Today's word seems like it has an obvious choice; by trade I am a music teacher, by life season I am a how to be human teacher (also called "MOM").

First a shameless plug - I am almost at capacity, but if you know anyone in the Manheim / Lititz area looking for piano, clarinet, or guitar lessons, visit MSMusicStudio.net.

Being a mom is the hardest teaching job ever.  I little to no previous experience, education, or training.  I've got a great co-worker (Herb) and an amazing boss (God), and some really responsible friends working in nearby departments (other moms and responsible adults).  When something new arises, I have a panel of people for which to bounce things off, depending on the situation.  Is this normal?  What should we do next?  Is this a big deal?  What's a fair expectation?

One of the things I've been thinking about a lot today is the fact that we are teaching Levi what "normal" is.  In one situation in particular, our VERY open adoption, there is no frame work for normal, I'm shooting in the dark a little bit - but also discussing with Herb, using my sounding board, and praying to be led by the Holy Spirit.

For example, today we took a huge step in the realm of open adoption and shared a monumental milestone.  Very fittingly too, as tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of the day we met Levi and he became our son.  We have enjoyed a very loving relationship with Levi's immediate and extended birth family, sharing big life events, holidays, birthdays, and quality time together.  Every time we share new milestone in the journey of open adoption I ask myself (and sometimes our social workers) if this is "normal."

But the thing is, nothing about our relationship is normal.

And that's a good thing.

In the pre-adoption days, I used to be fearful of an open adoption.  Would our future birth mother change her mind if she spent too much time with our future child?  Would it be too confusing?  I knew studies had show that a semi-open to open adoption proved to be healthy for the adoptee and birth families, but it was still so hard to wrap my brain around.

It didn't seem normal.

But then came Levi (and everyone else attached to him by heritage and blood and love).  And that changed everything.

The beauty of raising a child who was born with tabula rasa is that through love, conviction, guiding, and relationships, we get to teach Levi what normal is.  A new kind of normal.  But to him, it will be his normal.

Normal to celebrate birthdays with not one mommy but two, not four grandparents, but seven.

Normal to have a family tree that looks more like a thick forest where branches intertwine and vines twist together, and sometimes you're not where each characteristic of the tree came from but it looks beautiful so you just appreciate it for what it is.

Because for that tree, it is normal.

Source: Blue Jay Barrens


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