2012! Wow! How did that happen? Weren’t we all supposed to die about a million times already from some sort of apocalyptic disaster? I think there is one happening this year as well. So this might just be it, the real end. Better go live your dreams, make your wishes come true; eat that chocolate cake before we all explode into a million microbes.
I had a great 2011. I felt like I made some strides in my writing, and want to thank you all very every much for your votes in the various contests I entered. I truly appreciated all the support and encouragement.
These writing contests remind me of the races I subject myself to every few months. I run and run and run, maybe limping a bit a long the way, then come home proudly clutching the medal that shows I did in fact pay the entry fee for the race and my kids jump around, asking, “So, did you win?” To which I inevitably reply something like, “No, but I was the 200th runner over the line!” They stare at me, sadly shaking their heads and place a sympathetic hand on my shoulder saying, “That’s okay Mom.” Or, more likely, “Wow, you stink.”
Look, I know going into these races I am not going to win but I love them. I am hooked. They challenge me, give me something to put my energy into and inspire me. I see the true athletes out there and I am in awe. These people are good! They train year round, living and breathing this stuff. Me…not so much. In many ways these races are a lot like the writing contests. They provide me with a goal, urging me on, daring me to learn from my mistakes and to strive to become perhaps a just a little bit better. Afterwards when I read over my material, see my glaring errors and then read other peoples entries and see their genius I think: That’s it! I am done, no more writing for me… then I get just a sliver of good news. Just enough to keep me going…like two great things that happened this past week.
One, I received news from Adoptive Families Magazine that my book, The Very Best Day, was the most read printable article of 2011. That felt great! (Not exactly sure what it means. Aren’t they all printable? But hey, take what you can!) Now I just need a publisher…
And, two, my book A is for Adoption was published last week in the January 2012 issue of Adoption Today. So all and all, a good end to 2011 and off to a running start in 2012.
I am placing a link to Adoption Today below, but I know some people have had trouble accessing it, so I will include a copy of A is for Adoption as well.
Now here is a quick disclaimer about the book. The book is narrated by a girl named Anna, which some people, including my own children, found a bit confusing given the makeup of my family (my oldest is named Anna).
Teddy: “Wait! Anna is adopted too?”
“No, Anna is not adopted. Eliza is adopted.”
Harry: “You never told us Anna is adopted!”
“Because she’s not.”
Teddy: “Am I adopted too?”
Eliza (crying) “Wahh! I want to be adopted like Anna.
“You ARE adopted. Anna is NOT Adopted.”
Teddy: “Are you sure I’m not adopted?”
I hope you all have a good, healthy, and happy New Year.
A Is For Adoption
A is for Anna, that’s me! What’s you name? When you see the first letter of your name in this book shout it out! A is also for adoption. I’m adopted, are you? Adopted means your birth parents couldn’t care for you and your parents really, really wanted you so they made you a part of their family, forever. Some people are adopted when they are babies and some when they are older. Some kids are in foster care first, and some aren’t. How were you adopted? What’s your story?
B is for birthday. I have a birthday party every year to celebrate the day I was born. This year I want a chocolate cake with rainbow sprinkles and a HUGE piñata. B is also for birth parents, the man and woman that made you but couldn’t raise you. B is also for brother. I have three. They like to wrestle, look for worms and play baseball. Sometimes they let me play with them, sometimes they don’t. Do you have any brothers? Do they live with you? Do they look for worms?
C is for cookie. Everyone knows that! C is also for caseworker, some people call them adoption workers or social workers. A caseworker is the person who watches over kids before they are adopted and makes sure they get to the right family.
D is for Daddy. I love my dad. He takes me on bike rides, and buys me ice cream. I also have a birth dad. I never met mine. Do you have a dad? What do you guys like to do together? Do you know your birth dad?
E is for eternity. Eternity means forever and ever, which is how long I am going to be a part of my family.
F is for Family. My family has a mom and a dad and three brothers and a sister and two dogs and a turtle and some fish. My friend Lizzy has two dads, one brother and a cat and Jay has a grandma and that’s it. All families are different. What is your family like?
