Avonlea Having given up on infertility, I find that I am now an expectant adopting mom. I'm just starting my journey. I understand that one step after another will get you any where you want to go, as long as you continue to persist.
Inward Musings musings of an infertile women trying to make it through the craziness of Guatemala adoption, family crisis, and life in general.
Life in Barren County reflections on infertility, adoption, and waiting....and waiting...and waiting...(Adopting domestically)
Lost and Finding sifting through all the junk, I know I can find me in here somewhere... Oh, and maybe a baby while I'm at it. (Adopting from Kazakhstan)
Mamamarta julie and i have been a couple since 1987. our daughter trixie was born to julie in 1997, and our son micah was placed with us for adoption in 2003. in between there was a bit of infertility drama and grief (on my part...). sometimes we succeed more, and sometimes less, at living simply in the heart of the city. we're also currently trying to decide whether to adopt a third child.
Mayhem and Magic Transracial adoptive family with two boys, one adopted from South Africa and one domestically.
Paragraphein Me in a nutshell: age 26; bipolar; a mommy, a natural mother, a wife, a cigarette-smoker; quiet, shy, moody; passionate about the sun, summertime, Lolita, adoption reform, painting, movies, and chocolate
Cookie Speaks Adoption has affected my life in so many ways. I hope to share what I have learned about many aspects of adoption including search and reunion.
Crunchy Granola chronicles from the heartland,
where our two academic mom, one daughter family
crunches its way through life's adventures
DoctorMama I'm a cranky, burned-out mother/ physician/ wife/ educator/ liberal with a test-tube toddler named HellBoy or AngelBaby, depending; a TrophyHusband; and two cats, BadCat and GoodCat. I enjoy coffee, vodka, beer, tequila, and running.
Dromedary in Traction My story of self discovery and healing, as I leave behind an abusive marriage and childhood, reenter the world of single parenting, and hopefully learn from my mistakes!
Mama(e) in Translation A mother (mamãe) of two boys (4 and 2) between two languages (Portuguese and English), two countries (Brazil and the U.S.), two "worlds" (academic/ home-front). A foreign student (ABD right now) married to a postdoc (who also used to be a foreign student).
Mamaloo first-time mama I love in real life and online
i do think my daughter is having primal wound issues. there, i said it. i've been fighting back that sentence for a long time - supressing my urge to project my feelings about her adoption onto my daughter - fearing people will tell me i'm full of shit, pretty much like the pediatrician did today (don't get me wrong - i love her as z's pediatrician - she's just been trained to believe that genetics trumps emotional wounds any day - and she was really, really nice about telling me i knew nothing). you know - i think i know why i love her so much - she reminds me of chelsea clinton. but like a jewish chelsea clinton. i always really liked her for some reason. see? it's really easy for me to convince myself to not talk about it.
before all of the talk about primal wound on many blogs recently brought on by dawn's acknowledgment that her daughter is experiencing a primal wound, i wondered. our social worker, during our first post-placement visit, nodded when we told her of z's eczema. she said - you know - that could very well be zaidee experiencing grief as a result of being separated from her first mother. we had already thought this. we knew of the primal wound, though only through a brief read of it. we didn't really connect z's grief to the actual primal wound theory until much later. the thought sort of just snuck it's way into my mind again and stayed back there in my subconscious for quite a long time.
then the psoriasis was diagnosed at her 18-month check-up. and the thought niggled it's way a little further into the forefront of my mind.
then blogs exploded with primal wound discussions of all sorts. and i was able to convince myself that i was, indeed, projecting majorly onto my sweet daughter. and i stayed out of the primal wound discussions. it was just a little too close for comfort.
then i couldn't stop thinking about it for days on end and trying to determine if i was projecting or if i was, in fact, seeing this in real life. and i was obsessed. but i never discussed it with anyone - not z - not my husband.
and one day, like i always do before naptime, i told z how much hubby and i loved her no matter what, how much pea and purl love her no matter what. and i went on to finish our pre-bed routine as normal by telling her where i would be while she slept and to have sweet dreams but she pushed me away and stopped listening and started acting really annoyed with me. so i tried telling her another story (unrelated to adoption in any sense) and she was happy as a clam. then i tried again to tell her about how much pea and purl loved her and she pushed me away and screamed in my face. so i tried asking her if she remembered pea, if she missed pea, and i told her in words i wish weren't so akward (because i don't feel akward about saying this at all - i just haven't really practiced it before) that it was ok to miss pea and purl and that we missed them, too, every day.
that's what i saw. but i still convinced myself it was just me projecting. maybe i was being too serious about talking about pea and it was just annoying z because she was tired. maybe she was sick of her usual bedtime story. maybe i just needed to see something so i saw what i did. i was still convinced that i was crazy.
so i got the book from the library again, determined to read it more thoroughly this time around. i was reading it on the trip home while z was sleeping soundly (although, with a little cold) in her car seat next to me. and i reread the part about somatic illnesses, and the part about children having knowledge of being in their mothers body, their birth, and of course their separation from their mother. it talked about eczema, psoriasis, asthma in adoptees. it was describing my daughter perfectly, yet i still didn't really, truly think this was the source of my kiddo's problems. my daughter began coughing, having retractions (one of the four symptoms of asthma, this occurs during a more severe asthma attack.
