Category Archives: motherhood

Two Conversations

Woob has become such the little chatterbox these days…he NEVER stops and he’s pretty funny most of the time. We never know what’s going to comeout of his mouth next, and the topic can change so quickly your head spins.  Here are two conversations we had just at bathtime, all within a three minute period.

Woob: Mom is this my scr()tum?

Me:  Yep, sure is.

Woob:  I want to call it my udders, like on a cow.  Do boy cows have scr()tums?

Me:  Yes, I’m sure they do, but girl cows have udders.

Woob:  (very decidedly) Well, I have udders.

What a hoot that boy is!  Immediately following, I’m drying him off and he looks at me seriously.

Woob:  Who is YOUR daddy?

Me:  Pappaw is my daddy.

Woob:  I have two daddies.  (This is the first time he’s initiated discussion about firstdad).

Me:  Yes you do.

Woob:  (excitedly and with a huge grin) AND I have two moms! You’re my mommy and so is N.!!

Me:  How special that you have two mommies who love you very much. (big hugs and kisses)

He’s initiating adoption (AND body parts) discussion really often lately.  I’m glad he is, I think he’s just trying on the words for size and trying to understand how everyone fits together and make sense of it all.  I can’t imagine being a family that doesn’t tell a kiddo about their adoption (OR their body parts) until “they’re ready.”  I know people have their reasons and all, but it seems like having a head start and being able to layer all the information over time is so valuable in the long run.

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under adoptee, adoption, birthparents, growing up, motherhood, open adoption

Open Adoption Roundtable–Better Late than Never!

Okay, Okay…I’m lame at this whole blogging thing. In my own defense, I’ve been battling laziness, potty training a three year old, working full time, going on fabulous beach vacations (well, just one), laundry, various family events, and elderly in-laws—one of which just had knee replacement surgery yesterday morning a county away. Oh, yeah, and facebook 🙂  Forgive me?

And, because I’m lame, I missed the deadline for Heather PNR’s inaugural Open Adoption Round Table discussion topic, but since I am somewhat of a rule follower, and want people to like me, I’m going to go ahead and submit a post.

This whole blog started because we were not really in an open adoption when we began. For some, the fact that Woob’s firstmother “chose” us via profile and phone discussion, that we all actually MET in person and spent two days together following Woob’s birth, and that we started out writing letters and sending pics to Woob’s grandpa would constitute an open adoption. But to me, the fact that his firstmom stated she didn’t want contact after we left the hospital (but were welcome to keep in touch with her dad) meant that the adoption was very closed, indeed.

I had such anxiety leaving that hospital, especially after getting to know N. and her mom and dad, thinking that we would never be friends, that Woob might never know his biological family—especially siblings that might come along (and two did come along!). Looking back I guess I don’t know exactly what I though our imaginary future open adoption might look like for sure, other than I just KNEW it would be lovely, and satisfying, and ideal for everyone involved. 

And so things went for about a year, and BAM! the following spring, we hear from N. and everything changes!  We started having visits, emails, and occasional phone conversations.  I was going to get my lovely, satisfying, ideal-for-everyone adoption scenario after all!  Um, reality can be hard sometimes, folks.  Now that you have the quick background, we can get to the given assignment. 

What would I tell my “then” self about open adoption now that I’ve lived in it awhile?

  • Even though it may very well be lovely, satisfying, and ideal-for-everyone sometimes, there are also times that it is none of those things, a combination of those things, or true for some people in the party but not others.
  • There is no way you can actually picture the way the relationships will flow from day to day, week to week, or month to month.  We all will have things going on that do and do not relate to adoption that impact what we’re able to focus on or give at any given time.
  • You will have insecurities about things that you don’t expect, and will feel secure in things that you thought you’d feel insecure about.
  • When you let another person, or people into your heart, you have more people to worry over–this has its problems and its blessings.
  • This thing called open adoption is a privelege, certainly not a right, and should be handled with care.
  • Trust your heart.  Despite all that’s involved, for our family, this will be a GOOD thing.
  • As much as you’d like them to, and try to help them, some people in the world will NEVER understand open adoption, nor do they apparently want to…that’s their problem and not yours.

