Sad Tidings, Good Tidings

This is Josh. I told you he was adorable.

Note: This column was printed in the Barrow Journal on December 19, 2012.

Last week I wrote a draft of this column and titled it “Good Tidings.”  I wanted to tell you how my children have decked my halls with Christmas decorations and how, during this holiday season, I was basking in the warmth of some close friends’ and family’s good fortunes.

But then the massacre in Connecticut occurred on Friday, and on the same day, a man with a knife injured 22 children at a school in China, which is part of a series of attacks happening in schools in that country.  The warmth I felt from my good tidings turned cool and somber.

As a mother with young children, I can barely stand to read the news. When something horrible happens, I feel a heavy heart, but when it involves children, I get choked up and feel a cloud hang over me all day. I hug my children more, and I thank God for what I have right now.

I can’t imagine what the families are going through in Connecticut. I can’t imagine a lot of things going on this world. All I can do is be grateful for each day that my family lives in relative peace and harmony, and when good things happen, I can rejoice and let it remind me why I chose to get up each morning and continue on with this life.

Good things have happened recently, such as that I became an aunt again – for the sixth time – and my boys acquired a new cousin.  He’s a healthy baby boy who will be welcomed home by two older brothers and a house full of relatives at Christmastime. I only wish we lived closer so that I could personally welcome him into the world.

I also have good news to report about my friends who were seeking to adopt a baby in the U.S. through an open adoption. If you read my column, you may remember that I wrote about them awhile back. Seeking open adoption was a very emotional journey for them because the adoptive parents are never sure whether a birth mother will pick them.

Fortunately, my friends did get picked, and though it was difficult to finalize an out-of-state adoption, they did bring their beautiful baby girl home to California. I haven’t heard much from them since they got home, but I certainly understand how very busy they must be!

Fortunately for me, I was able to participate in a joyous occasion that happened closer to home. On the morning of my nephew’s birth, I accompanied one of my dearest friends, her husband, and their newly adopted son in their final step in the adoption process. I was asked to photograph the occasion.

About two years ago, my friend began the process to adopt a child from Korea, and a year later they were matched with the most adorable boy whom they have named Josh.  Fortunately, they had a good experience adopting from Korea, and Josh spent his infancy with a kind foster family who loved him dearly.

I met them on a chilly morning and waited with them and their lawyer on a bench in a big hallway outside the judge’s office.  Like most two-year-olds, Josh was full of energy, and he enjoyed running up and down the carpeted hallway, giving his parents a good morning workout.

The meeting with the judge was brief and jovial, and as my friends answered questions, I took photos. I even got a short film clip of Josh giving the judge a high five.

It’s that high five that I will meditate on as I celebrate Christmas with my two boys and husband next week.  I hope that for you and your family, you will be sharing good tidings and making new memories this holiday season. Merry Christmas.

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