Monday, December 25, 2006
An Unexpected Gift
We received an unexpected and very welcome Christmas gift on December 20th this year. At around 11 a.m. our adoption counselor called informing us that Molly's birthmom had signed paperwork for Molly to be "officially" placed with us as her adoptive parents. In the blink of an eye John and I were sitting in the adoption agency office, listening to the paperwork we would sign to accept Molly as our adoptive daughter. (What a blessing our dear friend and trusted right hand gal Jenna Johnson was visiting our family from Boise so I could leave the little kiddos for this important and life altering experience!)
As I listened to our case worker read the legal jargon that would bind us to Molly for good I felt so many emotions go through me all at once. Having not expected to officially sign papers until after the new year I was thrilled for the early Christmas gift; what an appropriate time of year to recieve a child into your life. It was on December 5, 2004 that Molly first came into our home, and now 2 years and 15 days later she can become a permanent Graham. Just as I felt this joy the feeling of sadness for Molly's birthmom-who I love-was just as great. How difficult it must have been for her to sign her name, placing her daughter in the permanent care of another mother. I wondered how she was doing, who was there to support and strengthen her, and how she would ever know what a gift she has given us in making Molly a Graham.
We will be carefully watched over during the next 6 months by our adoption counselor, as paperwork for adoption isn't "finalized" until 6 months after placement. It is then-in mid June-that we will appear before a judge and see that Molly Elizabeth Graham will forever belong to us. In the meantime we live our lives as usual. Nothing new, nothing out of the ordinary. Just time to wait and be thankful for the day when all of the Grahams are official. No longer a borrowed baby, Molly will become a forever Graham-#5-the unsinkable little Molly that has belonged here from her beginnings with us two christmas times ago.
This unexpected gift, the gift of a child to loving parents, is such a tender reminder of the goodness of God. It is such a deep and abiding lesson at this Christmas season, when we remember the gift of a tiny baby whose mission it was to glorify and do the will of God, His true and divine Father. How thankful we are for the gift of our Molly. How thankful we are for the Gift of God's son, given so long ago, which we celebrate throughout this Christmas season.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
So, last year I tried my best to provide some humor in sharing the events of 2005 and the current state of the Graham Union. I’ve put some extensive efforts into thinking of this year’s installment, but have truly come up blank. It isn’t that nothing funny has happened this year. It’s just that I’m too sleep-deprived to remember the funny parts. Suffice it to say that I recently described our daily life to my friend Gabe Brooks as a TV sitcom; complete with the smart one liners from our kids, the crazy “how will they get themselves out of this one” situations and the “it all turned out o.k. in the end and they are a happy family after all” kinds of endings.
2006 brought so much to our family. A year in a new home, complete with the planting of a garden (do we have to weed here too mom?), the upkeep of a swimming pool (it isn’t black with algae yet!), and the painting of a few walls. We’ve met wonderful neighbors and have enjoyed our location in Salt lake (kids and I hiked to secret lake, by ourselves this summer) and have felt greatly blessed to be near family and to have renewed friendships with old friends. The kids continue to grow right out of last year’s clothes, despite my continued protests. Each one of them is such a vital and undeniably necessary part of this family, my feelings of gratitude and wonder over all of them cannot be expressed in words.
*John ran his first marathon this June and finished with an impressive time! We were all there to cheer him on at the half way (as it was only a few yards away from our front door) and to scream and holler as he crossed the finish line. However, finding him after he crossed the finish was like finding a needle in a haystack. After sending out an APB for the cute guy in the grey t-shirt (all the runners were wearing grey t-shirts) we found John and carried him home (I’m teasing, he walked himself to the car and really didn’t seem to have much trouble recovering; a natural). His next feat of strength came in running a team relay called “the Wasatch Back” which involved taking turns running 100 miles through the back country of the Wasatch mountain range. He had a great time and his team had great success. John as already been invited to join in next year.