Bottom line:  our contact comes and goes, we parent differently, we make different kinds of choices, lead different types of lives.  We care about one another and our families.  We celebrate the growth and accomplishment of our children.  We care what happens to one another.  My son knows who his first mother is and can see her and learn from her and know who he comes from and who he looks like.  He gets to know his great grandad was in a barbershop quartet and his grandma was in the Army.  He can play ball with his grandpa if he wants.  He can curl up on N.’s lap to read a story, or go chase after his sisters.  Our open adoption offers him far more choices in how he can pursue his relationships and definitions of family as he grows.  It doesn’t mean its easy for us or will be easy for him.  We just all feel like its the best thing we can do for him and for his sisters.  Someday (WAAAYYYY down the road!) all of the sets of parents will be gone, and he’ll be able to keep a sense of his past and share the future with family without having to struggle to hunt it down and make sense of it.

I believe that its one of the biggest gifts we can give our son.

4 Comments

Filed under adoption, birthparents, motherhood, open adoption, reflection

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! 😉  )

5 Comments

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

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

Good Stuff

Despite the general gloominess of my blog lately, things here are pretty darn good.  Despite the fact that hubby is in bed looking simply puny with a temp of 101.5, and my kid is coughing like there’s no tomorrow, I’m doing really well.  I had an extra day off work today and got a few things done around the house.  I was able to buy a few Christmas presents (finally), and I was able to meet sme deadlines prior to leaving work for Thanksgiving.  We’re planning a visit for this weekend to N.’s (hoping hubby starts feeling better by then).

My boy is growing strong and smart and knows important facts and states them way out loud to whoever will listen, “Pee comes out my PEEEnis.  Poop comes out my BUTT!”  Basic biology…check.  He has a wicked sense of humor and can recite old time Bugs Bunny cartoons in proper voice.  He sings funny songs like “old MacDonald had a shark” and loves all things football, baseball, soccer, and golf.  And air hockey.  And cars.  And, and, and.  Christmas is going to be soooooo fun this year.  He looks through the toy catalogs on Sundays and goes over it a million times, “What’s THAT?  I want THAT!  What’s THAT?”  He told Santa he wanted power tools 😉  He knows that someday he will play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and will tell anyone who asks that “Kentucky is YUCKY!”  He’ll say the same about Dallas Cowboys.  He’ll also let you know (as his grandmother told him,) that his Daddy brainwashed him. 

There are a hundred times a day that are just plain hard.  Potty training has gone three steps forward and 90 steps back.  I lose my temper sometimes and of course, my patience.  But then I am remeinded that my buddy likes hot chocolate, and wants nothing more than to go outside and play even though its 32 degrees, and raining, and that Buzz Lightyear boots make the world go round, and my heart melts.

I don’t know why I deserve the blessing of him in my life every day, but am so thankful that I have it. 

Happy Belated Thanksgiving.

5 Comments

Filed under adoption, motherhood, not much, things that make me smile

What Could’ve Been / What Is

And here it is…my would’ve been due date.  It didn’t really sneak up on me, as its always kind of in the corner of my mind, but I haven’t really allowed it its full impact for awhile.  There will be time for that on my road trip this afternoon, if its going to get me today.  Its hard to believe that nine months have passed…

And as always, within this space of time, life has gone on in so many ways.  Friends and co-workers have gone on to adopt, become pregnant, give birth to children.  Just today, an online friend is going in for a frozen egg transfer (fingers crossed, Emily!!).  I’m so happy for them all.  But when things like that fall so close to my own datelines, I can’t stop thinking about what it would be like to be going to the hospital today for a final checkup, or be in labor, or going in for a C-section.  I will always wonder what those things would have been like.  I don’t feel selfish about that, just feel like its a natural thing to do, to wonder, to daydream, to grieve. 

