Anniversary Thoughts

Nine years.

A month before Lulu was born in Brooklyn to a woman I'll forever share the title of Mom with, Alex and I said our vows in a small gathering of family and close friends across the country in Dallas, Texas. We already knew we wanted to grow our family through adoption, but were ignorant to all details at that point. 

We got married as young 20-somethings who knew everything about everything, especially the fact that college love was enough to carry us through anything. Turns out, there was a whole lot more commitment than love at times, but that young love has developed strong roots, tested in adversity. And that commitment that felt like rigid borders now feels comfortable and safe, like home. 

We said yes to each other and we said yes to this non-traditional family. We had no idea what we were truly signing up for on either count, but I'm forever thankful for the paths we chose. Had I known the challenges upfront, I doubt I would have had the courage to say 'yes' to either, but I will never regret having walked these nine years with Alex. 

So bring on the unexpected and the challenging! Those are the times our roots have grown... And I'm not yet done growing. 

Recapping 2016 & 2017

To gloss over lots of pain and trauma I'm not ready to commit to language, I thought I'd bridge the blog's Dark Period by hitting the highlights:

Lulu is 8 and still a joy. She began piano lessons and took to them like a human to air. She happily practices daily and now composes sweet, weird little songs. She enjoys soccer, dance, running (legs for days), and making noise. Any kind of noise will do. As the encourager, she tells me daily that I'm, "the best mom she's ever had," even on my worst days. She is full of energy, but brings a laser beam focus to things that interest her. She stands up against injustices, regardless of how big the opposition is. Either smiling or scowling, she wears her heart on her sleeve. I'm absolutely crazy about her. 

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Light on the horizon

We can feel it. The odd prickle of anticipation, of hope. 

It's no secret that the last few years have been the most painful in my life thus far. I paused writing here as fear, darkness, and depression seized our household. Last year was exceptionally difficult and I marvel that we all survived the Dark Period. Now here we are, in a different year, a different season. But it has taken a bit of time and a lot of effort to shed the hold last year had on Alex and me.

I realize all that sounds melodramatic, but if you've ever been in the clutches of major depression yourself or walked helplessly alongside a spouse or close friend as they struggled through it, it's quite mystifying to be on the other side looking back. How did we survive that? 

You guys, Flavia and Lulu are almost out of foster care. We're so close to finalizing their adoptions that hope has illuminated all the dark areas of fear hiding in my heart, and I'm leaning in to the light. We're all moving forward, in our own ways, as a family. Growing, learning, healing. It's so much better than simply surviving.