normal…kind of.

I apologize for the delay in posting but to put it lightly, month 5 was a hot mess. Oh my, did it kick my butt. I went from having some real hope that Luca would finally be sleeping consistently through the night…to wondering what in the world I may have done wrong to cause such a huge step backwards suddenly. Out of nowhere, Luca started waking up multiple times each night in hysterics. Crying for me…no I digress, WAILING for me. Wanting to sleep in our bed, wanting me to hold him more than usual, sing to him over and over and over again. You get the picture. We tried everything from napping him, not napping him, making his bedtime earlier, later…whatever you can think of…we did it and failed miserably. It was really hard.

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I started to lose my mind and patience. I felt really alone, especially when people would try to tell me that all of this was “normal” because as ‘normal’ as it may be for some…this was so new to me and really didn’t feel normal in any sense of the word. The more I heard that word, the more lost I was and I couldn’t help but feel like a failure. I know it was said to me to make me feel better and most of the time, it actually did. But maybe it was the lack of sleep that finally caught up to me…because I started to feel more sensitive than not. I yearned for normalcy, so what was wrong with me? Wasn’t it a good thing that friends/family finally considered us to be just another mother/son duo rather than a family still adjusting? It took me a while but I finally realized what it was. It’s because our definition of ‘normal’ isn’t necessarily the same as others. There are so many similarities but there’s also a lot of gray. Basically I have a six month old, who is the size of a three year old…and I think once I held onto that realization, I started to feel like I could breathe again.

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Fortunately, going into month 6 of becoming a family…Luca’s sleep has started to take a turn for the better again. It’s only been about a week but his crying has stopped in between wake ups and he’s sleeping in longer ranges through the night. Somehow he still ends up in our bed and wakes up at 5:30am each morning, but in the grand scheme of things…I’ll take it! Through all of this, we decided to enroll Luca into preschool part time. I needed some time to just feel like a human being again. Luca seemed excited about the idea as well. It’s all happening six months earlier than I originally planned, but timing felt right. We spent all day yesterday preparing for his first day of school and as excited as I was that I could take a shower without Luca popping in to check on me every few minutes, preparing for this day brought back so many emotions. As I was explaining to Luca about his schedule at school, I noticed he began to get into his head.

L: Are you going to stay there with me?

Me: No, but I will pick you up as soon as nap time is over.

L: I don’t want to sleep there.

Me: You’re just resting for a little bit. When you’re finished resting…I will pick you up right away.

L: What is in my bag? I’m taking it with me?

Me: It’s just a small backpack. All of the kids have backpacks for school. Don’t worry, I will pick you up as soon as school is finished.

This conversation happened a few times throughout the day. But it was a conversation that was all too familiar to him, so I knew why he kept asking. I witnessed his foster mom say something similar in preparation to Luca coming home with us. It’s reminders like this that help me remember how far we’ve come in bonding yet how complicated factors of adoption can be. I think that’s been the biggest challenge of it all: trying to figure out what is just typical toddler behavior vs. what behavior stems from our adoption journey. Packing bags has always been a trigger for Luca. I saw this when we took custody and eventually had to hide his suitcase because of all the stress it caused him. I saw this when we packed our bags for a sudden trip to the east coast due to a family emergency and he cried quietly on the way to the airport. And I saw this when the hubs moved our suitcase from the garage the other day and Luca kept questioning why it was in our home. As a three year old child who is entering a new chapter, yet not fully understanding what is going on…packing something as little as a backpack and nap-mat can bring back raw emotions from the past. Sure, maybe I overthink things sometimes but I’ve come to know Luca fairly well and this was not just a simple conversation we were having. I’m sure going into the unknown of preschool today was extremely tough. I promised him over and over again that he would meet new friends and have a great time, but most importantly…I am just down the street and will be back to pick him up in just a little bit. “We are a family. I’m not going anywhere.” This has been our mantra since day one.

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“what is this life?!?” – Luca post first day of preschool.

