Sunday, July 10, 2011

adventures in adoption...

This week, in an unexpected occurrence, we drove to pick up Jacob and Saren's birth mom, Maggie, and brought her to our home for several days while we figured out how to help her return to her family in California.

I'm not pretending that our relationship isn't challenging at times, or even a little overwhelming on occasion for me. But, like all things related to adoption, I try to focus on the blessings, which are what adoption is all about. And this is what I am thankful for about this week with Maggie.

Being reminded of all the beautiful traits, innate gestures, favorite foods and expressions she has passed on to my children.

Spending time with Roby, my kids beautiful Marshallese cousin, who is so handsome, sweet, confident, smart, fun, caring and who we all adore.

Confusing our friends at church who didn't even blink as we arrived with not TWO but THREE boys who are exactly 42" tall.

Sharing an awesome meal with Maggie and Roby, made by my parents, and learning how much they both love flat iron steak!

Watching our good friends and family welcome her with open arms, huge smiles and lots of genuine love! Thank you Mom and Dad, Jared, Kenny, Amber and Jill especially.

Seeing Saren bond with Maggie, say her name and smile into her eyes. I could tell Maggie loved every second of it.

Pitching to Maggie while she cranked softballs around the outfield at our local ballpark.

Sharing my iPod headphones with Maggie on a long car ride and jamming to the same tunes.

Maggie getting to see what a little athlete Jacob is, and watching her face take it all in as he played Pee Wee Baseball.

Freaking people out by publicly spending time with my children's birth mother. People just don't know what to say.

Playing kickball in our backyard with Maggie and good friends.

"Helping" Maggie to iron her hair straight.

Learning that Maggie LOVES the Lifetime network.

Things I did not love about this week, waiting for an hour in a HOT Greyhound Bus Stop while Eddie took pictures of homeless people and Saren picked up a strangers iPod.

I'm the first to admit that our family life is a little bit complicated at times, and I know open adoptions aren't for everyone or every situation. But, whenever I get stressed about if I am navigating this crazy situation in just the right way, I think about my children and what all of this means for them. And they seem to be thriving. Any small inconvenience, stress or challenge birth parents might present to my life and Dave's life are a tiny price to pay if those caring interactions between ALL their parents help my kids in even a small way. Any opportunity my children get, to learn how much they are loved, who they are and how amazing and divinely orchestrated their adoption was is, I hope, a chance to help them be more confident, more self-assured, and have more gratitude and faith.

And I do love Maggie, with all of my heart. As well as Jenny, Eddie's birth Mom. I want the most beautiful life for both of them, because that is what they have given me. A beautiful life with a beautiful family.

Tonight I am grateful to have Maggie and Roby safely home, to have my sweetie, Dave, who is the only guy I ever want around in a crisis, and to have my perfect babies sleeping in our home, dreaming of what they will break and pillage in the morning.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

move over Gumby...

This week, my four year old, Eddie managed to squeeze a little, plastic food basket onto himself in a painful backpack style. Also, this may be one of my favorite pictures ever.

He immediately came to me for help. And I did help him, after chasing him around the house with the camera for a few quick pictures while cracking up. This only annoyed him a little bit.

I cringed for five minutes while we struggled to free Eddie from his plastic slammer. I was sure his little shoulder was going to dislocate while I carefully tugged and twisted his arms in every direction, his scapulae sprayed out like a pterodactyl while he grunted and occasionally giggled.

We finally freed him, at which point Eddie thought seriously about putting the basket back on his body. I quickly distracted him with a snack.

As a footnote, I keep thinking how appropriate it is that Eddie is nicknamed Eddie Spaghetti. If you have ever had the pleasure to pick him up/sit him down or physically manipulate him in any way you know that this kid is very NOODLEY. Insanely flexible, floppy and strong at the same time. He is impossible.

Being four has not made Eddie any more calm. He CANNOT walk, he runs or jumps or rolls everywhere. And most likely, if he has to walk down the hallway at our home, he will hit the floor 20 times and knock into two or three walls before he makes it from point A to point B. I constantly wonder if we should make him wear a helmet. Last time we went swimming, the lifeguard actually went to rescue Eddie a few times, as he flailed about the water, when he was actually just standing and playing. But, Eddie is all over the place, and I can understand how he might look a little out of control to someone who wasn't his Mom. It's close to impossible to get a picture of this kid where he is not in perpetual motion.

When Eddie was a newborn, he made me feel like a rookie parent. Had I forgotten how to hold a baby? I wasn't sure, but I couldn't figure out how to hold this little guy. He was constantly pulling his head away from me and stiffening his little body. Later we found out he had painful reflux, and medications helped a little. But Eddie has always been impossible to contain. You cannot hold him without head butt to the chin. You cannot hug him without a forehead to the sternum, and you cannot walk past him without a getting poked in the eye by some flailing extremity. Dave and I used to talk about inventing a straight jacket for babies, and naming it "The Eddie". I think it could be huge.

I love this little maniac. When he figures out what to with all his crazy energy, he is going to take something by storm.