Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thoughts...and Not-So-Much Thoughts...

I love funny people. I found this fantastic piece the other day by a woman in the midst of an Ethiopian adoption and oh-so-honest about some of the feelings she's had. For the record, the fact that she used the word "asshole" so brilliantly really endeared her to me.

Here is the entry

Some of what she said resonated so true with me. I've often wondered, "Instead of bringing a child out of her culture, why don't we do more FOR her culture so that she can stay there?" I haven't yet completely reconciled this.

Interestingly, it's been 2 weeks since we accepted our referral and two things have happened that have stopped me in my tracks.

First, I had my first experience with someone asking if I had any kids "of my own." I mentioned to a woman who worked in The Children's Place that I was going to Africa because I know they keep 99-cent items in the back and I wanted some of them! Long story short, I explained that we were adopting a baby girl, and the woman asked, "Oh - do you have any of your own?"

Now, having twins, I'm used to all the crazy questions, including "Are your twins the kinds that have different fathers?" because they look so different. Lovely. And I know what this woman meant, and that she meant NO harm by it. She just didn't know how to properly phrase her question. But as I jumped to answer, "Yes," I shopped short and said, "I have four biologically." Do I think she heard what I was really saying? No. But that's okay. As it is with twins and strangers' questions and comments, I'm sure it's only just the beginning.

Second, my sweet friend Julie Beeler asked me recently, "So, are you, like, looking at her picture all day long?" and then I read of a family wondering if their baby was cold or teething or playing or sleeping or whatnot. I sat there and I realized, "I am an asshole of a mother." (There, did I use it as brilliantly?)

Because, no, I don't stare at her picture all day long and I haven't even thought about whether or not she's cold, teething, etc."

First of all, I know she's wanting for nothing. The special mothers at the orphanage are beyond amazing. I don't wonder about whether she's teething because she's 8 weeks old and last time I checked, 8-week-olds aren't yet even thinking about thinking about teething.

I don't wonder what she's doing because it doesn't do any good to do that. I don't stare at her picture all day because it makes me anxious about when we can go get her.

I also am a bit busy with four kids and a million business things and that is such a blessing right now because it's helping the time sort of go by more quickly.

But I think I'm not an asshole of a mother because I know that she is always in my heart. In my heart, I have 5 children. I work on her room a little more every day. I find fantastic stuff online and in the stores (much to David's dismay) to buy her. I plan for what we'll do when she gets here instead of worrying what she's doing without me/us. I look to the future.

And when her picture "accidentally" pops up on my computer screen (because I'm an idiot and I hit the wrong buttons all the time) I fall in love all over again.

I know she's okay where she is. And I know she'll come home. And I know that the long-term answer to the issues in Ethiopia is something I hope to forever be apart of.

So there, I've answered my own questions, pulled my feet out of the mud, and trudged on.


julie_joshb said...

Ya know, I felt so much of our adoption (much more towards the end) that if i even went there for a second in my mind...what is she doing, is she sick etc...i would go crazy...i pushed it all down and prayed that she would be okay, safe etc...i mean she was in such an amazing place with people that LOVED her so much and she is obviously OKAY! I love how u quoted me...hmmmmm like Liz did u like see on my blog where i like wrote about you too! :) get that suitcase packed and ready for me to jump in...

julie_joshb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
julie_joshb said...

who would have thought somehting i said stopped YOU in your tracks? I must be pretty good huh!

DC said...

This is a great post. I don't think you're an asshole of a mother. In fact, I think your newest daughter is extremely lucky to have you in her life (and vice versa). :)

Lauren said...

I just read your blog for the first time and I must say you used "asshole" brillantly. We are just starting the adoption process. We too are adoptind a little girl. I hope everything goes well for you.

Leann said...

I came across a link to your blog and am so glad to read another mother who has the same feelings as me. We received our boy referral 2 weeks ago, and are waiting for travel. I look at his picture occasionally and wonder if he is really my child. I know he is in my heart, but I don't find myself thinking about him all the time like I did my bio kids. Glad to hear I'm not an asshole of a mother either!!