I’m not one of those moms. I don’t carefully plan an outfit and sign for a First Day of School photoshoot at the front door, I don’t have a Pinterest board for Bento Box Lunches, and I don’t drive a minivan.
Why aren't you swimming, Colton?” I said as Colton is kicking his legs and bobbing his head in and out of the water. “What is wrong with you? They're not going to believe that you can swim if you keep touching the ground, Colton! Do you want to pass the swimming test and go on the slide? What are you doing? Don't grab the edge of the pool! Swim, Colton, swim! Why can't you do this? You do this all the time, Colton! Stop your crying! Are you kidding me right now?"
When it comes to our adoption story, do you want my son’s birth story or our now-story? Do you want to know how he was a twinkle in our eyes before we held him in our arms on a Sunday afternoon in that extremely hot, noisy orphanage in Ethiopia? Or do you want to know how I wake up with fear clawing at my stomach every morning—fear that my beautiful, brown son may not come home safe today?
It was March 4th, 1989. Pete and I had a beautiful wedding, the second one for both of us, with all of our kids—five in all—as part of the wedding party. Greg was twenty years old; Chris, eighteen; Katie, eleven; and both my daughter, Laurie, and Pete’s daughter, Kristin, were four. What an adorable family we made! Life would certainly be filled with hearts and flowers forevermore . . .
It was late, close to 2 a.m. The front door had just closed behind Andy as he went home. It was early September 1995, I had just turned 17, and I was wrapping up a perfectly great teenage summer. My boyfriend, Andy, had been home from his first year of college at the University of Iowa, and I was looking forward to my senior year of high school and then heading there, too, to get my nursing degree.
Hi! We are the Mitchell family. I am Suzanne. My husband Darin and I have been together since 1989 when I was just sixteen year old (now 43 . . . yikes). He was the bass player in my older brother’s band, and I was the cool “rocker” chick.
Our mutual love of rock-n-roll is what brought us together, and our deep love for each other and our little family is what has kept us going strong all these years.
As the traffic light turns red, we come to a stop, and simultaneously, I cringe. My head goes low, my shoulders shrug, and I brace for what I know is coming. To an outside observer, it looks like I’m bracing for an imminent car crash, but no forceful, physical impact comes. Instead, there’s collision of emotional turmoil.