The Adoption Option

My spot for thoughts, feelings, rambles, and updates as we journey through the adoption process. Highlights: Dossier arrived in Thailand ~ Sept 26, 2005; Approved ~ October, 2005; Matched ~ August, 2006; Referral received ~ January 2007; Traveled & Home ~ June, 2007; Finalized!! ~ December, 2007

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bad Blogger

I admit I have been a very bad blogger recently. But I've come to a decision - it's time to bid farewell this fine blog. This website was started to share my experiences in the adoption process and gain support during a time in my life I felt very along and isolated. It has served it's purpose splendidly - bringing me friends from all corners of the world and allowing me to in turn support them during their adoption processes.

However - my adoption journey is over. And although, I have little doubt that my friends would still be interested in my day-to-day journey, this is no longer the place for that. I've decided to return to a paper journal for awhile - a place where I won't feel the need to edit or worry about judgement (not that any of you judged me - ever!) in order to sort through what's been going on in my life and in my head.

In time I may start up a new blog, one where people will know what they are getting into - aka my random rants and crazy head talk :) Until then you can find me on Facebook or drop me an old fashioned email to say HI :)

I'll always be grateful for this format for getting me through those rough spots and bringing people into my life that have brought such joy and friendship.

This blog is forever dedicated to my boys - bringing everything from frustration to happiness, but mostly completion to my life.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What a magical weekend

So, since I don't blog very often, I'm not sure everyone out there knew about my planning this giant event called the Thai Family Reunion. It's a weekend held every other year for families with children from Thailand. Each time a different volunteer hosts and organizes the weekend. 2011 belonged to me - and for forever more it will be one of the most magical experiences of my life.

26 families came from across the country (and 1 more from South Africa) to just basically hang out together. (The above picture is our group shot and even that is missing some people) It felt like a college experience all over again. In such a short period of time, people became best friends, kids bonded with each other, and we all lived in the same place. I'm kinda going through withdraw now that it's over. I miss people I just met, wished I had more time to chat, and long for another night hanging out in the hall (yes, that really happened). And watching Jesse....although in all honesty I was so busy most of the weekend Courtney and Jim did a lot of Jesse watching for me!....jeez nice parenting right?.....anyway - Watching Jesse interact with families that looked like ours was priceless. There were Thai kids, white kids, Chinese kids, and a Guatemalan kid....there were birth siblings, adopted siblings, older siblings, younger siblings.....

I've taken Jesse to many Thai cultural events in the past. He is always in awe when surrounded by Thai people - he gets that we don't look like him. He enjoys being around others that do look like him, even though I'm still mom and all that. But for him to see other Thai kids with white parents....families that looked just like us. That had stories like us...they all had gotcha days - they all had a coming home story...they were all from somewhere. He let loose like I've never seen him do before.

It was interesting seeing all those Thai teenage boys - so grown up, nice, polite, handsome, and knowing one day Jesse would in fact be one of those "guys" and not my little baby anymore. But also seeing the ones coming up behind him - knowing one day he'll be the example. Knowing that this Thai adoptive community keeps growing.

I can honestly say I have friends all over the country now - many of whom I hope to see again soon. The next reunion will be in Boston in 2013....but Chicago 2011 will always belong to me.

Robin and T - my backbone during the planning and the weekend.

The above is a picture with a family we met in Thailand while bringing Jesse home. They were bringing home their son (wearing black).

Jesse and his new girlfriend. Good thing we live fairly close!

Jesse and his buddy - another Thai Red Cross kid!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Teachers and adoption

Jesse and I attended his Kindergarten round-up tonight. A night for the parents to meet the teacher and the kids to see the class room. It was nice for Jesse to see a new group of kids, but he was still comfortable since there are a lot of siblings coming in this year. So he already knows a lot of them. This I think will really help his transition and comfort level.

Jesse has been home since before Ian started Kindergarten - many of the teachers know about his adoption status and I figured since we were around so much, most everyone did. However, when I approached the kinder teacher and mentioned it she seems surprised and confused. A reaction I'm used to by now. I just explained that I wanted her to know in case he should mention anything (which is often does) in conversation. He knows things most kids his age might now - like he can't be President. I didn't want him to say something in class that would shock or surprise her. I think I've mentioned before about this seminar I went to about adoption in education. It was amazing and so many valid points were made and absorbed. One being that if a teacher is not made aware of the history, a mention of adoption might noticeable surprise them. Makes perfect sense. The idea is that if a child sees that reaction they will think "oh wait...maybe adoption is weird, or strange, or bad...maybe I shouldn't talk about it". Again makes perfect sense. So why is it that none of the teachers I talk to seem to understand that?

I made a point of saying "adoption does not make him special, it's just his story like everyone has a story. I don't want him to think adoption makes him special." Her response..."Well, doesn't adoption make him special?" My opinion - no. Adoption is something that happened to him, a part of who he is and how we became a family. A lot of people have stories of how they arrived at where they are today. Some kids in his class are from another country - does that make them special? I don't think so. Does it make us all unique - yes. Do we celebrate adoption in our family - yes! Do I think he needs to be praised for being adopted - no.