Of course, some things can make it a little harder along the way…recently me and Woob were out to eat with a close family member.  Woob was being a little stink.  Family member was chuckling and said, “Just think, if your IVF would have ‘taken,’ what you would have to deal with!”  Haha, yes, so very funny (NOT).  FYI–the IVF did ‘take,’ and for a short period of time, there was a baby, our baby, growing inside me.  It was very real.  And I would have taken the responsibility very seriously.  And we would have been just fine, thank you.  Financially strapped and sleep deprived and irritable and happy and fulfilled.  Just fine.  People just don’t think sometimes. 

There was a time when I would’ve tried to keep the infertility stuff on the other blog, but its long since been abandoned and unloved.  And I realize that the infertility stuff and the adoption stuff are so interrelated, that its silly to separate them right now. 

Like the other people in my life, things are moving forward for N. as well. As I was approaching my never-to-be-realized due date last week, I found out that we will, in fact be adding to our extended family once again.  N. is expecting.  SOON.  Woob will again be a big brother to a little sister.  The little girls will be almost exactly one year apart.  We had been so out of touch lately, and when I found out the news I immediately panicked about the whole situation with the baby’s dad (outlined in a password protected post).  Once I was able to get more info, the panic melted away, and I’m in a better place with it.  And I’m also relieved in another way.  I initially was having trouble deciphering whether my feelings about this pregnancy were my own jealousy, grief, etc., spilling out onto N.  Overall, I don’t think so.  Once I learned that N. and babies would be safe and provided for, everything evened out for me.    Among other things related to adoption and infertility, both certainly lend themselves to a lot of second guessing about my own feelings and their origins, and it can get rather tiring.

So that’s the state of the union today…a baby that wasn’t to be, going alone on a road trip away from the baby I have, and a new baby on the way.

11 Comments

Filed under adoption, birthparents, grief, infertility, adoption, motherhood, open adoption, reflection

Meet our New Twins! (And other weekend events)

We have two new additions to our household.  Last week our washer busted and Friday we purchased a new and lovely Whirlpool Duet Sport washer and dryer set.  The washer:  front load with an internal water heater for whiter whites and those tricky stains, and above all else, can handle washing a king sized comforter without breaking a sweat!  The poor dears have been working non-stop since Saturday night. 

Whirlpool WGD8500SR White w/Sterling Brght Accents Duet Sport(TM) ...

In other news, regarding another member of our household…mornings have gotten better.  We have instituted a new no-nonsense 8:30 bedtime.  Even a half hour more of sleep per night seems (so far…knock on wood, please) to make a huge difference to a certain pre-schooler we know.  For a few days straight we are back to 1’s and 2’s.  I’m a happy, happy mom.  I hear bluebirds.

Saturday, among lots of other things that happened, I took Woob to see his first movie.  He knows Madascar by heart forwards and backwards.  So we took him, with no small amount of trepidation, to see the sequel.  He did beautifully.  So, all you other Mothers of the Year…you’ll not condemn me for the fact that on Saturday, Woob’s lunch consisted of Twizzlers, Chocolate Covered Raisins, popcorn, a juice box, and milk…will you?  I can’t believe he didn’t throw up, but he did sit through the entire movie except for the 5 minutes we needed to walk the sugary jitters off.  (Mich, I think you’re onto something with the whole Halloween candy for breakfast thing…I mean, it GETS THE JOB DONE!) 

Just a cute side note:  Gloria is the hippo in the movie.  Last night as we began supper, I was so excited to eat a nice hot bowl of burgoo that I exclaimed, “Oh, glorious burgoo!”  To which Woob replied…wait for it…have you guessed it yet?   “Its NOT Gloria’s burgoo, its Mommy’s burgoo!” 

I do love that boy. Very Much.

And with that, I must go start a letter to his mom, N., whom I feel I’ve neglected so much the past month, and there are so many things to tell her.

3 Comments

Filed under adoption, motherhood, not much, things that make me smile