I pray that Luca will not have to worry or over-think things when new chapters come along in the future. But the reality is, he will and as his mom…so will I. Adoption, although it is not necessarily abnormal, it is complex. Before we started this process, I didn’t think about how adoption could be a lingering topic that may never go away. I honestly thought that once we bonded initially, that would be it. But I quickly learned that from the initial adjustment and bonding, there will also be questions like in his teenage years and wondering about details of his story…to when Luca hits that age of possibly wanting to search for his birth parents…and even into his adult years when filling out medical history forms or starting his own family…the adoption factor will come up. And I never want him to feel lost when they do. But overall, I want him to know that all of these feelings he may or may not have are more than just normal…they are valid.

When I picked Luca up from preschool today, his teachers told me he did really well. But as soon as we got home, it was evident how upset he was. We had a hard time today, which I anticipated and know is even very typical with parents of bio children after the first day of school. But when I finally got him to feel a little more relaxed by putting him in his carrier and taking him on a walk before bedtime, we had a conversation that I will hold dear to my heart. Within five minutes of stepping outside, Luca-bear fessed up to me that he was “a little scared” and “a little sad” at school today. I comforted him and let him know he didn’t have to worry anymore because now he knows what to expect so there won’t be any surprises. We got through the first day together and I reassured him once again by saying, “I came to pick you up when I said I would, right?”

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Drained…fell asleep at 6pm this evening.

He started breathing a little deeper and I figured he was about to fall asleep. But before completely knocking out, he said the sweetest thing that I was not expecting in the least: “thank you.”

I cried all the way back home. And I’ll be the first to say it…yes, these emotions were definitely normal, but oh my goodness did I look crazy! XO.

 

umma, take 5.

When Luca-bear has a tough time sleeping, the hubs or I will carry him on our backs and walk up and down our street until he falls asleep. This has been a go-to since we became parents. It happens less frequently these days but it still is a lifesaver on days Luca is more restless than others. Fortunately after our recent trip to Disneyland, our little guy started to sleep better due to Mickey induced exhaustion and just last week he slept through the night for the very first time since being home. It only happened twice since then but it’s a HUGE win on our end.

Last night however, we hit one of those crazy restless nights again. We had a fun, long day with friends and Luca was so tired afterward that he fell asleep in the car ride home. When transferring him from the car to the house, he woke up and well…as they say…all hell broke loose. It was one of those moments that all parents probably have witnessed at least once in their lives. When nothing, and I mean NOTHING can stop their extremely tired child from sobbing uncontrollably and all you can pinpoint it back to is the fact that they must be really, really exhausted. I tried everything but learned that it is one of those moments he just needed me to love on him until he was ready to calm down. After some poor negotiations, I decided to try something different and asked him if he wanted me to use his carrier and carry him, facing me. We tried this on day 1 of custody back in February and he did not like the idea of it at all. We never tried it again, but last night he obliged.

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I looked like an oompa-loompa carrying this huge toddler in basically a sack, but man that toddler carrier is such a God-send. I actually felt comfortable holding him and the only uncomfortable thing about carrying him that way was the stares I got from strangers walking by. It didn’t help that Luca was still sobbing while being held but I could tell it was helping. He rested his head to my chest and I could feel the stream of tears seeping through my shirt. Every now and then Luca would look straight at me and say “umma” (“mom”) and I would reply “yes?” and without saying another word, he would rest his head on me again. This happened several times until he finally fell asleep through his tears.

I walked with him for a while, even after he fell asleep. It felt like we were bonding in another way as he laid on my chest, quietly asleep and I couldn’t help but think about a lot of things; specifically the word ‘umma’. This word usually is the only word that comes out of Luca’s mouth when he has his uncontrollable sob sessions, sometimes even during night terrors. It’s not too often that he cries like this but it’s not an afterthought either. I think over time, the word “umma” has transitioned from crying out for his foster mom to now crying out for me. He used to call her that, up until right before we met him in person, but she taught him to call her ‘grandma’ closer to our meeting instead.

