It is both amazing and incredible the way the universe works. There are times when I am in awe of the whole complicated, magical process. Christmas day is typically one of those days that I find myself slack-jawed at the intricate workings of the energy that swirls around us. Perhaps it’s because, as the ancient cultures identified tens of thousands of years ago, the longest hours of the year create a mystical and spiritual energy all their own.
Before waxing far too theological here, let me get down to a few examples. Several years ago, as I’ve told the story in previous blogs, having each received expensive gifts like digital cameras and cell phones, two of my nieces could do nothing but whine and complain that the gifts were not what they wanted. For a variety of reasons, my family had a significantly smaller holiday that year, and my kids left the family gathering proclaiming how grateful they were to have received what they did. There were certain side comments about how ungrateful their cousins had been. My kids have never forgotten that lesson, and will occasionally bring up the memory to remind us that they got the point the universe was handing them.
Fast forward a bit to about two years ago, just before Christmas. My husband and I had been married then for about 11 years. My oldest daughter was 4 when our new family was created, and she has always loved her step-dad with unquestionable fervor. But about two years ago, again a result of a variety of factors, she made the decision to have her step-father adopt her. Her biological father, and his wife at the time, did not take the news very well. But my daughter is a strong young woman. She was 15 when she made the decision. She was interviewed by psychologists, lawyers, and a judge who all spoke of her maturity and her emotional control. Her biological dad made threats about her not being able to see her little half-brother. He and his wife accused her of being manipulated and brain-washed. But in the end, she held her own and made her case to her biological dad, and to the courts who granted her the gift of adoption. Three weeks later, on Christmas eve, we received a copy of her new birth certificate.
I’ve spent enough time on the sadness of last Christmas, so I’ll refer you to previous blogs to relive the details there.
This holiday was remarkably calm and enjoyably loving. My wonderful husband and I spent the Solstice at a jazz and blues club we love going to. Christmas eve was spent at my mom and step-dad’s house with my sister and her family. We raced wind-up toys down the wood-floored hallways of her house. The wind-up nose was beaten by the pull-back-and-release car, but the bowl of sushi was certainly the most entertaining of the race entrants.
Prior to the holiday, I had been thinking about one of my step-brothers quite a bit. One of them lives in Georgia with his darling wife. They sent cards and warm wishes to us and are planning a trip to visit soon. My other step-brother, who I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, has been rather withdrawn from our family for the past few years as a result of being incarcerated at the Utah State Penitentiary. He sent gifts to his nieces and nephew for the first time in nine years. We were surprised and touched by his thoughtfulness. He had also sent his dad a picture he had drawn in prison, and we were all impressed with my step-brother’s growing artistic skill.
There was a huge snow storm on Christmas eve, but we braved the weather to spend time with my family. On Christmas morning, the kids rose early and we tore through the few presents under the tree. Everyone already knew what Santa’s big gift to us would be – a week-long trip to a resort in Puerto Aventuras in the Yucatan Peninsula. We leave in six weeks.
After gifts, we all got ready and headed to the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. This had been a tradition for many years as my dad was the chairman of the hospital board and conscripted a long-time family friend into the role of Santa every year. Last year was difficult as much was made of my dad’s passing and the visit to the hospital being in his honor. This year, the kids wanted to pay tribute to their grandfather, but also to resurrect the family tradition. It was wonderful to see the eyes of a certain young man from Matamoros, Mexico, as he opened his iPod Nano and realized what he had received. This was a highlight, as it is every year, that creates that proverbial “warmth of the season” everyone talks about.
But the best was yet to come –
After the hospital and breakfast at IHOP, we arrived home happy and tired. As we came in the door, my son began talking about what he wanted for his birthday. I knew by his tone he was being playful, but I cut him off and reminded him that his birthday was still six months away. Then he grabbed me and said “No, wait, you gotta hear this.” I listened as he announced that he wanted me to adopt him.
Tears welled in my eyes and I was truly speechless for a few moments. The first words that came to me were, “We don’t have to wait until your birthday for that.”
Then he hugged me tighter (and he is pretty big, and really strong, so I really was breathless!). “Okay,” he said.
The smile on my face nearly reached around and touched behind my ears. “Okay,” I said. “We can call the lawyer tomorrow.”
So a call went in to our attorney this morning. The wheels are in motion.
Did I mention that my novel coming out next spring is about a 15-year-old boy who chooses to have his dad’s girlfriend adopt him? I haven’t talked about the plot with my kids much, and it is true that I have wanted this for years, but my husband and I always believed that if and when the time was right, the kids would make that choice on their own. This kid has been mine since I started babysitting him when he was four months old (I was unemployed and my husband – though we weren’t married until nearly two years later – needed a babysitter as he had just been granted custody of this boy). I fell in love with this kid the minute I saw him, and no one could tell me he isn’t mine already. I know he knows that, too. All we’re really doing is securing a piece of paper that let’s everyone else know it as well.
No doubt his biological mother will react much the way my ex-husband did. No doubt there will be some rough times in the days to come. But much like his sister before him, my son is strong and level-headed. He has a heart of gold, and he isn’t afraid to share that with others who return his love.
This doesn’t change how I feel about him. Like I said, he’s been mine for nearly his entire life. I didn’t have to give birth to him to have him belong in my heart. This, to me, is the real meaning of the Law of Attraction: that heart-felt belief that becomes so integrated in your thinking and your emotions that it requires no thought to make manifest and real. That’s the love I have for my children, for my husband.
But yeah, I’m really excited!