Monthly Archives: March 2009

THREE.

Three short years ago, there was really no way to comprehend how full my heart would be with being a mommy to our little Woob.  As I’m writing this at just a little after eight in the morning, I realize that only the following had yet happened:

1.  We were called to show up at the hospital around 5 a.m. to wait in a little waiting room off the emergency. 

2.  We were called just prior to 6:30 by N.’s Dad who was in the delivery room.  We had not yet met him, but he called to say the baby had been born, and “wait a second…”  We waited, and a few seconds later, we heard the first cry of the baby who would become our son.  What a gift.  I am still in awe that he thought to do that–he didn’t have to.

3.  We met Woob’s grandparents for the first time on the hospital ward.

4.  We saw the naked, squalling, newborn through the glass, getting his vitals checked and all the poking and prodding that’s involved with coming into the world.

And that’s it.  By this time on that day, we had not yet met N. in person, not yet held our son, talked to his family about his history and their wishes, met with tiresome attorneys…given first baths, baptized, heard first words, watched first steps, taught first words, taken to daycare, rocked to sleep a thousand times, fed solid foods, giggled, cried, pulled in a wagon, pushed on a swing, climbed on a slicky slide, gone to the ocean, taken to the zoo, played in the snow, and on and on and on…and all of the other miracles that came along the way till now.  How could we have possibly known the joy we’d feel?

Woob, I love you with all my heart and still can’t believe you are with us.  I pray every day that I succeed in doing right by you, in giving you what you need to grow up healthy and happy and strong.  May the sun shine on you today.  You’re THREE! (That means you get to go roller skating! 😉  )

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under adoptee, adoption, birthdays, birthparents, motherhood, open adoption, reflection, things that make me smile

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

The course of our lives have been altered, not only by having a pre-schooler in our house, but also by having a DVR.  Putting the two together is a dangerous mix.  The kid thinks he can watch any show he wants to at any time he wants to–its just MAGIC!  And through this magic, at 8:00 EVERY night, we watch the SAME two episodes of Clifford the Big Red Dog before bedtime.  We have tried to stray from this routine, and at times Woob even suggests watching a different show during settle-down time.  Those times have not been good.  He still expects to see HIS Cliffords before bed–no other episodes will do!  For the record:  “Embarrassing Moments” and “Lucky Charm” are the episodes.  If you have any questions about these episodes, feel free to ask.  I can recite them to you forward and backward, analyze the plot for each and plan on writing a dissertation on them someday.

SATURDAY:

We’re at the in-law’s house doing honey-do’s for P2R’s mom.  She asks if I can delete al 2,342,349,037 recorded episodes of Bold and Beautiful and Young and the Restless off her DVR because she’s run out of room for more.  I hilite the esisode, hit the delete button, and an additional button to verify I am “sure” for about 15 minutes before P2R comes in and says, “you can tag them all to delete them at one time (the “dumbass” on the end of that sentence is implied).

SATURDAY NIGHT:  (You know where this is headed, right??)

I’m having a nice relaxing time after Woob’s bath and am preparing for his bedtime routine from the comfort of my new reclining loveseat.  We’ve had a pretty good day, behavior wise–things have been challenging lately.  I get the DVR set up to play Clifford, and before my brain even thinks about it, I have hit the delete button.  “Oh, but you have another chance–you haven’t confirmed the delete yet,” you might say.  But you would be wrong.  The screen flashed “are you sure you want to delete this episode?” and the instant my thumb pushed “YES,” I realized what I had done, and I gasped loudly.  The reality of the situation set in, and I gasped again, only louder.  Its the same sound I make in the passenger seat when I think P2R is going to hit an animal or person or car.  Sheer panic and bracing for the worst.  P2R had no idea what I was reacting to and honestly for a moment I couldn’t speak to tell him.  It was gone.  Irretrevably gone.  We would have to deal with it. 

We TRIED to sneak a new Clifford in, but to no avail.

So until we can find our espisodes to repeat and record for the big screen, we are eternally grateful for the other magic that is Y*u T*be.

