Have I mentioned before how much I love this time of year? The lights. The tree. The time together. And the fact that we can usually count on at least one visit into Anchorage by this kid’s extended bio family:
You see, pretty much all of my little girl’s other family live in remote Alaskan villages. We cherish the openness, but these villages don’t have roads in or out – the only way to arrange visits is by plane. And while I absolutely plan on taking Cheeks to the villages to see where she comes from when she is older, us visiting there right now isn’t really feasible. So we rely on the times when her family comes into town (either as they are traveling to or from other locations, or when they come in to stock up on supplies and—around the holidays—gifts) to make those visits happen.
And every year, around this time of year, we usually get to meet a new extension of that family.
This year we got a call a few days ago from an aunt we had never before met. She and her 14-year old-daughter (Cheeks’ cousin) were going to be traveling through town and wanted to know if they could meet her.
Let me just tell you… we loved them! This was such a fun visit, and I am especially elated because this aunt has offered to put together a book with old family photos and a family tree for Cheeks to have. Which is awesome! We’ve also already made some plans to get these cousins together again in a few weeks, when this sweet teenager has to travel through town again on her way back to school (it’s not uncommon for some of the kids in the villages up here to go to boarding schools for high school, which is exactly what she does!)
These connections mean the world to me, as I truly believe in the value of openness in adoption whenever possible. But on top of the biological connection, I also love that it is a connection to Cheeks’ heritage. It’s a window, for her, into who she is, where she comes from, and the rich cultural history that she is a part of.
So, yeah… I love this time of year. And these visits.
Work has been going great! I’m trying to get most of my month finished up now so that I can really relax and enjoy the holidays with my girl. But I’ve been pulling in some really exciting developmental editing jobs that I can’t wait to share with you all in the weeks/months to come!
In the meantime, here are some of the pieces I’ve had published over the last few weeks:
- Teen Allegedly Kidnapped And Murdered By His Peers (this is a local story that has been breaking my heart for weeks now)
We’re in the middle of a snowstorm in Alaska that is looking as though it should last the next 4 days… so I’m looking forward to a weekend spent holed up with my girl, having a fire in the fireplace, watching the lights on our tree, and maybe bundling up for a bit of sledding!
I’m not sure if I could possibly ask for a more perfect weekend-before-Christmas weekend!