Tag Archive | celebration

Triumphs and Relief

The adoption social’s #WASO theme this week is “A Sense Of Relief”.

When I began to put this post together earlier in the week, my opening line was “What does it feel like to experience a sense of relief nowadays”?

I was feeling pretty jaded after yet another difficult weekend and I was definitely in a ‘Negative Nelly’ headspace and feeling pretty hopeless that things were ever going to change.

Cue: stepping away from writing anymore to said post before I could write something that wasn’t going to send my reading heading for the nearest cliffs like the Lemmings in a computer game I used to play, a long, LONG time ago – and no I am not going to say exactly how long. That would give up my age and as they say ‘you are as young as the husband you feel’. Oh wait that doesn’t work Bumble is 9 years older than me and I don’t want to add extra years on myself. Do I?

lemmings

As the week has drawn out, I am pleased to say that ‘sense of relief’ has washed over the household several times this week, and the majority are Buzzbee related. Although the positive feedback from this has already begun to send ripples of hopeful and positive energy through the household and which I hope will manage to hang around for at least a tiny bit of time once Waxy gets home from school and both boys are home together for the weekend – we can live in hope.

So, what are these fleeting moments of ‘a sense of relief’? What has had me doing a little dance around the lounge this week?

First of all, and really this is a bittersweet side to our first ‘sense of relief’ this week because while finally PAS have got back to us about our request for assessment of our ASF needs and responding to my cries of despair over Waxy’s latest antic, there is a big change that has been slapped onto it.  The time has come for Shamrock (our long term PASW) to hand our file onto a stranger (Ok I should say a new PASW who will take us through our assessment without the shadows of the past always getting in the way). Trusting a new professional will be difficult (especially for me) but knowing that rather than having to constantly be chasing Shamrock because her workload had become so big that our ‘issues’ were small fry compared to others and we were no longer feeling supported by her, we now have a Sydney and so far she seems lovely and is keen to help put things back on track – *deep sigh of relief*

Secondly during the Easter holidays, I visited our GP and spoke to her about our concerns about Buzzbee. I barely begun trying to explain some of the “quirks and anxieties” we are witnessing, before she had heard enough and recommended referring him back to the community paediatrician as these were difficulties that had been flagged up to her before while he was still at school and from her records she could see that CAMHS had in fact not followed the recommendations by the CP for a detailed assessment to be untaken by them in reference to the complex behaviour that his school were reporting – as some of you will know. He was badly let down by CAMHS and treated appallingly.  So our GP sent off a referral but warned us that the paediatrician was in extremely high demand and the waiting list could be anything from 8 – 12 months before we are seen (not ideal but at least she was taking our concerns seriously).

Well, yesterday our wonderful postman delivered a letter which had me skipping for joy. The letter contained an appointment date for Buzzbee to be seen by the community paediatrician who originally did both his and Waxy’s LAC medical and who also sat on our adoption, fostering and matching panel. And even more exciting is the appointment is for 12 weeks’ time (it will take us that long to fill in the mountain of questionnaires that came in the envelope with the appointment letter) – she says as she exhales deeply.

And that leave me with 2 other reasons to feel relieved this week. One, although I am happy that things are moving on and I know will be a welcome relief for my mum and our family, is also tinged with sadness.  After waiting several months, the estate agent who is handling the sale of my nan and granddad’s home, many just have found a buyer for the house and very soon the home where all the family pets are buried and where all the grandchildren, my mum and her sister grew up will no long be part of our family.  But on the flipside, mum will finally be able sign with relief and finalise the distribution of nan and granddad’s estate.

Ok so I have saved the best for last.  Last night Buzzbee successfully managed to overcome his anxiety and join a new evening club, and what’s more, the mammoth self-esteem boost that he has received doing it is even this afternoon still flooding through the house – OK it took Bumble and I, 2 hours last night to bring him back down off the ‘ceiling of success’ and just listening to the excitement in his voice and watching my supercharged, happy little bee, buzzing brought several soppy tears to my eyes – it would be hard for anyone to understand how HUGE his achievement was last night but just in case you want to get a sense of his giddiness here is the link to his own #WASO blog post about it.

While Bumble may have been at work all day, he couldn’t avoid noticing the fog of anxiety and fear that was drowning the hive when he walked through the door and although neither of us wanted to admit that we could see the possibility of it all going south if Buzzbee gets there and really cannot cope.