G is for Gecko, which are the only lizards that make noise. They live where is it warm. They have nothing to do with adoption, unless… are you from a warm place? Did they have geckos there? I hope I get one for my birthday. That would be cool!
H is for Happiness. Happiness is love, fun, friends and families…. oh, and Disney World, of course!
I is for I love you. That’s it.
J is for jumping, juggling and jogging. J is a fun letter! J is also for Judge. A judge needs to say it is okay for your parents to adopt you. I had to go with my family to a judge when I was a baby. I saw a picture of us all in our dress up clothes. The judge wore a black robe and was holding this hammer thing called a gavel. Everyone was smiling. Some kids go to the court when they are older. Do you remember going to see the judge?
K is for knowledge. That’s a big word that means to know or learn stuff, like who you are, where you are from, what your adoption story is.
L is for life and learning and love. My birth mom and birth dad gave me life, so I could breathe and eat and swim and run, so they are really special. Learning is important because you need to learn about who you are, where you came from, and then there is learning in school like how to read and do math. Love is the best. I love my mom and my dad and my brothers and sisters and friends and pets and teachers and cousins and grandparents and…whew! That’s a lot of love!
M is for Mom. I love my mom; she plays with me and likes to read to me. What do you like to do with your mom? I know there is another person out there who is my birth mom, but I didn’t know her. I am glad she had me though, or I wouldn’t be here! Do you know your birth mom?
N is for Naked mole rats. They are small rodents who live in underground colonies in Africa. They have large teeth that stick out that they use to dig. They have very little hair and have wrinkled pink or yellowish skin. They are really funny looking and have absolutely nothing to do with adoption, unless…are you from Africa? Maybe you have seen one?
O is for open. Open means you can talk about anything and not be scared or embarrassed to ask questions about adoption. Your parents might not always know the answer, but they will try to figure it out for you. Open also means something you forgot to shut, like the refrigerator door and then your mom will yell, “Who left the door open!”
P is for parents. I have two, a mom and a dad. How about you? Parents get to make the rules like say what you can eat and where you can go, and tell you to do your homework, and stuff like that.
Q is questions. I have a lot! Like who were my birth parents? Why couldn’t they keep me? What did they look like? Where are they now? Why did the dinosaurs become extinct? How do fireflies light up like that? Do you have questions?
R is for rainbow. Rainbows are cool and have so many different colors, just like people. Some families look like rainbows because there can be all kinds of colors in one family: brown hair, red hair, blue eyes, green eyes, brown skin, tan skin, light skin with freckles. If you line up your family maybe you can make your own people rainbow.
S is for super, stupendous and special! I am all those things, super, stupendous and special, oh and my mom says I am silly. S is also for sister. I have one older sister. She likes to play softball, swim and shop for clothes. Do you have any sisters? Mine is awesome, even though she doesn’t like me touching her stuff.
T is for together. Adoption is about being together as a family.
U is for Ultrasaurus which was a huge, long-necked dinosaur. Their bones have been discovered in both South Korea and the United States. They don’t really have anything to do with adoption either, well unless you are maybe from South Korea or the United States. Are you? Wouldn’t you love to ride on an Ultrasaurus!
V is for valuable. Valuable means something that is desired or wished for or important. My parents say all kids are valuable.
W is for wish. My parents had a wish and it was me! I have a wish, to go to Africa and see a naked mole rat in action.
X is for Xenops, which are birds that live in South America and again have nothing to do with adoption, unless you are from South America, then, I suppose it could have to do with your adoption story. Are you from South America?
Y is for yes! Yes I am adopted! Yes I love my family! Yes I am valuable! Yes I was wished for! Yes I have questions! Yes I want to see a naked mole rat!
Z is for zillion. I have a zillion more places to go, things to do and questions to ask. Oh, yes, and I love my family a zillion times through.
Anne Cavanaugh-Sawan, 2012