.  I did the one thing I said I would NEVER do: fall in love with a baby who wasn't mine.

Sugar, no matter how many times you've adopted, it is never easy or simple or quick. There are always challenges, moments where the bittersweetness is nearly palpable.  If you are person committed to ethics like we are, you work really hard to maintain an ethical distance while also being in the match with your whole heart.  It is such a difficult balance to strike, but it's necessary.  (If you're thinking, what are ethics? What's an ethical adoption?  Please check out my extensive explanation and guidance here.) You want to be able to look your child in the eyes and say:  I did the right things, at the right times, always, no matter how difficult it was.  

Ali Cummins Photography

I do not know what else God has in store for our family.   But my heart is beautifully full right now:  three daughters and a son, all of whom came to our family by domestic, infant, open, transracial adoption, all of which started with a devastating diagnosis.  Our home is loud, oftentimes chaotic, silly.  There are tears and hugs and joys and frustrations.  There's a ton of food: always.  The kitchen dance parties are EPIC.   

These beautiful babies, whom I didn't birth but have the honor of raising, are the most incredible human beings.  I am thankful for their birth parents who chose me to be the kids' mommy.   The privilege of being chosen is something I hold sacred.  

As for today?  It's smooches and a smash cake and presents, all in celebration of our baby girl!  

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