So on returning from the club after sitting in a room, watching our nervous snapping turtle morphing into energetic songbird, strutting his stuff carefree and nervously trying to interact with the other children and accepting the help of the ladies running the group. Bumble and I had no choice but to let out a huge sigh of relief – Buzzbee had taken a big leap and we were all now basking in his euphoric glow of excitement and sense of achievement.

small triumphs

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The best birthday present

At the weekend my mum celebrated her 60th birthday and, rather than arranging a great big party for her, which she would have hated, instead my dad chose to surprise her and booked them both into a luxury hotel in a picturesque village near Bumble and I for a few days and arranged for us to look after their 2 elderly fur-babies (Yes, my dad really does call his spaniels his fur-babies) during their stay. In order to surprise mum, my dad has had to endure her wrath over the last few weeks because he had led her to believe he had forgotten it was a milestone birthday as well as her first birthday since my nan passed away – he is a glutton for punishment! Earlier in the year he did something similar for their 40th wedding anniversary and arranged several surprises for her at great expense to his ears, but I think he loves seeing her gobsmacked expression every time and “reaping the rewards” (LaLaLaLaLa I don’t want to know what he means by that!)

It goes without saying that dad hit the jackpot with his choice of hotel and all the little flourishes he had arranged, and she was spoilt rotten, but the best birthday present that she received this year, in mum’s opinion came as a surprise to everyone and mum was not the only one to be left with tears in her eyes once the unexpected gift was given.

My sister lives within minute of my parents and is an exceptional cake maker and has always in the past made the family cakes, but this year the boys took advantage of my parents being nearby to make their own birthday cake for mum and have it delivered to her hotel as their own surprise, which she loved, even if it had so much chocolate in it my dad could only eat a slither of it before he started to feel a little woozy (he is diabetic), but it was lovely for her to receive a handmade cake from the boys. She is used to my niece and nephews doing this for her every year.

cake1

No! Her present was a gift from Buzzbee and something she has been waiting for since the first day she met both the boys. It is also a gift that Buzzbee does not even realise he has given her.

Yesterday, when my parents came over to collect their dogs, Buzzbee was playing in his bedroom after working hard all morning on ‘space’ worksheets he is using for part of his home education project. As with anytime they visit, mum called up the stairs to say ‘Hello’ but instead of the usual ‘Hi!’ response being called back, she was greeted with “Nanny!!!!!!!!” and what can only be describe as the sound of a herd of full sized elephants coming thundering down the stairs before LEAPING into her arms and giving her the biggest hug and kiss he has ever given her – I guess you can work out the reason now for the happy tears.

To some that may sound like a perfectly normal response from a grandchild excited to see his nanny but for Buzzbee this is HUGE. It has only been in the last year that Buzz has begun to agree to give her a hug if she asks for one when saying ‘goodbye’ – before then she has had to shake hands like Buzz does with my dad.

As for my mum! Well in her words “no amount of beautiful flowers or fancy presents could ever beat the present Buzzbee has just given me. He has allowed himself to show me how much he loves me!” (she has never been under any illusion that either of my boys are fond of her and dad, but being a ‘cuddly’ kind of nanny, it has killed her at times to have to respect the boys limits and resist the urge to just scoop up either of them and give them a ‘nanny squeeze’).

The gift of Christmas

This weeks’ #WASO theme is ‘Gifts’ and I can’t think of a lovelier theme to end the #WASO year on.

I could go in many directions with this theme. I could be writing about how the boys OCD (obsessive Christmas disorder) has kicked into overdrive this year and their wish lists were not just longer and more thoughtful (they add items to their list that they think various family members may also like to receive from them), but this year they have colour coded it and grouped their suggestions into price brackets so that I would know the order of preference and be able to quickly go to the list and look for a suitable ideas for a gift from someone else to fit their budget – not much control going on there, is there?

