What A Difference A Year Makes!

In my world, this past year has been filled with major changes and accomplishments.  While my late discovery has often felt like the worst thing that could have ever happened to me, it has also proved to be quite the rebirth. Like a nudge to move forward, a poke, or even a kick in the pants- I’ve been guided to new directions.  Like a birth, it has been bloody and painful!  Sometimes it’s been a quiet voice, no go this way, other times a freight train dragging me along the right track. Whether one calls it luck, serendipity, or God’s plan; I’ve been blessed and I appreciate it all, the good, the bad, the great, the sad.  Possibly, this folab blog needs to be changed to rebirth on a roller-coaster?

One year ago:

The book I had been working on felt like it was becoming out of reach and I considered the fact it may not get published.  At least not the way I had hoped and planned.  The publisher, Daniel & Daniel, moved Late Discoveries, my baby, my blood sweat and tears (overly dramatic?) under the Fithian Press umbrella. Which was something they could legally do according to the fine print, and in hindsight has been no issue.  Next problem- the book cover design; horrible southwestern art with colors of the earth and cacti. Sounds like a beautiful landscape vision, but no… it was not, and I don’t even like the desert.  After a few other changes, and then the design, I was ready to pull the plug.

An added rub; I wasn’t completely happy in my volunteer positions, not enough here and too much there.  Things fit and then they didn’t, blisters of confusion grew.  Did I need to resign from one group and do more in another?  Was there too much “adoption” in my life?  Who really had my back?  Overall, feeling like you don’t fit in, well it’s the worst!  Enough said!

My girls, daughter Ashleigh and wife Teri, had two little foster kiddos last year.  I don’t think I’ve ever known them to be so sick, so often, and well, vomitous.  New word; meaning to vomit a lot, having vomiting occur in your home often.  To say the placement was a challenge, for many reasons, is a gross understatement.  To be the mom, only helping on occasion because of our distance, killed me!  So, of course I advised too much, and offered, “If it were me…” suggestions, and well… it was just damn hard!  With many CPS problems, hurting babies, challenging parents and caseworker- it was a miracle that all thrived.  Emerging from the chaos, two amazing women who took on challenges that most adults will not go near, my girls. Such incredible young foster moms, who didn’t give up.

And finally, Hayden,  he was graduating from ASU, getting his degree in Film and Media Production.  His future a bright Los Angeles blank slate, or maybe a NYC crowded-life-slate… either way, it was open. Wide open to hopes of a job in production on a series, or if need be- a job in production of cocktails, aka bar tender, while waiting.  With a great resume of film and photo, he was prepared.  He was open to whatever…  I was open to worrying about all of it.  He had the world at his feet, but also his feet (and the rest of him) vulnerable to the world.  As I’m sure all the parents of adult kids will agree, we worry as much now as we did when they graduated from kindergarten.

I’m omitting the details of my husband, Mike for many mortgage related reasons.  Plus, he’s not even adopted, who’d be interested to hear about his changes? Lol… Actually he’s the cheerleader behind all of us.

In comes 2012! BANG!

My girls said goodbye to their kiddos as they returned home to their mother.  At the same time, after many attempts they announced that Teri is pregnant!  Much to our delight, our granddaughter will be coming into the world in late August.

In addition, they started a company, One Little Starfish.  They design, hand craft, and sell amazing things.  This organization was created to support best practices for adopted/fostered children by granting companies who promote ethics in adoption and foster care.  

They have a unique STAR which has been added to necklaces, pins, key chains, ornaments, and bookmarks.

 achieved working in production for the ABC series, “Cougar Town”, and then the show ended early.  Blessing in disguise, for sure!  From Culver City, CA back to Arizona with work on reality TV, the “Ice Loves Coco” show, in between.  My Documentary Filmmaker-at-heart is now a Mortgage Banker, licensed in eight states and federally, and rocking the mortgage world.  My words, not his of course.  Whatever he does, whatever he “produces,” be it movies or loans, maybe a family in the future, my goal is his happiness.  The same is true for my girls.  Just want happy campers!  I did so much for too long that wasn’t for my happiness, so my kids hear it… all the time.

And for me, my book, Late Discoveries is out, being bought up in stores, online, and electronically.  It has lovely cover art taken/edited by my son, Hayden. Whew!  However, the biggest accomplishment has been interacting with other LDA’s, adopted kids and adults, mothers who lost their children to adoption (much like mine did), and learning from each and every one. While I hope my book helps someone, I must say,  I’ve been helped beyond belief.  (Pictured with me are clockwise from the top left corner; Mary, Lin, Kathy, and below me is Sue, Colleen and Martha.) I am looking forward to new adventures and branching out to help fostered/adopted youth learn and grow from their experiences.  This is where “openness”  is leading me, back to foster kids, but in a different way this time.  My program (in the works) I’m calling, Letters To Heal, is part art therapy, interactive workshop, and a new way of working through the complex issues of being fostered/adopted, and all while trying to be a kid.

What I’ve learned this year more than anything else; you get back so much when you give.  Life is a “one day at a time” event, a process where we are given all we need once we are open to it.  Be sure to visit my new blog over at Blogher where I was chosen as a spotlight blogger.  Often times, its not what we wanted but what we needed, in order to grow and to learn.  We are, after all, continually fine tuning ourselves to be the happiest most productive people we can be.  What a difference a year makes, and I can only imagine what a difference a granddaughter will make!  I can hardly wait!