Friday, April 23, 2010

Worry (and other such things)

I believe there can be a lot of worry in an open adoption, on all sides. I know personally, that I worry ALL the time. I worry about how Robbie is doing, what he is doing, if he is ok. How will he turn out when he grows up? Will he hate R and I for placing him for adoption? Will he want us around? Will he love us? I also worry about my relationship with his A-parents, M and S. Am I asking for too much? Do they like me? Do they really want us around? Or are they just doing it out of some feeling of obligation to Robbie? A lot of times, I worry about offending them in some way, maybe by saying the wrong thing, or accidentally crossing some sort of line. I have this deep, personal need of approval from M and S. I feel like they HAVE to like me, and everything about me. That maybe if they really like me, then they will let me be in Robbie’s life even more. I feel like I have to be the "perfect birth mother". (By the way, could some one please tell me what all that entails? Because I sure as heck don't know!)

But on our last visit (which was the first week of this month), I began to realize that there are worries on their side as well. Now, I already know that A-parents have their own set of worries; I suppose it just didn't really click with me personally until this last visit. During the visit, Robbie was getting very fussy as it was nap time, but he wanted to stay sitting up right instead of letting S rock him to sleep on his shoulder (Usually, they let us put him to sleep while we are there, but he was VERY fussy this time). So M took him and said something along the lines of, "you just have to hold him down while rocking him" Which she proceeded to do until he fell asleep. As we were talking later, She said something like, "I'm sorry, I know it must be hard to see things like that, and it might seem mean and..." so on and so on. It took me a minute, but I realized, she was apologizing for it! Yeah, she kinda held him down, but guess what? It worked. He was asleep in 5 minutes. So obviously, she knew what she was doing. In my eyes, there was nothing to apologize for. But a few days later, I had the thought that maybe (I don't know for sure), she has the need/desire for mine and R's approval of her parenting (Which I do approve of, for the most part). My first thought after that was, "Well GOOD. She damn well better feel the need for our approval!" and then it quickly went to, "Wow... I can't believe she might actually feel that way. That would make me feel... Good. Like I picked the right family. Like I mattered."

I would say I don't know why I thought the first thought so quickly, but that would be a lie. I know exactly why. It came straight from the angry, resentful, jealous beast inside of me that I often find hard to control. I love M, I really do. But I have to admit, there are quite a few days that I struggle with hating her. Hating that she has MY child. Hating that SHE gets to be called mama, that she gets to hold him when he cries, and be on the receiving end of his kisses. Hating that she gets to be happy.. And even with all of that, I still adore her. I love how she is out going, funny, loud, and not afraid to say what’s on her mind. She is the entire reason I fell in love with them. The final factor in my picking them as The Family. She reminded me of myself. Or at least, who I used to be before all of this. I can hardly even recognize myself now. I'm so... jaded. (Just ask R, he would completely agree with me on this... lol)

Any way, all of this makes me wonder... Does M ever struggle with anything? I can't even make a list of possible struggles because I really have no idea what an adoptive parent could struggle with (besides things like bonding, which she has had NO problem with- He is a TOTAL mama’s boy). I wonder how she felt those first few weeks he was home. I wonder if she ever felt like he wasn't hers, like he was a stranger. I would like to ask her, but I suppose I don't yet have the kahunas to do so. Maybe one day?

Speaking of M... She texted me the other day! Robbie likes oatmeal again! He had banned it for some time (not surprised, I hate the stuff), as well as anything he couldn't pick up and put in his mouth on his own (hmm I have NO idea where that stubborn streak comes from...). Bad thing is, he has now banned veggies. This makes me terribly sad. I love veggies :(

Now... Off to brainstorm on first birthday gifts!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

11 Months

Today is April 20th. That means Robbie is 11 months old today, just one more month until he turns 1. One year ago, R and I were sitting in Catholic Charities, writing down what we wanted our sons A-parents to be like. Our "wish list" went something like this:

*At least 1 parent be college educated
*Inter-racial couple (Preferably a white-black couple, like us)
*Likes to travel
*Stay at home/work at home mom
*Have a supportive extended family/close knit family
*Already have one child (R wanted this one, I wasn't so sure)

I'm sure the list went on, but I can no longer remember everything on it, and I have misplaced it some where among the millions of adoption related papers in my desk. We were told that there may not be a family that matched every single specific on our list, but that they would try to get it as close as possible, even if that meant calling other agencies. We didn't expect to get everything on our list. But guess what? We did.

