A Family Valentine’s Day

Melanie Elliott's family

I’m kind of one of those people who consider Valentine’s Day a Hallmark-created holiday.  Growing up, I tried not to buy into the importance of the day and the romantic notions that permeate this holiday.  I wasn’t quite successful.

There was a part of me that longed for the flowers and chocolates and the boyfriend who’d treat me like a queen on this special day.  But, that was only a part of me.  The other part of me didn’t want to be defined by whom I was with or how I was treated when February 14 rolled around.

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All I Want for Christmas Is (Watching and Raising) My Little Girl

Michelle eisler's kid IIIn November, my daughter went through the Target wish catalogue and slowly chose one or two things she wanted, and then she got on a roll and started putting stickers beside almost everything.  She asked if she could help decorate the house for Christmas, and to keep my sanity I sent her to help my husband put up a garland on our railing.

The tree was mostly done when she came back to help me, and I gave her some snowflakes to spread around randomly on the tree, she again stared off slowly. A few minutes later, I was finding snowflakes bunched on the same branches and all in a concentrated tiny section. The perfectionist in me twitched as I asked her if she could see anything she could change up and she replied ‘no’ with a big smile.

This year, I am seeing life through the eyes of my 5 year old.  I am continuing to educate myself to try to provide her with what she needs as she takes big leaps on her journey. [Read More…]

The Enigma of Adoption

older children adoption courtSo… is adoption an institution of saintly parents rescuing abandoned children from orphanages and people who steal Christmas Oranges from orphans?

Is it a multibillion dollar business that exploits young, inexperienced mothers-to-be and pressures them into giving up their babies with tales of how incompetent they are compared to wise and rich parents who have been cursed with infertility but blessed with enough money to buy whatever they want?

Is it a villainous underworld that steals children away from their home countries and cultures? Is adoption a Divine practice? Is it a devil? Is it a sheepskin used to cover wolves? [Read More…]

By |December 2nd, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Would You Do It Again?

Would you do it again“Would you do it again?” What kind of a question is that? She’s my daughter! What do you mean, “Would I do it again?”

If you rushed into a burning building to rescue some of your children, and one of them was horrifically damaged before you got to her, you would still drag her out. You would do it even if you got hurt, yourself. You would do it even if she cried to be left behind because her pain was too great. As a parent, you would drag her out, against her will, kicking and screaming.

Then you would get her help. It would be the best help money could buy. You would spare nothing to help her mentally, emotionally and physically. [Read More…]

7 Steps for Getting Through the Adoption Process

adoptionI can’t count how many times I have cried for the child I have waited two years to adopt. This is the child I am afraid to meet because once I see and hold him, I will not be able to forget his place in my arms, or be able to ever let him go.

Seeing updated photos of him creates intense joy and grief as his changed face reminds me of the passing of time. Some days, the only way to keep my head above my emotions longing for him is to put him to the back of my mind. But the endless list of unknowns- wondering who he’ll be when he is in our family and what he might be doing right now takes over, and I break. [Read More…]

6 Things you might be doing that hurt adoptive families

Amy and I have always worked hard with our adopted children (oops, even I get it wrong sometimes) “children who were adopted” in an effort to help them avoid feeling offended. We are not sticklers for political correctness. We try to prepare our children for questions or comments that they might encounter and have them ready to understand what people mean, or what their real question is, rather than getting their feelings hurt.

Even so, there are times when people with the best intentions say and do things that make it difficult for our children. Knowing that such friends only want to help, I decided to share these points that will assist well intentioned friends and acquaintances in helping adoptive families like ours. [Read More…]

By |September 19th, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Celebrating Our 4th Familyversary

I truly can’t believe it’s been 4 years since The Littlest E became our son.  Where did all the time go?  I’m sure most parents feel the same way when celebrating their child’s birthday, along with tremendous joy and gratitude.  As an adoptive parent, I get to celebrate the birth of our son, and the birth of our family, our Family Day.

I hope I never forget what life was like before The Littlest E came home with us, so that I don’t lose the gratitude I feel everyday that I get to be his Mom.  Adoption is a gift, one that I cherish with my very soul, for without that gift, my life and my husband’s life would be drastically different. [Read More…]

By |September 8th, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 40|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Back-to-School, But Why?

The end of summer approaches, and vacations that took months of planning are now nestled in camera rolls of our iPhones.  The baseball season that began with hope for every team now holds promise for a remaining few.  And, the season for summer squash and tomatoes is coming to a close.  But, as with all things in life, the end of one chapter marks the beginning of another. With the coming fall, we look forward to football, the changing of the leaves, and school.

It’s natural to be nostalgic at the beginning of the school year.  The next incremented grade is a hard number that reminds us that our little ones are taking slow but inexorable steps towards adulthood.  For some of us, there aren’t many more steps to take.  As those steps slowly add up, we parents hope that we’ve given our children the education they’ll need to make it in that adult world. [Read More…]

By |September 2nd, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living, Rituals & Spirituality|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Preparing For a Tough Exchange

In so many ways, Julia is a young soon-to-be twelve year old. Though she’s in middle school, she’s unconcerned with fashion, boys, or other pre-pubescent experimenting.

My daughter Julia, adopted from a Siberian orphanage at 8-months old, is on track intellectually but is still catching up emotionally. She is a wonderful violinist and a gobsmacking artist and an honor student, but she hasn’t yet learned how to make a BFF, nor, and I suppose I should be thankful, she had not attached herself to a clique. My husband and I are her whole world. [Read More…]

By |August 27th, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 50|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Seven Tips for Navigating the Adoption Process


Imagine putting your most treasured desire into the hands of a stranger. Someone you have neither met or seen, with the understanding that days, weeks and months may pass before you hear from them.  You are constantly battling the urge to email them to see if your dream is any closer to coming true, but it’s all you can think about.

Building your family through adoption is a matter of trusting in the unknown. Whether you are a waiting parent, hoping to be selected by a potential birth mother or planning to adopt internationally, there is no easy way to make this a reality. Below is a list of suggestions on how to feel like you are making informed choices. [Read More…]

By |August 13th, 2014|Categories: Adoption, Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 40|Tags: , |0 Comments
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