1 Comment

Filed under adoption

And then there’s the other side of things…

As I discussed earlier, things are going along pretty smoothly with Woob’s birthmom and our contact.  (I know, give me a month and I’ll be moaning and complaining again about lack of contact or something).  But there will always I think, be a struggle a little bit on OUR side related to the openness.  Its one that’s always been there and it has changed a bit over time, but as new things come up, out pops the issue.  What I’m talking about here is the contant need for us to educate, explain, justify, defend not only our own choices and actions within this adoption, but also those of Woob’s first family.  We have countless times had to explain our choice to adopt, defend our choices related to how much contact we have with N and her family, how we choose to talk to Woob about his adoption and origins, etc.  People somehow believe that although we should talk to Woob less about adoption related things, that THEY somehow should be privy to all the nitty gritty details, AND be able to give commentary about those details.  BLECH.

What spurs this little rant of mine is conversation with my mom yesterday.  Erm…seems that I forgot to tell her that N. had another baby.  Maybe I didn’t really forget so much as avoid the topic and forget that the conversation never took place.  But can you blame me?  Its not a topic that just comes up easily, especially when you know you’re going to get the whole “OMG-anotherbaby-what-is-she-thinking-and-how-will-she-ever-take-care-of-them-who-is-the-father-and-why-isnt-she-on-birth-control-and-cant-she-just-stop….”  Its not just from my mom, but that’s what got me going yesterday.  Woob and I were telling about our visit and that Woob got to meet his new sister.  “Huh?  NEW sister?  When was she born (does the math in her head)?  But J was just born a year ago! (does more math) That means she had three babies in three years! (Bravo, mom, you can count to three!).    And this isn’t really a “oh, wow, that must be hard for her…” kind of reaction, but more of an “are you kidding me?” kind of one.  Um, and Woob in the meantime is right there in the back seat.  And later as she brings it up again while we’re at the mall, I refer to Woob’s sisters as his sisters.  “He really has no idea what that means, you know.  Everybody else who has sisters lives with theirs.”  Me:  “Yes, but if we don’t talk about it now, then he’ll NEVER understand. <sigh>”  And so it goes.   And later, when my dad was around, she says “Granpa, Woob has a new sister.  A NEW BABY SISTER.”  To which he replies, “Hm.”  He was raised to say nothing at all if he had nothing nice to say. 

Some days I feel like carrying around a card with all the answers on it:

  • Yes, it must be difficult to raise two young babies without being married/without the support of the daddy
  • Actually, she is quite smart, and continues to work towards a degree, despite lots of hardship
  • No, I don’t know/care how many guys she’s slept with/what type birth control she uses–I’ll ask her those questions if you tell me all about your total sexual history so I can pass it on to her.
  • We actually are quite fond of her/like her/enjoy knowing how she’s doing/like talking to her
  • Eh, no, she isn’t going to try to reclaim Woob.  Why would she?
  • Eh, no, she isn’t going to give us her other kids.  Why should she?
  • We/she would appreciate your prayers for health, safety, and security for her family as opposed to your criticism.  They take the same amount of time.
  • She is one of the hardest working people I know. 
  • She is one of the bravest people I know.
  • She is one of the most honest people I know.
  • She’s my son’s mother.  Have some respect.

I’m sure there are many more responses, but time is running short.  Back to convo’s with my mom.  I really feel like we have to have these conversations even when they’re hard and when I’m defensive and protective to keep slogging through it all.  But, Oh the Frustration!

And all these things cause me to hold back on our end.  Here’s the thing:  we have been welcomed into N’s life and introduced to family and friends from the beginning.  That has to be SO hard for her/them to do.  We have welcomed N and her family into our home and our immediate family, but we’ve been reluctant to pull her into our bigger family/friend circle because of the judgment, because people obviously don’t really know how to “behave” around us.  I fear for what it would be like for her if she were in their midst–would they “behave” around her?  Would they ask her stupid/embarrassing questions?  Would they ignore her for lack of anything better to do?  It saddens me that I even have to ask these questions.  It saddens me to keep her at arm’s length.  It saddens me that I’ve felt the need to distance myself from long-term friends because of things like this.  I’m sad for her, for Woob, and for us. 

But we’ll eventually work through it, probably sooner than later.  Because the last thing my mom said on the subject yesterday?  “I’d like to meet her someday.”  But we’ve got more work to do first.

