By Tanya Dodd Hise
So what has been going on around Dodd-Hise Paradise since the adoption excitement three weeks ago? Life as usual – never stopping and moving at breakneck speeds. It is rare that we are just sitting around, without anything to do or anywhere to go. Some days it drives me crazy to be so busy all of the time; other days I am totally comfortable in the ADHD world in which I live.
The end of August came and went, and Noah started back to school, beginning the 7th grade. Last year was a struggle for most of the year, both socially AND academically for him. We had all spent many a breath over the summer talking to him about chalking up 6th grade as a learning experience, but now it is time to get it together and take care of business. His mornings now consist of tennis practice before school, advanced classes throughout the day, sectionals and/or band practice each day after school. It is my deepest hope that all of these activities will be enough to fill his time and keep trouble at bay. He still is adjusting to having to get up quite a bit earlier than before, and our mornings have been a bit rocky, to say the least. He still doesn’t have the door back on his bedroom (from having it removed over the summer), and has very limited video game privileges. Our main goal in life with Noah right now is to help him succeed in all that he is doing right now: academics, tennis, and band. For some families, we understand that these things come easy and there is rarely an issue with making sure that they’re done. For other families with extraordinary children, it takes more creativity, structure, and observation. Many outsiders look at us interact with Noah and say that we are too hard on him, or that we should cut him some slack, give him a break. But they haven’t had to help get him out the door on time before school. So I am currently reading some books to help us with re-direction, as well as working WITH him in those areas in which he struggles. I am hoping that we can quickly implement some new strategies that will take some of the stress off of him, as well as us, and give us all some relaxed mornings.
Harrison is now 10 ½ months old, if you can believe THAT! Since the adoption, absolutely nothing has changed in her little world. She still has her two mommies that love her beyond anything else that she has ever known, and the addition of the adoption papers meant nothing whatsoever to her. For me, it means the world (obviously), and while nothing has changed in my heart or mind, it has taken the legal weight of the world OFF of my shoulders and given me the security that I needed to finally relax for my family.
Nicholas and Krystal Fay, as some of you may remember, are expecting a baby at the beginning of January. She is about 23 weeks along, I believe, and it has taken me most of that time (since they told us at around five weeks) to get used to the idea of even being a grandmother. For a while there, I couldn’t even bring myself to SAY the word – mainly because I felt way too young, not because I didn’t think I would love the little tot! And besides, Erikka is going to be 37 when their baby is born – even younger! But it is what it is, and I am okay with the fact that they love each other and seem to have a strong and secure marriage. Yes, they are young. But I told Nicholas that I was young when he was born, and that he just needs to get used to us older folks making comments about the fact that they are young – it’s true! We found out in the last couple of weeks that the baby is a girl, and can’t wait to welcome Zoe Nora-Jayne into our family. I hope that Harrison and Zoe become the best of friends from the beginning, and I know that Noah will be a fantastic uncle. After talking to a new friend the other night at dinner, and discovering what HER grandkids call her, I decided to totally steal it and use it for Zoe. I will be…YaYa! Doesn’t sound grandmotherly, just like I wanted! The process has already started in going through Harrison’s things and loading them up for the kids to take home for Zoe.
Erikka and I are just cruising along, doing our thing like we do, and already anticipating Harrison’s first birthday at the end of October. It’s hard to believe that a year has already passed almost, but yet, it has. We look at her and think of how much she has changed in ten short months – the time went too quickly! Erikka is working all the time: full-time as an attorney, and part-time teaching business law classes online. I have several photo shoots scheduled at Noah’s school for various groups, as well as some family holiday shoots on the books already. We are so blessed to have the opportunity for me to stay home with Harrison, and to work when I can. And we are so thankful for all of these blessings that we share in this crazy life with our amazing kids (and soon-to-be grandkid). Life is good!