Monday, January 12, 2015

Our Christmas Story 2014

We came into the Christmas Season with a rush of birthdays and the festivities never ended. The group photos two posts down are from our church Christmas party early in December. We fit in some outdoor ice skating, getting our tree, and playing at the fun place where we got our tree, followed by Christmas morning and a day of fun.

Everyone can ice skate,
even Apple scoots along with and without help.

After choosing our tree, we went inside The Big Red Barn and played in the mini village. The girls did much better at the shooting gallery this year than last, probably because we had the expertise of a good marksman helping us this year! Each time one hits a target, the objects move, lights go on and bells ring.

Once home, I thoroughly enjoyed letting my man take the tree off my van, feeling rather pampered that I didn't have to do it myself for the first time ever. It sure is nice to be loved!

Then, amidst making treats to give to friends and take to the firehouse across the street, came Christmas morning. What a special time for all of us. This year, we celebrated Christ's birth by drawing closer as a family unit. My Firefighter came over at 5am and helped me get the big things under the tree and finish a little bit of wrapping. Then he and I snuggled on the sofa, enjoying a quiet moment by the light of the tree before waking the girls at 6am. In they came, and I'd love to tell you that the bicycle was received with whoops of glee, but I must be honest and say it was virtually ignored. I'd often said to My Firefighter that much of the joy of parenting and "normal" childhood experiences is lost on children who were raised for many years in institutions and he finally experienced that in a major way when, expecting enthusiasm over getting a new bike, Blossom (and the other girls) pretty much ignored it - completely. She was much more enthusiastic later about receiving a "boy Barbie" so she could play "family" with her dolls. Later, when she tried the bike and saw that it was just her size and not scary, perhaps, she began to like it more.

In the interest of time, I did not take photos of opening gifts. Soon, the delicious aroma of baked French toast wafted into the living room, gifts all opened, we adjourned to the dining room and stuffed ourselves, then, armed with another French toast casserole, My Firefighter headed to a downtown station to work the Christmas shift. Later in the afternoon after trying the new bike and Christmas dinner alone with the girls, I packed up some treats and we went over to Station 4. It's one of the oldest stations in town, two stories, so it still has poles for the firemen to slide down and a racquetball court where we each got to take a turn playing. Sissy got a few lessons on how to fly her remote control flying sphere that she'd gotten as a gift, My Firefighter being quite the expert at flying model planes. The racquet ball court made the perfect test area for it.

It's always a little sad leaving My Firefighter at work on special occasions, especially on Christmas, but we all such great family time in the moments we had together that it made this Christmas one of the best ever.


Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

You get used to the working on holidays thing. It's harder for me when they're working during one of the kids' events that can't be rescheduled, like a school play or concert. We can celebrate Christmas on any day, but those special moments are gone forever.

Catherine said...

What a great day! Especially glad you were able to share some of it with your firefighter. As a single mom I totally understand how little things like help with the Christmas tree are huge!! Last year a friend filled my gas tank for me and I cried as that hadn't happened in years!!

Anonymous said...

Hi K, I am not a parent or an adoptee, but I am a Chinese-American woman born in China, age 27 now. I loved reading your blog when I found it yesterday. I spent hours on it reading about your journey to meet your daughters. I wanted to say that you are a wonderful mother, and that these girls are so blessed and lucky to have you. You have a huge heart, you're thoughtful, genuine, intelligent, and are just a gem of a person. I was involved with my college's branch of an organization called China Care. They provide activities and playgroups for adoptees and their parents. Some of the branches are very well run (see Harvard and MIT), and can provide a great resource for Chinese adoptees and their parents. Check out some of their clubs to see if there are any that are doing playgroups or activities near you. Best of luck and I look forward to following you on your journey ahead!

K said...

Thank you for your kind comment! I have heard of China Care and know the history behind it and think Matt did an amazing thing.