Am I alone in this? I mean, I know I'm not really because this is exactly what some PhD studied and speaks on...but come one people! Every single teacher!!!!!

And to think if I didn't mention it - if Jesse saw those initial looks on their faces what would he think? Anyway just another baffling night with the educators at our school. Feed back appreciated.

Oh - and another thing - don't get me wrong, I don't feel the need to tell everyone I meet about Jesse's adoption. However, I think it's important to mention a few things here or there. Tuesday night I dropped Jesse off at tumbling class...Sam was picking him up. The teacher had never met Sam or Ian. So I just said "His dad is picking him up - big guy, long blonde hair." Is that wrong or weird? I'm just trying to make situations less weird.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Heading into Spring?

Well - all the birthday craziness is over, the holidays are over, and swim season is on break (from meets not practice)....and now we just wait for the weather to get warm. Hopefully we don't have to wait too long. Here in Chicagoland we have not had much of a Spring yet - so it's hard to wrap my brain around the fact that school will be out in about 1 month!!!!! We have nothing planned!

Well - that's not true - we know what we want to do just haven't actually booked anything. And I'm still working on the Thai Family Reunion - hope those registration forms start coming in soon!

Jesse is all registered for Kindergarten - I can't believe it! He's really developing into his own, which is awesome to see but it's hard to say good-bye to my baby. Ian .... well Ian is Ian and the older he gets the more gray hairs I get :) I see a lot of myself in him - but I don't remember that in me until I was a little older....sorry Mom and Dad. At least I turned out to be a decent person, so I know Ian will get through just on the other hand - not sure :)

Just a little update while I had time. Really nothing exciting or life changing happening now. It's currently National Infertility Awareness Week. It's always in the back of my mind how lucky I am to have my family - but I will never forget the struggle it took to get here. So many are still struggling - keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesse!

Today Jesse turned 5! Hard to believe! He was a little under the weather today and I'm hoping that's why he didn't seem very excited about his birthday. As the day went on, he just didn't seem to care that it was his special day, so I started to think....maybe I can't inspire that in him.

I mean, I wasn't there the day he was born...I wasn't aware of him on the day he was born....I don't have a story about the day he was born....maybe he can sense all that? Maybe he feels the difference between his gotacha day celebrations and his birthday celebrations. Maybe he knows that no matter how hard I try and no matter how much I love him, I have no real connection to the day he was born. I celebrate it with love and enthusiasm....but with no real connection. Am I ruining his birthday forever? Will he never feel it's a great special day? Is this just his personality - the same thing the keeps him from getting attached to any one particular toy, sport, blanket, shirt..... I mean I'd be really worried if he wasn't so bonded to us, so I know there are no issues there. But it's just stuff....he doesn't seem to treasure anything in particular - including his birthday.

Now he is not learning this by example. I happen to think my birthday is one of the best days ever - not only does it have a nice ring to the date, but also I have a purple birthstone, a cool zodiac sign, and I was born the year of the Dragon! I celebrate with gusto every year and take in all the birthday wishes (thank you Facebook for making it even more awesome)! What can I say - I like being alive and I love my birthday. Jesse...not so much. Don't most kids love their birthdays?

Anyway - today I celebrated the best way I knew how. I told him how special he is, how much I love him and how grateful I am that he was born. I showered him with hugs and kisses (as many as he would grant me) and let him eat Red Velvet cake for breakfast. We didn't talk too much about his birthmom but I thought of her often and hope that 5 years later she is able to celebrate today as well.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Deep inside

This entry comes from a place in my heart I never thought I would achieve. Over the past several years of my life, I have entertained many emotions regarding my self worth. Measuring my abilities against those around me, primarily my ability to have children. I have gone through many stages of feeling broken. The sadness of not being able to easily get pregnant. The frustration of not being able to choose my family building methods. The self-loathing of knowing that from this "condition" I have the most wonderful two boys - so shut up already, right?!?!?!? Wrong. These thoughts circled in my head long after Jesse came home.

I know my family is complete but I often wonder if that was choice made from necessity. Did I tell myself that because I knew this was it - there were no other choices or options in my future. I may have - in the beginning. But after a rash of baby births recently and the unexpected pregnancy announcement from an acquaintance....I realized I no longer feel broken or empty or frustrated. Do I adore babies - yes! Would I have loved to have created my family without stress or sadness - yes! Do I realize how wonderful of a family I have - yes! And most of, I no longer feel like I'm missing something - inside or out. I am actually able to be excited for my friends (nearly family) who are welcoming these babies without one hint of envy or sadness. I think I told myself I was at this place before - but until this recent woman told me I don't think I actually realized how "fixed" I am. My first thought when she told me was NOT jealousy - it did not feel like a punch in the gut - I was really happy! Because babies make me happy. Simple as that.

I think I can officially say I have come out of this long journey and although I am who I am today because of is no longer who I am today.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Holidays!