Adoption Awareness Month: Our Own Story

November is National Adoption Awareness Month ~ Our Personal Adoption Journey

 

The little tiny seed of adoption was planted in our heads when we wanted to start our family, only to discover that I had complications that would make that difficult. Not necessarily impossible. But difficult. Hubby and I sat there facing the possibility that we might not be able to have children of our own. How did that feel? Could we accept that? What other options were we comfortable with?

Adoption.

That was the word that came out of that conversation.

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World Adoption Day

National Adoption Day ~ Adoption is Love

 

TODAY is World Adoption Day! Part of the Adoption Awareness Month that runs each November. Last year, at this time, I didn’t know anything about it. I mean, I didn’t know about World Adoption Day or Month, and I certainly did not know much about adoption. Period.

Except that God was calling us to become adoptive parents.

Ever patient.

Sometimes quiet & gentle. Sometimes loud & clear.

God was calling us to this journey.

And He is right here with us, in it.

Adoption Journey

Adoption Journey ~ A different kind of motherhood ~ Blog by Bubblegum Sass

 

Adoption. A very powerful word. So many unknowns. So many scenarios.

Definitely walking entirely on faith through this. Not blind, but trying to get educated & full of love & acceptance. It’s going to push all my own boundaries and it’s going to take strength that I don’t have on my own. This I know.

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A Year In Review: 2014

Celebrating mama's birthday ~ December 2014

I did one of these last year and decided to share my 2014 tidbits too:

Age: 33

Most enjoyed books:
1. Yada Yada Prayer Group (the ENITRE series was so enjoyable!) by Neta Jackson
2. Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker
3. The Bible. Yes. It felt so good to make reading the Bible part of my daily routine.

Best food discoveries:
1. Making & canning tomato sauce
2. Roasting duck
3. Various yummy edible uses for dandelions

Biggest Challenges:

1. Attempting to figure out the new balance of pretty much everything in our life during hubby’s first year of intense market gardening
2. Having to take on the majority of our own gardening & subsequent food preservation (with the help of small toddler hands). In the past, I just played the role of assistant while hubby led the way. Felt like a bit of a crash course this year in everything garden related.
3. Still trying to figure out how to fit in enough crafting & Bubblegum Sass business time on a regular basis so that I can feel satisfied.

Lessons learned:
1. Slugs will demolish a garden in a blink of an eye. Do NOT put off dealing with them or you will be left with nothing but slimy, half eaten beans.
2. Do not be afraid to make changes or tell people when something isn’t working out. If it’s not sitting “right” with you then do something about it.
3. Verbalizing your honest feelings to a two/three year old, is better than yelling at them. (I am frustrated, I am tired, etc).

Smartest decision I made: NOT closing up shop and giving up on Bubblegum Sass, even though I came very close a couple of times this year out of pure frustration.

It’s been a long time in the making, but: my Bubblegum Sass product line and booth design is FINALLY coming together. Four years into this whole thing and I’ve finally figured out my brand and feel like I’m on the verge of a very cohesive collection. Hoping to bring the blog, website, and Etsy shop all in line with that identity in 2015!

Highlight moments/events:
1. Our family dream trip to Disney World and our very first cruise on board a Disney Cruise ship! Our adventures there were chalk full of “once-in-a-lifetime” moments!
2. Two AMAZING craft shows this year that made every effort I put into the business worth it!
3. Getting to see my fave Broadway musical Wicked live, not once, but TWICE this summer!

Glad I finally:
took a vacation somewhere warm, wore a bathing suit, and treated ourselves to lots of little indulgences after the last several challenging years we’ve had. Much needed time away together.

Most thankful for: another year of being a stay-at-home-mom. As much as each day challenges me, I wouldn’t trade it, not if it meant missing out on so much Sammy time.

I am admittedly, not good at asking for help. I’d rather suffer through something than delegate it. This is not a good quality in life or business. I might always struggle to ask for help, but I am so very blessed to have willing, helping hands at my disposal. A VERY special thank you to my hubby, Marcus, for his dedicated support to my business. He helps whenever I get up the nerve to ask for it, and offers even when I don’t. A VERY special thank you to my dear friend Shauna, who enthusiastically volunteered to lend me a hand at craft shows this year, even though it meant a ton of life scheduling & organizing on her part. Your offer of time, big or small, has meant a world of encouragement to me!

