So so very much is up for my family this week, this month.
Because he is my son, and I really want and need to protect him, I am only going to share that this is much harder than I expected. But what the hell did I expect?
Adoptive+parenting ain’t for sissies.
Suffice it to say that it is hard.
Suffice it to say that when research says that an infant’s emotional life is far richer and deeper than we previously understood, I believe them.
Because this six year old is full of big feelings, and those feelings began over six years ago in a hospital room. Over six years ago when her Mama love, her laugh, her smell, and her beautiful singing voice were all that he knew.
Then thirty-six hours later–and all that was her was gone.
Replaced by my new mama awkward and is-this-the-way-a-baby-works-loving. By my unknown smell, then timid laugh, and wildly out of tune sing song voice singing none of the songs he’d been hearing for the last however many months since those precious ears were hearing her. And with each hour he missed her more, as I became more and more the Mama me–but was still, of course–me.
And he cried a lot when he realized he wasn’t getting the first Mama back.
And now I’m asking him to go back to that moment in time, but this time with open arms, a smile on his face, a good looking line up, and a button down shirt?
I’m asking him to manage all of that wordless grief, and turn it in to anticipation and ease and excitement?
Last night he let me know, in other wordless ways that that was not what he had in mind. It ended with a lot of hugs, and sobbing and shaking. The twenty minutes in between are for only the three of us to talk about.
And the counselor we’re breaking in tomorrow.
I reached out for help last night, after I got him and Marcel to sleep in my arms.
That help came in many forms.
When my adult, transracial, adopted male friend who has lived an open adoption all his life-asked if I felt like I could ask the birth mother to send some reassurance in some form that she was looking forward to seeing him too--I felt the waves parting in my heart.
I asked seconds later in a text if she could leave him such a message–because all my reassurances that she was excited too-weren’t cutting it. She wrote right back:
“I’ll send him a video message to your email after work tonight.”
I thanked her, and then asked if she would please include how much she was looking forward to meeting Marcel too…
When I think of him being tossed upside down and back and forth-on the roller coaster upside down thing over and over again this afternoon, with a huge smile on his face–it suddenly all makes sense. For an instant the outside world, was even more out of whack than the inside one.
Man my kid is brave. And I don’t even know the half of it.