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Adoptive Parenting Columnist Heidi Hess Saxton
The "Prayer of Abandonment" for Adoptive Parents
Father, we abandon ourselves into your hands,
We do not ask for guarantees; no parent can.
We are ready to offer our daily "yes,"
We love you, Lord, and offer ourselves to you,
Time to GET UP!
Whenever we go on vacation, I can always count on two things: For the first few days the kids will be extraordinarily clingy … and none of us will get much sleep.
So I try not to take it personally when, after kicking me awake at two-hour increments throughout the night, Sarah pokes me one last time at 5:45 and asks if we can get breakfast and go to the beach. Her father has already offered to feed and entertain her in the next room, but that doesn’t count. She wants ME.
I feel bad for Craig when it is clear that his particular brand of “Daddy Magic” simply will not do … I also get the teensiest bit aggravated, since he has managed to get a full seven-hour siesta without the hourly kidney kicks. “But Sarah, Mommy hasn’t had her beauty rest yet. What happens when Mommy doesn’t get her beauty rest?”
“She gets UGLY …. RAUGHHHHHH!” (Gives her best Mommy Monster impression.)
So, the problem isn’t that she doesn’t understand WHY letting Mommy sleep is in her best interest. The problem is she just REALLY needs to know that Mommy is there.
Okay, okay … I’m up. We make our dinosaur-egg oatmeal, put on our swimsuits, and head for the beach. We bury each other in the sand, creating mermaid bodies to go with their exposed heads. Eat apples and drink juice boxes, and find pretty shells.
It’s another memory in the making.
This week I was reminded how important this kind of memory-building is when we got word that a friend of ours – a young man of 54 – died suddenly Easter morning of an unexpected heart attack. Ken loved Russian literature and world history, and had the kind of loving and gentle nature that made small children warm up to him instantly. Sadly, recent family events had strained the relationship between Ken and his son. Memories of a regrettable kind.
Every family has a quilt of memories – some spoken, some fleeting, some recorded, some simply harbored in the heart. We do not know how much time we have together, and so we have to gather up those moments like squirrels in the fall, storing them away.
It’s time to wake up, Mommy. What will you do today to add to your family memory quilt? And what will you do to repair the blocks that have grown a little frayed around the edges?
Copyright 2008 Heidi Hess Saxton
2037 W. Bullard #247
Fresno, CA 93711
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