Giving Thanks

Here you go… the obligatory Thanksgiving post. You don’t get a post about pie crust. But a honest to god post. I have put thought into this post for the past 3 days or so. No, I didn’t cheat and write it ahead of time. The clock on my computer says it is 8:58 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. I’m sitting here in my housecoat with my coffee in front of me getting cold.

I have so much to be thankful for this year, but there is something (or someones) in particular that I want to mention. 5 women who have helped me become the woman that I am. I did the Flame of Fortitude post last week and forgot to mention one person. Then I got to thinking that I didn’t take the appropriate amount of time to say why these women are so special to me. What my history with them has been. I have lots of new readers in the past year (or even 6 months) and they may not know the story here.

The 5 women I’m talking about are Rhonda, Lauri, Jen, Margaret and Tricia. We often refer to ourselves as the original in crowd. I prefer the original 6. It’s that whole hockey reference you know. When I started out blogging it was as a way to keep our family and friends informed about our adoption process. Many of you have done the same thing. The trusty husband started our original blog and frankly, I thought it was stupid. Who knew.

One day he sent me an IM that said, “I didn’t think you were supposed to post photos of your referrals.” Attached was a link to another blog. That particular blogger had posted a photo of the little boy she was adopting from Russia. (consequently I don’t think she ever went on to adopt) As I read through her site I started to click on her links. Rhonda was one of them. I started to comment on Rhonda’s site and she on mine. We later found out that we were with the same agency and stuck in the same reaccreditation mess, only I was about 2 months ahead of her. Rhonda was the first blogger I ever became friends with. I am so thankful for her friendship through the whole thing. She knew exactly how I was feeling. I am thankful for her letting me bitch and moan. I am thankful for her holding my hand. It makes photos like this more special. Love you babe!


As we clicked about in our little bloggy worlds we came across another lady trying to adopt a child in Russia. Her name is Lauri. She was the only one of us not stuck in reacreditation limbo hell. But she was adopting from Russia and blogging about it. At the time there were very few of us. Nungesser and Jim were about the only 2 that people really knew about. So to find Lauri was a big deal for us. Lauri was the first of our group to become a mom. Secretly we were a little jealous when she got her court date so fast, but Livi is too cute to care that much. Lauri has taught me that I can be a loving mom in the face of anything that comes my way. I am inspired by her tenacity and perseverance.

I think Jen found us. I can’t exactly remember that one. Jen was stuck too. She was dealt blow after blow during the process and came out with a gorgeous little girl. We cheered as she sent the long awaited email. I had the honor of talking on the phone to Jen right before she left for Pineapple’s court date. She was also the first recipient of a Sweet Hope gift. Jen has taught me that I can laugh at myself. Not that I don’t do that already, but she does it with such grace.

An email appeared in my inbox one day asking for a blog design. I was from the beautiful Margaret. Thus began my relationship with the single strongest woman I know. I have been able to wrap my arms around her and feel the love that exudes from this woman. It still brings tears to my eyes. Sure, I’ve hugged Rhonda too, but we pretty much are the same person and it was like hugging your sister that you’ve known your whole life. Those of you who have ever met Margaret in person will know exactly what I am talking about. I remember sitting in our little hotel room in Korea when I read that she had lost Vladimir. I was so heart broken and felt so helpless. I was thousands of miles away and couldn’t call to talk to her. Since then I’ve talked to her may times and even delivered my own special brand of bitch slap.

Last but not least is Tricia. Tricia was like our little groupie. Not quite in the process yet, but wanting to be connected to the Russian adoption world. She was our little blond cheerleader. We (ok, at least me) were jealous of her beautiful new house. Seriously Tricia, you can adopt me. She is the last of us to become a mom. Today I am thankful that she doesn’t have to go another year being “behind” all of us. She’s right there. Experiencing her own joy. She has taught me patience. I couldn’t have waited like she has.

You ladies are so important to me. Thank you for your love and friendship.

5 Comment

  1. It is amazing how this crazy process has connected us to so many people out there. Sounds like you’ve made some great friends.

  2. Wow. Thank you for such beautiful words. I still say that once Tricia is home and settled with her beautiful little girl we need to plan a trip to all get together. The original in crowd… the original 6… the original Peaches. (Sorry. Random movie reference, there. Forgive me. I’ve had several glasses of wine.) Of course, with Jen now living in Seoul that could put a wrench in our ability to get the group together!

    Love you my friend!

  3. Tricia says: Reply

    A groupie? Yes, unfortunately that was so true in those early days. I just didn’t think it was that obvious. 😉

    I don’t remember who I found first… but there were very few Russian adoption bloggers at the time… well, just us from what I remember. I lurked for a while, and then decided that I better set up my own blog (even though I really had no adoption news to post). Yes, I was jealous of Lauri too. Livi is so wonderful.

    The rollercoaster that brought you and Margaret to the Boy and Slugger was better than Greys Anatomy. Joking aside, the pain brought to you and Margaret during those difficult times still breaks my heart when I think of Little A and Peanut. The strength and perservence you both have shown is unbelieveable for me.

    Elle, we would totally adopt you. You can drive a car, you can cook, and wow, your blog designs are awesome.

    The happiness I feel about our little girl-to-be (fingers crossed) is made that much deeper sharing it with you. You guys have provided support every day for the past two years – there is no one in my family or real-life friend circle that remotely comes close.

    I’ll be up in Portland sometime during my maternity leave, so I’ll finally get to me you Elle. But it would be fun to all get together. Disney? Las Vegas? San Diego? The kids can camp out in the backyard… I’ll stock up on wine… 🙂

  4. Lauri says: Reply

    That was so touching… I can’t remember how we found eachother exactly, but I am so glad we did.

    I would love to get together, to meet face to face.

    Those words are so sweet and you all helped me through the process in more ways than I can find the words to articulate. You still are helping me as I work my way through this journey.



  5. That was a wonderful and a very appropriate post for a blog on Thanksgiving. I am very happy to have met all of the wonderful women (and men) in bloggerland. Yours, and their, words of wisdom and experiences have been priceless to those of us just getting started. Thank you for your friendship, help with techie stuff and for your lovely blog.

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