Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm at a loss with our "Open Adoption"...

Tyler and I agreed to having an open adoption with Emery, we were both comfortable with it and definitely we're interested in making it work. If I'm being totally honest, its just been weird. I'm having a hard time trying to understand my role in this. On one hand I'm in total control, I am the mom. I am the one who takes care of her every day and loves her. The one thing I am NOT is the one who carried her in my belly and gave birth to her. For some reason on the first visit I gave up total control, I allowed her to be soothed and fed by FM and I just didn't know what to expect. That will never happen again, I will be in control this time. Tyler will help take charge in the situation too. For the last month I've been dreading another visit, and the truth is I don't want to dread it. I don't want to get nervous when we start discussing a time and day to meet. I have friends who carry on open adoptions with their children's FM and it looks very different from mine. It really has been over the last couple months that I've discovered in my mind why theirs looks different than mine. My FM is a teenager...she's like four years away from being "legal". Her priorities are different, her attitude is different, she's in flipping foster care for crying out loud. I've found solace in other adoptive moms stories of open adoptions but I have yet to find someone who is even remotely in a similar situation. Which begs me the question, why isn't there some kind of database for this???? What I would give to have an email conversation with another adoptive mama about the nuances of open adoption with an orphan, teen mom in foster care. Sometimes this overwhelms me. Today I'm annoyed. They wanted to piggy back the finalization hearing with a visit and I'm just not down with that. We'll have friends and family at the hearing (because the hearing is three hours away and in the same city as where the visit is) and what am I supposed to do with them for an hour while us three meet together in some stuffy conference room pretending that it's not completely awkward? I find myself saying things like..."I don't want FM to be part of that day at all, I don't want my memory of that special day to include a visit with her". Why am I angry about it? It's because I'm lost in the land of not knowing what to do when the truth is I need to tap into the amount of gratitude I have for her, get back to the basics of the stupendously courageous decision FM made to carry this child to full term at 13 years old, try and care for her only to realize she couldn't and then totally give up any and all rights she had to this child. At 13. Thirteen. That just blows my mind. So it's time for me to get back onto the gratitude bandwagon, start thinking of FM in a more positive light. Get over my own insecurities and seriously bask in the goodness that is our spirited little girl, because I'm telling you there isn't anyone more fabulous than her.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Who knew it would be 6 months...

For realz....when we brought her home on October 1st I never ever in a million years thought it would take six months for her finalization to actually take place. I had read three months, I had heard four months but six months was completely preposterous! Here we are six months later and we finally have our adoption hearing date of April 8th, six months and one week to the day we brought our spirited little girl home. There were some mix ups and annoying hold ups which prevented this from moving faster but this I know for sure...God's timing is always and has always been perfect for us. I am slowly learning not to question it...there have been too many instances in this process where I thought the timing sucked but it turns out it was perfect for us, and our story. The almost baby would have meant I never ever would get to see my sweet girls face every day, and I just can't imagine it.
Timing is an interesting thing, because it's so subjective. Schedules change, things pop up out of no where, life happens and timing is affected every single time. We're at an interesting stage in life right now, things have changed with Tyler's job and we are trusting in God's timing yet again. I want to push certain situations or opportunities, I want to control various aspects of this and I just need to step back...look at our past and trust that He knows what's best. So for now, I'm basking in the promise that is April 8th, where legally our wild woman will be just that...OURS. I can't wait.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm a mom, that's weird...

Every once in a while the thought will just randomly spring into my head reminding me that I am, in fact, a mother. Still almost six months later that's very strange to me. I'm sure this is quite normal after living 27 years not being a mother but still occasionally the thought creeps in and gives me a good chuckle. I went into her room last night, like I do every night before I go to bed, and make sure she's covered, breathing and not suffocating herself with anything in her crib. Last night when I did that is when the motherhood thing struck me again. I think because Emery came to us in a blaze of glory (which completely matches her personality) but it's sometimes still so surreal to me. I like it. The fleeting thoughts of "Holy Crap I'm a Mom" really keep me on my toes, and allow me to soak in all the thankfulness of this wild ride.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Anti-survival mode...

For me, in the beginning it was survival mode. 100%. We had a 4 month old and less than 24 hours to prepare for her arrival. Our friends and family were amazing and stepped up in a major way...seriously some people dream about having friends and family like ours! Our old routine was dead and gone, our time was now her time, and that was ok by us. We had been waiting one year for this and we put on our big girl/boy underpants and started full speed ahead! As it turns out she was a very relaxed girl, go with the flow and really only needed the basics from us which was AMAZING! Our relationship with each other changed and evolved into a parenting partnership where strengths were praised and weaknesses were tweaked but we were in it to win it! It's only now, five months later, that I'm trying to switch gears into anti-survival mode. I found myself just "trying to get through the day" and while that may be appropriate on certain days I don't think it's fair to Emery every day. I have to teach myself (and Tyler does too) that sometimes the schedule doesn't exist and it's not going to ruin everything we've done by tossing it out the window one day by just having fun and getting to enjoy HER. She deserves it. She deserves my undivided attention every now and then, she deserves to know that there is some flexibility involved in what we do every day and while she won't ever in her life remember what her first year with us was like...I will. When her first year is over I want to remember that we had fun, for ME to remember, not her. These last couple weeks with her have been a little difficult. We've tried to change her schedule a little bit and she just isn't responding well to it, and she's also giving us an extremely hard time with eating her food. She shakes her head back and forth, or cries the whole time and this just doesn't make for a positive dining experience. We've tried switching her food, heating it, not heating it, letting her try and feed herself and sometimes it works but when we try the same thing twice it's right back to the screaming. After a relatively long day on Tuesday, Tyler was unfortunately the recipient of every fit she had right down to putting her jammies on and when I came into her room he just looked defeated. He was feeling disconnected so I just said..."Listen, don't worry about doing her hair or anything just grab a book, sit in the chair and spend some time with her. Let her do what she wants when she wants. She has spent the entire day doing what everyone else wants/needs her to do and now is just the time for you to be fun daddy, not routine daddy". He read to her, rocked her to sleep and was feeling a little more connected by the end of the night. That scenario is exactly how this blog post formed and I started thinking about the last few weeks with her and I was straight up in survival mode. Routine is good. Routine is what children need. Routine is what adults need but every routine needs a good break once in a while so that's what we did. We broke it, we stayed in our jammies, took an early nap, didn't force the food issue and just dealt with the day as it happened and it felt good. I don't want five years from now to only remember me "surviving" the first year of her life...I want to remember thriving.