Monday, April 29, 2019

The Most Amazing Reunion

November 1990

On April 10th, I found a comment on one of my Instagram posts that read, “Hey there Kathy! I sent you a direct message a few days ago that you might be interested in reading. This morning coffee looks incredible!“ Of course, you can gather the photo was of my morning coffee. I went to my inbox to find a very polite message from the child I gave up for adoption 28, almost 29 years ago. I wasn’t shocked, in fact, I was pleasantly surprised and replied, “Michael J., I’ve been waiting for this day and I’m so happy to hear from you!” We continued to chat via messenger trying to find the time to have a phone call, a phone call that was not hurried. We did finally talk on the 17th and it was surreal and totally comfortable at the same time. How exactly can that be? 

Wednesday the 24th was something incredibly special. When Michael J. was born, I loved his biological father deeply but we just couldn’t get our lives together to raise a child. I always knew it was the right thing to do and on Wednesday I got to hold that precious human again, 28 years later. Meet my first born son and Mason’s brother, Michael J. Dave facilitated this meeting by reaching out almost 10 years ago so he would know how to reach me when he was ready. Truly, he and his fiancĂ© are just awesome humans.

So here is the most incredible part of this already awesome story. When Michael called for the first time, we made small talk, I answered some of his questions and I knew he was engaged so I asked him about that. He said they were planning to come to N. CA to take care of some wedding details and I asked where they were getting married, he said Nevada City. Dave and I were married in Nevada City, it's one of our favorite places. We were both sort of blown away just by that "coincidence." I figured they must know people who live there, but when we talked and I asked them what their connection to Nevada City was, Michael replied, "We don't have any. I just started looking and found it and started emailing Air BNBs and one in Nevada City said yes." OMG! So I gave this sweet boy up to a family in NY, who moved to FL when he was little, and he now lives in Los Angeles and is getting married 24 miles from where I live and where Dave and I were married?! I can hear Dolly Parton's character in Steel Magnolias now, "The Loooord works in mysterious ways!”

Giving a child up for adoption is not easy but I have to say that being true to myself and being honest every step of the way on this journey has made this reunion so much sweeter. Anyone who knows me knows this story and if you didn't know, it's just because there was never a reason or occasion to talk about it. I've had two photos of him up in my home almost at all times, so there was no disruption when he reached out. I’ve never once thought that we would not meet, not one time. ❤ Thank you, Dave, for being proactive and making our meeting easier for Michael. I’m sure there will be some missteps in the getting-to-know each other process, but that’s okay. It seems there is a real desire by all of us to want to build a relationship. He’s getting married later this year and I can’t wait to get to know his bride and watch them build their happily ever after. 

I loved this child’s father, I’ve loved this child every day since November 23, 1990, and I love him today. Here’s to many years of getting to know each other and loving on another level. All the pieces fall into place as they are supposed to.

Monday, April 22, 2019

A Random Monday in April

I suppose it's not really a random Monday, it's Easter Monday. This was a red-letter Easter for me for a number of reasons. Mason did not color eggs or decorate cookies with me. It makes me a bit sad that he's more teenager than my little boy, but I get it. He chose to spend time with his friends playing video games and then went to a game day with his dad. They got home late on Saturday night and I had all the Easter baskets made and out. I figured if he was more teenager than a little boy, he knows the Easter Bunny doesn't really come in the night, so I took the pressure off myself to surprise him. With all of that said, I did hide eggs in the yard for him to find on Easter morning, but he had to do his chores first - pick up poop, put the dishes away, and take the garbage and recycling out. Hey, not a little boy anymore... LOL! As you can see, I tailored the prizes in the eggs for a teenager, he enjoyed it and that made me happy. Dave did his traditional epic Easter dinner, rack of lamb (that only he eats), ham, deviled eggs, scalloped potatoes, and peas. Yeah, it was g-o-o-d.

Dave is enjoying retirement and we are starting to get on the other side of the financial challenges, mostly. I have to chuckle because we were expecting an IRS tax return and just learned that our refund has been approved, but not for what we thought, for $1400 less. DOH! Oh well, I've been told and I believe, if the only problems you have are money problems, you don't really have problems. This too shall pass.

The only other noteworthy thing going on that I can talk about is that my allergies have been raging! I know, I'm not alone, but dang, they have been so bad, actually debilitating to some degree. I hope you live somewhere that you do not suffer from seasonal allergies and if you do, God bless you!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Let Me Tell You How I Really Feel

I am a full service Realtor, who in some cases, does the maintenance on my listing where my seller lives out of state. My hunky hubby helps me provide service above and beyond. And yes, that's grass debris all over my Brighton sunglasses. Then in the same 12 hours, I am over the moon for my first-time buyers. We've been looking and looking at possible homes for them, we’ve written 3 offers and finally #4 was accepted! It was clearly meant to be as they both exclaimed, at the same time, "I love this house!" My heart melted and all I could think was, "Please let the sellers be reasonable people... please, please, please!" LOL! Two of the first three offers were for the same house and the seller would not even counter them. All I could say was, 'This must not be your house." I can't wait to open escrow today and start moving them toward their first Home-Sweet-Home!