We looked at a grand total of two profiles. The first one was an older dominican couple, who both had adult children from previous marriages. They were ok, more of a last resort if we couldn't find anything better. As soon as we opened the second profile handed to us, we both started grinning from ear to ear. This was it! We found the family! The mom was white, the dad was black, and they had one almost three year old boy (J) whom they had also adopted(he was bi-racial, just like Robbie!). S was college educated, and M was a stay at home mom. They traveled often, and they had a large yet close knit family. They were everything we wanted. We couldn't believe we found a family that matched everything on our list! We gave the OK to set up a meeting.

A little over a week later, we met M, S, and J at the Catholic Charities office. I came prepared with a list of questions...

> Do you have plans to move?
> What are your religious beliefs, and do
> you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
> How much contact do you expect to have
> with us?
> What type of education do you want for
> your child?
> Do you have a savings plan for your
> children’s college?
> What are your hobbies, interests, and
> dreams for the future?
> How do you handle conflict?
> What are your beliefs about discipline?
> What kind of future do you see for your
> adopted child?
What makes your marriage work?

Which we discussed, and then some. I showed them the latest ultrasound picture of Robbie, we took a few pictures, exchanged hugs, and parted ways. As soon as we got outside, R and I started talking about how completely perfect they were, how we KNEW that they were "The Ones". We were excited. We were relieved. We were anxious.

It was a much happier time than now.

Happy 11 months, Robbie. We love you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Answer the phone!

Don't you hate it when you call some one, and they don't answer the phone? Don't you hate it even more when that person has your child? And the last time you heard, that child had strep throat and a 102 degree fever with vomiting? Really though, how hard is it to answer my phone call? Why must I call you four times(through out the week) AND send you a text message before you finally decide to call me back? Don't tell me you have been busy. I know if it was your mom or your husband or friend or some other family member, you would answer the phone. Or if you really couldn't answer their phone call, you would return their call in a timely manner. So why is it that you are too busy to answer/return MY calls? Why is it that you are too busy for us to come up for a visit, when you have other people over all the time? Must I remind you, that if it wasn't for me (and R), you wouldn't even have Robbie?
All I want is to be treated with a little more respect, a little more importance. You say R and I are so important, because we are Robbie's birth parents, and it's important for us to always be a part of his life and stay in contact. So why does it seem like you really don't give a fudge about us? Like you don't really want us around? Honestly, I feel if you are too busy to answer my phone calls or schedule visits or send us updates and pictures, then maybe you shouldn't have adopted... Or at least you shouldn't have entered into an "open" adoption.

I'm not asking you to send me a five page essay every day on how life is going, I'm just asking you to answer my dang phone call.

Disclaimer: I really DO like my sons A-mom, I mean if I didn't I would have chosen a different family! She is a great mother, and over all she is a great person. I just wish she was better at maintaining contact.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I finally decided to start a blog. I've been considering this for a few months, I just didn't think I was talented enough. And I was afraid. I was afraid my blog would be boring, grammatically incorrect, and immature. Who would want to read that crap?! Above all though, I had the fears "What if M and S found my blog, and didn't like what I had to say? Would they stop visits?" "What if family members and friends who don't yet know about Robbie find it?" But I finally decided that I don't care who finds this blog. Even M and S (and their extended family). Because I finally realized this is MY story, and I have the right to share it how ever I please. So that's exactly what I am going to do. Enjoy :)

<3 Ashleigh


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