I have been blessed with an IRL adoptive mama friend. One that I have more in common with than just adoption. And our houses are not even 10 minutes apart.
I love the story of how we met~ It was back in June of 2008. Emily, AC and I were at the library for story time. I sent Emily into the story time room with AC, so I could spend some time choosing books for AC. Because I am very picky about the books that I read to my children. And it takes time to select good ones. After story time was over, Emily and AC came out and met me, and Emily said, "Mom, there was a lady in story time with a mei mei." (which is the term we use to refer to little adopted Asian girls) "And the mom looks about your age. (meaning she's not a 20 or 30 something) And she looks like your type. I think you should go meet her." So being rather desperate for a friend, I did.
And let me digress.... When my older 3 were growing up, I had lots of friends. School friends, and neighbor friends, and well, just lots of friends. And as we mamas were just beginning to send our kids off to college, we began our adoption journey. We all still had kids home, but they were mostly high school age, and times were just a changin'. Our time was freed up a bit. We could meet for lunches out. Stroll the mall together. Get away for an occasional girls weekend. Begin some decorating projects....It was a new season. And then. We brought home AnnaClaire. And my friends were enthralled with her. There were plenty of "aunties" to dote on her. She was a novelty. Oh, yes, I still had my friends. Everyone liked to pay a visit to AnnaClaire. But things slowly began to change. I wasn't so free with my time. Lunches didn't work well with nap times. My shopping trips were for baby clothes~ not fashions for myself. Those occasional girl weekends ended as I chose to stay home for bonding purposes. And soon after we brought AC home we began the process for Kate's adoption. I was fully immersed in all things adoption, and then things began to change. It's one thing to have ONE child join your family. It's not hard to bring just one along with the girls. But more than one? Five??? I'm sure many of you can relate with this. Right? I'm not alone in this. I don't think.
So, we more "seasoned" moms who adopt find ourselves in a funny place. Not really fitting in with our age peers, yet not really fitting in with the moms that have kids of our adopted children's ages. Age wise I fit in with the empty nesters (or those just about there) but "age of kids in the home wise" I fit in with the 30- somethings, and I'm certainly not there. (generalizing of course, just so you "young" readers of my blog know) It's kind of a funny place to be. And it can be rather lonely, actually. And this is where I found myself in 2008. Really needing a friend. Someone to take the kids and do things with. So, when Emily came out and told me about "the lady" well, I went against my rather introverted nature and rushed right up to her and introduced myself. And right there, in our little community library, we found out that her little Mia, and my AnnaClaire (both 2 at the time) were CHENZHOU sisters! Yes, our babies had been together for a short time while in China! Can you imagine that? These two little Chenzhou girls were now living less than 10 minutes away from each other! So, we made plans to go to story time the following week, and then go out for lunch afterwards. And, you can guess where we went afterwards for lunch, I am sure! And so began our friendship.
One thing I love about Tracey is that she's a PLANNER! And I am SO not. Oh, I love to go places and do things, but not to plan those things. So, we do very well together. She makes the plans, and I drive the big van. And we've had some really fun trips~ over the years we've been to zoos, and pools; children's museums, to the mountains and to the beach. We've stayed in cabins and condos. (But not tents!) We been to the lake, to apple orchards, and pumpkin patches. We've been to the dairy farm and to the strawberry farm. We've been to parks, playgrounds, and the botanical gardens. We've had campfires and eaten ice cream. Lots of ice cream. She loves my children and I love hers. We've survived some storms that were weather related, but have had no storms in our friendship. She's the kind of friend I can call when Bill is going to be out of town and say, "Can we take the kids to dinner one of the nights so I can get out of the house a little?" And she knows exactly what I mean, and she always says yes. She's walked through 4 more adoptions with me, and I've walked through one more adoption with her. And who knows, maybe there will be another~ we do have her named already! (And I'm talking about another for Tracey~ not me. We have her girl named. This is not an announcement of any kind.) We've celebrated victories with our children, and we are able to share the struggles as well. We're in a different season now. Tracey's girls have just finished their kindergarten year in public school. And we homeschool. So we haven't done as much together this past year. But we're hoping to make up for that this summer!
We started our summer off with a trip to the dairy farm! Lots of cows and some really tasty ice cream! (and yes, it's not the best photo of Ellie, but it was the best photo of the majority of the group) Mia is in the orange floral shirt; Emily in the purple.
One of our favorite summer destinations is to the swimming beach at the lake. And out for ice cream afterwards, of course! Emily is holding hands with Kate, and Mia is holding her sister's hand.
And just because she wears a bathing suit so well.....
Yes, our friendship is a blessing. I tell my children all the time that friends can come and go, but FAMILY is forever. But you know, that's not always true. Sometimes a friendship is for a season. But sometimes a friendship is forever.
A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17