Friday, August 31, 2012

Life keeps on going

Funny how life doesn't stop when you are trying to grieve.

I still have to go to work.  I still have to parent the boys.  I even had to attend a football game (with tears streaming down my face of course - which thankfully made people avoid me like the plague).  So the urge to curl up in a ball and lay in my bed crying was not even an option.  Honestly, it almost made me mad.  I wanted to cry and the world was not working with me on this!

I will say that I have managed to pull it together.  I actually made dinner last night for the family, and this morning I woke up and was even able to smile at my kiddos.  In an email BF sent me yesterday he said some pretty amazing things to me (I will talk about this some other day, but suffice it to say my best friend pointed out that he pretty much responded to me like a rock star regarding the adoption stuff of late.)  At the end he closed with, "I know these are some pretty crappy days, but for what it's worth, you sure looked nice today when you left for work."  Ah, the beauty of makeup, a hair straightener and dress up clothes.

And just because it is ridiculous, I would like to share a link of the stupid thing that probably turned the tide for me yesterday. Of course, I had not laughed or chuckled for two days.  But yesterday afternoon, I logged on to FB and I saw a friend had posted a link to a blog and it caught my eye.  Only click this link if you are in a place where you can laugh out loud like a fool.  Because that is exactly what happened to me at my desk yesterday.  I nearly cried just from laughter. Ha Has for Hoo Has

Needless to say, this is a new blog I will be following, because twisted humor is just what the doctor ordered.

Now I am off to take a sick boy to the doctor.  A nasty sore throat.  The same sore throat he has had for days, which I just told him was his allergies.  When I actually broke down and looked at his throat this morning, I realized he has sores in it.  Mother of the Year Award, here I come!!!

Just returned from the doctor.  The boy has strep.  So I did my motherly duty by driving him through So.nic and getting him a breakfast burrito and a soda.  Went to the pharmacy and got his antibiotics.  Then I  proceeded to tell him to take the first dose in front of me because I was dropping him off at home and going back to work.  (He is 13, so this is not TECHNICALLY neglect. lol)  And for those who might judge, he has no fever, is in perfect spirits, and is looking forward to spending some alone time with his Playstation 3 without his brothers around.  Really he will be OK.  And if I am ever going to win that coveted Mother of the Year Award, then I have to do something horrible like leaving him home alone sick.  So just consider it further competition for my well deserved award!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Just trying to remember to breathe

BF got a call from Brit's father yesterday.

BF asked him to respond to us in a letter because it felt it wasn't fair that he was only to him and not to both of us.

I have not stopped crying for the past 18 hours.

I have to remember to just breathe.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Name tags

Me and my BFF at a concert a few years ago
Just got off the phone with the person I have called my best friend for the past 15 years.  She and I rarely talk any more.  But when we do, we just pick up where we left off.  Aren't those friends the best?

Anyway, we were just discussing how blurry family lines are now for so many of us.  We have step parents, former step parents, half brothers and sisters, long term live in partners, you get the idea.

She was talking about working through her internal struggle with what name her newly added step-grandchildren would call her.  She was really worried about how her biological grandson would handle hearing his step brother call HIS grandma by the same name.

Birthmother Lisa kicked in.  Immediately I said, "Is the name exclusive for use by just one of your grandchildren? Can you have too many grandmas? "

She said she wanted to be fair to her grandson who has never had to share her with anyone else before. She was concerned for him.

As we talked more, it became apparent that her reaction to this new family dilemma stems from her own childhood.  As a young girl, when visiting her paternal grandparents she was not allowed to even speak about her half brother, they boy she lived with every day. They didn't even acknowledge that he existed since his father was not their son.  She always felt uncomfortable even speaking his name.  She knew it was clear who was and who was NOT family to them.

So sad.

Thankfully she is a better and more sensitive person because of it.  She has gone out of her way to tell her biological grandson that his step brothers and half brothers are always welcome in her home (they are all very little).  She lets him know that anyone that he considers family, she will consider family too.

I suppose that is why I was a little surprised at this newest development.  I know she shows the step-grandchildren love.  She keeps them, buys them gifts, and generally accepts them in the fold as if they are her own.  But it just goes to show how easily we all get hung up on titles.

It's funny to me, because I never have been.  Even when my oldest son was 5 years old (14 years ago!) and his dad and I were divorced.  One day, he confided in me that he didn't know what to call his step-mom.

Without even thinking, I told him that if he wanted to call her MOM when he was at their house, that was just fine with me.  Because at their house, she is the mom.  I assured him that I knew I was his mom and he was allowed to share that name with Christy too, because she is also a mom.  That was the end of that conversation, he was satisfied and he realized that he didn't have to feel guilty. (I strongly suspect he had already been calling her mom but was afraid to tell me.)

