Tuesday, November 24, 2009

baby t is an "other"

Yesterday I filled out a form to add T to my work insurance plan. I needed to complete the section titled "addition of dependent spouse and/or child." These were my options...

Legal spouse
Common law spouse
Natural son
Natural daughter


I was less than impressed with these options. I understand what they mean and given the common occurrence of blended families today they couldn't possibly include all potential categories (for lack of a better word). However, I would have preferred the word biological versus natural. Is T unnatural? And there must be a better way to format this form.

Why does it matter anyway to my employer whether or not my spouse is legal or common law? If my son entered our family through biology or adoption? A spouse should be a spouse and a child a child. Either way I need to show documentation that I have a dependent and my coverage doesn't change depending on how my child entered my family. (For that matter, what difference does it make if the child is male or female?).

Checking off the "other" box contributes to my feelings that I haven't earned motherhood. That I'm not a "real" mom. Thanks, Blue Cross, for your help in this.

Oh, and I will be writing them a letter. I've already got the name of the person to send it too. I can work for form at a time!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

an outsider within

I'm borrowing the title and concept of the book Outsiders Within for this blog post because it is just so fitting and I couldn't resist. If you are touched by international and transracial adoption this is a must read.

During a recent get together with other women who have children I was struck by the feeling of being a part of the group, but yet not...

An outsider within.

I can relate to many of the topics discussed about infant care but when the "let me tell you about my labor experience" comes up I am unable to participate. Or when moms talk about how junior looks just like so and so. I can talk about how my son looks like his birth mom and how I labored in my own way to have a child but this isn't really what people want to hear about at that particular time. I don't want to stop their conversation by adding in my own reality because it feels sort of awkward.

For so long I worked to intentionally avoid conversations related to pregnancy and delivery. Now I find myself a part of this mom club where inevitably the a fore mentioned topics are discussed. Although I'm sure no one thinks twice about the fact that I became a mother through adoption, I feel like an outsider, like I don't completely belong to the club.

But yet I do belong.

Even though I don't feel it at the moment, the outsider within view will likely allow me to gain unique insights that may not be available to those who have entered into parenthood the "regular" way. My experience of parenting will be different. Not completely different in every way but perhaps the uniqueness of my family will enrich my life in ways currently unknown.

In the meantime, I'm still learning how to navigate the world of moms.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

perspective at 2:00 in the morning

Baby T isn't a great sleeper, during the day or night. We're often up 2-3 times during the night, which in itself isn't unreasonable for a 2 month old, but T struggles sleeping anywhere that doesn't involve mine or D's arms. There are times when at 2:00 in the morning it takes 1 1/2 hours to get him back into the crib. (For interest sake I have thought of co-sleeping but he is a noisy grunty baby!).

I've found that I am in general less willing to "complain" about the things that are hard about having an infant in the house. It's not that I feel like I'm not entitled to talk about the difficulties because we choose this and wanted it for so long, but rather I very clearly remember listening to many, many parents complain about what they found hard and the whole while I was thinking, "yes, it is hard, remember to enjoy your baby and be thankful that you have one."

At 2:00 in the morning while holding baby T, watching the minutes tick oh so slowly on the clock, I do acknowledge that it is hard, of course I would love it if he slept great on his own and didn't need holding for an hour...but mostly I love the fact that I have the great privilege of snuggling this beautiful boy who is my son. I know that this time will pass too quickly and soon he won't want to be held and rocked for hours on end. Soon he will be too big (ok, that is coming sooner rather than later!) to fit like a puzzle piece in my arms.

I waited for a really long time to have the opportunity to be up in the middle of the night with a baby, I will be realistic about the hard stuff but at the same time I feel so blessed to gaze into the dozing eyes of this ridiculously cute sweet pea...even at 2:00 in the morning.