Monday, November 11, 2013
Today, This is What Adoption Means to Me
November is National Adoption Month. I have been thinking about what adoption means to me, and about what I wish others knew about adoption, and I have had so many thoughts about what to write about during this very important month. This is my chance to help get the word out. To help fund raise, to help further the cause. I don't believe that everyone should adopt; in fact, I feel that many, many wanna be parents should not adopt. It is not for everyone. But I do think that everyone can help in some way. I do feel that children are our best resources, they are our future, and not a single one of them asked to be born into this world. I believe that all of us have a responsibility to care for orphans, and I will probably talk about that here later on in the month.
But before I get to that, I have been thinking about what adoption means to me. I was driving the boys home from school and daycare tonight and while they played games and chatted in the backseat about the soon to arrive and much anticipated snow, I tried to string coherent thoughts together about what I wanted to say about adoption. I tried, ya'll, I just want you to know that. But I was not successful.
Instead, this is what entered my brain, courtesy of my youngest son.
"Mommy why is it going to snow? Why is is not snowing yet? Why is it going to snow? Why is there no snow yet? I am going to make a snow angel. Momma, I am gonna make a snow angel when we get home. Maffew, are you gonna make a snow angel? Mommy, where is the snow coming from? China? Is it snowing in China? LA LA LA LA LA LA. TURN UP THE RADIO MOMMA! I love this song. Mommy? Mommy, I love this song. TURN THE RADIO DOWN. Why is it so loud, Mommy? Turn it down. I can't hear you. Mommy, I had a RED day today. No, I had a green day. Can I eat this candy from my pocket? Why can't I eat this candy? It is my candy. NO MAFFEW! It is my candy! Can I have your phone? Mommy? Mommy? MOMMY? Can I have your phone? I want your phone. Mommy, I want your phone. You said I could have your phone. I want your phone. I am kicking your seat Mommy. My shoes are not dirty, Mommy. I can kick your seat cuz my shoes are not dirty. I am not kicking your seat Mommy. Mommy? Where are we going? Why did we turn left? Which way is left Mommy? Is it this hand or this one? I did not hit you Maffew. I was just pointing out my right hand. I did not HIT YOU! Mommy, Maffew says I hit him. I did not hit him. Mommy? When is Ho Ho coming, Mommy? I love Ho Ho. I want Ho Ho to come tonight. I did not HIT YOU! I don't want Ho Ho to come tonight. I'm not getting any presents. I don't want any presents. Throw my candy in the trash. I don't want it. Mommy, when is it going to snow? Mommy? MOMMY?"
So read this, oh, about 50 times, as LOUD AS YOU CAN. And fast. With a slight whine to your voice. Be sure to read it quickly.
I try to keep up, I promise you that I do. If I am not careful I can find myself stuck in a tug of war of words with this little chatterbox. I answer the first few questions, and then I realize that he doesn't care if I answer. That is he, in fact, not even listening to me. I want him to stop. I want him to just. stop. talking.
It might snow tonight, honey. Because the weather will get colder tonight and that makes the rain turn to snow. I just answered that question. And that one. I don't think there will be enough snow for a snow angel, honey. Yes, it might be snowing in some parts of China. How do you ask for the radio to be turned up? You just asked to turn it up! OK, I am turning it down! You can't hear me because you are talking so loudly, Alex. Take a deep breath. You did not have a red day. No, please put the candy back in your pocket. Yes, it is your candy, but there is no candy until after we eat dinner. Why is it in your pocket? You may have my phone later honey, not right now. Later. LATER! Asked and answered! Please stop kicking my seat. Because I don't want you to get the seat dirty. I don't care if your shoes are clean, please keep your feet still. We are going to the grocery store. Your left hand is the one by the window. Apologize to your brother. Ho Ho comes next month Alex. Next month. I didn't say you weren't getting any presents. I said please take a breath and stop talking. Yes, you are going to get presents from Ho Ho. For the love of all things holy, little one, STOP TALKING!
I said a few of those things. I thought all of them. The chattering continued throughout the grocery store. And then back in the car. Nothing offered to help him climb down from the sensory overload high he was on was accepted. Headphones were thrown into the front seat. The radio was met with him simply raising his own volume. The attempt at calming rocking before leaving the grocery store parking lot was met with loud screaming and curious stares from the other patrons. Is that woman hurting that sweet child? Knowing he had won the battle, he smiled, ratcheted up his volume another notch and continued to talk. He chattered through dinner, reminding me that his mac and cheese was still too hot to eat and that he wanted more watermelon. He chattered through Daddy coming home and the puppy getting a new dog bed. His constant loud chatter was frequently punctuated by our older son saying "Stop it, Alex!" in a very whiny voice. We were stuck in a loop. Child two being loud and frantic. Child one telling Child two to stop it, in a very whiny way. Child two ignoring Child one. Parent reminding Child one to stop whining and to phrase his request as a "do" command instead of a "do not". And the loop starts again. And goes on and on and on and on, until finally Child one smacks Child two while Mommy pulls them apart, secretly thanking Child one for breaking the cycle. (You parents of more than one kid, you know what I mean. I would never hit my child, but I might secretly cheer on the big brother who does...)
Today, this is what adoption means to me. Constant chatter and no space to think. I love my boys and wouldn't change our story for anything. But adoption, to me, now means more than sweetness and light. right now, tonight, it means chaos, loud, and frustration. It means thankfulness at bedtime and more wine than I think I drank in my twenties. It means breathing a sigh of relief when the house is finally quiet and sending up a quiet prayer that tomorrow will be a less chatty day. Today, this is what adoption means to me.