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Painting *Therapy*

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

As we embarked on this mission of self-matching, I hadn't even realized how much of an undertaking this might be to make it successful. This idea that I would need to continuously create "content" in order to continue to be relevant and drive more traffic to our website caused immediate overwhelm. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy social media in my free time. I just never thought I would be in this position of needing to stay relevant in this space.

I started brainstorming what this content might look like. I did some market research by looking at those out there in the midst of this similar type of journey and my educational brain took over. I explained excitedly to Colin one day this week, that I not only wanted this to be a place where our primary goal was finding an expectant mother. I also wanted this to be a space of educating those unaware of what this adoption world is about; helping people understand the deeply emotional process, the appropriate and respectful language and humanize the people going through it. Colin immediately responded by pushing me to go deeper than that. Educating others is my safe place. It's my comfort zone. He quickly reminded me that this needs to be a space of vulnerability and openness.

*Fast forward to Saturday morning*

I wake up early most days; the dogs are used to me being the breakfast lady and they do not tolerate late service. We had plans for the day to run some errands and make some decisions regarding our nursery room; test driving rocking chairs/gliders and designing a closet. Colin had spent the previous week dismantling the old closet and cleaning it out. So after feeding the dogs, I decided that I would spend the morning priming the walls for paint before Colin woke up.

I gathered all the materials and set to work in this small space; headphones in listening to Lord Huron, staring at these white walls and painting. This blank space allowed my mind to wander. I immediately started thinking about what our future child might be like. We are designing this closet without any knowledge of who they will be. I don't mean the physical attributes but who they will be. I started thinking about all the things; the sound of their laugh, the smell of their head {baby heads smell the best}, or the first word they might use. All the while, I was still visualizing the infant that would be coming into our home.

I completely forgot until posting this picture that Jake sat with me watching me work the entire time - see bottom right corner. As we've said, he is never far away and definitely used to DIY home projects - but more on that at another time.

I was sitting there practically meditating on the consistent strokes of the paintbrush when I saw it. There were faint lines of various colors going up the door frame and as I followed the lines up with my paintbrush the top lines were more clear. These lines were the growth markings of a previous child who lives their whole life in this room. This very room that we are designing and planning for our own.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks - I hadn't even considered or pictured our child past infancy. This child will grow and develop and at some point become a teenager. And then, I hit the 14 year old mark, which was way above my head and thought wow. One day this baby of ours is going to grow into a fully formed human and adult. I wondered in this moment; who might this person be? Will they have adopted Colin's sense of humor and insatiable desire to learn? Or will they have my same need to nurture and help others?

Ultimately, what I decided was that it didn't matter what or who this person becomes. I know that we will encourage and support our child to do what brings them joy. With love, Christina

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