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Reflections on Holidays 2019 and the Year Ahead
This holiday season was, as always, a very busy one. In fact, after all the time spent decorating as a family, we tend to look for any excuse possible to keep the trees and the lights up for one more night just so we can sit back and take time to really appreciate it. As a couple, we’ve always loved going downtown to look at the displays of gingerbread houses and the Christmas market, so that’s a tradition that we definitely had to keep this year. We also enjoy the conservatory and walking around the display of lights and flowers, and we attended midnight mass with our whole family at a beautiful historic church (the same one where Jason’s sister got married and his nephew got baptized).
Our nephews and Jared’s sister visited from Virginia Beach for a week, and we were able to spend a lot of quality time together. While they love to decorate any cookie that lets them get icing and sprinkles everywhere, their favorite to eat by far are Jared’s gingerbread cookies. We also took them to a movie they had been really wanting to see, the family played a bunch of games together, and they were able to go see a wrestling event at the arena that had been pretty big on their list of Christmas wishes. We are fortunate to get to see them every few months or so, and while it’s certainly exhausting at times, it is worth every minute. As soon as they go back home, they’re already talking about the next time they get to come and visit.
We also were so excited to spend our new nephew’s first Christmas with him. He didn’t quite get the hang of opening presents yet, but once he saw the toys, his eyes definitely lit up. He was at our first ornament exchange (an annual tradition on Jason’s side of the family) and even made it through his first big Christmas Eve dinner before his bedtime. Even our dogs, Fletcher and Xena, had a pretty amazing time because they got to go visit not only the baby, but Jason’s sister’s dog, their good friend Tinkerbell, as well.
For so many reasons, 2019 was a very memorable year for us. The births of so many children of family and friends, the weddings of loved ones, and even simple things like continuing to work on our home made this past year one that we certainly will not forget. It also marked the one-year anniversary of the start of our adoption journey. Both of us had known from the very beginning of our relationship almost 12 years ago that we wanted to start a family together, but we always wanted to make sure we were as prepared and ready spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially as we could be to give an amazing life to a little one. On Christmas of 2018, the ornament that Jason exchanged with Jared was a small silver and blue teddy bear that said “Baby’s First Christmas.” We both looked at each other and just knew in our hearts that the time had definitely come. That led to a year of planning and preparation that was both intimidating and exciting at the same time, but we have never been more sure of anything in our entire lives.
As we begin 2020, it’s with patience, trust, and hearts that are open to the plan God has for us and our family. Whether you’re adoptive parents hoping to add to your family or a birth mother hoping to find the adoptive family that you know in your heart is best for your child, we wish you the very best in the new year.