Earlier this week Dave, Mason, and I attended an under age substance-abuse information Town Hall at Placer High School. It was very informative and I’m glad Mason was there to hear what Dave and I were learning. Most notably the Social Host Ordinance (SHO) which holds adults responsible for providing their children and their friends alcohol or drugs thinking it’s better to do it at home. If as parents you think it’s okay to allow your kids and their friends to drink at your home because, “their safe, their home with me and not driving.” You’re wrong. The SHO provides for $1000 fine and if its considered "rowdy" meaning a neighbor calls it in, $2000. If your kid hosts a party while you’re not home, the fines will be applied to them. Providing alcohol for anyone under 21 is contributing to the delinquency of a minor and not okay even on private property. How can the fact that it's happening on private property matter? Is that to say that if any crime is committed on private property, it's not really a crime? For the record, I understand there are many different situations by which parents have to confront this. Dave and I are just starting to enter these difficult waters and if we stay the course the way we've parented so far, we will draw hard lines in the sand and not allow it. I'm also lucky that Dave and I are united so I have that support. It's not easy but I do stand firm on how I feel.

On the topic of the parenting issues, I have not had too much to say about this whole college bribery scandal publicly until now. It seems to me that there are two real factors in play here, #1 these people who paid to get their kids into school might as well have shouted from the rooftops to and about their kids, "I DON'T THINK YOU CAN DO IT! I DON'T BELIEVE IN YOU!' If that is the case, why not just use your wealth to pay your kids way in life, take care of them, set them up, and let the hard working and capable people go to college. #2, you can't punish the wealthy with fines, they will laugh in the face of having to write a check to get them off the hook for breaking the law by writing a check. There has to be a consequence that is outside of their many millions of dollars. With that said, there are murderers and pedophiles who get less time than these elitist folks are facing. I'm not proposing a specific punishment, I’m simply stating that I think it's incredibly sad that they didn't have more faith in their kids to make a good, honest way in this life.

Monday, April 8, 2019

This Kid Makes Me So Proud!

Coach Brett Belenger and Mason getting his letter
Mason is a kid who absolutely understands the power of intention. I've raised him to know, without doubt that if he can see it, he can be it. Those of you who have been on this journey with us and have watched Mason grow up knows what I'm talking about. Mason joined the snowboard team as a Freshman and though he had snowboarded before, he had not been on a snowboard in several year, additionally, he has never raced. He had to raise a significant amount of money to participate and he not only did that, he helped create a fundraiser so in the coming years other kids can be on the team, too. As his season was progressing he was improving but not really in the running to go to State Championships, but he didn't let up that he intended to go. He kept working, on the snow and off. He started working out with an app on his phone at home and he did extra runs at team practices when most of his teammates were just enjoying the slopes. As life often does, it presented him an opportunity when two of the teams strongest racers gave him an in. One of them was injured and out for the season and the other had a couple of "off" runs. His preparation met opportunity and he qualified to go to "States." As a novice racer and Freshman, he did not place very high in the rankings, but he got a year of competition racing under his belt and he is pumped up for next year. If you ask Mason about this and how he did it, he will tell you he set his Intention and he may even note, Chinnatah, a Native American word their warriors used for "Always Ready." I'm proud of you Mason, I love that you know you can set any goal and achieve it. I hope you know that the stars are too low, you can reach far beyond them if only you set your intentions and take the appropriate actions.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Are Dreams Really Just Dreams?

Several nights this week I've dreamed about me in my dream life/career... on the 29th, I dreamed that my dreams came true, my dreams for me. A few nights later the same kind of dream, I’m traveling, Dave and Mason are with me and I’m a kind of happy that is elation, smiling, laughing, holding Dave’s hand as we move through airports and luxury hotel lobbies. I’m doing my job and getting paid, and we are sightseeing and enjoying life to a degree that I’ve only ever dreamed about. Is this a reminder that I should not let them go? And then this memory from a few years ago shows up on my Facebook feed. Am I just preoccupied with what is not, or am I needing to focus more on me and my dreams? I don't pursue it more fiercely because I don't all the way believe in myself as an authority or think what I have to share is original or unique enough. Hmm, the never ending fight in my head that says, "Do it! Why not you?" and the other voice that says, "Sit down, you've got nothing new or interesting.” What s the dream job? Motivational Speaker and common sense “advice" giver who performs to audiences of thousands. See! Even writing the word "advice" made me think I should find another word because why would my advice be valuable? And the Why Not Me part thinks, "But people call you almost every day to ask what they should or should not do.” I’ll have to think about this and ponder my courage to do what I really long to do. I really do, in my heart of hearts believe that I could live my dream, provide for my family, and live in that state of elation with Dave from this day forward. 

On another note, Mason, our friend Rachel, and I participated in our local fundraiser, The Trivia Bee. It was so much fun! Mason, Rachel and I rocked “The First Place Foodies.” This is an annual fundraiser for a local service club and this year the theme was “Grub and Grog” and being food themed us Partaks were invited to participate on behalf of Old Town Pizza here in Auburn owned by our good family friends. They paid the fees for our team to participate and I’m so grateful they did. 
We were in first place up until the last question (17 pts) at which point all the teams were given an opportunity to make a bet on their points. We were forced to bet everything and we did not know the answer to the last question so we ended with a zero. Wah-Wah! Thank you Old Town Pizza and Reese for inviting us to be your team. Seriously, it was so much fun!