You can see the chest sucking in below the ribs or below the neck when your
child inhales), waking abruptly from sleep while squealing until i held her hand and told her her normal bedtime story (NOT because i thought this was primal wound related - merely because it's the story i know best and can repeat in my sleep - and i was damn tired on that last leg). i was reading about asthma in adoptees, my daughter was having an asthma attack in front of my eyes, and i still couldn't figure it all out.
so yesterday when hubby called and told me z was diagnosed with asthma, i finally started believing myself. i haven't quite figured out what to do about this. especially since pea and purl are incommunicado still. the best solution (nurturing a bond between z, pea and purl) isn't really an option for us. though we desperately wish it were.
i guess that's all i have to say about primal wound.
we have a 9:15 a.m. appointment tomorrow with the pediatrician so that she can evaluate zade's progress after receiving the first round of medications today. i hope i'm alive by then. we have to wake z every four hours to administer the albuterol by holding her down and forcing her to breathe in the mist from a big plastic tube with rubber ends. she's also taking steroids twice a day for the next four days, which she spits out every time we give her the liquid. oh, yeah. and she has an ear infection (the first ever) so she's taking amoxicillian twice a day for ten days. and the albuterol? it! makes! her! hyper! so she's taken to coming up behind me and putting chips in my underwear and then kissing my tush.
saturday morning zade woke up and sneezed. snot flew out of her nose and hung to her belly button. she did that all day and the next. yesterday evening we flew home. about 3/4 of the way through the trip, while we're on the second flight, zade wakes from her nap and starts wheezing and coughing. it's a phleghmy cough, i figured her cold was worsening. i was feeling some coldish symptoms myself.
throughout the night something would wake her every half hour and send her running into our room, squirming and crying for half an hour and then running back to her room. it seemed she couldn't get comfortable. but this didn't seem too alarming, as she does have trouble adjusting to home again after we travel. we figured she woke up, became frightened because she hadn't been home for a while and didn't recognize where she was. this morning we all woke exhausted. zade was still having trouble breathing and was inconsolable. feeling ill myself, hubby decided to stay home from work and help (he's so sweet). we tossed around the idea of calling the pediatrician and couldn't decide if we were being paranoid or not - her breathing was alarming - but not as bad as we've seen in the past when she was really congested.
hubby just called from the ped's office. zade has asthma.
i'm so upset i'm fighting back tears. how can my little one have asthma? and this the day after i reread the excerpt in the primal wound discussing somatic illnesses - specifically eczema, psoriasis and asthma. and this after three very distinct and close-in-time occurrences of what i believed could be primal wound symptoms that i was brushing off as me projecting on z.
today i have learned again a lesson i should have long ago - always trust your mama instinct.
...would love suggestions, comforting comments, etc. on asthma.
...to come - more discussion of primal wound that, i'll be honest, i really didn't want to have, (everyone else is doing it, right?), including a piece on adoptive mama instinct very briefly mentioned at my recent visit with her and her and a lovely new blogless friend who did an EI evaluation on z. and how i hate mcdonald's and mattel.
i just learned that my child was having pretty severe retractions all night long and i had no clue. no clue.
if my camera wasn't dead i'd take a photo of it. for now you'll just have to take my word for it. i woke up with a leak spot on my t-shirt six inches long by two inches wide. i was soaking. i think it's finally time to go get me some nursing pads.
we're back in the good old midwest. hubby left this morning to return home and to work tomorrow. we miss him, but we're enjoying ourselves. we've been swimming in z's opa's pool, eating our favorite mexican food, tooling around town on the scooter.
today we came to my mom's farm out in the middle of nowhere. it's the same old country farmhouse in which her husband was raised, as well as his father and his brothers. it's a tiny old house and i have no idea how they raised five boys here with only two small bedrooms and a tiny bath. the house has been in his family forever and my stepfather has done some amazing work on it. he's a skilled carpenter and specializes in custom cabinetry. he made their cherry wood mission style bedroom set from the king-sized frame down to the nightstands and everything in between, my mother's built-in sewing center, and all of the new kitchen cabinets, and also the crib in which z slept as a baby. in fact, the wood he uses all comes from the woods on their property which he mills in his antique sawmill run by an old tractor engine.
