2020 has been a year that has tested the mental and physical wellness of so many people. The coronavirus and racial injustice continue to grab hold of our country testing how we live our lives and the conversations we have with loved ones. Sometimes those crucial conversations don’t always go the way we think or hope they will. It can be hard to find the time or energy to focus on yourself, but personal mental health and wellness should never be thought of as a selfish act.
As we all try to practice social distancing, it has forced us to find new ways to find solace and comfort in a time when it’s hard to see friends, family, or do the activities we loved to do. Paul has never considered himself a green thumb but has long admired those farm-to-table gardeners who cook with what’s in their backyard. Along with the help of his brother, Adam, he has planted a variety of tomatoes, peppers, spaghetti squash, and some herbs around the house. It’s a game of trial and error testing what areas provide the best shade and sun for his vegetables and plants. Good thing he and Ryan like spicy foods with the jalapenos that are coming in! Paul’s work from home schedule has also provided more time to focus on running. It’s his exercise of choice that releases the stress and tension of the day while he’s jamming to a fun playlist.
While Paul may be getting his hands dirty in the garden, Ryan continues to keep his mind sharp as he’s turned to puzzles and books as his outlet. He finished his 3D puzzle of Notre Dame, which now adorns the top of our piano. Notre Dame is a special place for us given our memorable climb to the top during our honeymoon to Paris. A daily ritual for Ryan is to complete the New York Times Crossword Puzzle in the paper. We are staunch advocates for journalism, so we subscribe daily to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It’s not just the physical puzzles, but the Lumosity mind challenges on his iPad along with the solitaire games that also bring him inner peace. In a way, he’s taking after his father who was frequently found playing Spider Solitaire on his iPad. Both Ryan and Paul are staunch readers with Ryan devouring non-fiction works like “White Fragility” by Robin Diangelo and “Stonewall” by Martin Duberman. Paul switches back and forth from fiction to non-fiction as he finishes a Stephen King book, something for his book club, or a juicy memoir.
While we haven’t been matched to a birth mother yet, it was fun to organize some baby toys in the baby room, arrange some children’s book on a new bookshelf, and envision what it will be like we when expand our family. We continue to reflect on what we learned about transracial and transcultural adoption as we continue to have conversations about the racial disparities in our country. July meant another one of our quarterly GROW events through our agency. We had a really educational event via Zoom that allowed all of our parents to take part and learn more about the process of open adoption.
Take some time to vision our profile through our agency, Children’s Home Society/Lutheran Social Services.
If you or anyone you know has made the hard choice to seek adoption, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or please contact our agency’s pregnancy counseling and birth parent services at 888.205.3769 or email at email@example.com.