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Adoption, Family, Flashback Friday, Jazzercise

Flashback Friday — What. A. Year.

Having a few much-needed days off could be perhaps the best Christmas present of all.

Briefly freed from the 5:30 am alarm clock, and the treadmill of tasks and chores, I’ve been able to catch up with friends, take stock and plan ahead, turn the events of the past 12 months over and over in my mind.

It’s no small thing considering I’ve lately begun to describe my life as akin to “holding on to the bumper of a speeding car.”

I’m not one for resolutions, but I swear in 2014, I’m going to figure out how to reach a more peaceful, balanced state. Let me know if you’ve managed to do it — and how!

Meanwhile, as I sit here in my PJs at — gasp — 8 am, drinking coffee that is not yet stone cold, I’m struck by the many, many places this year has taken us.

Catherine and Basil headed to the Witch Museum in Salem, where we toured  Salem State University.

Catherine and Basil head to the Witch Museum in Salem, MA,where we toured Salem State University.

We navigated the college search and application process, and as of this writing have had acceptances from two schools — Salem State University and Salve Regina.

Catherine awaits news from three others, including her top choice, but is thrilled to know she’s on her way.

This, too, was the year Catherine learned to drive, passing her road test on the first try.

Spring brought a big change for all of us — Basil’s early retirement. He spent most of the summer redoing the back yard and tending to a variety of honey-do tasks (well, at least the ones he wanted to do).

I’m happy to report that we are both still alive and well despite still figuring out how to co-exist while I work from home.

In June, I watched my godson, Dominic, graduate from high school, and in September got to see him begin to flourish as a college freshman.

Catherine had a blast as a counselor in training over the summer, spending her days with 3- and 4-year-olds and cementing her plan to make early childhood education her career.

Each day, she came home with another funny story, whether it was the kid who ate her lunch and then his, the boy who bonked another kid on the head with a wooden block, or the little one who wanted to draw a mustache on Catherine with permanent marker because she’d “look better that way.” (That scenario worked its way into Catherine’s college essay, naturally.)

Before the sweating commences, the instructors smile for the camera.

Before the sweating commences, the instructors smile for the camera at the final class at the former Jazzercise Center of Southwestern Connecticut.

We said goodbye to our beloved Jazzercise Center in Stamford in September, and learned to go with the flow and bring our dance moves to a new venue with a new class owner.

Basil and I marked our 20th wedding anniversary on Sept. 4 and went to his 40th high school reunion in October.

The fall also brought a new spate of “firsts” and “lasts” as Catherine started senior year.

The most incredible moments of the year, however, were mine, all mine, as I found my birth mother, Pat, in January, after a long search and discovered a whole family of people who generously embraced me.

Looking ahead, 2014 will be full of more milestones, life lessons, opportunity for growth and self-discovery, for each of us.

We have Catherine’s graduation, a huge band reunion, my high school reunion, the start of college and heaven knows what else waiting for us.

I say bring it.

New family ties -- at the June BBQ my half-brother Chris threw to introduce me to the family.

New family ties — at the June BBQ my half-brother Chris threw to introduce me to the family. I love the kid who photo-bombed us, there at right. He is the son of one of Chris’ friends.

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


2 thoughts on “Flashback Friday — What. A. Year.

  1. Thanks for sharing this very touching, special story. I’m a birthmother about your mother’s age, I have found my son and have a fine relationship with him. I never get tired of hearing reunion stories, even the difficult ones have something to appreciate – and your story is one of the happiest! Reading it was a great way to begin the new year. A very happy new year to you and all of your family.

    Posted by Donna Catterick | January 1, 2014, 9:44 am

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