Thursday, January 27, 2011
I wanted to share a little about myself. I came from a family of four. My parents have been married for 46 years, and are still like two teenagers on their first date. They have been great roll models for me. I had a great childhood. The only thing that I might complain about it was that, my parents had this insane habit of moving. They would get the "itch" to move. They moved us 6 times before I graduated from High School. Every time we moved, I had to start over making new friends. I did alright, but moving to a new school in 8th grade was the hardest one. By that time kids are pretty much set in their clicks. Social became my primary focus. Trying to find a place to fit in. It would take me a while to find my bearings, but I did ok. Jerry on the other hand, lived in one place his whole life and to this day still has the same friends from kindergarten. I so envy that. I think the reason that I am sharing all of this is because, I realized that a couple's different experiences in life, even as simple as this difference, can play a big role in how you approach raising children. Let's face it. We all want to protect our children from what we perceived to be negative experiences. Jerry envied me for getting the opportunity to experience different communities and schools. He saw it as a positive, because I developed excellent social skills and could walk into a room full of people that I didn't know and leave with new friends. He on the other hand is uncomfortable in a room full of strangers. He is slower to build friendships. These are the things that Jerry and I would discover in that first year of raising Jacob. So much of our focus had been about how to "have" a child to raise and we didn't even realize how clueless we were about what to do with it when we got it. lol. The first big hurdle was that, I wanted the house to be q-u-i-e-t when Jacob was sleeping and Jerry is, well, lets just say that he didn't get the quiet gene. I would shoot him the evil eye for crumpling up a chip bag and he would look at me like I had 4 heads. We were not just on this new journey raising a child, but also on this new journey of dealing with each other in this new environment. I have to admit that I was not the easiest person to deal with back then. No sleep. New mommy. Husband working all the time and quite often out of town all week. My parents lived over an hour away from me. Typical stuff. There was non-typical stuff that I was dealing with as well. I kept inside. Emotions that I didn't know what to do with. You see, I thought that once the adoption was final...I would be home free and have no worries. Wrongo! I am sure all new mom's go through some of the same feelings that I did. Such as, worried that you aren't doing things right or that you are too stressed out. But there were some emotions that I could not quite understand swirling inside me. I felt that, I wanted to be the best mom ever. I was hard on myself. I not only wanted to be the best for Jacob, but also for his birthmother. I worried that if I didn't get "it right", that someday Jacob would wonder if he would have been better off with his birth family. I knew that he wouldn't have, but I couldn't stop the thoughts and fears of not being enough. It was a lot of pressure. I started thinking about how I was going to handle the questions from Jacob as he grew and learned about his adoption and that was scary to me. I wanted to do it all right. The bottom line was that he is adopted and he will have to deal with all the emotions that come with it. It is part of him and I wanted to figure out the very best way to go about it. Thankfully, I discovered one of my favorite books. The Twenty things Adopted Kids wish their Adoptive Parents Knew. This book taught me everything that I needed to know about talking to Jacob. If you find yourself dealing with these worries, I highly recommend reading it. It is available on Amazon. I have the link in the right side bar if you are looking for it. Along the way, I will use this blog to share the things that I have learned in talking with children about adoption. Every child handles it differently. As I progress through this blogging thing, you will see that this experience of raising 4 adopted children was my destiny and I grew in ways that I could have never expected. Not just as a mother, but as a wife....a child of God and a well rounded human being. I hope you enjoy the ride. I am.
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