Maybe there is still some sort of remnant of foster mom when he does cry out for “umma” in his subconscious. That, we will never know but for the most part I can tell we’ve come a long way with each passing day. Today marks 5 months of us becoming a family. I know that ‘umma’ is a word that will hold a lot of weight as our Luca-bear gets older and older. From our future talks about his birth-mom to memories with his foster mom…we have a lot of ground to cover over the next many moons together. But for now, I’ll do my very best to hold that title of ‘umma’ with humility and strength for our baby boy. Knowing I do fall into that category for him has become one of my greatest rewards in this so called life.

Happy 5 months Luca-bear. Umma loves you.

 

i’m sorry, what?

 

A few days ago, our social worker called us out of the blue and dropped a bombshell on us. The phone call went something like this:

Hi, Angelina? I know this is unexpected but I had to present this to you. We have a situation where a newborn baby is up for adoption and I think you guys might be the perfect fit. Would you consider adopting this baby?

I’m sorry, what?

She went onto say that she knew the hubs and I weren’t even supposed to be considered as potential parents at this time, but the more the birth mom told her they type of parents she was looking for, the more and more it sounded like us. To makes things even more confusing, once birth mom found out that we had recently adopted our son Luca…apparently it was game over for her. She was set on making this work.

We only had 24 hours to decide if we would be bringing this newborn baby into our lives. The way my head was spinning, I physically started to feel sick and with each passing minute, I felt more and more like I was in a twilight zone. There were so many different thoughts flowing through my mind and the hubs and I actually had a moment when we completely sat in silence.

Why now? Why us? Are we supposed to surrender to God and just trust like I always say we should do? If we weren’t meant to be this baby’s parents…why would we even be in this situation? Are we being selfish if we don’t do this? How can we say no to this innocent life?

The questions went on forever, but the hard part was when we would come up with reasons why we should say no. The guilt kept piercing me in the heart with each excuse and I felt so lost. I ended up reaching out to a handful of girlfriends who let me talk out my concerns. No-one gave me an answer of what I should do (trust me, I asked!) but instead they all kept affirming that no matter what decision we made, they would support us and it would be the right one. I think i needed to hear that. My friends also let me know they would pray and ask God that I would get a clear answer/confirmation of what I should do.

*Side-note: I didn’t get that confirmation…not in those 24 hours at least.

I was a mess. I prayed, cried…got mad at one point because who knows…it just felt like a good emotion to feel through it all. Why not right? I was just given a life-changing notice that would change EVERYTHING in an instant, so yeah…I happily let myself get a little angry. But overall, I was just the walking epitome of the word ‘confused’. The hubs and I tried to see how Luca would react with the idea of bringing a baby home and asked him if he wanted a baby sibling.

His reaction was quite blunt: I hate babies. Well, at least we knew where he clearly stood.

After pouring through so many reasons, we ultimately came to the decision that timing just wasn’t right. Not in the sense where it didn’t fit into our timeline. My husband and I are actually pros when it comes to figuring things out because timing does not usually go our way. But this was different. It was timing in the sense that Luca has only been with us for four months and adding another sibling to the mix may not be the best thing at this very moment for him. The funny thing is, if this exact scenario happened a month ago, we may have thought differently because Luca-bear was showing so much more independence then. As I’ve stated before, his regression and EXTREME clinginess to me has been a more recent thing that hasn’t yet died down.

We made the very difficult decision to say no to this adoption and hoped this baby would be able to find parents who could give him 100% of their affection immediately. I was still feeling the guilt because if we REALLY tried…we could’ve made it work. It would’ve been extremely difficult but not impossible. Nothing is ever impossible. The next day, I had coffee with a couple of the girlfriends that supported me and they helped me ease some pain. I didn’t think of it this way but they said that maybe God presented this case to us not to be this baby’s parents but to be the vessel for others who may want to adopt. Those words meant so much to me because I was harboring so much guilt but it gave me a boost of confidence that we made the right decision for all of us.

Not many people know this, but this was actually the second time that a situation like this was presented to us in less than half a year. I know, crazy…but if anything, it has helped me realize that being open about our journey is in fact bringing some sort of awareness about adoption, specifically Korean adoption. Both times, birth moms were of Korean descent and as mentioned in the past, Korean culture still holds so much stigma over this subject. If we are able to help bring awareness and especially a realness about adoption to even a tiny few just by sharing our journey…then there it is…the reason why we are proudly sharing our story of being parents through this amazing gift.

