24 December 2009

A Blue Christmas

I'll Have a Blue ChristmasThis week is the anniversary of adopting both my kids. I will never forget the year I brought home a 10-year-old for Christmas. After eight years of unsuccessfully trying to have a child and five years of waiting for this first adoption to go through, being in a judge's chambers on Christmas Eve's Eve to finalize my son's name change is still one of the most glorious memories of my life. My name went in the space on the birth certificate that said "Mother." My son would finally be allowed to call me Mom.

The courts were closed on Christmas Eve's Eve three years later, so my daughter's adoption fell on December 22. (We were given a choice of Dec. 21, Dec. 22 or Dec. 27.) My car was graffitied during the night before the adoption, and I didn't want our special day to be spoiled by driving 40 miles to and from the courthouse in a marked car that surely would have garnered unwanted attention. So I spent the chilly morning of my second adoption applying Pepsi to the panels of the car, and it worked! You couldn't tell my white car had been zebraed during the night! A Christmas miracle! A Christmas miracle in addition to being able to adopt an 8-year-old girl after just one year of legal red tape.

The three of us celebrated back-to-back Gotcha Days for the next five years. Gotcha Day, Gotcha Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day. What a week of fun every single year!

Both birds prematurely left the nest the following year, and I spent my first Christmas ever alone. Totally alone. Or so I thought at the time. When I look back at that grim year now, I remember going for a run on a snowy Christmas Eve morning, just to keep my mind too busy to mourn, when one of the women from my church came running out of her home to greet me as I passed. It was snowing and cold. I could see through her living room window she had family gathered from across the country. She was wearing a housecoat and slippers. Yet she came running outside in the bitter cold to catch me and invite me in. She knew I was alone. And sweaty! Yet she wanted me to share in her family's warmth.

A couple of friends at work insisted I have Christmas dinner with them. One at noon, one at 6.

I helped serve meals in a homeless shelter. I left handmade gifts on the doorstep of a shut-in.

One of my favorite songs comes to mind. "You're not alone..." Even though I thought I was, I was never alone, even in my darkest hours.

Some of my best Christmases and my worst Christmas. Memories come flooding back. Some good, some sad, most precious. It's the fabric from which my life is woven.

I miss the life I built with my kids. And yet, I wouldn't trade my Christmases now, with my best friend and soul mate, for the world.

We hang blue lights, we collect things with blue snowflakes. The presents beneath our tree are wrapped in blue and white snowflake paper. We wrap up together in a blue fleece blanket covered with silver snowflakes, and we sip sugar-free hot chocolate from blue and white snowflake mugs. Some years we even get to go cross-country skiing on Christmas!

I was very lonely once. But not any more. This is one Christmas I absolutely will not be blue!


  1. I have questions about the children leaving. I'm left wondering. El Paso was where my car was spray painted. I had Alabama tags and they painted TIT (This is Texas) in silver on a dark blue car. My husband grabbed some liquid car wax and he and his friend started rubbing it off! What a miracle I thought that was! My worst Christmas was when I lost him to a random act of violence. Our daughter turned two right before Christmas. I felt very alone. We had her toys on layaway, most of them he had picked out, so he was there in spirit, but it was hard. Every year we hang a white dove at the top of our tree so he is always with us. Everyone knows that is Keiths dove. My dad likes blue Christmas lights. I remember one year everything was blue and silver. Merry Christmas to you!

  2. Merry Christmas to both of you!

  3. I was left wondering the same thing...what happened to the children? I searched your blog looking for more to the story or more about the children but couldn't find it. The story made me very sad. However, I am glad that you didn't have a blue Christmas this past year. Many Gentle Hugs!!

  4. I apologize for being cryptic. Partly out of respect for the privacy of my children, and partly because there are still tender spots. I hope to write a book one day to help other distraught parents, but right now, I just can't bring myself to cast my children's dandelion seeds to the wind.

    I hope for now it will suffice for me to say time does heal all wounds, and faith gets you over some mighty difficult mountains.

  5. I'm am so thankful you have found happiness now and very sorry for your loss. I really feel for you. I too, have longed for many years to be a mother and hope to be able to adopt an older child. I have a husband to be very thankful for. Take care.

  6. Hopeful, I'm so glad you have someone in your life. That definitely helps fill the void. Childlessness is not something I'd wish on anyone, and I wish you and your husband well in your quest. I hope you are able to take in a young child and make more of a difference than I was able to.



Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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