Friday, January 27, 2012

Woomp Woomp

It was bound to happen.  We’ve been riding the positive adoption wave too long.  I got our first “snarky” comment about my sweet angel on facebook this week.  Apparently my facebook is not on lock down, as it should be and I’ve sense remedied the issue.  I had posted a photo of Ben with a friend MONTHS ago.  However, a girl who is a friend of my friend (this girl is someone I’ve never met) decided to comment about the color of my child’s skin, in that it was too dark.  Now, I don’t think the jab was directly related to Ben or us, I think it was to our friend tagged in the photo with Ben.  One of those backhanded type comments.  My blood was boiling and I very nicely responded that I didn’t appreciate the comments regarding my son. 

To give our friend credit, she immediately sent me a private message explaining that this girl was a wackadoo and that I shouldn’t pay attention to her.  I find it interesting that people would remain friends with the “crazies” on facebook if they are in fact crazy.  All it creates is unnecessary drama.  I decided the best thing to do was just delete the comment thread and change my privacy settings.  I was a bit heartbroken because this is what Ben is going to deal with his entire life and it’s not fair.  I mean, how many people typically comment that my skin is too white?  I don’t think I’ve ever had anything said to me about the color of my skin BECAUSE I’m white.  But, my poor innocent little lovie was caught up in the issues between our friend and this random girl.  Not cool and quite the eye opener to this mama.  I know that Ben is accepted in our family and circle of friends and we get nothing but love from them but it’s interesting to see how flippantly an outsider can comment about a baby’s appearance and think nothing of it.  Knife to the heart my friends. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

When is Good Good Enough?

As an adoptive mama I’ve been wrestling with giving the best to my child.  What is the best for my child?  I feel, in a way, that Brittany chose us as parents so that we could provide Ben with the things that she cannot.  I feel the commitment and pressure to provide nothing but the best for him.  But, what is really best?  Is it best that I stay at home with him?  Is it best that I work so that I can help provide for our family?  I haven’t found an answer and I feel these thoughts weighing heavily on my heart.  I know that most mom’s probably struggle with this, but for me, as an adoptive mom, I feel it tenfold.  I feel like I have promised Brittany that I would do nothing but provide the very best that I can.  The question remains…what are the boundaries for providing the “best?”.

I grew up in a very loving household and we did not want for anything.  Wesley grew up the same way.  Looking back to my childhood, I wonder how my parents made it look so effortless.  They were young parents and it couldn’t have been easy for them to always provide the “best” for us.  Certainly they struggled at some point too.  Obviously I never knew about it if they did. 

I’m hoping this is just some new mom anxiety that will pass and I will become comfortable in the boundaries of what Wesley and I can provide – we may not live in the lap of luxury but I do think that we have a wonderful life that is filled with love, laughter, family and faith.  I’m just feeling some “mommy” guilt for not having all the answers.  However, I’m wondering how many adoptive mommy’s feel the pressure to provide nothing but the best?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thoughts of a New (Adoptive) Mom

The past 3.5 months have been a dream.  The kind of dream where you can’t believe how things have turned out.  I love my son more than I ever imagined.  When people talk about a mother’s love…I get it.  Before it was just a concept, more abstract than anything.  But now I get it.  I feel it in my core.  I am a mother to my child.  I am the person that he relies on.  And I love it.  Every. single. second. 
However, in the midst of all this love and mothering, I have come to realize that mothering is truly a job.  A hard job that doesn’t pay the bills.  Here are some of my thoughts after the first few months in this new role.

Motherhood is hard.  Really hard.  It’s hard to balance the love for your child, your spouse, your family obligations and running a home.  It’s hard to find a balance for “me” time (which basically doesn’t exist anymore), husband time, Benjamin time, time for family, work, friends, church etc.  I know I’m new to the game but every day is a learning process.  Every day I want to be the best wife, mother, friend I can be.  There are just days when I’m tired.  I have a short temper.  I forget to look at my life for what it is.  A huge blessing.  I am blessed.

Tired is the name of the game.  In these early months I have found that I’m tired by 8 p.m.  Since returning back to work, my day starts at 5:30 a.m. and I’m tired at the end of the day.  I even have a child who loves to sleep .  And I’m still tired.  Being tired all the time leaves little time for myself, my spouse etc. 

Having a child magnifies my worries by 100%.  If I had anxiety before, it has exponentially increased since Ben came home. I worry about our health as parents, Ben’s health, the challenges of being an adoptive family, the challenges of navigating a relationship with our birthmom, of preparing Ben to be a man of God.  I realize I don’t have the tools or power to make sure he is never hurt or sad by something I do or something that someone else does.  I want to protect him from everything!

I’m struggling with going back to work.  Granted, it’s only been a few weeks.  Ben is a rockstar at daycare…he’s so well behaved and seems to be adjusting well.  It’s just my “mommy guilt”.  I want to be the main provider for my child, not daycare.  I want to witness all the “firsts” not share them with daycare.  I want to be there every step of the way.  On the same hand, daycare has SO many benefits.  He will (hopefully) be an independent social child because of daycare.  I am happy to help provide for our family and I only want to provide the best for Ben and all of that means earning a paycheck.  However, my heart aches to be with him during the day.   

It took me several months before I found my “groove” with Ben.  I wouldn’t say I was going through the motions with him as a tiny baby but more like my body and spirit had received a huge shock and it took a couple months to recover.  After 8 weeks or so, I felt something inside change.  I fell deeper in love with mothering, with Ben and with our new lifestyle.  Because we had little time to prepare, I didn’t have the luxury to sit around a fantasize about what our ideal situation would be.  We dove in head first.  Looking back, especially with my personality, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  There was no time to obsess over whether or not this adoption would fall through.  My emotions were on autopilot as I tried to navigate my new role.  After the dust settled it’s like I had an awakening of sorts.  There was a turning point where I fully embraced and realized what had happened to our family. 

Mothering is the best gift.  I love watching my little man explore his surroundings.  I love watching him awestruck at the things that I don’t notice…a fan, the way the light hits the ceiling or wall, the response to facial expressions.  I love it all.  Even though this new role is challenging, I feel at home with myself.  I truly believe that I God knew I needed to be a mom.  I often wonder where I will be in 5, 10, 15 years down the road.  As long as I continue to rise to the challenge of motherhood I’m hoping to find my contentment.  Being a mom has made me more aware of myself, the energy I produce, the things that I hold dear to my heart that I want to pass along.  I believe it’s made me a better wife, although we’re still trying to find a balance for us amidst Ben and his needs.  Being a mother has made me hopeful.  I want to surround my son with the best I can offer, financially, emotionally and spiritually so he can flourish.  I love that the Lord has entrusted Ben to Wesley and me.  I can only hope we can be the parents he needs.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6