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Luca has always been pretty independent, even when he tries not to be. Whenever I would try to cradle him and hold him like a baby, he would quickly shift positions and that was that. Falling asleep on my back…that is acceptable in his book but holding him like a baby? That would require complete humility on his end, admitting that he is in 100% baby-mode and well, Luca-bear is just too cool for that. That was until tonight. Luca was crying more than usual when I put him to bed and wanted me to hold him. After calming him down, for some reason I decided to cradle him and we stared at each other…albeit it was a little awkward. I don’t think either of us ever felt this vulnerable to each other before and we connected in some weird way that I cannot explain. As if I was telling him you are my baby and I am here to comfort you 100% because I know you need to feel this love right now. He silently obliged and after some rocking back and forth…for the first time ever, he fell asleep in my arms.

For me, that was my confirmation…in the flesh that everything worked out the way it was supposed to. And for some reason, the fact that this came after our decision was already made, made me feel that no matter which way we chose…we would’ve been okay in the end. I think that may have been what God wanted me to trust and hold onto from the beginning.

*I am happy to announce that another potential family for that precious baby is already lined up. Praying for that baby and any other child who is in need of a forever home.

 

mom-shaming: adoption edition.

lucabear PB

Chillin at Pottery Barn Kids

I stopped by Pottery Barn Kids today to pick up a few things and promised Luca it would be a quick trip in and out of the store. He didn’t want to go in but once inside, he saw the train table display and made his way over there with a huge smile on his face. Soon after, another little boy joined him at the table. Luca looked over at the boy and asked me if he was his friend from Korea. He obviously wasn’t but did look a lot like him. That’s when the boy’s mom looked at me and asked, “what was your son saying?”

“Oh, he mistook your son for another friend,” I responded smiling (thinking it was the cutest thing ever!) and then turned my attention back to the train table. That’s when I overheard the mom say to her friend, “she has to translate for him.”

The mom was Asian (like me) and her son was a few months younger than mine, but unlike Luca…English was his first language. At first I thought the comment about translating was odd, but quickly let it go. However, after spending the next few minutes watching our boys play together and exchanging small talk, I started to feel more and more uncomfortable.

Wow, he’s tall for his age.

He only speaks Korean?

So he can’t speak any English?

How does he communicate in school?

I let her know that he just turned three not too long ago and school was something we are just now looking into. She stood silent for a bit and I thought that was probably the end of our conversation but…nope.

I wouldn’t send him to school yet. He should know English before he goes.

Hoping she’d let it go, I told her we weren’t too worried because he seems to pick up on cues here and there and already learned some words just by going on playdates and at Sunday school.

She didn’t take the hint too well and continued to tell me that her mother made the mistake of putting her brother into school before he knew English and he almost starved everyday. She actually said to me “You don’t want him to starve. My brother would come home and eat 4 pieces of white bread everyday after school before my parents finally picked up on what was going on…Think about it.

What she didn’t know was, I have. I’ve thought about it A LOT actually. The ironic thing is that right before going to Pottery Barn in the first place, I had just finished lunch with a couple girlfriends where I told them about my concerns about putting Luca in school and language issues. But the difference between that discussion versus the one I had with this stranger is that that one was a discussion amongst friends I was confiding in and trusted their opinions on, rather than an unsolicited opinion that felt more like judgement was being passed on my parenting.

This is such a tough topic to write about. It’s one of those things where you want to take the ‘high road’ and not say anything but at the same time wonder if not saying anything is really in fact the ‘high road’ at all. Before becoming a mom, I was very aware of the types of mom-shaming debates that circulated: working moms vs SAHM’s, breastfeeding vs formula, natural birth vs epidurals…you name it, anything and everything you can think of…people had strong opinions on. But what I was not aware of was the type of mom-shaming that comes in the form of subtle comments that could make you second guess your capabilities as a mother.

