October 17, 2016

On the Other Side

I think some radio silence can be forgiven after something as upending as sudden parenting happens.

A has been home for about 3 and half months now. I went back to work in September. We're fairly settled into our new routine. Sometimes, in the rush of the day, of just trying to exist and do it *on time*, I worry I am not taking the necessary time to stop and appreciate the gift from God that is my life right now. But then there are moments of quiet, at the end of the day, or first thing in the morning, when I'm holding A and she is snuggling into me - I feel in my *bones* just how lucky, how blessed beyond imagining M and I are.

Working full time is hard. I spent 5 and half years wondering if I would *ever* have a child. Now that it has happened, it feels wrong to be away from her so much of the time. My commute is killer, too. I know when A is older, the drive will be special time for us together. We can sing songs, talk, whatever. But for now, while she is tiny, it feels like totally wasted time. Stolen time. On an average weekday, I get about 2 hours really *with* her. It's hard. For now, I try to focus on the positives: I am really lucky to have my job, I am well paid for my work, I have an *awesome* boss, I have a safe car to transport A and I, and A is taken care of by my sister and my mom while I'm at work. I am so SO lucky. But I continue to pray that it is in God's plan for me to scale back to part time work somewhere down the line. I don't think I could be a Stay At Home Mom - my sister does it (and home schools), so I know it is not a magical cake walk. I worked part time for 2 weeks while I transitioned back from FMLA and it was a great balance of adult time and baby time.

Staying in touch with A's birth family has gone very well so far, but I think it is to be expected that these are easy days. We don't know each other very well, everyone is on their best behavior, and we haven't done an in-person visit yet. That is planned for A's first birthday next May. In the mean time, we email and share pictures and videos. I know that the relationship won't always be this easy, so I just keep praying for guidance for us to be good stewards of this relationship on A's behalf.

I am still figuring out how to navigate the world as an adoptive parent. When do I speak up and tell people we adopted A, when do I let it go, how do I use appropriate language to facilitate understanding about how modern adoption works, when do I not make it my crusade to fix every myth about adoption, how do I speak about our experience without betraying A's privacy to her own life story? It's often complicated and I'm always concerned I may say something I regret. But I have to build up my confidence now so that I can be any ally and advocate for her as she gets older and begins to understand what it means to be adopted. I hope I can do right by her and her birth family.

3 comments:

  1. Such a happy update. The hard reality of being a working parent aside, I'm glad things are going so very well! And it's still early in this experience...I have every confidence that, with time, you will find a balance between sharing yours and A's story and keeping some privacy. Wishing you all the best!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cassie! I am hopeful that just being aware of the balance I need to strike between sharing and keeping privacy will guide me effectively.

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