I reminded my friend on the phone about the dear little lady who I called mom for many years.  She was not my mother.  She was actually my grandmother's age.  But she treated me like her daughter. As time went on and she and I would sit and visit, I found myself loving her just like she was my mother.  The last few years she was alive, I often found myself calling her mom or momma, as a term of endearment for the special place she held in my heart.

By calling Evelyn mom, I was not renouncing my mother's position in my life.  I still called my mother mom.

I know lots of families who have Aunties and Uncles who have no relationship to the family at all.  It too is a term of endearment.

I asked my friend, what should I call my former step-children?  The kids who I raised in my home for 13 years.  I love them still.  I called them son and daughter when they lived with me.  But now what?  Do I have to take back that name tag?

It all gets so blurry.

So I am just going to call them what I think of them in my heart.  Son, daughter, mom, etc.  And if someone wants to get hung up on the titles, I will let them work that out.  Because it is pretty simple to me.

I have lots of sons.  I have a couple of daughters.  We have even been known to add an extra sister or two from time to time.  It's all good.

As a matter of fact, if someone else creeps into our lives we will welcome him or her with open arms.  And we will figure out what name tag to give them.  Because we have plenty of blank tags for the people we love.  No one has to surrender theirs to give to someone else.  We just make more.  I suppose in our family, name tags are just like love.  There is always plenty to go around.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Got our monthly update

So since the 25th was this past Saturday, we received our email update like clockwork.

We are so lucky that we get that.  It is so nice to hear a couple of paragraphs about what Brit is up to.

There was no mention of our letter or anything of any significance.  BF sent them a reply today thanking them for the email and the photos.

The wait continues.

But for now, the super cute photos that came attached to the email...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Please pray

First of all, thanks to everyone who reached out to me yesterday when the blanket of grief was so heavy.  Why it strikes like that, without a known trigger, I will never understand.  But it is like a freight train that you cannot avoid.

As is true of everyday of my life, I stayed extraordinarily busy until 10pm last night so there was no time for a pity party.  I just pushed through.  By the end of the day I was laughing with friends as we had a chocolate and wine girls night out. (Even though I am one of a handful of people who do not like chocolate - strange I know - however I enjoyed the cheese that was also served and gave away my chocolates to the other ladies.)

But here is what I would like to ask of each of you today.  Please pray.

I expect that Brit's parents will get the letter today.  It took me a long time to get it in the mail because several of my adoptive mom friends helped me edit, rewrite, and soften some of the message.  We dissected every sentence, trying to make sure that the overall message of a desire for a more genuine relationship between our families was not lost because of word choice or presentation.

But now it is completely out of my hands and will be delivered to them.  Please pray specifically for a couple of things...

  • That they will receive the words written in the spirit that they were intended 
  • That their hearts will be softened toward us and that they would be willing to have dialog about our relationship.

I have sent an email to them with the same request before, to no response.  It is obvious that talking about expanding our relationship is not within their comfort zone.

So please pray that they will feel our spirit of love and desire for just expanded relationship between all of us, and that they will not be intimidated or so uncomfortable that they cannot respond.

Thank you dear friends.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It strikes again

Today was another morning of waking very early unable to go back to sleep.

I walked outside in the dark for a while, then decided I needed to just go back home.

So I laid back down in bed and the tears just fell.  I spent an hour curled up in a fetal position just crying silently.

BF rolled over and held me.  Not a word was spoken.

My chest physically hurts from the pain of missing a child who is still living, but in a world that I have no access to.

This grief and regret will never go away, and I don't want it to.  Because I have nothing to replace the grief and loss with.  A child is missing. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The letter has been written

I have written the letter to Brit's parents asking for the four of us to sit down and talk about our level of openness in our adoption relationship.

It felt good to write.  I could have written a book.  It was very hard to keep it down to a couple of pages.

I let BF look it over last night and he gave it his blessing.  Yes, the entire time we talked about it I cried.

Now, I have a couple adoptive moms looking the letter over and if they don't find anything offensive, then it is off in the mail.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Required reading

Last week I got this book from the library.  Every single pregnant woman considering adoption should read this book, but even more than that, every adoptive family should be REQUIRED to read this book.

Seriously, why didn't I know this stuff before I made my adoption decision?


