Remember when you were little and you'd color that picture of turkey, pumpkins, and the pilgrims? Or perhaps you made a turkey from tracing your hands and cutting them out of construction paper, complete with pipe-cleaners and googly eyes? And then there was the infamous I am thankful for _______ worksheet; where what you filled in were usually "Mommy, Daddy, Family, Dog, Kitty, Superman, Barbie...."
Well, here is my worksheet, in a different format: THANKFUL
T-Time. All too often we feel there are not enough hours in a day. Most days I feel like that. I am thankful for the time I have been given and share with my precious son. Over dinner tonight, AJ was enjoying his sweet potatoes and both Jeremy and I commented that he's liked sweet potatoes ever since he was a baby. Wow. Not even a second later my mom said, "Betcha you never thought you'd say that, did you?" She's right. What was really strange was celebrating AJ's 1st "Gotcha Day" in August. We still can't believe he's been with us a whole year +. It feels like ages ago we visited him in Guatemala. What an awesome opportunity to watch AJ, over time, make such wonderful progress and fill my life with so much love, uncertainty, and awe.
H-Home. As I get older (and yes, many of you still tell me quite often I'm young!) I've realized that what seemed to matter to me in my early 20s, don't matter now. I am truly thankful I have a home to come home to, a warm bed to rest my body, food in my cabinet and fridge, and most importantly a forever home for AJ.
A-AJ's team. If ever there were a bunch of women I admire, it is these ladies. They entered my life when I was scared of the unknown and have been there every step of the way. Some days, they are my sanity :) They are bright, educated, friendly, and honest. They understand and feed my love of paper (hehe) and know that we "want to know" whats going on. I know in the next year or so we will be going through some transition with AJ's team, but I will be forever grateful to these ladies who were with us from the beginning of AJ's journey.
N-New Friends. While the world of adoption certainly gave us many great friends (and Guata-Buddies for AJ!), the world of hearing loss has also given us many new friends. I have learned so much from other parents, more than what a book or pamphlet could tell me. Thank you to C's Mom, Drew's Mom, Tammy, and Christian's Mommy, to name a few.
K-Kitties. I know, this seems silly, but I really am thankful for our kitties, Sugar & Marvin. They both make me laugh on a daily basis, which I've heard is therapy in itself. Marvin guards the guest bed while sleeping soundly, complete with his head on the pillow. He only comes out for food, preferably chicken. Sugar, with her few extra pounds, is our social butterfly and cuddle kitty. She's not afraid to swat the dogs if they get in her way (which is quite comical); while other days she'll give the dogs kisses. She also loves to lay on AJ's board book, which if you ask AJ, is not COOL.
F-Fight. Fight for my son to receive the services he needs. Just a year ago AJ was in a foreign country, and I was sitting here, virtually helpless. I know have the right and frankly, duty, to fight for my son. Some days are more successful than others in this department. But the feeling I get when I receive a re-submitted and processed EOB: priceless.I may not make friends with the insurance authorization person, or be the receptionist's favorite person, but AJ is getting what he needs. That is all that matters.
U-Unxpected. Unfamiliar. Unknown. While those who know me know that I want to know everything, right NOW, this is quite a change. I welcome the unexpected because as I look back, it has brought me some wonderful experiences with my son. I have not taken a creep of his for granted, I have not taken a step he has taken for granted. Every accomplishment he makes is remarkable. The unexpected has also helped me learn to take one day at a time. Sometimes I go backwards and get my feather's ruffled, but most of the time, I take it as it comes.
L-Love. I am so thankful I have a man that loves me, and is a terrific Daddy to our son. The way AJ giggles and laughs when he's with his Daddy, does nothing short of melt my heart. I had imagined what it would be like to see my child with his father, but nothing could have prepared me for what I witness every day. Our love is strong, and for that I am truly thankful.