Bodacious Bloggers is having a summer blog hop! May’s prompt was to take us on a tour of where you live – check that out here! This month’s prompt is to recap highlights from the last decade of your life.
Bloggers! We’d love to have you join our blog hop (it goes until August).
Just click here to join our blogging group.
The last ten years have been a mix of awesomeness, heartbreak, joy, and sadness. There were several moments and experiences that stand out and I’m happy to share them with you here.
At the very beginning of this past decade, we were a year into an amazing unschooling journey. We had adopted three children two years earlier (they were 5, 8 and 11), removed them from school the following year and plunged head first into unschooling. My youngest was six years old at the time and loved learning so we filled our weeks with interesting museums and science centers, craft projects, team sports like soccer and basketball, movies, video games, visits to our local library, hosting pool parties at our home, Girl Scouts, horseback riding, field trips with fellow homeschoolers and day trips to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.
Here are some photos from our first couple of years unschooling. The top right photo shows all my kids and the other photos are just of my youngest who I’ve been homeschooling the longest.
About a year later I started blogging as a way to share our adoption and unschooling journey and to also connect with other mothers who either adopted their children or were homeschooling. I have met some amazing people along the way and blogging has expanded my world tremendously.
In 2007, I experienced the most heartbreaking sorrow that I have ever felt when my mother crossed over. My mother was my best friend, my guiding light and the best mother anyone could want. I’ve written about her here.
In 2009, I decided to create a local homeschool group. I had been unschooling my children for a few years at that point and although we had found other homeschooling families to network and connect with, there wasn’t a group that we felt at home with. The few that we did find eventually disbanded as people moved in different directions. My group is still active today and I’m so grateful to the amazing families who have joined and helped it grow.
The next few years were a roller coaster ride. At the top of the ride was traveling back home to NYC for three weeks during Christmas, starting and growing a local business, and watching our youngest daughter Jacqueline come into her own as a person. Then, there’s the part of the roller coaster where your heart is in your throat and you want to scream. We were dealing with enormous stress from our older two children, first our oldest son and then our middle daughter. They handled their early childhood trauma in destructive ways, but as they each reached young adulthood it became unbearable and our entire family suffered consequences from their actions.
In 2013, a little ball of cuteness joined our family at a time we needed him the most. Our 15-year-old poodles Mini and TJ, rescued three kittens (they were about 10 days old) from something that attacked them in our backyard. They scared off whatever it was, and Mini picked up one and brought him to our back door. He was the only one of the three that was unharmed. My husband rushed them to our vet but sadly one passed away on the way there. Another one needed immediate surgery and our vet ended up keeping her. We took the one Mini saved and named him Mini-Me after his rescuer.
2013 brought a milestone for my family when we had our ten-year adoption anniversary. When we adopted our three children, we wanted to give them the love, stability and safety that all children should feel from the moment they’re born. We also wanted to be realistic about parenting older children who experienced early childhood abuse and trauma so we sought out therapists, mental health professionals and support groups for guidance on how best to help them. I could write a million posts about those ten years and I plan on writing a book about our experience in 2016/2017 so keep an eye out for it.
In November of 2014, we put our girl TJ to rest after a battle with heart disease. Mini and TJ were sisters, from the same litter and TJ was my mother’s dog so losing her was especially hard on me. I honored her in a blog post the day she crossed over.
A few months later my baby turned 16 and we hosted a Sweet 16 party for her. One of the most rewarding parts of being a mother has been watching Jacqueline go from an adorable little girl to an amazing teenager. I’m so lucky to be her mother.
On Christmas Day 2014 our first grandchild entered the world. We’ve were able to spend some time with Pinky (my husband nicknamed her that) until she was about four months old. My older daughter (she’s my middle one) is not able to have a healthy and peaceful relationship with us and prevents us from being in our granddaughter’s life at this time. It is my hope that as Pinky gets older and has a voice of her own, we can have a relationship with her. During the time we got to spend with her, she knew she was loved by her Opa, Mom Mom and Auntie Jacqueline.
In 2015 my baby Mini turned 16 and we gave her a sweet 16 party with doggie ice cream and our two cats as her guests. Mini has been my constant companion for the last 16 years and we give her lots of love and attention in her senior years.
Thank you for taking this retrospective journey with me. When the blog hop post for this month is published, I’ll share the link so you can visit the other bloggers.