Another collection from my world.
It’s been a roller coaster of a spring, one that’s made me feel like I’ve got a split personality. For someone who’s done so much work over the last eighteen months I find I’m remarkably swooshy – one day I’ve moved past an issue, the next I totally reverse my position, the week after I’m torn equally between the two. It’s hard to sort things out when everything feels genuine in the moment.
We’ve had some struggles again recently with birthparent issues. It’s more of the same – feelings about abandonment, not belonging, love, and pain – terrible things to watch your child endure. I thought I was doing well, managing the conversation much better than my impulsive reaction in 2015, only to have my hat handed to me two days later. I suppose some things are never neatly packed away.
When we decided to adopt my first call was to our local foster care agency. BrightSide and I thought this was a good place to start until we learned that the agency’s primary goal was reunification with the birth family. It wasn’t good timing for us to consider fostering. Last weekend I learned that a friend’s mom and dad had been foster parents, and that she had more than seventy foster brothers and sisters. How cool is that?
For those of us with older children, I found a terrific list called Top 10 books about adopted children. It’s quite comprehensive, spanning works from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for some summer reading to facilitate discussion.
I’m hanging on, I really am, but I’m for real flummoxed by these tween/teen kiddos of mine. They both occasionally lose their sh*t which is, btw, SUPER fun, and I’m down with that. Well, not exactly “down” with it, but I get that it’s part of the parenting deal. Here’s what’s got me all twisted up: Kiddo XYZ throws a nutty – attitude, sass, the whole she-bang – and we ride it out only to post game review it afterward. (Everyone else does this, right? Or are we the only ones who look at each other and wonder wtf just happened?) But I’m at a total loss. Are we talking hormones? Overtired? Hungry? Too much time with the sassy friends? Personal issues? Puberty? How am I supposed to figure out contributing factors to this lunacy?!?
And, on a side note, here are some questions that really would have helped flesh out if we were ready to become parents:
- Can you willingly give up all semblance of a decent social life for at least ten years?
- Do you get that you’ll have a living, breathing, human being attached to you at all times for about three years? Strapped to your chest, bundled in a bouncy seat, screaming in a nearby pack & play, following you to the bathroom/refrigerator/bedroom/stove, insisting you “watch me! look at me! look at what I made!”. They. Are. Always. There. Always.
- How important is sex to you? Or, alternatively, privacy? Because if you’re willing to answer the awkward questions…
- Do you cry easily over credit card bills? Formula, diapers, car seats, onesies, shoes, school supplies, teacher gifts, more shoes, food, bigger clothes, bigger beds, more food for the growing bodies leading to shoes they outgrow in a month… And we haven’t even hit the driving years yet.