Sunday, November 21, 2010

Is that my kid? Do the math.

DH found a photo on the ground in the yard at the end of our driveway. It was a photo from a professional portrait studio of a baby wearing a My First Christmas outfit. DH brought it inside and left it on the counter.  I asked him who it was.  He said he didn't know, but he didn't want to throw it out because he thought there was a chance it could be Phenix.  His thinking was that maybe it fell out of an envelope the social worker had given us with another photo of P from right before he came to live with us.  She'd found that photo in his file while preparing for finalization and gave it to us along with some other info. 

The photo DH found stayed on the counter for almost a week.  We couldn't tell if it was Phenix or not and we didn't want to risk throwing it out.  More than likely, it's just a photo that fell out of someone's early Christmas card and blew from the mail truck to our front yard. But when you adopt a child older than a newborn, early photos from before the adoption are treasures. Throwing one out would be like tossing your wedding album in the trash.  You just don't do it. 

Over the past couple of days I've started feeling guilty because I can't tell whether it's Phenix in the photo.  It sounds silly, but I've caught myself asking what kind of mother I am that I can't recognize my own kid.  Then I remind myself that I've always been horrible in those baby photo contests when you have to match the baby photo to the celebrity.  I can't find the similarities between the infant face and adult one.  I just can't do it, so this isn't really any different, right? Then I go back to examining the found photo and looking at Phenix and deciding and changing my mind a million times that it definitely is/isn't him.  And I ask myself what kind of mother doesn't recognize her own child.  

Today I realized that on the back of the photo someone had written the words "6 months."  I'd seen the words before, but for reasons I can't explain I didn't really attend to them.  I finally did the math and figured out that Phenix was only 3 1/2 months old for his first Christmas.  So unless someone labeled the photo incorrectly or had him take a first Christmas photo in March when he actually was 6 months old, Phenix is not the baby in the photo.  Other information had pointed in that direction: the baby in the photo was chubbier than P likely was (he had bad acid reflux and was about to be labeled failure to thrive at that age) and the mouth and ears weren't quite right. But the eyes and forehead were similar and I'd never seen him before he was 12 months old so how could I be sure?  The "6 months" math seems pretty conclusive. 

So the photo isn't sitting on our counter any longer.  It's in a drawer in our desk in the office.  I still can't bring myself to throw it out.  Why? Because. . .well. . .I just can't.  You know.  Just in case. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Cards

I read about this offer (50 free Holiday Cards from Shutterfly) on Wendy's blog, Our Story.  Like a lot of people, I don't usually like to post stuff like this on my blog, but I loved the cards that Wendy showcased and I've had good experiences when I've used Shutterfly in the past when making mouse pads for P's Aunties and photo magnets for DH to put up in his locker at work. I figured it was worth a look.  I'm glad I did look because when I went to Shutterfly I found the perfect holiday card for us.

This has been a big year for us.  A lot has happened, including our finalization of P's adoption, and I'd like to share the news.  However, there's no way I'm going to find the time in the next few weeks to get a holiday letter written. When I saw this card, it looked like it was made for us.  I'm going to list different events from throughout the year.  The #1 moment will be "becoming a forever family." I'm going to put our adoption day photo in the middle and a photo of P on either side. I'm so excited to see the final product.  Last year, it took me forever to find a card I liked. On top of that, I spent about 3 days forcing P into various holiday outfits so I could take his photo and had to sort through probably 1,000 photos as a result before I decided on one photo that I liked enough to use. Since this card is about Top Ten Moments of 2010, I feel comfortable using some great photos from the summer and fall and don't feel like I have to use a Christmas one.  I may actually get my cards out early this year!