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Adoption, vacation and pillow pets in the rear view mirror

 

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by Tim Elder in Archives, Domestic Adoption

Over the years, my wife and I have been on several vacations together. Many of them were road trips where it took several hours to get to our destination.

Maybe you know what it’s like to pack for a long road trip. As much as we try to simplify our packing and take only the “essentials”, we end up with suitcases full of 10 pairs of shoes, half our wardrobe and the kitchen sink.

Problem: there’s not a lot of room left in the car.

This happened again recently when we went on a family vacation that required 7 hours of driving.

To be fair, this trip was with our two kids which meant there were toys, pillows, toys, and another suitcase. I spent lots of time (more than I care to admit) diligently packing the car, trying to carefully use every square inch so I could see out the back window.

I was proud that everything fit, nothing was smashed and it looked like I would be able to see out the back window just fine. So we loaded everyone in the car. We were a bit late getting on the road, but we set off for 7 hours of driving bliss.

Not even 5 minutes into our road trip, I looked in the rear view mirror. To my surprise, I couldn’t see much of the road behind us. My view was blocked. Not by suitcases or bags – but by two pillow pets.

If you aren’t familiar with these, pillow pets are what they would seem – a stuffed animal mostly in the shape of a pillow. Our kids love them. There they were – blocking my view that shouldn’t be blocked.

Now maybe I should have immediately pulled the car over and moved these animals so I could safely see behind our car. But all I could do was smile and tell my wife “you know it makes me so happy to look in my rear view mirror and see two pillow pets.”

We had struggled with infertility for many years before we started our family through adoption. We were blessed to adopt our kids as newborns – one in 2007 and one in 2012.

Building our family through adoption has made us very thankful for where we are right now. It has made us not overlook the small, everyday things that maybe we would have taken for granted if we had been able to build our family the “normal” way.

It may seem strange to say we’ve waited a long time to have our rear view mirror blocked by two pillow pets. But shortly after starting a long road trip, seeing two fluffy pillow pets reminds me how blessed I am to be the dad of the two little ones in the back seat.

It doesn’t get much sweeter than that.

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