Alternatively I could have written about visiting the boys on Christmas day at their foster carers’ and the light bulb moment when I realised that although the boys really did love Christmas, their reaction to the pile of gifts that were spread all over the FC’s conservatory floor showed that our vision of how Christmas morning would play out was miles away from the reality that was laid out in front of me at that time – I am not saying that the boys were anxious or distressed by the volume of presents or overwhelmed by the giddiness of the adults around them. No, if anything they were over compliant and almost indifferent to the all the parcels and gifts, and were more interested in the wonderful Christmas breakfast their foster carer had laid out for them.  Being the amazing and experienced foster carer that she was, she quickly picked up on their hesitation and ‘got the ball rolling’ encouraging them to ‘pick a parcel’ from each other’s pile and hand it to them – Beeswax some months later admitted that he didn’t think any of the gifts were for him or Buzzbee because they were not in Christmas sacks like the ones members of their extended birth family, used to do for them. We had a similar experience, but with their stockings, our first Christmas as a family – they had been put on their beds ready to be opened in the morning (Bumble put them in after ‘Santa’ had dropped them off in the lounge because he didn’t enter  their room because he would have had to knock first and that would have woken them up, of course), but when we went to wake them in the morning they were already awake and sat at the bottom of their beds staring at their unopened stockings. Again they didn’t believe the gifts had been left for them.

familysnowpicmonkey

Despite these couple of misinterpretations, the boys’ experience of Christmas time from before they were taken into care, from what we understand and have learnt over the years through talking with different people and going through the boys’ family photo albums with Buzzbee, was not too dissimilar from how we imagined the build up to Christmas should be.  Many of the family traditions that we had hoped to use within our family were already there, it just needed fine tuning. The boys were used to their presents being in sacks and not just spread under the Christmas tree so now we have a compromise – big under tree, little in sacks.  Sharing gifts with family members and spreading out the volume of gifts they open in a day, well actually that is exactly the same – the boys wait to open their presents until we visit the friend or family member or they come to visit us.  Not only does it “make Christmas, even longer”, as Buzzbee says, but the boys don’t become overwhelmed by the volume of gifts (I am still working on our loved ones when it comes to going over the top with gifts for the boys).

While Bumble and I are, on a daily basis, picking up the pieces from the effects of the chronic neglect the boys experienced from their birth parents, it has always been very apparent to us that, while they may have been only papering over the cracks, both maternal and paternal grandparents tried very hard to make up for it and while the boys were visiting, give them as normal a childhood experience as they possibly could.  They may not have been in a position to be able to physically take on the care of both boys full-time, but they had worked hard to normalise and make Christmas day and the build up to it as much of a positive experience as they possibly could for them both, and the positive feedback that the boys received from this has meant that now, while the boys really struggle with birthdays, Mothers’ Days, etc. Christmas time the boys really cherish and ALMOST allow themselves to relax and just go with the flow.

Although each year they are not able to physically give the boys gifts anymore, they have given the boys a gift which is priceless – they have given the boys the ‘Gift of Christmas’!

gift of christmas

Taking Care of Feelings

This week in the Hive we have seen some monumentally big steps forward for Buzzbee and, even if they are only one offs or extremely rare occurrences, they are still achievements we can celebrate; and while we are talking about celebrating successes……This time last weekend ‘The Open Nest’ #takingcare conference had drawn to a close, and after a brief few hours several delegates had returned back to the very same hotel for a little dancing, chatting and, oh yes, a sneaky glass of wine (or equivalent alcoholic beverages) or two. Although I was sober as a judge, I will confess to being possibly one of the last to retire to my bed at a very respectable 3.30am….. I must add York is as magnificent in the early hours of the morning as it is in the daytime.

Ok a little about the conference……. I won’t go into it too much because there has been so many wonderful posts written for this and last weeks’ #WASO, which have already done a wonderful job of describing the day far better than I probably ever could have, but before I get onto the real reason for this post, I will do my best to describe briefly the highlights of the day – OK maybe the wrong words to use as every speaker and delegate who attended made the day a truly memorable and profound day.

After a brief welcome and short introduction about ‘The Open Nest’ charity from Amanda Boorman, we were then showed a short documentary about her life with her beautiful adopted daughter, Jazz. Before the conference had begun I had joked that it was the first conference that I had attended that, not only provided water and mints on the tables, but packs of tissues. By the end of the film there was hardly a dry eye in the room and well….the reasons for the tissues on the table had become very clear. I felt humbled to being given the opportunity to share such a personal journey with everyone, and the standing ovation at the end of the film was most definitely deserved.

I didn’t envy the speaker who had to follow this and Blogger/Adoptive parent/Social Worker Al Coates (Misadventures of an adoptive dad) admitted this himself, but he needn’t have worried. His wit and candour was a winning combination and I could have listened to him all day.

