This imagined story is a tribute to a family that I greatly admire.
The tree was full of clay handprints, golden stars, tiny churches, red, green and blue shiny balls. Almost all the ornaments had stories like a charm bracelet. Many of them came from their childhoods. The tree filled the picture window with lights crisscrossing the branches, welcoming passerbys to peer inside. The living room was warm, fragrant with the smell of pine, popcorn and fairy dust. The presents were wrapped in bright colored foils with contrasting ribbons. They were piled high, ready for the early morning’s small footsteps on the stairs. Now it was quiet, the little ones finally asleep. They relaxed together curled on the sofa enjoying this unusual time alone and anticipating the excitement and thrill of what would be found under the tree. It was their first Christmas as a family. They had made the decision last May to become adoptive parents. Their relationship was only a couple years old, but they felt solid. It was time. They adopted Jake (five) and Sarah (eight) already siblings and now they were two dads. They sat on the couch with glasses of wine in their hands reviewing the ups and downs, the laughs, the poop, the play, the sleepless nights and they moved a little closer. The room glowed with this new life they were making. Looking at the clock it was getting very late and morning would be so early. They could feel the excitement in the floorboards above them.