September 10, 2012

On Expectations

It's been a rough few months since our newest came home and apparently, out of my whole family, I'm taking it the hardest. I'm just spent, ya know? And my husband keeps asking me, "What did you expect?"

I expected this.

But I hoped for better.

I hoped for a smidgen of gratitude.
I hoped for more flexibility.
I hoped for more affection.
I hoped for less strife.
I hoped for what most adoptive mothers hope for: an instant connection, instant love, the picture perfect ending to the horrid wait.

I knew it wouldn't be perfect. I didn't even expect perfection. But I hoped for it. Or something resembling it. Or something that looked like a glimmer in a reflection of a dirty mirror on a foggy day.

Now I'm just holding out and hoping for something beautiful on the other side of this.
Whenever that is.

September 5, 2012

To My Dear Darling,

Do you remember when you first came to live with us and you would only eat a single item of food for weeks on end? One item of food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack. One. Item.

Yeah, last night, I served tacos.
Tonight it was burritos.
Completely different foods.
Hard shell, soft shell, no beans, beans. Different foods.

So your very whiny "agaiiiiiiiiiiiin?" didn't go over well.
Not. Awesome.
Kinda like smelling your dinner type food at breakfast all those weeks.
And utterly not believable. 
I'm on to you. I know you will eat the exact same thing over and over and over.
And this was not the exact same thing.

I love you,

PS: the bitter me wants to make tostadas for supper tomorrow. And taquitos for supper the next night. Don't test me. I'm kinda hoping for pizza.

You Overestimate Me

Don't call me good and don't tell me I've done a good thing.
I'd rather not hear that I'm doing a fabulous job.
I'll feel like I have to correct your assumptions.
I'm barely holding on here.
It is all I can do to make it though the day, one day at a time.
If I have to try to balance on a pedestal, too, I fear my failures will only be magnified when I fall off.
And I will.
You haven't seen me lose my temper.
And you can't see into the dark recesses of my heart.
You don't know how frustrated I get when I've corrected the same bad behavior for the 37th time of the day.
You can't even comprehend how googlie-eyed I go when it is hold-your-breath or scream-your-brains-out make your choice time.
How I fear that holding-my-breath when I'm enraged might give me an aneurism. 
Feel free to pat me on the back and ask if I'm OK.
Feel free to offer prayers I will never know about.
Feel free to drop by with deserts.
But if you feel like telling me how great I'm doing with my new child.
Please keep your opinions to yourself.
However, if you want to offer to take them off my hands while I go get a massage.....

September 4, 2012

For This Child I Have Prayed

For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me the petition I made of Him, but He forgot to give me any affection for her.
My husband seems to like her quite a lot, which is good. Every child should have a parent that thinks they are half as fabulous as they think they are, but which brings out the only emotion I can conjure up anymore:
I tell myself that his affection for her is a good thing. She needs more than a fake it till you make it parent. She doesn't know this. She thinks she doesn't need a parent at all. She likes having a cleaning lady. And a short order chef. She likes having a personal shopper and a credit card handy and if the only way she can get that is to take me along, she'll do it. But she has no need for a mom. She did just fine before I came along, thankyouverymuch.
The thing is, I'm not over fond of only being useful to her. Particularly when I fail her and present her something hideous to eat like steak or garlic biscuits or double chocolate muffins.
God forbid I serve anything but plain old bread and the occasional strawberry. One. No more than one. Good Lord, why would I serve three, or a bowlful?
She shrugs off my hugs and she shrugs off my gifts and she shrugs off my food and if I do her hair, she immediately leaves the room and redoes it.  She shrugged me off from day one. After the initial, "Wow, you really came for me?" life in her presence has been like hugging a cactus.
The rejection is killing me.
So I turned off my emotions and serve as if I am household staff, but I am noticing that this isn't particularly healthy or helpful, either.
The resentment builds.
I'm on edge from the moment she wakes until the moment she sleeps and when she is sleeping, I'm on edge that she will wake sooner than I'm ready to face her.
Today, for this child I have prayed that the Lord would fill me with love.
And Jesus? If you could make her like my baking, too, that would just be tops.

September 1, 2012

My New Normal?

You spend months and years planning, preparing, praying and hoping/wishing/dreaming about bringing your child home and then BAM that day arrives.
Suddenly (in our case) you have these older children in your home.
They think they run the place, think they've had it better, think their former lives were a literal Utopia where the houses were made of gumdrops and the rivers ran orange with Fanta and they had the biggest straw around.
Your bed isn't nice enough.
Your clothes aren't the right style or color or fabric or... whatever.
Your food is crap and yet there isn't enough of it offered.
With a handful of English under their belt, they interrupt your directives
with a raised hand and "I know."
I beg your pardon? You most certainly do NOT know.

You DO NOT know how furious it makes me when you make that vomit face when I serve oatmeal.
It makes me want to blend it up and pour it down your throat with a funnel like one of those ducks they make into Fois Gras.
But I show great restraint and instead offer to reward you with an apple or banana if you finish. Instead, you say you want mango.
Fresh out of mango.
You push your bowl away.
I grab the bowl and toss it across the floor, sliding it like a hockey puck until it reaches the wall where it lands with a thud... so the dog can enjoy your breakfast.
Sorry, maybe we will try lunch.
I decide not to make oatmeal - against the wishes of every bitter bone in my body.

This is not what I pictured.

I didn't envision growing bitterness toward my children.
I didn't hope for a sinking feeling of dread when I hear their feet hit the floor in the morning.
I didn't wish for a son who talks like Caillou and acts like a 10 year old girl.
I didn't dream about whining/tattling/entitled little brats demanding to play on the laptop - then slamming the laptop screen shut out of anger and shattering the display.
I didn't see myself becoming a screamer.

Their quirks are annoying. The ridiculous way they overuse words in their broken not-yet-learned-English sentence structure or doing the tongue-click noise mid sentence like a Valley Girl... it's annoying. A 7 year old boy who twirls like a ballerina on tippy toes, plays with his hair, and giggles like a prom queen at Justin Bieber on TV while sitting with his legs crossed...not endearing.
It skeeves us out.

The way I feel at this moment... just shy of 6 months into this...I hope it goes away.
I hope I find their "preciousness" as Dr. Purvis says.
I see glimpses of it... but they are quickly overpowered by crappy behavior or some form of stupidity.

I'm ready for the normal.
And this better not be it.

Moving from Impossible to Difficult

I really like the quote, “I have found there are three stages to every great work of God: first it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.” - J. Hudson Taylor

And I have been anxiously waiting for impossible to turn to difficult.  Impossible is just...not fun.

This absolutely looked not only impossible when we began but outright foolish. Yet somehow, as soon as we committed to the girls, we knew we had stepped over some invisible line, one that we hadn't known existed, into a whole other realm of obedience.

Six Month Stats

I posted Blake's amazing 6 month stats here.

But lately I have been thinking about how the rest of us have changed in the past 6 here's a rundown of what I've observed so far.

1. Leah has had more playdates at our house in the past 6 months than in her previous 6 years. 

2. Autum can take her diaper off all by herself with her pants still on.

3. Autum has developed some great arm muscles from working on her food-throwing skills at dinner, thanks to her big brother!

4. I have changed from a multi-sport endurance athlete to a sprinter.  Sprinting as in how many times I can get around the block running before the baby monitor sitting on the mailbox begins to light up and squall at naptime.

From a 12 Year Veteran

This isn't a secret thought, I've said it many times, but it stands to restated.

When I saw the above photo on Facebook this morning, it stopped me cold. I think my heart stpeed beating. I certainly lost my breath.

That, above, is my son. My firstborn son.

It kills me.