Our Big Day [email sent 4-15-21]

The Salt Co. Diaries

Is this your first email diary? Please read this fair warning before getting too far ahead of yourself. 
[Britni] Hey Diary.

I had every intention of jumping in here and continuing the start up story of Salt Co. tonight.. BUT..

Tomorrow Casey and I are officially, legally adopting our child..

And. I just can't think about anything else.. So you get what you get around here - and if you throw a fit, then, well, fuck you.
OK I just went down the internet rabbit hole searching for where the cast of 'Boy Meets World' are today. whew.. it is not that interesting and no they are not together.
In November of 2018 my folks made the move from Colorado to Alaska. Our biological daughter, Hadley, had just turned three and after my parents' arrival in our small, Alaskan town Casey and I felt ready to have another child. There was something about having the support of family that made us feel ready, when in the first two years of her life, we were seriously considering getting the snips and ties and all the things that would prevent making more children. And I don't know how many years it would take Casey to recover from the trauma he experienced being married to me whilst pregnant. 

I believe it was my experience in the world of social work and Casey's general agreeableness that lead us to the decision that we would adopt a child, rather than have another baby. We made the decision to adopt from the State of Alaska, not a baby, since we could still make those, and rumor has it babies are quickly adopted. We had no specific child in mind. No certain gender. No certain age. Just a child who needed a family. When I was doing research at the time, there were over 3,000 children in foster care in the state of Alaska.

We told our family about this decision and I got to Googling about what we needed to do. Hadley was the sweetest recipient of this news, so delighted that she would one day be a sister. She made a bed out of blankets and pillows on her bedroom floor and demanded that no one ever touch or remove the bed for her new brother or sister. We were transparent with her right away, at the little age of 3, to try and normalize the idea of adoption. We didn't know how long it would take to be matched with a child or what the process would look like, but Hadley was so excited from the very moment she found out. 

She immediately started telling everyone excitedly,  "I am going to get a new brother or sister!" and people would stare lovingly at my womb and tell me congratulations. Once we were having dinner out on the Spit and she told this to a group of people eating at the table next to us as I was just polishing off my beer. I found myself explaining to a bunch of strangers that we were in the beginning stages of adoption. and that I was definitely for sure not "expecting".
That summer we submitted our application to the state to be licensed for adoption/foster care on my birthday. 

Less than 2 weeks later we were matched with a child.

We hadn't even finished our licensing process yet. Everything I had read, or listened to on adoption podcasts was; adoption takes for fucking ever. So be patient. 

Nope. Life was like "You want another kid?" and here you go. boop. done. 

The child seemed to be a perfect match. We were able to slowly get to know each other and it was looking like a smooth path to transition them into our home and, wow. Who knew adoption could be so easy. 
After months of working towards this transition, OCS (office of children's services) plainly stated that we would not be able to adopt this child (for many reasons and a very long story that is not mine to tell) but asked us to please be foster parents to them anyway. 

Well, fuck.

We knew the case could take years to play out and we had some big life decisions to make. We chose to stand by the child and do everything possible for them that was in their best interest, because, that was why we signed up for this circus in the first place. To help a kid that needed it. Was it what we wanted? No. We had no interest in fostering. Would it mean we might not ever adopt after seeing this foster situation through? We didn't know.. 

But as Anna says in pursuit of saving Arendelle and her sister, Elsa, "Just do the next right thing." (where my parents at??). That Disney movie was released just when we needed it. And that has been my motto throughout this whole journey: Just do the next right thing. 
Almost two years later and countless court hearings and OCS visits and family visits and interviews and therapy sessions and tears and meetings and an adoption home study and many signatures later.. 

We are adopting this child tomorrow. 

The child who has called me Mommy since before we knew what COVID was. The child that placed their hand on my unshaven leg and told me it was starting to grow a beard. The child that calls my daughter, 'sister'. The child who had 3 foster placements before moving in with us and the one who you all know as 'Pat'. The kid behind the scenes one of my most favorite emails and discount codes ever, "POOPWATER" and the child that I will now have the privilege of raising and calling my own.

