Our Third Christmas as a Forever Family.

It is amazing and sometimes hard to believe this year is only our third Christmas together as a family. The other night daddy was talking and he was just sure it was our fourth, but had to concede it is the third because Jeremiah is only turning 4.

Many people have told me that it is the Third year when things start to feel “regular” and I am beginning to believe this might be true. Things just seem normal now and like we have always been a team side by side. We have made some history as a family and now we have traditions and memories of the past years which seem to make our lives feel like we all belong together.

I remember our first Christmas together Makaylah thought the orange breakfast rolls we eat every Christmas morning were just terrible and she wanted nothing to do with them. The other day she reminded me that I needed to get the orange rolls for Christmas morning. It takes time to make memories, find traditions and feel like things are “regular” and it seems to be logical the third year is the one the feels the most attached.

The first year was the first year there were no memories or history only stories about the year before at the foster home and some distant toddler memories of life with birth mom. The second year was a process of repeating the traditions of the first year and deciding what mattered most and what we would do every year. This year everyone knows what to expect so things are just normal and regular. And special.

Other families may not notice this kind of pattern but, when you are five years old and you meet your forever parents then “regular” is a word that needs to be defined. Not very many kids get a new mom and dad and most children who are adopted do not remember meeting strangers one day who said they were your new mom and dad. So everything in our forever family takes time to figure out. Adopting older or special needs children is an adventure and it is interesting how finding “normal” and “regular” is a journey that takes three years.

All of our important celebrations seem to happen at the same time of the year. It was four years ago on December 18 that we found out we were selected by the committee to become forever parents. It felt like complete torture to wait until after the New Year to meet Makala and Jeremiah, but we managed to survive it. A year later the adoption was final on December 19, 2003 and we had a great first Christmas together as a family. We don’t really make a big fuss about the adoption day we have so many other holiday activities and events to celebrate but as our family we do share a special time of thankfulness that we are a family.

Point Special Needs and Adoption-Related Terms:
A | B | C | D | E-F | G-H-I | J-K-L | M | N-O | P | Q-R | S | T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

For more information about parenting special needs children you might want to visit the Families.com Special Needs Blog and the Mental Health Blog. Or visit my personal website.

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