We spent the majority of this past weekend celebrating both of our daughters.
On Saturday, we drove out to the Lancaster area for the 5th Annual Brother's and Sister's Picnic. Hosted by the Sweet Pea Project, it is a free event held once a year to celebrate all the members of your family. It was the first year we were able to attend and we were all looking forward to it. Turns out we have every right to be excited! We were greeted warmly with matching shirts and on the back, in big bold letters, read "Allie". There was face painting and a bounce house and free food and water ice and a playground and balloon animals and more. But more importantly, there were a group of people in matching green shirts who knew what it was like to walk in our shoes. We met up with some old friends, laughed, took lots of photos and vowed to come back again. I think an event like that will help us explain to Miranda who Allie is and who she was and it will be great for her know that she is not alone.
On Sunday, we went to the Adoptions from the Heart Annual Picnic. We have been attending this picnic since 2013 so we knew what to expect. We met up with our friends and packed a lunch and let the kids roam around and be free. There were all sorts of activities and live music and more importantly, a park full of people who knew what it was like to navigate the waters of open adoption. I know an event like this will help us to explain to Miranda why we chose adoption and it will be great for her to know she is not alone.
It was an emotional weekend. No matter how much we do it, it's still hard to celebrate Allie when she is not here to celebrate with us. For the most part, we cling to the happy memories, but in that park, surrounded by so many other families who were anxiously waiting to bring home a baby that never came home, well, it was hard not to get emotional. To see the names of all the babies on the backs of the sea of green shirts was very bittersweet. Bitter in that they are just names that we have to hold on to and sweet that we get the chance to celebrate them at all.
Growing our family through adoption was probably the best decision Gary and I made since deciding to go on that first date back in 2008. Once we made the decision, it was almost easy. We found out on Sunday that not all the people from our group have been placed yet. Turns out what was "easy" for us has not been the same for them.
I have to be gentle with my heart and my soul on weekends like this past one. I need to let me heart feel the emotions that ebb and flow through it. I need to make sure I get it right.
I think, for the first time, I am getting it right. That feels really good. To know that I am taking care of myself and my family and making the right choices for us all.
I am nearing the end of my weight loss journey. With 72 pounds gone, I want to lose a few more and then focus on keeping that weight off. I need to introduce foods back into my diet and learn how to eat without overeating. My training as a Weight Loss Coach is underway and although it might be too soon to say, I think I am really going to be good at this role. It's just another thing I need to take care of my soul. Who better to help others than someone who knows the struggle and the heartache and the pain of trying to find her true self?
It feels so good to feel this good.