PS - This incredible book could use a graphic artist's touch to maybe make it look a little more snazzy.  But, as we know, never judge a book by its cover!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Little Princess (and Little Princess guilt)

I have not been blogging for two reasons.  Number one, I have been crazy busy with work.  Thirteen hour days for a week.  Ridiculous busy.  Number two reason, I feel like I have nothing to offer on the adoption front.  I just can't think of any blog post that would be worth of the time it takes to write it.

If I was going to write about anything I think it would be the guilt I have been trying to suppress as it relates to caring for our Little Princess.  She is the little girl that I (we) keep every weekend while her mom works.  She is a little girl who was originally going to be adopted, but instead is being parented by her mother.  Her parents have a completely dysfunctional relationship (abuse, manipulation, etc) and her mother (who is a WONDERFUL woman and mother) felt like adoption would be the best choice for her child.  Turns out she just couldn't proceed with her adoption plan as her pregnancy progressed into the final months and she ended up choosing to parent instead.  She is now trying to parent two teenage boys and this little girl, from a position of poverty and survival in an abusive relationship.  Not ideal.

But this is not about her struggle but instead mine (could that sound any more selfish?...).

Anyway, caring for Little Princess is such a blessing to me.  Every day that we have her, I realize what great older brothers my sons are.  They are so amazing with her.  I also watch what a wonderful father figure BF is to her.  He plays with her, kisses her chubby cheeks, and plays peek-a-boo over and over again.  Little Princess snuggles with me and wants me to hold her.  She trusts me and nearly comes out of her skin excited when she sees me come to pick her up.  It warms my heart every single weekend.

So I suppose all of you who know me, even if it is just through the blog, know that this is a blessing wrapped  in pain.

I placed Brit because I wanted her to have a mommy and daddy who were married and who were ready to be parents.  I thought we were too old, had too many obligations already, and I thought Brit would suffer because of this.

And now look at us.

BF and I sit side by side and hold Little Princess on our lap and just laugh at her.  He and I have been her best example of 'married' parents for her entire life (she is now 19 months old - ironically born 9 months after we relinquished our sweet Brit).  BF and I are the only normal 'couple' in her life.  We are proud of her when she accomplishes something new.  We laugh when she learns a new trick.

I load Little Princess up every weekend and we head to ball games, sometimes out of town.  I take her with me to the grocery store.  I rock her when she is sick.  The boys play with her all the time.  They miss her and ask when she will be back.  She celebrates all of the holidays with us.  Our extended family assumes that if it is a weekend, Little Princess will be part of our family celebration.

We have boxes of baby toys, baby clothes and I carry a diaper bag.  My car has a carseat securely fastened in the back seat, even during the week when she is with her momma.

It appears a baby/toddler/little person would have fit into our life after all.

And let's not forget the irony of the fact that when I ran into Brit last weekend at the Farmer's Market, I was walking hand in hand with my Little Princess. She and Brit stared eye to eye with each other.  It was a surreal moment.  The little girl who I help parent looking straight into the eyes of the little girl who I should be parenting.

Something I remind myself is that at least Little Princess's momma was saved the birthmother grief and regret that I now suffer.  Because I can help her, this little girl is home every night with the momma whose tummy she grew in.  She sees her biological brothers every day.  She has her mommy's curls and will always know that they came from her mommy because she sees them as she lays her head on her momma's shoulder.

*Note:  The potential adoptive parents of Little Princess would have been and are great parents.  They ended up adopting a little boy soon after.  There is no doubt that Little Princess would have had exceptional familial support and ideal living arrangements had she been adopted. I know some will say that her life would have been better with adoptive parents.  I do not want to and will not debate this subject.*

I know God put Little Princess in my life for a reason.  Or maybe God put me in her momma's life for a reason.  Probably a whole lot of both.
Either way, Little Princess sure has alot of love.  Because of that, just her presence brings joy to a heart that sometimes has trouble finding joy among the grief.  And yet, her presence reminds me every day that there is a little girl just like her out there, a little girl who doesn't even know me.

So I think I will kiss Little Princess's cheeks a little more this weekend and maybe one of the sweet kisses will be felt by the little girl I wish I could snuggle and kiss too.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The curls


While your curls might be a bit unruly right now, hopefully some day you will embrace the beauty that you have with that head full of think blonde curls.

I know what growing up with curly hair is like (and your aunts have even curlier hair than me, so they REALLY know).  Most of the time I straighten my hair for work or going out.  But sometimes I just let it dry naturally and I let my hair be as wavy/curly as it wants to be.

Today was one of those au naturale days.  I was walking through the office and someone stopped me and said "I love when you leave your hair curly!"  It made me think of you and your bountiful, beautiful blonde curls.

I hope you can love those beautiful curls!

We love you and think about you every single day!