Our oldest , Amber, on her first Christmas. Born with Spina Bifida, the doctors told us she'd only live 24 hours. Ha! She beat that by thirteen years and six days. A total gift from God, a blessing and privilege to parent and simply a regular little happy hugging girl who happened to use a wheelchair. Oh what a sweet Santa. Amber had had her heel cord surgery done and Heather had made her appearance four months before. Amber was back in the hospital due to seizures so Heather was taken to see Santa alone. Not a good idea. Not at all.
Okay, we're much more comfortable with the idea of the fat man in the red suit now.
Hannah's first Santa pic. Six months old. It took two failed matches with birthparents before the just right, perfect for us and who we were perfect for child came into our family. Ummm, no.....I don't want to sit in the man's lap. Stranger danger! Stranger danger! Not much better this year even if Mama comes into the picture. Santa was ready though. Those are THE famous magic red jumping shoes. Surprised she didn't jump right out of the shot. Alex was home about a week before he got to meet the fat man for the first time. Hannah, an old pro. (By this time she'd already told me,"Mama, I don't need a baby brother any more...you can send him back now.") Boy, she must have had some kind of crystal ball about our future. Yes, he was already raging, just in Russian.
When Alex came home for Thanksgiving, as it was his first time in our home (we'd moved a few months after he left) and our daughter Hannah was adamantly opposed to staying home, she stayed at her big sister's house all the nights he was here. All four nights, I slept in Hannah's room to be near in case Alex got up, needed help or God forbid, went near the dogs. (History of animal cruelty, especially to the bigger dog,Sam, a rescue.) I was now the one who was hypervigilant. PTSD, I'd like to smack YOU upside the head!
This time, Hannah is going to stay here for part of the visits (there will be two, I have to drive him back in the middle as six nights is the max) and stay at Heather's for part. Which, she'd stay there anyway for part of her school break....so grateful that even though there's almost seventeen years between them, they are so very close! She has agreed to think about going shopping with Alex, Heather and I so I count that as baby steps of progress.
Christmas always leads to reflecting for me. Getting out all of the decorations after being packed away for almost eleven months is rediscovering treasures and with those come memories of better times. So, I'm throwing up old Christmas pics when the kids were little. Some sweet, some funny, and some very poignant.