*Sniff* All Grown Up…

It has been a while since I have posted. I originally thought that I have just been busier in recent weeks but I knew that it was more than that. Our Tiny Human Project has settled into a cozy corner of my brain. I am no less excited or hopeful about it but it has worn a comfortable groove into my thoughts and has not surprised me with torn or controversial thoughts as of late. We are still far from decided but it’s not feeling as radical as before. We have continued to work our way through Dr. Ray Guarendi’s Adoption: Choosing it, Living it, Loving it book. The question/answer format has been perfect for a few minutes of reading together here and there. Mr. Something agreed that he’s answering all of the right questions for our stage of “Educate Yourself.”

I spied a cute pregnant woman at the store today. She was totally rocking the belly with another little already in her cart. I wasn’t leering but I looked at that baby bump silhouette and the little boy with sandy blonde hair that matched her own and I asked myself, “Would I miss that? Would I feel like I missed out on that?” At the same moment I spied my own reflection in the store window and didn’t miss a beat when I told that reflection of myself, “No.”  Every girl, whether a baby swooner or an on-the-fencer or even the hell no’s, have all looked down at themselves at some point and imagined that bump. It hasn’t and still doesn’t stir anything within me. Reading lots of adoption blogs I often find the phrase, “We were called to do it.” Now, a post about religious beliefs is a whole different blog post for another night but I am comfortable with thinking, “Maybe we were meant to do this.”

Mr. Something told me that he wants to see the photo listings. I was surprised given his previous feelings about seeing the faces of so many children in need. We have yet to cozy up on the couch together and explore the listings but moments like this are taking us inches forward to a decision.

I finally told a real life friend about THP. It was thrilling to speak of it, bring it to life in the “real world” outside of the Something home. My dear friend that listened was nothing but supportive, not that I expected anything less. She asked all the right questions and let me flex my newly acquired knowledge. I hadn’t realized how much I have researched and absorbed about the whole process and my feelings about it until it came spewing out in a face-to-face conversation. There are days that I can barely contain myself and I want to tell everyone. There are other days that I am so scared to put such a personal decision out there.

I, admittedly, do my best to not care what others think but tend to personalize things anyway. Especially when it comes to children, I am shamefully quick to judge. Screaming child in the grocery store? Take them home and come back later. I then slap myself, what if there is no later for that parent? What if there is no other parent to take that child home to?
 There are other less drastic situations like the child jumping up and down in the booth at the restaurant. I was raised in a house when jumping on furniture of any kind was not allowed, not to mention jumping on furniture in a public place! Teach your child manners! I shamefully judge and I am afraid of being shamefully judged. I take pride in my home, and how we welcome people into our home. I want to take pride in my parenting abilities as well. Taking on THP might mean a child that has no idea that jumping on a booth in a restaurant is rude behavior. (If only that could be the least of possible issues!) Teachable moments, yes, but I know I am going to have to work on letting go of the worries about what other people think of me as a parent. This may be one of my biggest personal challenges with this situation. I won’t get to start parenting from scratch. Self-confessed control freak here! How on earth am I considering bringing a child or children into my home with years of experiences, both good and bad, that I have absolutely no control over?

I am realizing more and more that this is not just an “Educate Yourself” stage about adopting from the foster care system but an “Educate Yourself About Yourself” stage. I’ve got some growing up to do and, for the first time, I’m willing to let go of that control, examine myself with brutal honesty, and pursue change.


6 thoughts on “*Sniff* All Grown Up…

  1. Wow, Mrs. Something! Willingness to pursue change, now THAT’S something! As a parenting coach for families with special needs and from the trauma of adoption and foster care, I find changing parenting paradigms and accepting new approaches can be quite challenging for some parents. But it appears you, and Mr. Something are on top it! Impressive…most impressive!

    Yes. Your personal challenge in understanding your future foster child is seeing life through their eyes. A vision which may have become clouded. Becoming open to how their experience has molded their perceptions of life, family, caregivers, and relationship, will help you immensely. You sound as though you are running toward the finish line with hope and optimism. The biggest challenge will be to circumvent your parenting default buttons! Good growth work! All the best to you guys!


    • Thank you for your vote of confidence! I’m not sure if I’m “on top of it” exactly, but I’m definitely standing next to it plotting my course up the climb. 🙂 I put in an order for your book last night. I am so looking forward to reading it!

      • Great, thanks! Please also visit my website and click on Authors Press Kit where you can read two excerpts from the book as a preview to your order. The page is under construction and may take a day til availability. I also love your little cartoons. Do you draw them?

  2. I completely understand where you’re coming from… I’ve definitely had these thoughts in real life, specifically as it relates to fear of being judged.

    It’s not always just behavior, btw. My son has some developmental delays that are a direct result of the circumstances that initially brought him into care. Some of these things are noticeable, and I do find myself self-consciously wanting to explain why my 4yo still doesn’t speak in complete sentences. I don’t want people to judge me as a parent, but also… I don’t want people to judge HIM.

    Ultimately, of course, we just have to let it pass. What else can I do? Defend his intelligence and my parenting prowess at the cost of his dignity and privacy? Not for the world.

    Anyway, all of this is a lengthy way to say… It’s good that you’re thinking about this. Don’t forget to put it into the context of an actual child, one that you love and adore and want the world for. It really does make the idea of being judged a very small price to pay.

    • Thank you so much for your insight and you’re absolutely right. Put a real child into that situation, one that we have brought into our home and committed to raising and becoming a family and the perspective totally changes. I know that loving a child is going to be like nothing else. It’s so hard to anticipate how much and in what ways it will change me. The best I can do is know myself and be prepared. Thanks again for the comment!

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