My List O’ Thanks

1. Birth moms. This has been on my mind all morning. When I think of one of the top things I am grateful for, it is birth moms. My mama for bringing me into this world. The two moms who made choices to give life to two beautiful boys that we get to call our sons, and then took a huge leap of faith and chose adoption to give those sons opportunities at a (maybe) better life. I might not ever meet these women, or get to hear about what those choices were like, but I think of them often, and thank God for them and their brave choices.

2. Birth dads. Without them our sons wouldn’t be here either! I try my hardest to incorporate talk of birth dads into our conversations. I don’t want my son to one day tell his classmates, “You can be born with just a mommy!!” Or some odd rendition of that.

3. Sparkly brown eyes. And the age of 4. Ezekiel is a blast to be around right now (most of the time). He is super in love with this mama, and I am super in love with him. When he sees me peeking at him while he’s playing, or checking on him at bedtime, his eyes sparkle before he breaks out into the biggest grin. He can’t seem to get enough hugs and kisses from me, and that makes my world go round. Coming from a boy who nearly 3 years ago couldn’t stand for me to touch him (for months and months and months), I will take all of the hugs and kisses I can get! The most random things come out of his mouth:

Me: Pumpkin pie is soooo good!
Eze: Is it China good? (so random, and I have no idea what it means. But he says it all of the time for “really good”).

4. Work. As hard as it is to be away from my boys for so many hours with my stinky commute, I am so thankful to be in a job that I enjoy, with people I enjoy working with, knowing that I’m stretching myself professionally to move into more challenging roles in the future. On Monday I become a full-time employee at the hospital (I’ve been a contractor there for 3 months now). It feels weird to be an employee after 4.5 years of being a contractor.

5. Foster families. This time around, the adoption feels (way) more low-key than Ezekiel’s adoption from the Philippines, emotional rollercoaster-wise. I don’t know if it’s a been-there-done-that type feeling, or if it is because I know Simon is in such good hands with his foster family. I think it’s a mix of both. But I still can’t wait to have this little man home with us, filling our home with even more love and laughter.

6 (but should really be at the top of the list). My Dave. There really aren’t words to describe how much I love Dave. At work while I was getting to know one of my team members, she asked me, “You’ve been married for 9 years?!?!?! Is it a good marriage?” I’ve never been asked that before. But I didn’t have to hesitate. Yes, I’m in a great marriage and I do consider myself incredibly lucky and blessed to be married to the best husband and father I know. He teaches our son how to wrestle, how to build things (like puppet stages), how to clean (one of the reasons I love him so much), and how to treat women with love and respect.

7. Big family. I get to see some of my cousins this weekend, and we all get along great. I can’t wait to catch up with them, play games, eat good food and laugh a lot. Then in 3 weeks I get to see all of my siblings and their families when my uber-talented younger sister graduates from college. I’m pumped to celebrate her, and celebrate Christmas with everyone together. At Christmas we’ll spend time with Dave’s family with a new nephew added to the mix, I love that our families keep growing!

8. Friends. Especially friends who still love you, even when you turn into a pumpkin head and nearly fall asleep during the middle of an evening out. And friends who feel comfortable venting when days have been incredibly rough. And friends who you may not see or talk to for weeks or months at a time, but pick right up where we left off with comfort and trust. Sometimes I feel like I don’t give enough and/or pursue enough in my friendships, but I never get the sense that my friends feel the same way. I’m thankful for these people who fill me up (except that I just accidentally wrote “feel me up”. Thank you for not doing that, friends).

9. Hot tea, honey and milk. And Con.tigo travel mugs. Bliss in a cup. I make a cup of black tea with honey and milk every single morning. And it stays warm all through my 75-minute commute so that I can enjoy sipping it when I get to work. It makes my belly smile. And if your belly is happy, so much of the rest of life is set up to be happy.

10. God.  I’m thankful that I don’t have to have this whole God and how the church fits in with Him thing figured out right now. It’s not the point of life. The point of life is to love, and I’m learning every day what that means and what that looks like. I’m thankful that my son loves learning about Jesus and loving others, and that he gives me opportunities every day to love someone who can be stubborn and difficult. So much like his mama.


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