November is and will always be a busy month for our family.
Now, when the Hubs and I were in baby talks back in 2013, we genuinely believed November was a good time to bring small children into the world. I mean, none of our family members have birthdays in November. The kids couldn’t have pool-centered birthday parties (unless we lived in Florida), but that’s just something they’d learn to deal with.
Therefore, baby George was born on Thanksgiving day. I was less-than-pleased by his week-early arrival, as it meant I missed my favorite mashed potatoes and banana pudding. (Don’t worry, both were in Tupperware in my fridge when we got home from the hospital.)
OK, so we had one November baby. Our “little turkey.” Cool.
George turns one. We ignore the baby train for awhile, knowing we’ll catch a ride once we feel a little more stable as newbie parents.
George cruises toward two. OK, we should probably buy that baby-train ticket.
And right before his second birthday, Olivia joins the family.
It was a strange night in 2016. I was exhausted in a hospital bed, my baby girl sleeping next to me and my husband on the couch. I would wake up, refresh Google, then doze off again. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, my bleary eyes registered that Donald Trump had won the election. Huh. What a surreal night.
So now, in case you haven’t been keeping count, we’re up to two November birthdays. And if you aren’t aware, kids’ birthdays are a BIG DEAL. This year, my darling daughter started in August with oh-so-many different party theme ideas and gift suggestions. We went from cupcakes to unicorns, then from rainbows to Lego. I made an executive decision and settled on cupcakes at a tea party. Olivia is barely four, so she was unaware that she could protest my executive decision.
This past January, we added yet another November birthday to our family. If you’ve followed my sporadic blogging this year, you’ve be-bopped along our adoption journey. Since about March, we’ve been waiting to fly to China to meet our youngest son. (You can catch up here, here, and here.)
You know? There was a time–not long ago–when I laughed at the idea of not meeting our son before he turned three. I mean, I’d always mourn how we didn’t know him during those teeny newborn months or the golden era (six months to two years). But at least we’d get him while he was still very small. There was even a time when I thought we’d have to reschedule a May vacation weekend because we’d be in China.
But now, we’re waiting on travel approval. Adoptive families aren’t able to travel to China right now because of Covid-19. It’s not that surprising, and it’s completely out of our control.
And it’s hard. Some days–or moments–are harder than others.
This week? We’re missing his birthday.
Due to this broken world, we already missed the smash cake and the toddling two-year-old who just loves balloons and bubbles (and most especially icing). But now we’ve lost another year.
We sent a cake and a winter coat for him. His foster home requested an electric toothbrush, so we sent that as well. It’s such a direct contrast to the Barbie cars and princess Legos my daughter received for her birthday.
George’s birthday is coming up. I love that his birthday is around Thanksgiving, because we’re always surrounded by part of our extended family. I’m hoping next year our new son will be surrounded by family on his fourth birthday.
Happy birthday, sweet boy. We’re coming for you.
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So, Janssen, the lovely bookish mama over at Everyday Reading, recommended The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt many years ago. I checked it out at one point but never got around to reading it. I dunno. I wasn’t in the right mood. Middle-grade novels aren’t really my jam.
A few days ago, I got my periodic newsletter from Modern Mrs. Darcy about Shakespeare-inspired books for all ages. And The Wednesday Wars appeared again! So, with two of my trusted literary sources recommending this book, I decided to give it a shot. Thankfully, my library had the audiobook, which, as I’ve discovered, is the best way for me to read books about which I feel a smidge reluctant.