He was then followed by Fran Proctor (adoptee and mother) and with the help of Sally Donovan and a beautifully constructed Q&A format, she spoke about a teenager making a heart-breaking discovery of harrowing details about her birth family, how this impacted on her, and how she has now rebuilt her life – that id not to say that she hasn’t been left with emotional scars or has ‘locked her past away in a filing cabinet, never to be looked at again’ but I was in awe of her and her bravery in sharing her story.

It was then time for Sally Donovan herself to speak and, as with other times I have had the pleasure of hearing her speak, I was refreshed by the humour and candour of her first class presentation of practical self-care tips that she uses herself, followed by advice on how to speak with schools and navigate the minefield that is the education system – although I have a feeling I will still struggle with one of her tips…saying No has never been my strong point!

We were then treated to 2 more wonderful back to back presentations from first of all ‘We are family’ – a parent led support group, that has been set up in the London area by adoptive parents, who saw a need and filled the void (I think that was right but I am a little dozy when it comes to locations, so if I have this wrong I apologise now). This was then followed by a brain storming (Open Space) session facilitated by an actress/adoptive mum on topics that were of importance or interest to delegates – a long list was compiled which I believe Sally has taken away and intends to circulate at a later point.

That brings me to the lovely ladies, Vicki and Sarah, who are responsible for The Adoption Social and their vast knowledge of social media and how they met and came up with the idea for The Weekly Adoption Shout Out and later The Adoption Social site. There is a lot I could learn from these amazing ladies (as I could from many other adopters and Tweeties), and I don’t just mean when it comes to social media.

I tried to keep it brief – honestly I did!

Now back to the motivation behind this post – Buzzbee and his bravery this week.

I am sure that I have mentioned before that Buzzbee (and Beeswax for that fact) will go out of his way to make sure that he doesn’t allow people to know how he is really feeling – there is always leakage which, unless you have the empathy skills of a rock, you can pick up on the emotional cues that something is awry with him.  So with this in mind, it makes this weeks’ events just that little bit more exciting – OK maybe that is just Bumble and I, but as I am sure other adoptive parents know, things that many parents would take for granted and let go by unnoticed are events that we will treasure as micro samples of our children beginning to love and trust us without fear.

I won’t leave you in suspense anymore with my constant waffling. I have probably confused you all by now by starting with talking about the conference when I have openly said this post is really about Buzz and his successes, but quite honestly, the conference and my absence for the weekend is the catalyst to a sequence of events that have unfolded throughout this week.

For the last year Buzzbee has been practically with me 24/7 because of us needing to home educate him, so I would be lying if I said I wasn’t very anxious about how he would cope with a whole weekend without me, and during the week leading up to me going away, Buzzbee showed signs of regression and needed ‘mummy’ to be even closer than usual (and trust me he keeps me close most of the time anyway).   So his first achievement is not only did he manage to be away from me for so long but he allowed himself to enjoy himself as well and this is huge for him.  At this point I will mention that I think Bumble felt that he had climbed his own personal mountain by not only looking after the boys all weekend on his own, but also taking them away to my parents’ caravan for the weekend and surviving a Halloween Party in the company of my sister without me being there to act as referee – their relationship is a whole other story and one I might share sometime.

More than 48 hours after I left my three favourite men (Sorry Dad and the entire male cast of Strictly Come Dancing, that weekend my heart belonged to Bumble and my boys), I was greeted by Buzzbee leaping out of his dad’s car and leaping into my arms for the biggest hug he has ever given me, saying “I have really missed you and your hugs mummy”  (lump in throat moment), Beeswax in his unique teenage way greeted me with a ‘Welcome Home’ grunt but hey at least he acknowledged me, that is progress in itself.

If this had been the only progress I had seen this week I would have been happy but there is more…….

The day after the conference I needed to attend a meeting at Beeswax’s school with the Community Police Officer, members of staff and, although at first he had no idea it was happening, Beeswax was to join us too. For now I won’t say any more about this meeting, but because of this meeting I needed childcare for Buzzbee. Thankfully a wonderful adopter agreed to look after him for a few hours and, because her son attends Waxy’s school and he has spent time with me visiting her over the past few months, he feels relatively comfortable with her and agreed to go with her and her youngest son to a nearby indoor skate park. This is progress just on its own, as he has been very reluctant to go anywhere near a skate park after an accident more than a year ago, but to add on top of that spending the morning after I had returned once again away from me and in the words of our friend “being wonderful, despite being in an unfamiliar noisy environment”, so really I should count this as 2 reasons to celebrate.

