Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Approaching the 1 year mark

For all of the good intentions, my blogging has fallen by the wayside this past year. I skipped over the end of colic, cry it out,
first foods, army crawls, pulling up, full on crawling and now cruising. I neglected to share his love for all food, ability to tackle his brother, and infectious laugh when being chased. I didn't share KJ's adoption finalization, our conversation with his birthfather or meeting his biological great grandmother.

And now he is almost a year. Wow! I want to write and share because there is so much to say. About him, the boy, and the experience as an adoptive parent.

So here we go again...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Two months later

In my CTI Balance class I committed to starting a blog about raising an adopted child and writing regularly. I jumped over a line to demonstrate my sincerity separating it from the zillion other “I am going to do this from now on..” statements. This was part of the change I wanted in my life.  Man, I suck. But! I also committed to be gentle with myself. I have a tendency to take on too much and beat myself silly for not being perfect at all of my aspirations. I have an almost 6 mos old. That is my get out of jail card for the next two years!

So being gentle to myself and also trying to get back to my commitments, here goes. Its been a tough two months but KJ has never been an easy baby. We took him on his first vacation to altitude and wow that was a disaster. After two nights of him literally being up ALL night, we cried uncle and came home three days early. And how giddy we were to celebrate his four hour increments of sleep at night. We were so very rested. Mind you this is the child that at 12 weeks slept thru the night and has since lost his way.

Three days later, sleep training started. Four hour increments weren’t enough. With our first son, cry it out (CIO) was shunned. Maybe friends did it but no one admitted it. We were lucky. Our guy slept and if he woke up during the night, he went right back down. This time around, CIO seems to be the mantra. And not the go in every ten minutes and reassure the child kind but the shut the door at 6:30 pm and don’t go back in until 6 am. One friend told me her son cried for six hours. The first night, KJ cried for almost two. DH snored and I chugged wine. But then he slept six hours, had a bottle and slept three more. The next night he slept thru the night and a week later, his naps lasted longer than 45 minutes.

Its still not perfect. He often wakes at 3 am and cries for a good hour. I am not sleeping but I don’t get up. But bedtime isn’t the chore it was a couple weeks ago. And best of all, we are all MUCH, MUCH happier. KJ is truly the cutest little bugger and so darn active. Gone are the days of leaving him under his playmat while I clean the dishes. Off he goes rolling across the room!

And on the adoption front, we had our very last meeting our social worker. Finalization will be late April or early May. Its hard to think that legally we are still foster parents when our days are filled with sleep training, cleaning bottles, introducing solids (KJ loves avocado!) and other miscellaneous stuff.  He is so very much our son and MH’s brother!

Will try to update more regularly and discuss more of the adoption issues and process. Not that I don’t think of it regularly, its just hard to find that time to put fingers to keypad to make it happen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A mirror - a new perspective

A mirror.  What does a colicky, screaming baby look like when I see the mirror? Channeling my CTI Balance class, I take that in. Balance is about playfully exploring different perspectives and finding the one with the most resonance and then creating a plan of action. Its putting a completely different spin on a current situation and then making it your reality. A true challenge with a screaming baby at your side but here we go.

My present world/perspective with my very demanding baby is hard, loud and untenable. I am a ball of nerves, full of self-doubt and loathing. I don’t sleep well, yell at my older son too much and pick fights with my husband. I want someone, anyone but me, to fix it. Make him stop.

Then I stop and look at KJ as he takes in himself in his play mirror. In the mirror, I see wonder and hunger. Wonder of discovery.  The joy in discovering tiny hands and the thrill of finding their way to an open mouth, and the hunger for more each time his little eyes take in himself and the room. Its all new and exciting and I can jump in and have a front row seat to his world of wonder. Allow myself to be overwhelmed by the world where everything is possible.  Where I can relish in his coos, gurgles and excitement as he finds his power and voice.  Where is colic is just a bump in the road. This is a happy place. This is where I want to be.

That said, I don’t have a clue how to get there. Its been a tough few days. KJ is colicky and even though he is nearly 4 mos old and he should be getting better, its getting worse. Today he screamed for 30 minutes straight just because he could. It didn’t help that my husband was out for a ride and my older son was jumping on me to read his new book. I about lost it and was a hair away from dropping them both off at a Safe Surrender site. Single life never looked so good.

Fortunately I remember that this is normal. New parenthood isn’t all love and kisses. Sometimes you gotta turn off the monitor and fold the laundry, clean the bottles or chug a glass of wine.

But back to the mirror, the perspective I choose to view my life. Sure its hard but if it were easy, would I appreciate it as much? It’s the challenges that build the character or so I am told. So with that, I commit to seeing past the colic, screaming, 2 am, 4 am and 5 am wake ups, and fully enjoying him for all that he is. And taking him to a pediatric gastroentologist to perhaps figure out his gas issues.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Assumed Blessings

A great post by Helen House about the emotions of adoption from waiting for your child to the first few awful months. Thankfully in our case, I knew from experience just how awful it was so when the social worker asked us at six weeks if we wanted to give him back, I was able to say "yes but I felt the same way with my first son who did come from my belly."

I was fortunate to have Helen House teach my coaching course at CTI this past weekend and be able to share our adoption experiences.

Sixteen Weeks

I am ready to write again. We brought KJ home 16 weeks ago tomorrow. Sixteen weeks of interrupted sleep. Sixteen weeks to adjust from a family of 3 to a family of 4. Sixteen weeks of unnerving colicky screams that can even shock a seasoned doctor. Sixteen weeks watching a beautiful 8 pound baby blossom into a 15.6 pound bruiser that can lift his head, roll over, find his hands and coo the most adorable sounds you have ever heard.

Sixteen weeks to be told time and time again how great I look for having a newborn. Sixteen weeks to decide to just smile or tell the truth and then open myself to a litany of questions.

Sixteen weeks to begin to comprehend that as much as he looks like his brother, sixteen weeks to begin to accept that we will never see ourselves in his features. His blue eyes will not be mine and his long torso does not come from my husband. And while his hair might be red like his brother, HM, the similarity is skin deep.  Sixteen weeks to realize that none of this matters.

Sixteen weeks to begin to understand the depth and emotion that come with adoption. Sixteen weeks to know without question, he is our son, our rainbow, the baby we prayed, cried, and fought for.

Sixteen weeks to think about and finally a decision to start this blog with a goal to openly discuss  the journey of raising an adopted child along side a biological one with the hope that perhaps my sharing the mundane daily life of raising a very special baby may help others....or at the very least, provide some amusement.