it’s beautiful, we’re beautiful

Did you see the big game? You know that there was a game, right? Alexander Hamilpup proved to be quite the MVP. Yeah, Brady also finally joined the big game with the Patriots in the 4th quarter and upset the Falcons. That was definitely NOT the outcome we wanted to see under The Big Top. But my son-in-law won $5 accurately predicting when Brady would get sacked in the game. Most of our family circus was together under The Big Top. Together we all ate way too much finger foods, watched the Puppy Bowl XI, Super Bowl LI, the original Schuyler Sisters celebrating America, brotherhood and sisterhood, Lady Gaga’s amazing halftime performance that was patriotic enough to make the Trumpkins happy with a healthy dose of protest in there too…“liberty and justice FOR ALL..No matter gay, straight, or bi, Lesbian, transgendered life…and enjoyed all of the silly and the sublime that were the Super Bowl ads. Some argued that the ads were disrespectful and trolling the 45th president, known as Lord Dampnut here under The Big Top; but they were actually the sane and good things about America that makes us great…which might seem like trolling when one considers what the actual fuck has happened in the last two weeks in America. But this is where we are in Lord Dampnut’s America – and commercials that celebrate American values are an insult to him and the office.

Yeah.

Like the opening song and the halftime show, what I saw was a celebration of the diversity, the drive, the can-do spirit that made America great before an angry man with the worst comb-over ever and his even angrier people declared it to not be so.

Coca Cola’s It’s Beautiful ad actually first aired during the Summer Games broadcast but it was still relative as it was one of the first ads to play during the big game. More followed as did all the ugly, angry comments all over social media. Honestly, people were more angry over these spots than the fact that it took more than 3 quarters before the Patriots and Brady finally started playing like it was a big game.

Hate all you want, but pretty much all of us came from somewhere before we arrived here. Thanks to my father in law’s hobby, I know that my darling husband’s ancestors came here from England, Scotland and Ireland mostly before the Revolutionary War. My ancestry hails too from England as well as Germany, France, Switzerland and Scandinavia. Pretty much all of us come from immigrants fleeing religious persecution, famine, ethnic cleansing, poverty to seek something better. Some of us also came here against our will in chains. Like Budweiser’s Born the Hard Way ad, our people were likely greeted with a mix of open arms and outright hate, as it seems today. All of us, literally all of us, unless we are 100% Native American, came from somewhere else and, it’s beautiful. We are beautiful. America is beautiful.

And, were it not for an immigrant coming to America in THIS century looking for something better, my youngest child, my favorite son, would not be here right now calling me “Mom”.

THAT is truly beautiful!

NOT the parents and other Olympic moments

Watching the Olympics am I?

Of course I am!

Team USA is thrilling me from the moment they paraded into Maracanã Stadium through the days that have followed so far. We have enjoyed all the USA triumphs thus far especially the ones where we celebrate the Olympic-sized achievements of the wives of swim coaches, Chicago Bears’ linemen and the fiancé of Miss California 2010.

Don’t hate.

You have to give credit where credit is due and hurray for media and social media to remind us all of that…never mind the actual YEARS, blood, sweat and tears that the actual medalists contributed to their own personal achievements.

Take note, Michael Phelps’ unprecedented 19th Olympic gold medal achievement was included because what is good for the goose is equally so for the gander. Just ask Katinka Hosszu and Corey Cogdell.

But it’s all part of the Olympic-sized dripping grama that are Olympic stories…right Al Trautwig? I get it though. Simone Biles’ personal story is almost as remarkable as she is on the gym floor…almost. Then again, as a mother whose family was created by birth and adoption, I would argue that Simone’s parents adopting her as a very small child is really not the most remarkable thing about her; I mean, have you been watching her performance in these games that you have been commenting on, Mr. Trautwig? Or have you been too busy deleting your snark on social media that is forever in spite of your hitting delete? Dude, it’s forever.

