My husband went to the last home game in Cleveland today. As a season ticket holder he is gone many Sundays during football season. In warm weather he takes my big four and a half year old with him but on days like today he goes alone, leaving me home, all day, with two young boys. He called tonight on his way home from the RTA station and asked how my day was going. The tiny toddler was in bed, still awake and chattering away in his crib and the big four and a half year old was watching his nite nite show and having some yogurt. The toys were picked up and the kitchen was clean, including the floor. The laundry was done and our bed was made. Everyone had been fed, bathed, and not only survived the day but actually had fun. So I answered his question of how my day was going by saying, "No one cried. Not even me." He laughed, but he understood.
Sounds crazy, I know. what kind of mother can't handle her two children alone for the day without breaking down into a puddle of tears? Seven months ago I would have never dreamed that tear stained mother would be me. So I was thrilled to be able to tell my husband that today, on the first day of 2012, I did not cry.
Welcome to 2012! I have to say that 2011 was a whirlwind of events that made me feel as though my family was on a roller coaster. A really old roller coaster, one that doesn't have the kind of state of the art safety system the new ones have. The kind that take you to the top of the hill and then push you down with just a loose lap bar holding you in. The kind made of wood that bounce you around and beat you up a little, but yet are thrilling at the same time. Up to the top of that first hill, slowly, slowly- let's adopt another baby! Down to the bottom, hitting hard, being thrown back in the seat - not from that country you won't! Up another hill, excitement growing - let's try this country! And down again, slamming into the bottom - no, not that country either! Home study done - up up up the hill. My mother passed away unexpectedly - back to the bottom. Another long hill to climb - will we get approval on the adoption referral we received? This time the trip to the bottom was slow and not so painful- yes, we can adopt the little boy with the soulful eyes! And the trip up again took longer this time - we're meeting him already! We're bringing him home! And then down again. And again. You get the picture. Call it adjustment issues, call it post adoption depression - who knows. But the first six months home from Russia with our new son was one slam into the bottom of the hill after another.
But 2011 is over now. And I will always remember it fondly, just as we always remember the good and not the bad. Uncle Fred got drunk and threw a punch at his brother in law at the wedding? This I do not remember. The beautiful flowers and great DJ, now that I remember. (And no, I don't have an Uncle Fred and no one was reduced to fist fighting at my wedding. It was a very classy and calm affair.) I will remember 2011 as the year my youngest son joined our family. we saw his picture in January, met him in February, made it official in May and brought him home in June. And then we spent the next six months painfully growing from a family of three into a family of four. And we emerged on the other side, victorious. A happy, somewhat well- adjusted family of four.
I no longer feel bad for the secret feelings I harbored during those six months. Through it all, through every moment where I thought I was most surely going crazy, through every tear that fell from my eyes onto the head of the sweet little boy who would never let me put him down but who yet still managed to be angry a good part of the day, through it all I knew I loved him. I knew I wanted him. I knew he was mine. I did the right thing for him, albeit sometimes on auto pilot. So I don't feel bad. But I am happy to say goodbye to 2011 and welcome 2012.
This year I will get back to doing what I love the most in this world- creating a warm and loving home and life for my family. I have a new job that allows me to control when and where I work, one that allows me to use my abilities without sucking the life from me on a daily basis. I have a renewed spirit. I have good friends, a strong group of women on whom I rely more than they know, I am sure. I already have vacation plans for the summer, for crying out loud. I am totally in control of only what needs to be controlled and able to enjoy the freedom of what doesn't. I am ready for 2012. Bring it.