An Orphan's First Christmas

An Orphan's First Christmas

Just Yesterday, I argued with my son about Christmas. He wanted me to do something for him that I just couldn't do; get up early and be the first at the Apple Store to get the Airpods. By the time I could go, they were sold out. He is fifteen, wonderful, interesting, and a typical boy. He happens to be a bit spoiled as well... my fault. 

I fell asleep last night thinking about what Christmas means. Is it the presents, the tree, family or just religion? I didn't dream of sugar plum fairies; my dream was of children without gifts. I had been pretty cross, and it must have affected my sleep and my dream world. This morning I woke up bright and early and remembered my sister's first Christmas in our family. She was a teen, like my son, but unlike my son she had lived her entire childhood in an orphanage without... without love, without gifts, without much hope!

I was too small as a child to understand the gift my parents gave to us when they started to adopt. As an adult I now know what they have done.

Every Christmas, my Mom had stockings that were magnificent and filled with tiny gifts. We opened them, had a lovely breakfast and then and only then were we allowed to see the presents under the tree. 

That Christmas, my sister, was so excited about her stocking. Hugging everything she got, screeching and hooting with joy. I laughed thinking that she was silly. It was only when we went to see the presents under the tree that my giggling stopped.  My sister said, "Wait there is more? How is there more? You have already given me so much!" It dawned on me that she thought the stocking was everything. I was reminded that year of how spoiled I was as a child. It is time for me to find a way to make my son realize just how spoiled we all are! If we have a Christmas tree, a roof over our heads, family surrounding us, a warm meal and love we should be grateful. As I write this story this morning, I have tears of happiness and gratitude in my eyes. Mom, Dad, you are my heroes for being such humanitarians and giving so much.

I guess I should thank Apple for being a bit late and slow on the delivery of their new product. It made me think and remember. I too have become spoiled. Christmas to me is about family, fantastic meals around a beautifully laid table, spending time together and telling stories. Here is my story to you.....Merry Christmas!

—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife