I am definitely a person who writes into knowing my mind. I had a teacher who “talked” into knowing his mind and I spent many a Friday evening listening to him go on and on and on, waiting for the pearl of wisdom that he would eventually drop.
Methinks that could also be said about me. Good or bad thing? I’m not sure.
When I began blogging, no one wrote about the challenges of adopting an older child and I blogged both to understand our experience and to provide support and information for others on the same path. When our family changed and I was blogging about grieving and putting life back together, I lost the concept of supporting anyone. I needed to write for myself and gather a community of loving souls around me.
In the past two years, the wheel has again turned. I like journaling about my life, Julia’s doings and our lives together. I like sharing reflections about mindfulness and refrigerators and gardening. And I’ve wanted more.
And I have a terrific case of wanderlust that I don’t expect to satisfy until Covid is more memory and less threat.
The writing on Chasing Joy fall into four (or five) categories:
Growing a Daughter. Julia was adopted from China when she was five years old. Although she survived life in an awful orphanage, at five, her maturity was that of a toddler. Once home, her learning curve was steep and therapy became a way of life. School has always been a challenge and we are very fortunate that Julia finished up her formal education in Newton, MA. Julia has one more year within our public school system as part of Community Connections, a transition program whose aim is to teach independent living and job skills. She will need more than a year to acquire what she need to thrive in her adult life and my task is to find what she needs in the adult services world. Socially, Julia struggles to form relationships with adults and other kids. This struggle has been made more difficult in the after glow of Covid shut down and limiting social experiences. Julia is a gifted artist and she continues to grow that gift. Despite her many challenges—PDD-NOS (on the autism spectrum), ADHD and RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder)—Julia came to our family ready to love and to imagine. And those gifts of love and imagination have seen us through our years together.
Journaling my Days. I’ve been journaling since childhood and I expect to be doing it in some form until my last days. Very recently, I have committed to editing and shaping some of the words I spill onto this screen into a memoir. I am a fierce advocate for Julia and other kids and young people with disabilities. I have a meditation practice and occasionally teach. I garden as often as often as I can. I continue to be amazed that I find joy in this unexpected life.
Pondering Quietly. Well, every so often, I have a deep thought and it is worth celebrating those times with a category of its own.
Travels with a Daughter. I am a passionate traveler and a long time ago now, I noticed how few single parents with kids seemed to travel. I also noticed how few kids, or adults for that matter, with disabilities travelled to far away places. When I poked around travel websites and blogs and listened to podcasts, only a few talk about single parent travel or traveling with kids with disabilities.
Julia is a good traveler and I made it my mission to teach her about the world—one trip at a time! I wanted to share how I planned, what I learned and where we went with others who might venture out into the world. Of course, that was all before March, 2020. I don’t know when we will venture far again, but the list of destinations grows!