Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Mother of all Buzzkills

finish adoptionSomeone recently asked me if we're doing an adoption shower (like a baby shower, but without the childbirth horror stories...aaaaaaand I think we've figured out why I wasn't upset by my infertility. That and the other baby shower ritual--my Aunt Bea (a nurse) turning to me and saying, "we want to deliver yours." meaning her and my mom (an EMT), which, yeah, no.)

Anyhoodles, no, we're not doing an adoption shower. Or any sort of welcome to the family party, which is the first thing my extended family started talking about when we told them about our adoption plans. This just isn't something to celebrate. Not from the kid's point of view.

Think of this way: people keep saying how lucky our kid is to be adopted by us. You know what lucky would be? If her original set of parents hadn't screwed the pooch so badly that she ended up in this position at all. I can't even say that we're the next best thing, since her time since the system intervened has been less than awesome. So we're what? The pot of gold at the end of a really crappy rainbow? The safe harbor at the end of an arduous journey she should never have had to take?

Our kid wants to be adopted, but still, I expect that moving in with us will involve some grief for everything she's losing--a familiar foster home with dogs she loves, a familiar school setting, plus grief for everything she lost ages ago. You don't throw a party the weekend that happens.

Another buzzkill is that the process is uncertain and out of your hands until you're matched with a kid. In our case, we were the only potential parents being considered for our kid for months before we knew that we were it. Some agencies don't make a decision until after you've met the kid. It's really hard to tell when you can celebrate that you have a kid, because you don't know THAT you have a kid. Every time I updated my parents on the situation, I told them not to get too excited because I couldn't deal with their disappointment on top of my own.

And even once we were matched with our kid, I couldn't forget what a long, difficult road we have ahead of us. How do you celebrate when you're reading books about parenting traumatized kids?

But still...there is cool stuff. Like how awesome her room looks (she selected the bed set and curtains herself). And all the fun stuff we'll be doing like introducing her to NYC and just playing board games and doing craft projects so the three of us can bond. And how she comes with sarcasm pre-installed (me: Do you want to make ice cream next weekend? her: That shouldn't even be a question.).

4 comments:

  1. Great post! It sounds like the three of you are a perfect match! It's funny how that happens. L so evenly shares tons of characteristics of both my husband and myself. I tell everyone WE'RE the lucky ones to get to parent her. I don't call her situation (or any adopted or foster child's) lucky at all.

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  2. Such a great post. And I love her comment about the ice cream. I'm now convinced that she's the perfect match for you two.

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  3. Ok. I confess. I did put a bee in someone's bonnet that you deserved one. Think of all the presents you've made and bought for your friends and family. Having a teenager is expensive. They grow. They need clothes every couple of months. I suggested to someone that you and Michael deserved a shower to replace ahead of time all the things the kid will borrow and lose. Say goodbye to your hoodies, cool tshirts, socks and earrings. She'll be half way out the door and she'll need a sweater and Poof! Kiss it goodbye. I also though iTunes gift certificates for her would be a good idea.

    I know you. We didn't work well together, but I think you're going to make an awesome mother. I'm very excited for you and GOD DAMMIT it is a happy ending to a sad story. You're giving her roots which she needs to be a decent human being. So shoot me, delete the comment and ban me from ever reading your stuff or relax and let people be happy for you and pay you back!

    Kathy M.

    PS. Congratulations.

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