Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two years later....

Adoption is a beautiful, glorious, joyful, loving and happy event... sometimes. It is also harrowing, painfilled and traumatic... sometimes. Each element does not equal or erradicate the other. They don't balance out. They just are..they exist in the same moment sometimes and we learn to embrace them both.. it all. The joy the grief. The healing the wounds. The connection the rejection. We weren't prepared for it, neither were the children we adopted, or our friends and families and communities who surrounded us. But we have been honed by it and strengthened and humbled. 

There is a reason that some of us don't blog after the airport. After that homecoming moment of joy and that feeling of completiton and having finished. For me it was because I was instantly thrown into a world of busy new momness. Even with six children already at home, my two new sons needed full on attentiopn. Hospital visits, medicine for stomach and bowel issues that came home with them. Two babies in diapers was a challenge :0) and children who had never stood on a carpet before, seen the wind blow leaves, been up close and personal with dogs and cats. Children who needed infant care despite being nearly two years old. There were many moments of sheer terror displayed by screaming that went to a place none of us had ever seen before (not even having been foster parents) A stuffed owl resulted in three hours of unconsolable screaming, writhing, hold me, leave me.. grief that literally made me sick to watch and helpless to know how to handle. 

In those first six months (which included a non voluntary move to another home in the same military community) we laughed, loved, wept and hung on for dear life. I had read many many books, listened attentively to the training and been an adoptive parent before. I was not ready! But we have become resiliant and ready! I am SO thankful for friends who brought food, took my teens and older children for pizza and games nights and tolerated the melt down screaming without judging us :0) or at least not letting us know they judged us. 

Let's talk about those melt downs.. they could come because the food wasn't fast enough.. a nano second really is to long to wait! :0) or because they saw a cat, or a stuffed animal was left out.. or even a Santa hat came too close! They came because a nap was too short or too long. Because a request was made clear and the answer was yes.. we once had an hour screaming fit because one little boy asked if he could sit down on a chair and he was told "yes, that is a great idea!" We held them close to start with but that escalated the fear screaming.. so we put them down and that didn't help. We practiced breathing for our own sakes and theirs. Walking helped until they developed the dead drop toddler skill. Then that had to be put on hold because walking in public with a screaming, dead drop feet out from under neath them toddler you can not bend over to pick up became an ordeal. Waiting it out seemed like the only thing that did work but that feeling of helplessness, the feeling you should just be able to do the exact right thing to stop the process, the idea that what worked before can work again.. but doesn't.. that is one reaon why it's been hard to blog. I want to read blogs from people who have it all perfectly together. The folks who get invited to give seminars to the rest of us who, feel like if we can just get the exact right formula we will be free to enjoy the joy more and not dread a beautiful moment for it's potential for trauma triggers. I wanted to be able to ned my adoption journey blog with the beautiful picture of family blending seamlessly and effortlessly into one unit. 

The truth is we DID have those moments. LOTS of them. Loads of joy and fun and abounding love. The type of moments you video and put on facebook :0) They have steadily increased over the past two years. Now each day is better. I realised this morning that I look forward every day to my children. The feeling of dread, of incompentance has gone. Yes we still have moments. And yes that screaming does trigger all kinds of anxiety that it won't stop! but it does. Now with a word or a look my little guy will take his deep breath and blow it out.. if I can stay calm and safe!

A lot of the changes have come with me. I have had to let go of the vision and embrace the now. I've had to look hard at the rock face right in front of me, rather than seeing  the panaramic view from a hovering helocopter taking spectator shots. I am the athlete on the field, playing each play as it unfolds with out the  Ibenefit of the commentators views. I play the game as I see it from in the fray. Sometimes I throw the right play.. other times I'm out of bounds of intercepted. It's OK though! Because I am IN THE GAME! 

I'm going to try to start blogging again. Answering some of the questions I've been asked. Please know though that all my answers come from the place I am in now. The mountain top! Seeing the climb from this perspective. Forgetting the hard moments but remembering the challenge of the climb. I can describe some of the more difficult ledges and moments. The times when I lost my grip and had the heart rendering experience of a moment of free fall before the rope snapped taught and brought me back to the rock face. But each hand position? Each foot choice? The memory of those moments are fleeting and gone. The joy of the challenge and the anticipation of the next one is where I am now.

And where we are now is a fabulous place! Still the joy and the pain combine, but we are family completely and wholly. I am Mummy and all these children are mine. On loan from God but enjoyed every second by imperfect me :0) 


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