Last night we had our first post placement visit for our new little guy. I cannot believe that it has been five months since he joined our family and four months since we have been home from Russia! Some days it seems like we have been home forever and other times it feels as though I just stepped off that plane with my life changing youngest son sitting in his hip carrier, with his thumb in his mouth and his hand absentmindedly rubbing my hair. So this post placement appointment kind of caught me by surprise. On the one hand, how have we been home long enough to already be needing to do this? And on the other hand, we're just a typical family, so being reminded that we are being "watched", so to speak, was a tad startling.
I love my children and the family we have created. I firmly believe that these are not only my children; they are also the children I am meant to have. My boys are God given. So I don't usually think about the whole fertility thing, not anymore. I don't mourn the first months/years of my boys' lives that I missed. I am happy and content, yes. But that doesn't mean that I don't sometimes feel frustration over the hoops we adoptive parents must jump through. Before the child comes home there's the personal questions, the walk through of the home, the fire marshall. (for some reason the fire marshall visit really annoyed me this second time around and I am having a hard time letting it go...) After the child comes home there are more personal questions, this time centered around the parenting skills of the adoptive parents. Every so often it all just gets under my skin. After all, parents bring their biologically born babies home from the hospital every day in car seats not properly installed, to houses full of second hand smoke - you get the point.
So these past few days I have been mildly annoyed at constantly being singled out. But then the other day a friend of mine, a mother from my oldest son's china friends playgroup, posted a poem, of sorts, on facebook.
I love Sark. Her book, Glad No Matter What, really spoke to me. And my friend's post really spoke to me as well, for two reasons. The first reason is my tiny toddler is a handful. He is sweet and loving and has a playful sense of humor beginning to peep through the chaos. But he is also short tempered, easily frustrated, and, occasionally, uses brute force to get his way. Parenting him these past months has not been easy. It has gotten so much easier and will continue to do so, but the journey has been a tough one. This quote reminded me to stop yelling, so to speak, and just love.
But perhaps even more important is the second reason. The person who posted this is more than just another mom from my son's play group. She is a friend. As are so many of the other mom's now. They are friends, confidants, giver's of great advice. They understand adoption guilt. They have their own battlefield stories. They have quietly become a huge and very important part of my life. And without the adoption journeys, with all their injustices, their personal questions, without the fire marshall, (oh my god, the fire marshall!), I would not know them. So again I am a winner. I won the biggest prize of all with my two beautiful boys, and the prizes keep coming.
When I remember all that I have gained- my family, this amazing community of mothers, a multicultural life- I know that I am truly blessed. And I am no longer annoyed.