In this month of Thanksgiving, I'd like to list just a few things I'm grateful for:
1) Noemi! For soooo many reasons. For her giggle. For her heart. For her endless energy that means she's healthy. For her anger which means she's strong-willed and hopefully will apply that in a positive manner when she grows up. For her love of learning. For her acceptance of others. Soooo many reasons.
2) I'm grateful for meeting Rosita. Very few intercountry adoptive parents have that privilege. We may have had our issues but I had the opportunity to see Rosita and Noemi together in the good and in the bad. I was able to truly understand how and why Noemi became our daughter. I was able to hold the hand of the women who gave us the greatest privilege ever, that of parenting beautiful Noemi.
3) I'm grateful for knowing Noemi's medical history. If something were ever to arise, I'm grateful we have the referral report and we were able to chat with Grandpa Peter. He has already given us insight into how and why he adopted Rosita and that's invaluable information.
4) I'm grateful for our wonderfully supportive family. Every single person, on both sides of our families, have accepted and welcomed Noemi with open arms and with no judgement. And if they haven't, they've kept it to themselves and have never made any negative comments towards her or us.
5) I'm grateful for our wonderfully supportive friends. Our friends, new and old, have stood by our side and helped us grow as a family. Their genuine interest in her adoption story and development has helped us understand how unique and special our little family truly is.
6) I'm grateful for those who did make inappropriate/hurtful comments. They helped me realize who is really important in our lives right now and helped me learn to stand up for my family. I also believe they didn't understand how it could hurt our feelings at a time. I honestly didn't know, myself, how sensitive we'd be to other people's comments but I'm glad we found out and now know how to react.
7) I'm grateful for our Minnesota Marshallese group. Although, we spend most of our time chasing Noemi, I'm thankful when I can sit back, listen and learn from others going through the same things we are. Their support and understanding is incomparable since they know exactly what you're going through in regards to birthfamily, adoption identity issues, and the general development of squirrelly toddlers and preschoolers.
8) I'm grateful for YouTube! We watch YouTube all the time to see "majuro" videos. We've learned so much about the Marshallese culture just from those videos. Noemi now knows and sings Marshallese children songs. I've been able to translate 2 of them so far and I love singing them in both languages with her. We watch beat dancing. We watch people singing. We watch people dancing and laughing. And most importantly, I think, we watch people who are happy even with the little that they have.
I could go on and on but obviously, I have to cut the list somewhere.
We're truly blessed to have been able to adopt from such a unique program. We're blessed to be a tri-cultural family. We're blessed to add a new culture to our lives, that we honestly try to incorporate as much as we incorporate our Mexican and Swedish traditions.
We are Thankful every. single. day.