Wednesday, October 21, 2009

car seat tipping

When I was going through some low moments related to our infertility and dramatic adoption process I struggled with seeing families every where I went. This was a hard way to live since kids and moms are everywhere! Every time while in the grocery store I wanted to tip over all the car seats as a way to express my frustration! Of course I did not act on this thought...we likely wouldn't have been approved to adopt then!

I was struck the other day that I am now a part of the same club that I struggled with for all those years. Now when I'm in the grocery store with baby T are there any women present who would like to tip over my car seat? Likely there are.

I hurt knowing that I am now a part of what causes hurt for other women.

I'm not sure where to go with this except to continually be aware that there are many more "me's" still out there who long to have a family and for whatever reason are unable. To be sensitive to how much "family talk" I do when in groups. And to put myself out there and share my story so those who didn't need to give family planning a second thought become aware of and more sensitive to the rest of us.

Monday, October 19, 2009

i wished for you

As a gift T received the book "I Wished for You: an adoption story" by Marianne Richmond. I wasn't familiar with this kids adoption book. I opened it up during the get together.

I read this page...
"Did you ever think," wondered Barley, "that your wish might not come true?"

"Oh yes..." said Mama, remembering how long the waiting seemed sometimes. "I wished for you through many phone calls...and through mountains of paperwork. I wished for you while I waited and waited...and waited."
and cried.

I love this book. The story includes sections on first moms and transracial families. While there are parts that I don't agree with like insinuating through the use of faith based language that the adopted child was "meant to be." But these parts are small and overall think the book is really good. T has heard it (while in a dozy state) many times already and I can now get through it without shedding a tear!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

this mommy thing

I’ve been thinking about this post for quite some time but I haven’t been completely sure how to articulate what I am feeling and thinking. I’m still not really sure. I’m a verbal processor much more than a thinker through writing. But I’m going to give it a try.

Many people have asked me how I am processing motherhood. The answer to this question is complex. I don’t feel like a mom. I mostly feel like a babysitter in an extended babysitting situation! I’m sure this whole phenomenon of not getting the mom thing right away is common for biological moms as well. I get that bonding and attachment are a process as is adjustment to a new life situation. But there’s more to my story because of how the adoption process weaved its way into my very core.

During a conversation with someone a few weeks ago I was able to clarify part of what I am feeling. I don’t feel as though I have earned the title of mother. Some have told me that I quite possibly have earned it more than others because of our journey (obviously this is not a competition). But I don’t feel it. I didn’t carry him for 9 months. Didn’t go through the nausea, weight gain, feel uncomfortable, have heartburn. And of course, I didn’t deliver him. To me all of these things are milestones, if you will, on the journey towards motherhood. It doesn’t mean that you are bonded instantly to your child after delivery but to me there a sense of entitlement. (By this I don’t mean ownership). My sense is that I feel this way because in general most people do build biological families and this is my frame of reference. In many ways I feel that J has earned her role as mother in T’s life far more than I have.

How many diapers do I need to change or how sleep deprived do I need to be to feel like I have earned this role?

I am also coming to realize how convinced I really was that I would never be a mom. Maybe not consciously considering we were actively pursuing adoption. But in my sub-conscious I was sure this would never happen. My brain knew that in all likelihood we would someday get picked by an expectant mom. But my heart knew that it would never happen. So now that I am a mom I feel like I’m living in a different dimension which requires me to shift my line of thinking and create a new paradigm. A new way of looking at the world. The world I knew was always about me not being a mom.

I’m now working at peeling back the layers so carefully placed on my heart. Those layers served an important function all those months…protection. Ridding myself of the protective layers is much easier said than done. We so quickly went from non-parents to parents. I’m still often shocked at everything that happened and can’t believe that the child in my house is really my son.

As I’m working through all these things I do know that baby T and I have bonded and are attaching. He knows my voice, calms in my arms, and locks eyes with me. He is adorable and an absolute blessing in our lives.

