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.

If you are needing to teach your child at home due to the school closures, feel free to ask me any questions. Don’t try to replicate school or my homeschool! Take some time to relax. You’ll figure it out.

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