Dramatic much? It can seem that way I guess, and maybe that’s why for a while I thought it was me who was being too sensitive. But when you are sleep-deprived and trying to do the best you possibly can, an opinionated comment can really hurt you. Being a mom via adoption and also sharing our journey publicly, I knew it meant I was opening doors for both wanted and unwanted thoughts to come our way. I prepared as best as I could and for the most part I think I’m able to take most things in stride, but sometimes…I just can’t. I know I don’t have to explain myself and to be honest, most of you who are reading this post directly from me are not people who have mom-shamed me at all so please don’t feel like you have to walk on egg-shells! But for anyone who has ever felt belittled as a mom…or maybe even passed judgement on another mom’s parenting…I want to emphasize that each of us have our own stories that we are living and our own personal styles as moms should be embraced.

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I will end this post with this particular thought. When I became a mother, my son weighed in at over 30 pounds. His foster mom had a weak shoulder and was unable to carry him much while he was with her. When we took custody, he was obviously grieving but would rarely let us hold him except on our backs with a carrier and only when he was extremely tired. Fast-forward to today (four months home) and Luca has been ridiculously clingy these days. He wants me to carry him almost all the time. I am very aware that he is humungous and over half my size, but if you think about it…everyday from this moment on is the smallest he will ever be for me. We are bonding in ways where he feels more comfortable to whine and cries for that heart to heart, physical touch. Is it spoiling him by carrying him at the age of three? If you think of it that way then maybe it is. But after reading this explanation…would you really consider it as spoiling or could you possibly look at it as a bond that has formed between a mother and son who are uniquely getting to know each other on a daily basis? Our journey may not look like yours and vice-versa…but isn’t that what makes both your story and mine as special as it is?

Think about it. 

 

 

it’s okay.

Last week sucked. I mean, there wasn’t anything crazy that happened in particular but it was one of those weeks that kept getting harder and harder with each day that passed by until I couldn’t do it anymore…I couldn’t ‘mom’.

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Luca-bear being his happy-go-lucky self. #youaremysunshine

Now don’t get me wrong, Luca-bear is such a fun little guy and for the most part we have better days than not…but last week, the hubs and I were trying out a new work schedule for him (no bueno!) and were also running on very little sleep between us. On top of that, Luca has been in his ‘no’ stage for the past few weeks, so it was the perfect storm for mommy mayhem to unfold.

I’m used to days consisting of my son literally handing me his boogers over and over again or suddenly hiding from me if I tell him we are running late for an appointment. It’s become a norm really. But for days when your patience has run dry and your zombie-mode status has hit an all time high…these ‘norms’ seem more like HUGE DEALS and all I want to do is lay down on my couch and tell Luca, “Sure, go ahead and eat your snacks for dinner tonight. Whatever you want…another gummy bear? Why not. Just please give me a minute to myself.” In which that usually doesn’t happen and ends up with a more than usual talkative Luca calling out: “mom? mom? mom? mom?….Here’s a booger.”

The final straw was toward the end of the week. Again, nothing too crazy but I asked Luca not to touch something he wasn’t supposed to. Him being the ultimate jokester, responded with “this?” (knowing what it was but pointing next to the object). Then again, “this?” (points to another object). “This?” (points to yet another object). And then I lost it. I looked at my husband and said, “I can’t do this right now! I need to leave!”. I think he knew the seriousness of my voice and just said “Go, I got this!” and so I walked out the door and did just that.

I had no idea where I was going but I got in my car, called my BFF and started to drive. Thank goodness she answered the phone. An amazing mother of three, Susan has been my best friend for decades. I started to vent nonstop until I actually began to cry. I felt like a failure of a mom. Knowing this is a stage for him, I kept saying Luca is only three and still adjusting and kept feeling the guilt pounding on my heart. As I was telling Susan about all of this, she did exactly what I needed her to do…she listened. She didn’t judge me or tell me “you’ll be fine”…but instead she told me that she went through this too with her kids and understood exactly how I was feeling. Man, that commonality was such a huge gift. Her kids are so sweet and well behaved that I didn’t even think she went through moments like these with them. As a mom, she is one of the ones I look up to and for her to let me have this raw moment of NOT being okay is what ultimately made everything okay in the end.

