Every tree limb overhead seems to sit and wait, while every step you take becomes a twist of fate.
Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road...

If you are new to our adoption blog please take a moment to scroll down to the archives at the bottom of this page and start with July 2009 post "Watershed."


Releasing the past: Washington DC - Part II

Moving forward requires that we loosen our hold on the past.

Two years ago when J lost his job we left behind our home, our friends, and our city.

Starting over but never really putting the past behind us.

In September we finally went back together.
We said goodbye to a house that is no longer our home on a street that is no longer our neighborhood.

We said goodbye to Congressional Cemetery - no longer our daily walk.

We said goodbye to the monuments that were our landmarks each time we flew home.

We ate with our old neighbors,

in a yard surrounded by a fence that J built one hot summer.

During dinner I looked up at our old back window bathed now in a baby's night light glow. The window that would have been our nursery.

And we walked our city of memories, reliving the night we rode our bikes to the Lincoln Memorial and sat on its ledge watching a lightning storm.

We reminisced about our 9th anniversary kayak trip on the Potomac.

We laughed at the spot we once witnessed a huge Segway tour tourist collision in front of the Whitehouse.

We strolled through the Renway to pay homage to Wendell Castle's Ghost Clock. The one that tricked me the first time I saw it.

We rolled our eyes over the traffic between Union Station and Dupont Circle on a Friday night.
We inhaled the familiar scent of the Metro and the watched the reflecting pool.

We dunked Ariam's feet in the fountain in the park next to the Capitol where our dogs swam and where we hid Easter Eggs one fabulous Sunday.

We rode the carousel. The one I avoided looking at for many years.

There have been days of doubt. Days when I longed for the sanctuary of my bedroom there. Days when regret for things we had no power to change was so sharp I could almost taste it. Days of homesickness and sadness.

One week after we returned from DC we bought a home here. It is not as big. It is not in the heart of importance. It does not come with a DC price tag or hold a prestigious location.

But it is real. It is ours. It is the home we should have started with in the first place. We are working a bit backwards but it is moving us forward.

We are starting over.
It is still painful but every day less so.

Some days I am amazed at how quickly we expect an adopted child to loosen her hold on the past and move forward. I have measured her transition in days and weeks and months while giving myself years. Amazed at how I lost a home and still mope and whine about it while my child lost everything she was born with and somehow is this brilliant happy being. Learning a lot from my 16 month old.


  1. I miss you guys in DC too. But it is good to say goodbye to a place that was so dear, so I'm glad you got the chance.

    How is it even possible that Adalyn is in that coat that Willa is wearing in the photo? It is a little big to be sure, but still. Man, I loved that Easter.

  2. Boy, this post really resonated with me! Being in a military family, I ached so many times for "home." After a bit of a pity party, I'd pick myself up, dust myself off and start making a new home...not always an easy task, but one that was required to keep the fam sane and moving forward. Good on ya, sweetheart!

  3. as your dog-sitter extraordinaire, I have many good memories of that house, that street, that yard, the cemetery and walks to Capital hill first with Cass and Penny then with Cass, Penny and Taley. I can't tell you what a treat it was to take care of your furkids but also to get to know both you and Jer. I miss all of you - two and four-legged. It's good you came back with Ariam. You're new life in Denver will be even better! Give a kiss and a cookie to Cass and Taley and tell them to be good for me! I miss my girls terribly!

  4. We miss you all here in DC but know that you are in a wonderful new home. I hope the three of us get out there to visit you three in the not too distant future. This post brought tears to my eyes as we just bought a new home too and will be saying goodbye to the Hill. Our move is much shorter (just over the bridge to Arlington) but still a surprisingly tough transition.

  5. WISH you still lived in DC --- so much closer than Colorado! I could have written this post about Boston. Feel.much.the.same.way. It's been 6 years and I still feel like Boston is home and that I'm an impostor here in Philly. Loved the pics of DC -- haven't been there all year! Spent Christmas there last year and had post-Christmas-day brunch at Old Ebbitt, and walked the state sponsored Christmas trees. Kids loved it and I was soaring bc we had just received T's referral! I'll meet ya there next time -- promise.

  6. That last paragraph is so powerful! Thank you so much for sharing.

    (moved to Eastiopians.wordpress.com)

  7. I have a catch in my throat - you hit the nail on the head here and really articulated loss on all levels. Thank you for sharing today. I am so glad I found your blog.


About Me

My photo
J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.