Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Baker's Dozen Review of 2008

January - In one word - Birthdays. Mine, Baby J's and Greg's. Mine was alternatively awful and wonderful. Made some choices to take care of ME around my birthday that were wise and my friends far and wide were amazing in putting together a gift basket and making an effort to be there for me. I felt very, very loved.

And I became the mother of a teenager. We intend to do a "Rite of Passage" for each of our sons when they turn 13. And it was wonderful to watch a selection of the most important men in my son's world come together on one special day to input wisdom and encouragement into his life.

February and March - My Grandmother, my very special Nan took sick and I tumbled head long into the reality that our time with her was going to be far shorter than I wished. We are VERY blessed that she has pulled through time and again this year, and in some ways I am thankful that this has allowed me to begin to grieve and process before her time present with us ends. We believed we would lose her in 2008, and we didn't.

April - Disneyland. Really this trip exceeded my expectations, and I had high expectations.

May - The snow disappears and two weeks later we are camping. 10 boys, 3 adults and a whole lot of good memories.

June - I completed my second 10 km race. Yahoo for me. I have run exactly twice since. Not so yahoo for me.
July - Always, always, always a highlight of our year - Harambee Camp. If you are a family with children or parents of African Heritage I HIGHLY recommend this camp, or investing in a camp like it. We are a family, there is just no other way to describe it. We have gone for a decade, and will go as long as they let us come back. So here's a special shout out to my Southsiders and a reminder that I miss you all!

And then our St. Louis trip. Taking my son to meet his siblings, spend time with his former foster family, and get to know his first set of parents all over again. It was an EXPERIENCE deserving of all capital letters. Adoption, race, foster care, siblings, openness, drugs, poverty, abuse, parenting, insecurities and cultural differences all requiring me to reach out for support and input. What started as a thread on an adoption forum morphed into this blog.

August - The motorcycle, my husband and the cow. Oh the drama. Throw in there hockey school, camping and hockey tryouts and you have a pretty busy month.

September -For the first time in 4 years my boys head back to "real" school and for the first time in over 11 years I head back to work. And hockey season begins in earnest as my husband and I say our yearly hockey parent goodbyes, agreeing to meet at the rink, pass on the highway and promise not to do anything drastic (like kill each other) until sanity returns in the spring.

October - My Nan is given a few weeks to live and I send my sons to her to say goodbye. I follow two weeks later. A wonderful time of memory making, hugs, I love yous and goodbyes. And then again she pulls through. More birthdays and my boys are now 7, 11, 12 and 13.

November - "Obama" happens and I shed tears for the price that was paid so my sons could live in a world with a President that looks like them. They don't understand the significance but in every way I can, I try to share it with them.

December - My son gets called the "N" word at a hockey game. We still haven't resolved this or gotten an apology, but have no fear this mama won't let this battle die. I have a "Picture Perfect Christmas" and I do my best to embrace the reality of joy tinged with grief and the burden of loss.

All in all, 2008 was a good year. A full, hard, difficult, challenging year. I am scared for 2009 in some ways as I know inevitably it will also be full, hard, difficult and challenging but I wish for all of us a year filled with peace, growth, joy and the opportunity to make wise choices. Happy New Year.

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