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Second Familiversary – Two Years Together

09/24/2013

It feels almost like Ali has three birthdays and they’re all within two months of each other. In July she turned two, in August we celebrated one year since her adoption finalization and on Saturday we celebrated our “familiversary” or family day – the second anniversary of the day she joined our family. At that time it was through foster care and we had no idea that she would eventually be part of our family forever. She has been an amazing blessing and has brought me so much joy as a mother. God’s plans are so much better than anything I could have come up with on my own. She stuck her tongue out a lot as a baby (and consequently drooled a lot). She was dealt a pretty bad hand as a newborn but I guess she was showing what she thought about that…

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Thankfully, Jason got home on Saturday so we could celebrate our family day all together. We asked Ali what she wanted to do to and she gave us the same answer she almost always gives: Chuy’s! I’m not sure why she loves Chuy’s so much. She pretty much just eats the chips and beans. Maybe it the rainbow sherbet push up the server always gives her for dessert.

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On the way home from dinner our picture perfect family day celebration started to crumble. We’ve been trying to teach Ali to stop taking her shoes off every time we get in the car (a habit learned after our two recent road trips.) She wasn’t listening so I climbed into the backseat so I could address her correctly and attempt to reverse the behavior. She wasn’t having it. In fact, the more anger and frustrated I got, the more she just laughed and laughed. I was losing my temper and the only consequence I could come up with for her defiance was to not allow her to have pie for dessert when we got home but to go straight to bath and bed. I had made the peanut butter pie  especially to celebrate our familiversary and Jason’s birthday, and I had specifically planned to have her blow out candles on it since she’s been recently obsessed with the birthday song and blowing out “crandows.” I gave up on the shoe battle and got back in my seat. When we got home, I stuck to my guns and took her straight to her bath. She was still as happy as could be. It was me who was having a problem. I looked at my beautiful, joyful daughter and released that I was allowing our family’s enemy to steal the finalé away from our family day. I quickly changed my mind about my consequence and asked her to forgive me for losing my temper. She’s always quick to forgive.

I dressed her in her “daddy’s little girl” pjs—my favorite. Ali almost didn’t grow up with a daddy, twice. But now she has a great daddy, a daddy who fought for her and continues to fight for her everyday. Her birth mom told us she hoped that Ali would be a daddy’s girl and she is—they have a very special bond. When Jason’s not on the road his schedule is very flexible. From the time Ali came home she was his sidekick, hanging out with him in his studio during recording and practice sessions, going with him to the bank, lunch, coffee shop. Despite him being a touring musician, he gets to spend a lot more time with her than most parents who work away from home M-F/9-5. It’s truly a blessing! I love seeing their father-daughter relationship growing and changing as she gets older.

Clean from her bath and cozy in her pjs, we celebrated our familiversary, singing, “Happy family to me!” and Ali blew out 2 candles for our 2 years together. Then we sang “Happy birthday to Daddy” and he blew out candles for his 31st birthday which was last Monday while he was away. I’m so thankful for my little family and excited to discover what lies ahead for us in the next year.

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1st Familiversary!

09/24/2012

Are you familiar with the term “familiversary?” I think Foster Parenting Podcast made it up. Some people call it “Gotcha Day” (usually when traveling to meet a child and bring them home for adoption) or “Family Birthday.” It’s not Adoption Day…it’s the day that we became a family unofficially, but a very real family.

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On September 21, 2011 Jason and I were just sitting down to dinner on our back patio when my phone rang. I went in the house to grab a paper and pen and started repeating details out loud as I jotted down notes and shot some glances at Jason.

“Two-month old baby girl.”

“Bi-racial…white and hispanic…”

Umm hmm. Ok. Uh huh. I scribbled down information about her biological siblings and her situation.

“Can you hang on a second while I talk to my husband?”

It was just shy of 3 weeks from the day we said goodbye to Ladybug and we were still grieving. We thought we’d wait a month-ish before saying yes to a call. We had gotten plenty of calls but they were all outside of our parameters so it was easy (easier…) to say no.

Jason’s response to this call: “The only reasons I can think of to say no to this one are completely selfish.” Which meant yes. YES.

“Yes!”

I let my dinner go cold as I snapped into hyper nesting mode. Are there clean sheets on the crib? Do we have any baby clothes? Blankets? How much do 2-month-olds eat? How often? How much do they sleep? I realized I was completely clueless. Remember all those What to Expect books you read while you were growing a baby for 9 months? Yeah, nada here. So I called my sister-in-law Ginger who had just had my niece 7 months prior and she gave me bullet points (which is all my brain could handle) on what kind of bottles to get, a typical daily sleeping/eating schedule, a few suggestions like bibs and burp cloths, and an invitation to call her any time of the day or night.

An hour later, this precious little peanut was delivered to our house. I’ve been saving this picture to share today. It’s the first picture I took of our beautiful girl to send to family and friends. I even managed to accidentally get our DCS agreement paperwork into the picture, too.

Our life will never be the same—it’s so much better now because of our dear little Alianna!

It’s a fun coincidence that I happen to have pictures of both myself and Jason on September 21, 2011. I was dressed up for a meeting and wanted to remember my outfit for future reference.

Jason was trying to help me to relax and calm down before my important meeting so he was playing his guitar for me, while I chilled out…in our nursery!