After our talk and relaxing for a couple of hours, I headed back home. Luca and I went on a walk that night and had a really long conversation. Whether he understood everything I was saying or not, I don’t know…but I made sure he knew how much I love him and that I will try to be the best mommy I can, even when I’m not. Mommyhood still has its tough moments but giving myself that little break to be honest and re-group was just what I needed and I felt a huge burden come off of my shoulders.

I’ll be happy to report that Luca still feels confident enough to hand me his boogers on the daily and things are back to ‘normal’. I’m learning that being a mom does require a lot of sacrifice but it doesn’t mean you have to self-sacrifice your entire self. I still have a lot to learn but am hoping that if anyone else has had any of these moments, you can confidently know that you are not alone and just as my best friend helped me understand this: It’s okay if things are not okay. Perfection isn’t motherhood and motherhood is definitely not meant to be perfect.

 

so…can i?

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selfie time with my favorite little man

I’ve mentioned in my old blog about my journey as a Christian, but for those who aren’t familiar, I’ll share it briefly here. I call myself a ‘closet-Christian’ because I always had a relationship with God but depending on when you met me, you may never have known. I have a hard time showing or speaking about faith publicly, especially as I’ve gotten older. To be really honest, I’m still very intimidated when it comes to my faith. But during our adoption journey, my personal relationship with God became too evident for me to ignore, so I challenged myself to start sharing pieces of my walk with Christ more outwardly. Writing is probably the safest form for me since I’m still uncomfortable sharing out loud, but I’ve been feeling compelled to push myself out of my comfort zone lately.

I’ve had deep conversations with different mommy friends about how motherhood changes things (both good and bad). But something that a lot of moms don’t do as often is share their stories with other moms. It’s so important and has been a God-send for me to have supportive mommy friends help me navigate this new chapter of my life. Throughout my paper-pregnancy and now during motherhood, sharing struggles and victories with others kept a level of sanity for me. But one of the most beautiful and powerful things that anyone has done during these times was asking if they could pray for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I still feel really uncomfortable when this happens but whether you are religious or not…I think anyone can appreciate the heart behind someone wanting to pray over you. Motherhood is no joke people. It can somehow be the most amazing thing that has ever happened to you with a side of ‘what am I doing?’ as an a la carte. And I think it is within these two extremes that we as moms start to feel overwhelmed, insecure, and just worn down.

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a rough night usually means piggy back rides

And so with that said, I’ve decided to personally challenge myself with reaching out to other moms and doing something that is not natural to me: pray. Prayer for me is VERY challenging. I can pray by myself without a problem when it’s in my own head but if I pray for others or out loud, I somehow lose my ability to sound like an adult human being:/ I get really tongue-tied, start thinking too much and usually end up convincing myself ‘well, God knows what I’m trying to say’ and stopping in my tracks. But like anything else in life, practice makes perfect right?

So…I’ve been wanting to ask some moms a personal question. What I’m trying to say is: can I pray for you? *skkkkrrrrrrrtttt*

I know…awkward. Trust me I know. However, this has been sitting on my heart for quite sometime now. I am hoping to start a little writing series to meet/interview different moms to share their stories with me and my five readers (I have more than five readers, right guys?). In all seriousness though, I want to challenge moms willing to share their vulnerabilities and in turn, I will share mine and will focus on praying for you that particular week. So be ready mamas! I’m coming for you (or contact me please!). The community of motherhood shouldn’t be walked alone and the power of prayer shouldn’t be overlooked either. Let’s do this together mamas. Because believe it or not, we have a lot more in common than society likes us to believe sometimes. XO!

how are you?

How are you? Such a simple question yet probably the hardest one I have been asked since becoming a mom. To be honest, I haven’t really had a chance to think about *how* I’m actually doing. A friend recently said it perfectly when she said it seems like I am in ‘survival’ mode. That’s exactly how I feel. Everyday is so different and we are bonding with our son on the daily, but the thing about adoption is that every step forward also seems to come with two steps back (at least for this early part of the process).

