Tomorrow I will sit down with my family around the table.
Tomorrow I will be so thankful for all my children, for the joy they have brought to my life. I will be thankful for another holiday that we share again as a complete family.
I will be thankful for my husband sitting in his place at the end of the table. So very thankful that he survived his terrible scare this summer. That he is still here, a part of us, sharing another moment for us to remember and treasure as the years pass.
But tonight, with the pies baked and the turkey ready to go into the oven first thing in the morning. In this brief silence before all that is to come, I am thankful for the many wonderful people I have come to know through my adoption journey.
Thankful for their presence in my life. For all they have done for me, taught me and given me in the years since I first reunited with my son.
I’m thankful for the amazing first/natural mothers I have come to know. For their support and understanding. For everything they have offered even in their lowest times. Even in my closest friends I have never found anyone who understands the loss, knows how it can change us, make us into somebody completely different than we originally were, like the first/natural mothers who have come into my life.
I consider so many of you my dearest, closest friends even if we have never met face to face. You have been my strength when I had none. The shoulder I needed in my tears. The unquestioned understanding I sought for so many years.
I know there is so much I would have struggled to survive through if it weren’t for your wonderful presence in my life.
And I’m thankful for the many adoptees who give so much of themselves. Who also reach out, even in the midst of their own struggles, to offer help and concern for others. Who fight for change even in the face of ugliness. Who show their strength every time they speak out, insist we listen and they not be ignored.
One of my greatest lessons in this adoption journey has been the warm hearts of the adoptees I have come to know, like and respect. When I first learned of the childhood my son suffered, when I first desperately sought something, anything, to help him understand that his dad and I were there for him and that he could trust us, it was your help, your reaching out, that encouraged me, guided me through that time.
I don’t know what I would have done without you and I am so very thankful to have you as a part of my life.
And last, but definitely not least, I am thankful for the great adoptive mothers who I have come to trust and respect. Who, without even knowing it, broke through the harsh anger I carried and brought me to a place where I was more open to listen and learn, to understand from the other side. Who opened my eyes to the ups and downs of their own journey through the world of adoption.
I know my blog can sometimes be hard to read. I know there are times when my posts sound as if I am lumping all adoptive parents into one big ball of frustration and anger. But I hope you will always know that I am thankful for the support and respect you have offered. For your own personal insights that have taught me so much, led me to see things past my own personal experience.
I’m thankful for the one who can always put a smile on my face with her stories. For those of you who have given me a knowledge about international adoption I never would have known. For your dedication to your open adoptions even when it isn’t easy and faces the challenges that come with it. And for the fight you face when you speak up for change and your dedication to continue on, not for yourself, but for your children.
I’m thankful for your strength and courage to face the side of adoption so many don’t want to see. For the challenges you have presented me, forcing me to grab onto my own strength and courage, look past my own fear, and learn from your side as well.
There are so many wonderful people brought into my life through this adoption journey. So many amazing friendships that continue to grow and bless my days. Though one my greatest wishes is to never know the pain and loss and grief that have been so much a part of me, my son and my family, I am thankful that I do not have to face this alone. That there are so many of you out there who make me laugh, make me think, offer support and care, and remind me, all the time, of the greatness that does exist in this world.
And, ultimately, give me so many reasons to be thankful.
You will all be a part of my prayers this Thanksgiving.
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