Friday, December 2, 2011

What's been going on...

I have not been writing.
This much, I know.
Unless you count what I write in my head. I write in my head all the time but alas the words don't spill onto the page as easily.

I do have this complicated post I wrote the week the seventh billion baby was born. If I read it without knowing who wrote it I wouldn't guess it was from someone who pushed the limits of science in the quest for a biological baby. You all know my thoughts on zero population growth already and my thoughts on adoption are incredibly complex so the post is a doozy, to say the least. I could never quite hit publish, so it sits, marinating in its own juices in the drafts folder. Maybe one day.

I received an interesting writing assignment the other day from my mother.
She asked me to write my father's obituary now, while he's still living.

I nodded, understanding intellectually what she meant. An obituary. A tribute, a reflection on his life. My heart clenched, though, in that moment. My brain lurched ahead and started forming those words that you realistically know you will think/say/write at some point when you lose a parent but my heart stayed behind, and has remained there since. Those words are marinating, too, but I haven't yet put pen to paper. My heart isn't ready.

This was our first Thanksgiving without him present. It simply was not possible. During our Thanksgiving prayer tears rolled down my cheeks and dripped onto my empty plate. To be at once so grateful for the babies now physically present in my life and so sad for the missing presence of my father...dualing emotions at their finest.

Speaking of the babies, our daughter turns one year old today and that is an amazing celebration. When I think of those early photos, the early weight reports, the illness, the absolute lack of any control over her medical care (lack of) when she was ill and losing weight, the sleepless nights wondering who was holding her, or feeding her, the knowledge affirmed when we saw her first orphanage that there were many days she simply did not get enough...well, I can scarcely believe how far she has come. She is a glowing, vibrant child who babbles constantly, eats anything we put in front of her, is nearly walking, and currently has the most adorable one giant front tooth (to go with her two bottom ones). She loves to give kisses and hugs but is also quite indepenent. Watching her sing along with her father as he plays the ukele and sings to them during bathtime is a heart melting moment. Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

OK so I lied: she's not always vibrant. See holiday photo below, where she pouted pretty much the entire time :)


  1. My heart goes out to you as you contemplate as-yet unwritten tributes. The Christmas photo is so adorable. I've finally started to put pen to paper on my own IF where I was formerly (well, I still am), I'm now also

    Happy holidays to the whole bunch of you.

  2. my heart smiles when I look at this picture.
    Your posts always capture the complexity of life and of human emotion, thank you for your honesty and your words.
    Wishing you baby girl a very, very happy first birthday.
    much lover to you 4

  3. Wow, a lot of firsts this Thanksgiving. I'm so sorry about your dad--I can't even imagine that writing job. Thinking of you a lot.
    And happy birthday, Baby MTL! Hope you guys have a serious party. Tooth pictures, please!
    Love the pictures!

  4. Im sorry about your dad, i can only imagine how difficult thanksgiving and the other holidays will be. I am SO glad that your beautiful children are here with you and that they are happy amd healthy. Your family is beautiful.

  5. She is the most adorable little girl ever. Happy birthday, sweet girl! You make us all smile for so many reasons.

    Your words about your dad made me tear up. I'm sorry. I wish he could be present to enjoy his grandkids, see you become a mom, and just do the things he loved so much. I wish I could write that it will get easier- but it won't. No more reading the Christmas story, crosswords, or even simply enjoying the quiet together knowing he is just happy to have you there. It is so, so hard. Praying you find a way to feel connected to him and he to you and your children.


  6. What a awesome picture idea! You guys look so cute, pout and all! :)So many wonderful holiday days to celebrate together...and has it been a year since that day you guys got that email letting you know the babies were yours?!

    Writing something in honor of a parent....what a difficult task. Wishing you strength as you duel with the two spectrums of life right now...

  7. Happy birthday to that lovely little girl. She has a fantastic pout! :-)
    Amy x

  8. You'll write the tribute to your dad when you're ready. It's a heartbreaking thing to do, but when the time came, I found that I was also grateful for the opportunity.

    I love the photo - what a great idea! Hopefully we'll have a reason to do something similar next year...

    Also, I was at DQ the other day and thought of you. Have you tried their Candy Cane Chill blizzard (crushed candy canes and chocolate flakes)? If you try it, hopefully you'll like it more than the Girl Scout Thin Mint one I recommended a couple years ago. :-)

  9. What a beautiful holday photo, and happy birthday to your sweet little girl. Thanks for sharing. Heather

  10. You are able to express yourself through writing so well... I'm sure anything you have written (or 'thought-written') is definitely worth reading whether it's marinated fully or not!
    I'm sorry about your dad and the loss you've suffered (and are yet to suffer). I know first hand what strokes do to a family and it hurts my heart for you.
    Your picture is awesome and expresses it wonderfully- love...

  11. I can imagine the pain you must feel contemplating the tribute to your Dad. My heart breaks for you. I wrote my Dad's obituary, but it was after he died (he died unexpectedly). I was fueled with emotion and the words just flowed from brain to paper. I still think of it to this day.

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR HOLIDAY CARD!! Great idea. You and DH are so gifted! Your art, style, music, are a step above the rest, always fueled by love. Those babies are so adorable. Cheers to your daughter and son for marking their first year!

  12. You know, I STILL don't think we have a photo of our family where all four of us are smiling. But your photo is gorgeous - even her pouts are cute! Happy birthday to your little sweet girl - what a lovely milestone to be celebrating together, amongst all the difficulty of your Dad's decline.