In this economy, we all have to focus on the basics, but with children it is also important to make sure we allow for some special moments at amusement parks, beaches, spending time at the pool, going to sporting events, zoos, museums, and shows because those are the memories that kids (and their parents) will cherish forever.

Each year of my son’s life, I have made him an album capturing some of our favorite moments. This year’s album, however, is extra special for it is filled with faces of loved ones I had always longed for and wondered about, yet for over three decades I lived with only one photo of my father, and none of my extended family.

This past week, I took my son to visit our newly discovered relatives. Watching my son bond with everyone brought me more joy than I ever could have imagined, and finally having some one-on-one time with my long lost cousins is something I will always cherish, although the thought of all the years we lost does pain me.

I realize I will not always be here to remind my son about the entire story that has unfolded over the last seven months, but hopefully enough will be preserved of this beautiful home-coming story that all those involved can carry some piece of it to last a lifetime, and all those that watched it unfold will be inspired in their own lives to think about opening their hearts and minds with their own families.