A few things to address what’s up for me lately, both in my personal life and as an adoption educator.
1. In Memory of Dominic DePalma
My sister’s son, Dominic DePalma (say his name), was loved by so many, and respected by teammates and rivals alike.
It had been exactly 77 days — 11 weeks to the minute — since our family’s tragic loss. At 7:13pm on a recent Thursday, Dominic’s high school team and its crosstown rival honored his memory in a way that soothed our hearts.
It was a beautiful night of loving Dominic, as much as it was a terrible night of missing him. We are living in the BothAnd, as my sister Tami observes in this interview.
It was such a lovely gesture by the teams, the schools, and the parents. Tami and Gino are buoyed by people saying Dominic’s name and noticing that he left a mark during his short time in the world. Please consider leaving a 💚 in a comment below and I will make sure Tami sees.
The murder happened first (duh), but I’ll start with the funeral.
Thousands of people attended the memorial services for Officer Gordon Beesley, who had been the School Resource Officer at my children’s middle school. I’m tempted to say 5,000, but my estimation could be off by a little or a lot in either direction. At least half of the attendees in the megachurch were men and women in uniform. The rest were friends of the Beesley family and members of the school community.
The service lasted more than 2 hours and was brilliantly done. It reversed what I’d been doing all week — thinking of Officer Beesley’s death — and took it back to where our attention belonged, on his life.
I aim to love all parts of me, including the ugly ones I try to hide even from myself.
Open-hearted adoption. Over and over again I see that a BothAnd view serves all parties better than an Either/Or view, which splits the baby. The BothAnd concept goes not only for “real” parents, but also for the range of emotions anyone in an adoption has about adoption.
When I honor my children’s connections to their original family, it adds to my children without taking away from me. Also, I acknowledge that open-hearted adoption is really hard at times — as well as rewarding.