I’ve decided to take this time (as Luca is finally sleeping!) to try to answer this question so here goes!

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I’m tired: This has been my go-to answer…that I’m ‘exhausted’. I really am. During the day, Luca-bear is full of energy, can run around all day if he had the choice, and talks without taking a breath. We literally went from 0 to 60 in a flip of a dime and since day one of custody, Luca has yet to sleep through the night. He wakes up several times and had night terrors every, single night until just a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately the night terrors have lessened but he still wakes up at least once or twice and calls out for me until I answer him. As tiring as this has been, it does break my heart knowing he needs to be sure I’m not going anywhere. There are still times when certain triggers cause some regression but we feel like we are better prepared as each day goes by. One day, he will be secure enough to sleep through the night. Til then…zombie mode it is.

I’m good: Getting to know Luca has been a lot of fun. He is such a ham and an incredibly funny boy. I think his true personality is starting to show more and more and he cracks us up all the time. Sometimes I forget that we’ve only known each other for a couple of months and feel like he’s been with us all along. We’ve made huge strides in attachment in the past month and can tell he is letting his guard down a lot more. Sometimes I catch myself just staring at him and feeling so thankful to be his mom.

I’m dazed: If you ask me what day it is, I really couldn’t tell you. My calendar app is the only thing helping me to pretend like I’m still a functioning human being. I’m behind on emails, phone calls, and thank you notes (so many thank you notes!) and feel like my brain is on a two second delay whenever I try to hold up a conversation. I wish I was kidding.

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I’m grateful: Wow, the outpouring of love and support has continuously been felt by our little family. We’ve been truly blessed with incredible friends and family who have shown us so much love throughout this entire process. Knowing how many wonderful people are loving on Luca really humbles us and also reminds us of God’s grace shown here on earth.

I’m lonely: So this is the weird thing. I have many friends and family I speak with and see so often and genuinely adore with all my heart. But there are these pockets of moments when I feel like I can’t fully relate to other mommy friends and vice-versa. Don’t get me wrong, I have some of the most amazing friends who have helped me and given me so much great advice, but knowing that there are different intricacies in adoption vs biological parenting makes it difficult to explain (or even want to try to explain) things at times. I am part of an adoption support forum and also have a great group of adoptive mommy friends as well, but sometimes you just want some feeling of normalcy within your own circle. I’m sure many moms feel this way whether they’ve adopted or not, but for me personally, the adoption factor has been the added layer. Logically I know that our differences are what make relationships grow but come on now, I’m only human. And oh the mommy-guilt and mom-shaming…those add a whole new level of feeling this way, which I’ll save for another post.

I’m confused: My life before Luca was very different. I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted for the most part. But nowadays I have a little man-child who pretty much dictates how my day will go. I used to be the friend who could meet you for a random cup of coffee or dinner date last minute, but now I find myself trying to figure out the perfect time to even take a quick shower when my toddler is in a good enough mood to let me out of his sight. As much as I’m getting to know our Luca-bear these days, I’m also trying to get to know my new self as well.

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I’m happy: As tiring and as tough as things have been, overall I am really happy. We waited so long to bring Luca home and each day has been a day closer to our new normal. But through it all, I would not trade this for the world. I think adoption has opened up a type of love and appreciation I had no idea existed in my heart. Luca has brought another dynamic to our life in the sense that we laugh at the littlest things, find his tiny victories as our huge ones, and feel our love growing more and more each day as a family. If it were completely a choice of heart (and didn’t involve other elements), the hubs and I said we would be open to adopting again. Who knows if that day will come again or not…but I can’t even wrap my brain around the idea of adding another child into our lives at this particular time. I’m just trying to sleep a full night people!

There you have it. I feel all of these things and none of these things, depending on any given moment! Confused? Yes, me too! But in all seriousness, I’m glad to have been able to sit down and actually think about how I’m feeling. Can any moms (old & new!) relate to any of this? Have you taken time out of your busy schedules to really think about how you are doing? Tough question huh? But I think it’s definitely one worth thinking about.

XO!