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!
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.
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.
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.