John finds enjoyment in his current role as head of Marketing for Mrs. Field’s gifts. I’ve heard him repeatedly describe his professional life as “a bake sale”. In this current role he regularly sends “test samples” through the mail to our home. These samples are carefully scrutinized for their weight, freshness and packaging. Unfortunately, then the contents are devoured by the Grahams. Needless to say, john and Katie are not as prepared for the upcoming triathlon season as they’d like to believe…guess we better get him out on those trails so the guys on the relay who read this message won’t renege on their invitation.
Mason keeps growing up and has become an absolute right hand man around the house. I know our window is very brief between “little kid” and “teenager”, but may I say now that I am loving every day of his life at this time. Not only do I see tiny glimpses of who he is growing to become (hardworking like his dad and a pie in the sky dreamer like his mom), but he has shown such a gentle nature with the kids and such a willingness to be of service to me as we manage life with a crowd. Mason visited his 13th country this year when accompanying John and me to
*Bryn continues to be a successful dancer and student. Kind, thoughtful and loving, Brynley is a joy to our family. This year she chose to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints. We are impressed with her desire to keep the commitments she made through baptism, and feel she is a girl of great integrity. We expected a lot of Brynley during the time we were in
Porter is officially a school attending child. He goes to discovery preschool 3 afternoons a week (a forever thank you to DeAnne Flynn for championing him into that wonderful school!). Porter loves school and is incredibly excited about things like shapes, numbers and letters. He continues to be convinced that a “polkie-dot” must accompany the writing of his name, and insisted that his Halloween jack-o-lantern read on the back “Porter-4-.”He is the oldest kiddo at home during his time away from school, and feels the weight and privilege of this role as he tenderly tries to help Lucy and Molly endure my daily tasks of dishes and laundry. Porter’s latest love is camping out, in his closet. He takes all the blankets off his bed and turns them into a sleeping bag, laying them down in his “tent”. Then he brings his night light (a star shaped paper light we’ve had for years) into the “tent” to be his campfire. He sleeps this way night after night. I’m a bit terrified that he’s going to roll over onto his “campfire” and cause a real fire, so any suggestions to ease this concern are welcome!
Molly will officially become a Graham sometime in 2007. We are still floating with the sweet and wonderful news that Molly’s birth mom has chosen for Molly to become a Graham. This news came at such a critical time for us, and was truly a blessing from Heaven. We are awed and humbled at the trust a loving birth mom has placed in us to be the right family for the darling we all love so much. In addition to learning she will be forever called Molly Elizabeth Graham, Molly has also learned how to SCREAM. She has been a tender and loving sister to her new baby Lucy, and has been a fun loving terrorizing toddler to the rest of us. We love her desperately-even when she dances on the counter tops or eats sheet cake with her fists for breakfast! Swimming and holding her blanket are Molly’s favorite past times, she has no fear of the water which causes this mom to have an intense fear of our swimming pool! Good thing Molly picked up swimming as if she was born to do it. We love Molly’s sweet kisses and her beautiful big eyes.
Lucy is our newest addition and has been the highlight of our year. We spent the latter part of 2005 hurriedly meeting paperwork obligations to be ready to adopt a child from
I continue to carry the expression of a deer in the headlights each day as I try and be all that our children need me to be for them to become independent adults and contributing members of society. I’m too busy to be overwhelmed, although John does notice now and again that I need the chance to purchase the groceries “unaccompanied”. I longingly look at my bike every once in a while, but try to remember that whole “time and season” thing. Someday, about 5 years from now, I will be found in the foothills on foot or cycling or pursuing my latest secret desire:. snowshoeing. Someday I’ll train all morning and then spend the afternoon (in my spotlessly clean house, of course) writing children’s books or finishing my long list of “to be done” scrapbook projects, contributing to the family economy by running my own small business. To be sure, this good life awaits, but just as sure is the fact that the sitcom life of now is exciting and fulfilling and funny any day I am willing to laugh.
At this time, more than at any other, we graciously acknowledge the love and mercy of a tender God, who has shown us the goodness of His ways and the truth that He is ever mindful of us all. We rejoice in the coming of His Son, even the Christ whose birth causes us to publish these glad tidings. With love and gratitude for wonderful children, a warm place to live and food to feed us we extend our love to you at this Christmas season.