7 Comments

Filed under adoption, birthparents, growing family, motherhood, open adoption, reflection, vent

Open Adoption: The Destination

This post is in honor of HeatherPNR’s brilliant  idea to compile an open adoption blogroll (see the pretty hot pink button on the right of the screen?  You can have one too!). 

I’ve started to write it a few zillion times from a few zillion angles, and several drafts still sit in my draft box all lonely and dusty.  And here I sit again, for some reason struggling to write out our journey to open adoption.  Why am I struggling with this?  Maybe its because in the beginning, openness wasn’t our primary destination?  Because we feel a little sheepish about that?  Because the only real NEGATIVE feedback/comments I’ve gotten on this blog, came from a very difficult, but honest post in which I outlined some of the harder things about our particular open adoption?  I don’t know.  So I’m not going to write out our journey, but maybe be able to outline our intentions. 

We are a week out from our visit with N. and her girls over the weekend.  It was nice.  It was relatively easy and stress free.  It was short (but necessarily so, what with all the muchkins needing NAPS!).   This was the first time Woob and we met his newest baby sister, who, by the way, is just a tiny little cute baby bug.  Very snuggly and pink 🙂 .  Big sister J., was gorgeous and charming–batting her eyelashes over her big beautiful green eyes and following Woob around wherever he would go.  Smothering him with a tackle  toddler hug.  So sweet.  We got to catch up with N. and her dad, and have a quick word with N.’s mom as well.  After a what seemed like a long draught from contact with N., we had been able to pick up a little more over the past few weeks, so were a little bit better caught up than usual.  That made it easier to just sit and enjoy the kids.  It has been way too long, though since we got together.  All the growth of the kids makes it seem all the more rushed to try to show off new tricks and skills and personalities in such a short window of time.  One thing that seemed a little different about this time as opposed to the others–it seemed like N. was more able?, or willing?, or comfortable???  focusing on and interacting Woob.  It seemed like there was less distance there, which I’m so happy about.  She’d had a chance to talk with him briefly over the phone a few times in the last week or two.  Before, he would refuse to talk to anyone on the phone.  But now, he’s able and willing to have a fairly coherent conversation with someone, and I think N. was amazed that he’s becoming this “real person” as opposed to a little baby, and the fact that he was interacting with HER directly, back and forth, really warmed her heart.  It was also pretty cool that N. and I are able to sit and talk as parent peers as opposed to first mom/adoptive mom.  Talking about milestones, discipline, and “what did you do when this came up?”, or complaining about sleep issues…its all so NORMAL and nice to be able to relate to one another that way.  And Woob spent time sitting on her lap looking at books and pictures for awhile until something else caught his eye.  All in all, a really great day.

You know what?  Three years ago, this is not exactly what we envisioned when we were headed for this adoption.  One year ago (four days before Woob’s birth!), we hadn’t heard from N., directly or through our agency worker.  We were just told to trust that things would work out the way they would work out.  We were trudging through our lives with the goal of bringing home a baby we didn’t even know yet.  At this time three years ago, we only knew N. through one single phone conversation a month before.   We couldn’t have imagined the day, not really, where we would share visits at one another’s homes, chat via text or myspace or email, get acquainted with new siblings, give or ask for advice on parenting, and so much more. 

Our open adoption relationship?  Its by no means perfect, but it feels so right that we are working through it.  Woob knows his family, we all get along, he is loved by all, he can play with his sisters reasonably whenever he wants to, he will know his family history, he will know exactly who he looks like, and someday, he will be able to go straight to the source when he needs reasons for why he was placed.  Its something we’ve been talking about a little more often lately, N. and I.  She worries that he’ll hate her or have problems or what have you…I make no guarantees that he won’t be angry or act out behaviorally, but because we’re able to talk, I can reassure her of what WE’RE doing to make sure that doesn’t happen.  We’ll be able to work some things out now, so Woob won’t have to do some of the hard stuff later–he’ll be able to concentrate on some of the more important issues related to his adoption instead of searching and finding and worrying about first contact. 

So there you have it.  Our adoption journey landed at this previously unknown destination–its a place we’re very happy to be.

1 Comment

Filed under adoption, birthparents, Blogroll, open adoption, reflection