Mid-June Updates

Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm heading to the NC mountains this weekend to visit my sister, Michelle.  Woohoo!  It should be a great time.  She just moved into a new house and is having a "rock party" which means that instead of bringing a housewarming gift, we're supposed to bring her a rock to put in her yard.  As you can see, we're very extravagant. 

So Deanna's 5th birthday is coming up in less than a month, and I have no idea what to get her!  Dolls?  Crafts?  Games?  I'm running out of good ideas.  De said that Deanna wants to have a pirate/dolphin/mermaid birthday party theme.  Can you tell that she has been to Sea World recently?  I'm thinking maybe some kind of mermaid doll for bathtub play time or a cool craft set would make a good gift for a 5-year-old. De told me that Deanna has been really into tye-dye lately, so maybe I can incorporate that into her birthday present....ideas are welcome!  

De called me a few weeks ago and told me that Deanna has been organizing things lately.  If you know me personally, you know that I am the queen of organization and neatness.  De had to call me immediately and tell me that Deanna had taken it upon herself to clean out her top dresser drawer and neatly organize her underwear into tidy piles.  She did this all on her own without being asked!  What kind of  4-year-old does that?   When De walked into Deanna's room and saw what she had done, De started laughing and said, "We need to call AmyHutton!" 

It's interesting and fun for me to hear these kinds of stories from De and to piece together how Deanna has become the person she is.  She really is a little bit of everyone!   

She gets her neat/organized side from AmyHutton.  Example: As I mentioned before, Deanna organizes her underwear into neat piles without being told.  That Type-A personality is already shining through.  When Deanna was 3-years-old, she made certain that the hair bands tied on each side of the handlebars of her bicycle were matching and perfectly aligned. 

She gets her crafty/creative side and her good heart from De.  Example: Deanna LOVES crafts. Absoluely loves them.  And when she was in preschool last year, Deanna walked up to her teacher and told her, matter-of-factly and completely out-of-the-blue, "I'm going to pray for Ava."  (Ava is a little girl in her class).  
How sweet is that?

She gets her tough/sporty side from Don.  Example:  Deanna had a Wolfpack mobile hanging above her crib since the day she was born.  (In case you're wondering, yes, it played the NC State fight song.)  A die-hard fan, Don has ingrained the phrase "Go Pack!" into Deanna's head.  I think that may have been her first sentence.  And when Deanna starts to cry, Don will tell her to say, "I'm tough!" 

She gets her silly/hyper/rambunctious side from Robbie.  Example: Deanna came to my house on Mother's Day with Don and De.  She was the most hyper-active individual I had ever encountered.  She was bouncing off the walls!  My roommate Emily commented, "She is just like Robbie!" and we all laughed because we knew it was true.   Deanna has a BIG personality, and she definitely gets a lot of that from the Robster.

And of course, outside of the four of us, Deanna has gotten a plethora of great characteristics from all of her many extended family members as well.  Open adoption is certainly multi-faceted, and each person who cares about Deanna has in some way molded her into the amazing nearly-five-year-old that she is today.  

Alright, off to the mountains!  Now if only I could find a really cool rock...

Memorial Day 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

I've been trying to decide the topic of my next blog post for the past few days.  I'm still undecided, so I'm going to just start writing and see where this goes.  As we say in the media business, "buckle up!" Okay, we don't really ever say "buckle up" but it sounded kind of thrilling before it sounded weird.

So I went to Charleston, South Carolina this past weekend for a mini-road trip.  It was absolutely beautiful!  I would so go back again.  On the way back home to Raleigh, we stopped in to Myrtle Beach for a quick little babe visit.  Don, De and Deanna were all on the beach, so we changed into our swim suits and headed to the beach to see them.  (Along with a few Amstel Lights of course.)

When I first walked up to De, Don, and Deanna on the beach, they were hanging out with some friends from Don's work.  Deanna, who was playing with their son, ran over and gave me a huge hug.  She said, "Hi AmyHutton."  What happened next sort of caught me off-guard.  I watched as Deanna ran back to her little male companion, and she told him excitedly that I was her birthmother.  She said it proudly and with confidence.  Like it was something she was excited about!  That just made my day. The little boy didn't understand what that meant, but he just smiled and nodded.  He didn't have to understand what it meant, but it was obviously something great, something cool.  "That's my birthmom!" 

Heather @ Production, Not Reproduction offered another Open Adoption Roundtable prompt:

Imagine your child as an adult describing their open adoption experience. What do you hope they will be able to say about you? How did you view their other parents? In what ways did you support their relationship with them? 

My hopes for Deanna's adult life are very optomistic.   I don't worry as much as I did before that Deanna won't understand why I placed her for adoption or that she will be mad...I optimistically think (and hope) that Deanna will think about everything she has, not what she doesn't have as a result of the adoption.  I'm sure she will have lots of questions and thoughts as she gets older, but ultimately I think she will understand.  Someday I hope that Deanna will still be able to excitedly and confidently say, even when she is an adult, "That's my birthmom!"  And I'll probably still smile the same way that I did when I heard her say it for the first time on Memorial Day of 2010.

My relationship with Deanna is close and evolving.  Deanna will be 5-years-old in July, and I feel like she is really starting to grasp our true relationship.  Yes, I'm just another person in her family who loves her and wants the best for her, but we share something that is so close and so special.  Even Deanna's relationship with Robbie is so natural and close. When Deanna becomes an adult, I hope 1) that Don never allows her to date and 2) that she will always treasure the relationship we have been building for the past years.

I often think about how lucky I am to have Don, De, and their families in my life.  It means so much to me when Don's mother, Priscilla, sends me sweet messages and tells me how much she admires and appreciates what I have given her family.  Priscilla is an amazing woman...she told me recently that she promises to be the best grandmother ever to Deanna.  That meant the world to me!  Everyone in Don and De's families have welcomed me as one of their own, it's awesome to be able to call them my family.   

Look how much fun we had this weekend! 
And in case you're wondering, I did not injure myself doing the recreational gymnastics in the sand.