As always, I maintain that there is more than one way to make a family. My family circus is but one example of that truth. Ron and Nellie Biles’ is yet another example. Our families, as any other family out there, are truly remarkable for all the love, all the talent, all the unique qualities that make our families our families. Adoptions is but a very small part of who we are, but it is not the most interesting thing about our families…not ever. We are their parents, their moms and dads and they are our children. We are the ones who have walked the floors with them for so many sleepless, tear-filled nights. We are the ones who have held their hair back while they puked and rubbed their backs while singing lullabies. We are the ones who helped with the homework, read all the stories, cleaned up all the poop and puke and snot and who have sat through all the episodes of Calliou. We are the ones who smiled and waved while fighting back the tears as they entered their kindergarten classrooms and walked across the stage at graduation. We are the ones who scrimped and scraped and sacrificed for all the dance classes, the cheer camps, the sports’ clinics and have sat in all the bleachers cheering until we had no more voice left to cheer with. These humans, who call us mom and dad, even if we didn’t grow them inside our own bodies are our own, our children and we are absolutely, positively their mom and dad and some sportscaster known for his play by play of the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers and his Emmy Award for Outstanding Edited Sports Specials is ever going to take that away from us because honestly, Mr. Trautwig, that unique resumé does not ever qualify you to define what makes a mom a mom, or a dad a dad, or a family a family, much less to offer play by play expertise on Olympic caliber gymnastics. Perhaps you should hush now and let Nastia Liukin speak.

Meanwhile…

This is one Olympic moment I approve of. Thank you, Pita Taufatofua, thank you very much!

it’s in his dna

With adolescence comes the need to figure out yourself…who you are…do you fit in. Normal. Completely normal. Yes, even for the most well adjusted child raised with all the love. Perfectly normal.

And so we enter this phase of this favorite son’s life which leads to some very interesting conversations lately. Some answers are easy thanks to his own NICU records mom was privy to. Some, but not all. Why is his brown hair so fine and curly and so damn unruly? Will he go bald like Dad? His biological mother was Russian but what about his biological father? He looks in the mirror and although he knows he is our son and his sisters’ brother, he is not certain where the face that looks back at him comes from. He wants answers and he is not willing to wait four more years to see if he can get those answers; because odds are high he likely won’t get those questions answered by the ones who made him.

Answers to some questions are here, in his DNA. Answers he will likely discover in a couple of months. Answers that with his mom and his dad, he looks forward to discovering.

And you thought the sex talk with kids was hard.

When he looks in the mirror, we want our son to know himself. It’s hard to face the world when you don’t know where your face came from.—Adoptive Parent

outshines the morning sun

In a few days I will FINALLY be the mother of only one teenager! Words can’t describe the flood of relief that comes with that statement. Of course having four adult children trying to do adulting kinds of things brings a whole new set of worries because I’ve been there and yes, done that…and that…and that…and that too.The attempt to restrain myself sometimes is so damn hard. I hope these grown children of mine will come to realize this. I’m sure that they will. I did.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying this young teenaged son of mine. When he smiles at me and talks to me I indeed do come undone. Look at him, my son!

That hair though!

Okay, not everything can be perfect at this age.

Still there are moments where I find my heart so full when he is sharing with me his thoughts, feelings and observations.

My son!

Pride is not the word I’m looking for.

Confession: I was listening to the Hamilton soundtrack before I sat down to write this.

Lately I am more than aware of the man this son of mine is becoming. I literally have never, ever known someone who is so kind and so fair to all. When he was but a one pound baby fighting as only micro preemies fight, I was aware how strong his heart was thenas I am always cognizant of with every mighty, tiny baby I care for. But lately I am all the more aware of just how mighty his heart is.

Truly.

He makes me want to try harder to be a better person…a person like him, my son. How lucky I am to bask in his warm presence that, yes, outshines the morning sun. Added bonus, he calls me mom.

That hair though!

our sacred exchange

Today being National Adoption Day, we pause to give thanks for the son who completed this family circus and for those who stood along side us nearly 14 years ago…supporting us, encouraging us, holding us up especially when it was hard because, in the beginning, it was hard in so many ways. Today we celebrate our family and every other family created and completed thanks to adoption.

We look at adoption as a very sacred exchange. It was not done lightly on either side. I would dedicate my life to this child. – Jamie Lee Curtis,

NaPhoPoMo