Connecting With Anna

So in June another birthday happened…Anna turned 8 years old.

EIGHT!

I can’t believe it. 10 years old seems so close now, how is that possible?

Of course, as with every birthday and Christmas, I searched for the perfect gift. Thankfully, this year’s was easy since the idea came to me months ago. The problem was putting my gift into action and finding what I had in mind.

You see, as Anna gets older I feel like I don’t know her much anymore. When she was an infant and toddler, it was kinda easy to just be with her and know her. Just through playing I could know her likes and dislikes, what she liked to do, and I felt our connection had never left us. As I’ve said before, I’m just better with babies and toddlers. Bigger kids feel intimidating because I’m more inward and its hard to connect with others without having real conversations! So, this year I wanted to a gift that would be for the both of us. To help me to know her.

I remember when I was younger I had a fill in the blank book about all my likes and dislikes, my best friends, favorite colors, etc. It was a snapshot of who I was at that age. That’s what I miss in Anna’s everyday life…those little things that make her who she is today. I get the big stuff in her life from conversations with her parents, but this is stuff I feel only she can share with me. So, I wanted to find a fill in the blank book for us. Actually, two books. One for her to keep, one for her to return to me when she’s done.

Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. It took a while of searching in stores and online to find the right one for us. There are lots of options out there pre-made, or to make your own. But, everything was either not right for our situation (like, one for Mother’s and Daughter’s or best friends), too much writing prompts instead of fill in the blanks, or too juvenile for an 8 year old.  Finally, I found the perfect one for her on Amazon. I decided on the “My Life According to Me” book by Klutz.

Anna’s favorite thing to do is draw (that I do know!) and I found one that while it had fill in the blanks, it also had a ton of fun drawing prompts and just blank pages for her to draw or write whatever she wants. I thought it was pretty awesome, it was like an “ah-ah-AH!” moment. It was just right for us.  It has all black pages and came with a metallic pen, so I got her a case with more fun metallic colors so she can really go crazy with it.

I wrote a note in each of the books, one for her to keep and one for me. In the one for me, I told her why I wanted to do this, that I wish to know who she is more and thanked for her sharing her life with me. I also told her I welcome any questions she has as she is getting older and may want to know more about our adoption. I thought maybe this book on the blank pages might be a good place for that, she can jot it down as they come to her and I can answer them when the time comes.

She loved it when she opened it and thought it was pretty neat! At the end of our birthday visit she started drawing in it with Savannah and asked me questions about her birth and as a baby that was on one of the pages. It was a sweet time between us girls that I’ll cherish! I wish I had a picture of it.

Another birthday, another gift. Looking forward to see how this gift will keep on giving!


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