And lastly, but not leastly, THANK YOU to all the readers of this blog, my wonderful customers, followers on social media, fellow crafters & artisans. You made it possible to keep going with Bubblegum Sass another year. You inspired, challenged, and encouraged me. I am realizing that small growth, is growth nonetheless and that thought warms my heart as I move into an exciting new year.

A year in review: 2013

Decided to do a little review of the year, so here it is, in a nutshell, my 2013 tidbits:

Age: 32

Most enjoyed books:

  1. “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingslover
  2. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen (yes it really was the first time I’ve read it)
  3. “Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One’s Own” by Jenna Woginrich

Artists whose music I’ve had on repeat:

  1. The Lumineers
  2. Mumford & Sons
  3. Dan Mangan

Best food discovery: kale chips

Biggest challenges:

  1. Learning to carve out enough time to do my Bubblegum Sass business (which meant asking for help from others to look after Sam & putting my crafting at a higher priority than it has been for a while)
  2. Living through *major* home renos & coping with no kitchen for three months (hubby & I managed not to kill each other)
  3. Trying to figure out the balance between being a mom, a wife, a small business owner, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and just being me.

Highlight moments/events:

  1. Being a vendor at Make It! in November in Edmonton with my brother
  2. Road tripping to Colorado for my cousin’s wedding, staying in Estes Park, and visiting family
  3. Spending time in the garden and at the cabin with Sam, watching him explore nature & discover so many new things

Glad I finally: got a subscription to Taproot magazine!! So enjoyable in every way! Why didn’t I start reading it sooner?!

Most thankful for: another year with my parents living close-by and being able to spend so much special time with Sam

And now it’s time to take a moment to say “THANK YOU” to all my readers, customers, family & friends. Whichever category you feel you fall into, I have much appreciation for all your support! Looking forward to sharing many more adventures with you in 2014!!

Sam sledding at the cabin

A year like no other

Sarah and Sam with embroidery hoop
Photo courtesy of Scott Frank
Of course, no year is really like any other. How could it be? Life keeps changing and we keep changing with it. Even if we don’t want to, life has a way of changing us.

Let’s see… this year we had our first baby, cared for & protected that precious little life, and along the way, been constantly changed by every experience that being a parent brings. I feel like I would barely recognize the person I was and the way we lived life before Sam was born. I’m still in there, that crafty, creative, smart, common sense woman who likes to organize & sort, sew & crochet. The big difference is where I put my energy, love, dedication and every waking thought.

I’ve let some things go because compared to Sam, they don’t matter nearly as much. The house isn’t so clean & organized these days. Paper work & filing are stacking up. It will get done one day. I don’t make & list as much new product in my Etsy shop. Craft show applications were ignored entirely this year. I do less visiting with friends. Christmas cards & letters weren’t sent. Craft projects are small & quick and I readily acknowledge & abandon ones that will not realistically get done. Cooking is simple. Lots of things are frozen, to be thawed for even easier dinners a few weeks down the road. Time to shave my legs and paint my nails? Only on super rare and special occasions. A bath? Don’t even remember the last time that happened.

Expectations. That’s the second biggest thing I’ve had to let go of. I think every parent faces that. For us, trying to keep things simple has been the key in dealing with letting go of expectations. You can only do so much in one day, plain & simple. That bit of rest you get at night, isn’t worth sacrificing so that the kitchen will be clean or the laundry folded.

The biggest thing I’ve had to let go of is planning, scheduling, having things be somewhat predictable, and regular. As soon as you think that you & baby have established some sort of routine, he changes, then your life has to change with it. As soon as you think that you can rely on some behavior or schedule, everything falls apart. It’s not all bad and it’s not all good, certainly, but the greatest challenge in being a parent has been learning to be crazy flexible and patient with the whole process. I still have my moments, where I rage inside against the new change, big or small. Sam and I get frustrated with each other during these times and then somehow, you just have to keep on trucking forward. I’m not a perfect parent, far from it. I look at friends in great wonder sometimes at just how they have the patience, love, & positivity, that feels lacking in me. I’m pretty sure, though, that every parent has their moments.

Would I go back to the way things were before baby? Absolutely not. One look into that chubby, smiling face, with big eyes longing to discover the world, is the only reminder you need of why you will accept, perhaps even embrace, all the change & transformation.

This post was supposed to be a year in review. What we accomplished, how it compared to others, the ups & downs. It’s not the post I set out to write, but it certainly encompasses our entire year. What did I do this year? I became a mom.