December is a month of holiday cheer. It can be a stressful month with all the extra demands we put upon ourselves to create the perfect holiday memories. In doing my own holiday errands and planning this weekend I had some time to reflect on what is fueling me this year. One of the top items on the answer list this year is “work.” It’s not because I continue to have a job with which to return each day, or because even on my busiest days I manage to check off at least a few items on my to do list, but rather because of the “feel goods” from so many facets of work. This is my 7th holiday season as the Executive Director of Heart of Adoptions Inc. (HOA) and Heart of Adoptions Alliance Inc. (HOAA) and each has been special in its own way. This year has by far been the best, or maybe I am just more appreciative than usual...
I truly have come to care about my staff and am thrilled to watch as some plan for their child’s first and second Christmases (as we had some of our babies born last holiday season) and in the past 6 weeks two of our long term staff just had their first babies as well. It has been thrilling to watch Erin’s and Gabby’s pregnancy journey and now share in their joy of their amazing little boys that were just born. We also are now awaiting the birth of Shannon’s first child, a daughter, shortly after the new year. Having a staff send you a text like this on the weekend of a first visit to Santa can’t help but melt your heart!
This is why some nights this month my school-age children may not have eaten dinner until I got home from work close to 8 at night because I stayed late for activities such as being fortunate enough to be a part of a call to a family feeling down and out after some struggles in the adoption process to tell them we have a born baby for them. The sounds of their high pitched responses, their cheers, and tears, are a sound more beautiful than any Christmas carol on the radio.
This is why I smirk when I hear my phone receiving a text after 10 on a weeknight and I open it to find a picture of another staff’s family in matching light-up holiday sweatshirts at Disney for some holiday cheer...for she shares this as we here at HOA/HOAA/ JTT have truly become a work family, and she knows I will share her joy over a night that made her holiday season.
This is why my youngest daughter’s favorite nightshirt is a “Love Makes a Family” T-shirt (a promotional HOA shirt we still sell for $5 in all sizes from newborn to 3x adults for anyone interested!) that she wears with pride as it clashes with her holiday pajama bottoms.
This is why we all pause in the hall to see additions to our holiday card collection growing as former families send us their photo cards so we can see how the babies and young children we have placed in their families have grown year by year.
This is why we order over 700 holiday cards each year to send to all our contacts we work with all over the country, and around the world. We want nothing more than to share our joy and let people know we have not forgotten them, even in this busy holiday season.
This is why we look forward to the mailman’s arrival each day to see which of our staff’s hidden gifts from family that we instead ship to our offices have arrived and sometimes there is a surprise treat for our staff from a grateful family or vendor with whom we work closely.
I also love to hear from those same types of vendors/colleagues when we send them a little gift to show our care and gratitude during the holidays. For some of us we get so busy throughout the year and speak with just certain professionals at other offices to handle the exact issue with which we are dealing, so this is that time where we connect with others for one of the few conversations per year we are able to sneak in as time permits.
This is why all of our staff work tireless hours this month to finalize as many adoptions as possible and to handle one of the busiest months of baby births/placements each year, as what could be more perfect than a new baby under someone’s tree?
This is Adoption.
This is Love.
This is Us.
We are Adoption.
Thank you for brightening my holiday spirit, thank you for letting us affect your family, and please know that each and every birthmom’s story, baby’s new life, and family’s journey impacts us. You are a huge part of our holiday miracles. May you find the magic in the holidays this year.