This journey has been. a. fucking. trip. you guys. But tomorrow will be one of the most important, most fulfilling days of my life so far and god damn it who is cutting all of these onions in here while I am typing this. I can't even see. shit.

My heart is so full I want to shout the news from our rooftop. Tomorrow is adoption day and finally, my soul can rest knowing that this kid is right where they need to be. While adoption can be bittersweet, as it never comes without a loss, in this case, it really is a happy ending. 

I'm feeling all the feelings tonight and just had to write about it, diary. I'm sure you understand. 

I can't believe the day has actually come. 
With that, I am signing off and passing the baton to Holly who is going to add some things about salt and stuff. I'm going to try rest up for our big day of:

1. Pancakes for breakfast
2. No school because it's a special day
3. Picking out a cake at Safeway because I'm not that domestic
4. Attending our adoption court hearing
5. Balloons and presents
6. Celebrating with pizza dinner and cake
7. Crying happy tears a bunch
8. Hugging my family and beginning our new chapter. 
9. Posting pics of my kids all over the internet because I have some pent up photo sharing to take care of.

There's something about not being allowed to do something for so long that makes me really want to do it a bunch.
You're likely going to read this email "tomorrow" (Thursday) after Holly adds some stuff and fixes my typos and hits send. Because she is awesome like that. I know she is working up something "spicy" that you won't want to miss - I didn't want to send my email with out sharing, so we are doing this weird overnight, hand off thing where she is sending this tomorrow. Anyway. 

Signing off at 12:55 am on April 15th, OFFICIALLY ADOPTION DAY!!!

Yay. I love you guys. Wish us luck.

- Britni

Hey, Salties! Still here? It is indeed now Thursday, April 15, and I'm beaming with happiness on this Really Big Day! Congratulations, Siekaniec family!

But I have a different baby to talk about. A food baby, of sorts. One we've been cooking up for literal years (even Pre Pat), but wasn't even a real thing you could hold in your hands as of last night. But it is.... now. I made one of the things. For photos.

A mere 18 hours ago Britni and I were wrapping up a full day of meetings and brainstorming and doing things for opening our Spit Shop this weekend, the building we haven't occupied in 7 months which has nothing in it, and we thought "Ya know, we could do MORE."

So the trigger was pulled and serious work began on this new product that we would release today. The jars arrived the day before (via a barge - an actual boat delivers our jars). All the ingredients were on hand after being lost in the mail, finally. All I had to do was double-check the recipe and apply any tweaks (I did make some), design a product label to fit on  some blank label paper we have on hand for "emergencies", write the copy for the label and the website, check in with Britni at 12:57am, and again at 8:30am, calculate ingredient weights and price it, fill a jar, print out a label and stick it on nice and straight, take and edit a product photo, and ... now here we are. I'm running on little sleep and feel I've written all the words already and so without further ado (what does that even mean?), here it is. The very first official Spit Spice blend:
Please squint your eyes so you don't see the awful photo editing job I did. I'm at the office and did this with my laptop trackpad instead of a mouse so it wasn't fun. But the goal is to get this to you ASAP and I mainly care that all the things work and the links are right. So I sacrifice. For you. 
Click on that Shop button to read the story behind this spice blend! It's become a staple in my home and I'm so excited we are releasing it to the world today!
If you missed it in our socials, we are partnering with Telesomm to host a Salty AF Wine Tasting event and it is going to be SO much fun. Please, come drink some wine, virtually, with Britni and Holly. Let us know if you have questions!
Still me, Holly, here. Discount code time! I've been thinking about the series of good things that have been or are just about to happen (in like, less than an hour) to our Salt Co. family so here's a sappy, not funny, but like, it still works the same, deal for you: 10% off your entire order with code GOODTHINGS

Discount valid until 11:59pm Alaska time on Sunday, April 18. 

Good luck to all the anglers competing in the Winter King Tourmament this weekend! If you're in Homer, please stop by our shop on the Homer Spit! We'll be open Saturday 11:00-5:00 and Sunday 11:00-3:00. Hope to see you there or in the beer garden in the afternoon!


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