Yes it is the wonderful summer season. The sun is shining, flip flops are on and I have a tan like I haven’t had in years. Summer is good and I absolutely love this season. I was made to be barefoot in the grass enjoying lemonade on my back patio, but today I had the opportunity to celebrate another Summer….
I met Jackie almost 2 years ago. She was just starting at the Urgent Care as a Physician Assistant and she was training with one of the doctors. I met her briefly during my interview and she seemed really nice. I instantly knew I would like her. She had a warm smile and she was sarcastic. I love sarcasm so I knew if our paths crossed again we would be friends.
Fast forward a bit and I ended up taking the job at the Urgent Care. Jackie ended up being my counterpart at the Urgent Care so we would cover each other and occasionally work together.
Not only do we have the same profession, but Jackie and I also share our birthday. She was born exactly one year before me on April 6th.
We started hanging out a bit more when Jackie told me she wanted to adopt and she had actually begun the adoption process. She had just bought a house of her own close to her family. She had friends who adopted in the past from China and being a single female in her 30’s, she decided she would also adopt from China. She started working with an agency and the process just seemed to flow.
She told me that the paperwork was very long, but that her agency made things as smooth as possible.
She was on a waiting list for several months, but they would occasionally send her pictures of children in the orphanage or who were with foster families that were available for adoption, but in the early times, they didn’t fit just right.
Then, there was a girl that popped into her email that immediately caught her attention. I think she knew from the moment she saw her that she needed to bring this little girl home.
The little girl did have some minor medical problems, but working with her agency and knowing other families who had adopted from China made it easier for Jackie to select this little girl. The little girl has a hemangioma on her back that is pretty large, but with one of Jackie’s connections, she was able to talk to the head of Plastic surgery at a local children’s hospital and he assured Jackie that he could take care of it.
After hearing that, Jackie knew that God placed this little girl in her path for a reason and she was meant to bring her home. She named the girl Summer.
From then on, she did more paperwork, got her Chinese visa and now everything is confirmed and Jackie will be bringing Summer home in just a few short weeks. When I talk about celebrating Summer, that is just what we did today.
A group of ladies gathered today to celebrate Jackie and Summer. Jackie is one of the most courageous, smart, and compassionate women I know. She makes a lasting impression on anyone she meets. She is funny, kind, passionate and she knows how to make you feel comfortable. She is truly one of a kind.
Jackie not only had to go through all the paperwork for the adoption, she had to learn Mandarin so she could talk to her 2 year old. I mean who does that!
We had the opportunity to get together and write well wishes and advice for Jackie today. We were able to be together as a village of people who can help Jackie transition to motherhood knowing that she has all of us to lean on when things get hard.
Being a mom is the toughest job she will ever have, but it helps knowing you have certain people to lean on who can relate to the struggles she may face.
One exercise we did today was start a journal for Summer. We wrote a piece of advice in the journal for either Jackie or Summer. This is just one piece of advice that we each had to learn along the way that maybe will help Jackie when she brings summer home. Mine was to give yourself grace. It is something I have learned a lot about recently.
As moms, we tend to compare our parenting skills or our relationships with our kids to those of other moms and we feel less than adequate when we don’t seem as perfect. I sincerely hope that Jackie won’t do this. Her life with Summer and their schedule will be different than mine, her friends, family, etc, but it doesn’t mean it is wrong.
I hope that Jackie is able to concentrate on what she needs to have an unbreakable bond with her child and worry less about what others think is perfect. There is no such thing as perfection in parenting. There just isn’t. There is trial and error. There is a lot of apologizing. And there is a lot of making it up as you go.
So for tonight, I am praying for Jackie and Summer. I am praying for a smooth transition for Summer and for Jackie to love even those tough moments that are sure to come. I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to celebrate Summer today.
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