Baby T isn’t going anywhere. He is here to stay. On paper he is my son. I now need to believe it in my heart.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

talking about race

I recently saw this video about how to tell people they sound racist posted on A's blog A+A adopt a baby. I posted it here for your viewing pleasure as well.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

more about God and adoption

I was catching up on my blog reading and came across this interesting post called Oops, God Did It Again from Heather at Production Not Reproduction that I think needs to be shared.

Probably everyone by now has heard about the inept fertility clinic which transferred another couple's embryos into a woman, forcing her to choose between becoming an unintentional gestational surrogate or terminating the pregnancy. (She chose to continue the pregnancy and the resulting baby boy was handed to his genetic parents at birth.) Just a pretty crappy situation all the way around. Most coverage I've seen agrees that (a) both families deserve a lot of sympathy and (b) the people running that clinic are idiots..

Click here to continue reading...

Friday, October 9, 2009

the open adoption roundtable

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. Click here to link to what other bloggers are writing about this topic. This is my first contribution to the OA Roundtable, feels so good to be a part of the community!

This month's OA Roundtable topic is on privacy and open adoption. The question posed is:
Where do you draw the lines--on your blog and in your personal life--and why? What, if anything, don't you tell?
I thought the question was interesting and something that I am currently working through in my personal life, more so than my blog, given that we just adopted baby T. How much of his story do I share with others? What do people need to know versus want to know?

I’ve read on blogs how some adoptive parents regret sharing as much information in the beginning as they did. And once it’s out there you can’t take it back. But yet at the same time I think there is room for sharing some of the story. To keep everything to ourselves creates more suspicion and mystery about adoption than needed. And as it is, there are already too many adoption related myths that we need to work to debunk. I feel that if I’m too secretive I’m not allowing some of those opportunities to be an educator for adoption reform to come into my life.

Some of the questions we’ve received since having T are interesting. But more often than not people want to know how old his birthmom is. It’s as if people are trying to validate her placing her child for adoption based on her age. If she is a teenager then it may be viewed more positively than if she is older. What many people don’t realize is that generally speaking teenagers decide to parent whereas many older mom’s decide on adoption depending on their specific situations*. This seems so odd to many people. But when you really stop to think about it there is some logic to this. Often teenagers have support from family to raise a child whereas a woman in her 20’s may be left to do it on her own with no or very little support from anyone. And with age comes a bit of wisdom and the realization of what parenthood really involves. I also think that with age there is an ability to look beyond ourselves at the bigger picture in life, the ability to take a hard look at our life situation and make certain decisions based on where we’re at. So we have shared J’s age, as she is older, and with the disclosing of that information we feel that we are able to work at debunking some of the myths surrounding first moms.

I guess ultimately we need to determine what part of the overall story is ours and what part is T’s. The parts that are his alone need to remain private until he can decide what he shares and to whom. It’s hardest to keep things private when friends and family ask because we want to involve them in our lives but in the end this is not about us. This is about baby T. We need to pay attention now, early on, to what we say and don’t say as this is the foundation we are laying and building upon.

*I realize that this is a generalization and each and every situation is different and unique.

Monday, October 5, 2009

baby likes da funk

We discovered tonight, as baby T was fussing, that he settles down quite nicely when we play loud music with a strong beat. We played Da Funk by Daft Punk and What Planet You On by Bodyrox featuring Luciana among many others (don't ask me about these songs or groups, they're on D's play list and I don't have a clue!). You too can listen here and here to join in the dance party!

(Okay, the Da Funk video is totally weird!)

Friday, October 2, 2009

a sweet moment

The other day we had a visitor and she was holding baby T. T started to wake up in his grunting billy goat fashion (this is hilarious!). I went to the bathroom quick before our visitor would be passing him off to me (no one feeds T except for D and I right now). When I came back into the living room I stood by our visitor who still had T, I spoke to T and as he heard my voice his head cranked sideways to find me.

This gives me warm fuzzies! T didn't hear my voice while in utero for 9 months so it warms my heart to know that he is already getting to know me as his mom.