One thing about parenting a child who happens to be adopted is that holidays take on a slightly different significance. I'm sure this is not true for everyone. Probably just me, in fact. And that's because for me holidays are all about family. Well, food, too. Food and family. But my favorite thing about the holidays is that we all take the time to really spend it together. Doing stuff.
And so especially around the holidays, I think about the people who we don't get to share our time with. And that's not specific to adoption. I only see my parents at Christmas time about every three years. And the last time I saw them on Thanksgiving was my freshman year of college, I think-- over ten years ago. And I don't just think about them on the holiday but also during the days and weeks leading up to the day.
I'm very conscious of this with Casey, and less so with Marcie. I think this is because I know Casey's birth family. They aren't just an elusive concept; they're real people with real names. And I talk to them. Send them a Christmas card. They're family. But I never feel badly that they are missing out on spending Christmas with Casey. It could be because I know they don't celebrate Christmas, as it's not part of their religious beliefs. Or maybe I just never really thought about it at all.
But this year, I have. I've been thinking about the trip they're taking this week. I've been thinking about the small presents we've been collecting since we saw them in August. Gifts we'll get around to mailing at some point. And I've been thinking about their role in Casey's life-- how lucky we are to have them as family.
And today Casey's birth family unwittingly participated in our family time. You see, they mailed a surprise package, which the kids and I opened up yesterday morning. It was filled with those popcorn curls, and we had to dig deep in, which the kids loved. Inside was an outfit for each child, the book Guess How Much I Love You (doesn't that speak volumes about how they feel about our kids?), and a toy for each child (Cars toys for Casey and a Lily for Marcie). They also mailed us a Dora blanket and a Dora blow up sleeping bag, which they'd purchased for Marcie to use during our stay with them last summer.
So tonight after dinner, the kids cozied into their pajamas early, we blew up their sleeping bags, and they curled up inside for a night in at the movies. They watched Ratatouille for the umpteenth time before heading off to bed (they bathed earlier in the day, which is a story for another post). Not before I caught a shot of them, of course.
Today I've been thinking about Marcie's birth family, too. I've been thinking about how much better my holiday season is with Marcie here to help celebrate. That's not any different than how I feel any time of year; it just feels magnified for me around the holidays. I loved Christmas when I was a mom to one. But watching them interact, feeling Casey's anticipation of Santa's arrival, it's so much more fun as a mom of two.