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Ready for an ‘ordinary’ new year December 31, 2010

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the expression “my 15 minutes of fame.” Well, I’m content in conceding that mine is about to expire. Last Saturday’s Democrat and Chronicle front-page story about Austin’s adoption has generated some wonderful feedback, and that’s made me very happy. But now it’s time for Austin and me to step out of the spotlight and settle in for the long haul.

Democrat and Chronicle photographer Annette Lein stopped by the preceding Saturday to take our photo. This is the one that appeared on the front page.

Being featured in that article was a great opportunity. I confess to having more difficulty with sleeping on Christmas morning this year than I did any other time since I was about 8. Although I was confident the article would be great, I just needed to see it for myself.

I actually heard the newspaper get delivered shortly before 6 a.m. No sleigh bells, just the hum of a car’s engine and the slam of its door. Of course, I hustled downstairs to take a look. I don’t quite know how to describe to you the surreal nature of seeing my son and me pictured front and center.

I went on to read the contents—my heart pounding rapidly. But I quickly became at ease as I digested the accurate and sensitive portrayal put forth by reporter Karen Miltner. She’s been such a pleasure to work with throughout the process, and I knew it mattered to her that I be comfortable with how the story finally turned out.

I can’t tell you what Austin thought about the article. He never read it! After he got up that morning, he took one look at the photo and said, “I look horrible.” And that was it. I’m not totally surprised. He has no problem telling his story, but for some reason he doesn’t like reading about it. I’m pretty sure he’s never read this blog.

Anyway, I went online and posted the electronic version of the article to my Facebook page along with a note thanking folks for supporting Austin and me throughout the year. The response I got back was nearly overwhelming. Words like “heartwarming” and “inspiring” let me know our story really struck a chord.

Even last night, as Austin and I attended the RIT men’s hockey game in Pittsburgh, a variety of friends and colleagues made a point of telling me how much they enjoyed reading our story. I expect there will be more of that when I return to work on Monday.

But then that should be it—as it needs to be. While 2010 has been an extraordinary adventure for Austin and me on our adoption journey, he and I should expect 2011 to be something very different—something quite ordinary. That’s my new year’s resolution to him—normalcy. Our ’15 minutes’ is up, and I can’t think of a better way to settle in for the long haul.

Regardless of whether you’re sights are set on the ordinary or the extraordinary for 2011, I wish you all a healthy and happy new year!



1. Maureen - December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to you and Austin! This is the best story that I have heard all year!!

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