But most definitely Buzzbee’s biggest step forward this week comes back to his reluctance in the past to trust people with his feelings and know what is going on in his head and heart.  Beeswax’s school week has been a short one this week and half-term started on Wednesday and in true sibling trauma bond fashion, Buzzbee’s excitement and anxiety about his big brothers’ return was being played out in many different ways and scenarios as the day drew closer – not helped by the fact that he was also trying to fight off a nasty cold and, on the day of Waxy’s return, a fever too. But no-one ever expected what played out over the next 24 hours would ever happen.

After the events that had played out at school at the beginning of the week, Beeswax had not had his best week at school, and this meant he did not come home in the best of moods and although I am sure it was not his intention to blank his little brother, Buzzbee interpreted his grunting and distance as rejection, which would usually result in a full blown meltdown ensuing either from Buzz or Waxy.

Later in the evening – bedtime to be exact, Buzz presented Bumble and I with 3 emotions cards which had Sad, Sleepy and Scared written on them, and which he has steadfastly refused to use for the entire 3 years we have had them, he then asked if he could have some paper and colouring pencils (volunteering to do some writing unaided – can you hear my squeals of delight from here).emotioncard
Anyway, without an explanation about why he needed the paper and pencils, he retired to his bedroom, only to return 30 minutes later with 2 pictures for Beeswax and telling Bumble that he wanted to tell Waxy how he felt that the love between them was broken and while Waxy’s heart was still whole, he enjoyed being mean to Buzz so Buzz’s heart was broken and he was sad that his big brother didn’t love him anymore. I don’t know about anyone else, but my eyes are welling up just as much now as when Buzzbee was explaining the picture.  He then presented Beeswax with one more picture of them hugging and simply told him that he wants his big brother to be like this with him again “like the old days”.  Sadly although Waxy did a wonderful job of making the right noises to appease Buzz, I don’t think he really understood what Buzz was trying to say – in the empathy and emotional acceptance department, Buzzbee has definitely overtaken his big brother.

DearWaxy

So while there may be some who read this and say “what is she talking about, Buzzbee is just growing up”, to Bumble and I these tiny (OK mammoth) steps are something that deserves to be celebrated!

 

 

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

Life on the birthday rollercoaster

As with every post I write, the final post is a product of several drafts and rewrites. Bumble routinely reminds me that all I need to do is write from the heart and let the words flow but I am a Virgo and an incurable perfectionist at times (well, most of the time) and this weeks’ #WASO post has been no different.  I started out with one angle and soon it had taken a whole new direction and was in need of a new title.

Birthdays in the hive need managing very carefully. Buzzbee generally copes really well with his own and other people’s birthdays and quite often will be one of the better behaved children at a party (as long as there is a disco) but for Beeswax it is much more difficult. So many factors come into play for him when it comes to his own and other people’s birthdays (mainly Buzzbee’s and Mine). The boys have always revelled in conspiring with me to create surprises for Bumble or other family members and especially enjoy it if they know we are going to play a practical joke on one of them (usually my dad or Bumble playing one on my mum).

So, what about the boys? How do they handle their own birthdays? If I am honest I have always kind of considered them be pretty age appropriate in their responses to their birthdays.

Beeswax prefers his birthdays to be low-key or for the celebrations to be in-direct (we cannot sing ‘happy birthday’, school however don’t give him the choice) Like any child/young man he always supplies us with a birthday wish list that is a mile long and is always very meticulous in making sure that there are items on the list for everyone’s budget and if anything he one quirk is that he colour codes it for order of preference (I never said he stopped needing to be in control). Waxy has never wanted a party and actually this year was the first time he suggested doing anything. As for the actual day of his birthday. Well, in some ways his reactions can be a little bizarre and he is far more relaxed if he knows he has to go to school on his birthday(although I have recently been told by a Non-AP that their son began to act like this after his 9th Birthday and is now about to turn 17 ). Yes he loves receiving presents and he is like a Tasmanian \devil when it comes to unwrapping presents but once he has opened them, he puts them in his room as quickly as possible and then demands to know what time we are leaving. Originally we thought that the taking his gifts to his room were because of a fear that they would be taken from him but over the years we have learnt that this is not the case and it is now playfully called “cringe unwrapping”. Basically he wants the attention but in reality it is too much for him to cope with and the intimacy of sharing with a family his special day is almost unbearable for him (not enough to cancel it though. Apparently it is his constitutional right to have birthday presents and large chocolate cakes every year!!).  Beeswax does find Buzzbee’s birthday tough and over the years we have learnt how to best support him so that Buzz enjoys his day and Waxy doesn’t end up in a state of shame because he has lost control.  To his credit he has always been an absolute star at Buzz’s birthday parties and really throws himself into the big brother role entertaining Buzz’s friends (the girls REALLY love him!)

Now Buzzbee and birthdays is almost the polar opposite of Beeswax. Here is a little boy who started off not understanding about birthdays and having no idea about unwrapping presents or blowing out candles on a birthday cake (Just thinking about that day at his FC’s when we first got to share his birthday with him makes me was to cry). He has since them made up for lost time and is now the party king. Very much like Beeswax, Buzzbee has to feel he is in control of his birthday list but he also makes a pretty dynamic party planner (although his need to have every little detail just right probably comes a little from me. Hey I said earlier I am a Virgo!). Buzzbee loves celebrating his birthday and loves to have themes to his parties and because his birthday always falls in school holidays we have always thrown his party a couple of weeks earlier in our local village hall. Over the past few years we have had several invasions – dinosaurs (of course), aliens and time lord enemies and his birthday cakes have always fitted in with his theme. Despite Buzzbee struggling with his peer relationships he has remained popular with them and they have always attended (I am pretty sure most of the mum’s given half the chance would decline but know they would only be hurting their own kids). His last birthday was the first time he had not wanted to celebrate his birthday with a party but instead wanted to take his one of his very special friends and his parents bowling.  I didn’t get away with the birthday cake though, in fact this year I had to make two because the first was devoured by 32 small mouth in a matter of a few minutes at school and so there was nothing actually left to share with his friend on his actual birthday.

??????????               homemade          ??????????????????????

There is only one birthday in the house that every year ends up in tears and often I am not talking about the boys.

My birthday!!!!  Beeswax does not cope well with my birthday at all and although I know he isn’t consciously setting out to disrupt and ruin the day. That is exactly what happens and for a couple of years I quite honestly resented the fact that everyone else got to celebrate their birthdays the way they would like and were allowed to enjoy their day.  At one point it got to the stage where Bumble would bring me my card and presents to open in the bedroom just so that I could open the presents without some kind of drama happening.

Now some of our friends don’t understand why I find it so hard not being able to celebrate my birthday they way I would like and last year on my birthday Buzzbee in his attempt to cheer me up announced that he couldn’t understand why I would want to celebrate a day when I came into the world ‘Butt Naked’ when I don’t even like showing my legs in shorts. Once I had stopped nearly choking laughing at his comment (very true by the way) I explained to him that because I grew up in a big family and birthdays were always made a big fuss of. It was ‘your special day’ and it was hard for me to get used to not having that one day when I am a little pampered. He just shrugged his shoulders and said ‘fair enough’ and walked off.

Over the years we have gradually integrated my birthday with an activity that both boys really enjoy and will distract them and my birthday has been downgraded to a family daytrip with no mention of birthday until the boys are in bed. This year however will be different for me. The boys return to school on my birthday and I am actually feel really quite sad about that. I know that my birthday is stressful but while they are home with me I still have the best birthday present I will ever get. THEM! and spending the day without them will feel, well, strange.

Anyone reading this last part can be forgiven for thinking that I sound so spoilt, self-absorbed and selfish. I am a mother and should be concentrating on their happiness rather than needing just a sliver of one day a year to be about ME.  We discussed birthdays during our home-study and I really thought I was prepared for children not accepting my birthday and that it wouldn’t matter one bit because I would have the boys and I longed for nothing more than seeing the excitement on my children’s faces on their birthday and I thought that would be enough. But, reality has turned out to be so much harder.

So for now we will continue riding the ‘birthday rollercoaster’ and each getting from it a different level of excitement and enjoyment (and tears)

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out