i spent the afternoon picking all of the ripe tomatoes in their large, organic garden, which we prepared for dinner (tomato sandwiches and caprese salad). zade helped, by picking the largest, reddest one she could find and eating it like an apple. tomatoes being our shared favorite food, zade and i both enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. tonight i cut the strips for the market basket my mom is going to teach me to make tomorrow. we'll probably also do a little antiquing at the local shops. midwestern antiquing is the best - everything is so cheap compared to the 'antiques' in the city.
i'm hoping to do a photojournal entry of the town where i was raised and my mom's farm. for now we're just enjoying the surprisingly cool august and listening to the cicadas chirp. i'm hoping we will have a nice big thunderstorm before we leave. it's been years since i've been back in the summer and i'm enjoying myself, despite the odd looks we attract when we're in public (what with my now-pink hair and zade's crazy curls).
oh, and my father's girlfriend has been refreshingly sweet. coming out of the disturbing last seventeen years with my stepmother who never was too fond of me and all too quick to jump on my faults and weirdness, this is the first time i can say i've ever felt comfortable in my father's home. she's just lovely to zade and her cousins (she experienced nine pregnancies and miscarriages and wanted to adopt, but had a husband that did not). she actually said to me one day that if we need help when the new baby arrives that she'd fly out for as long as necessary, or fly out and take zade back to the midwest for a while, or fly out and do whatever we wanted. i think she's seriously jonesing for some baby love. i almost don't know how to react after having to feel so guarded for so long. i feel kind of relieved.
we're here for another week. i'll try to post some photos soon, as it's lovely here in the summer. i'm only sad that z missed the lightening bugs.
tomorrow morning, really early, we leave for our visit with family. today i'm doing masses of laundry, packing, planning, writing instructions for the dog sitter, sewing up holes in shorts, making sure z has enough snacks for a seven hour trip. i always intend to post while away, but typically don't get to it. so i just thought i'd say that i'll miss you all and if something strikes me, i may or may not post in the coming week.
i'm looking for suggestions for a potential adoptive parents reading list. like - a what you should read before you adopt even though they don't tell you about it list. i know i didn't come across any of the good ones until well after i should have been directed to them. so now i'm looking for any that you all would recommend. i know there have to be more out there....
i've decided that life is always going to be this busy. we're traveling again at the end of next week, despite my having put a ban on all travel and all visitors. z is growing, family is missing out on vital things like seeing her swim in her opa's pool, hearing her form her very first sentences ('mama, i want more yogurt and berries', which she says 'mama, iyant moah goguck ee bahdies'). so back we go to the midwest. these trips are hard for me. i miss my family, they drive me insane, i cringe upon entering my hometown and stay locked in a house for fear of seeing anything from my youth. but i go anyways.
life is just this busy. sometimes i find it hard to see to the point when we'll be not-busy enough to think about submitting our profile and adopting a baby, let alone actually parenting another baby. so we're still in limbo and i'm more ok with it now than i have been in the past. our homestudy is being revised and will have the final stamp of approval on it within mere days i'm assuming. from there - we wait until we're ready to submit our family profile. it's done - just sitting in a dusty file on my hard drive. currently at our agency it's a 2-6 month wait on average. when we applied, it was a six to 18 month wait. things have sped up significantly.
on that same front, i'm supposed to have stopped my bc pills with this pack and begun pumping thousands of times a day. but i'm afraid, so i'm still on the bc. i'm afraid i'll fail and not nurse our second child and i really want to. so i need to be a little closer to an adoption before i start pumping.
i'm loving the cloth diapering and we're using cloth exclusively. we're even traveling with them, so it'll be fun to report the comments i receive. i've messed with some different versions of diapers made from recycled fabrics and have come up with what is my favorite, never leaks diaper. additionally, since the new washing machine has arrived, i look forward to doing the diapers. all i have to do is load it up and push two buttons to put it on the 'sanitize' cycle for diapers. it's a three-hour long cycle yet more gentle and energy efficient than the longest cycle (which was about an hour) on our old machine. those diapers come out sparkling. it's very satisfying for some reason.
we met new friends recently while attending the open swim at our local community center pool. we were the only four white people in the pool, and we both had brown babies in our arms. we were magnetically drawn to each other. we've hung out a few times and have a lot in common. we also live just a mere 8 blocks from each other. how great is that? their daughter is six months younger than z, super shy, and freaking adorable. i struggle to keep my hands off her - but she's so darn cute. she's a daddy's girl (he stays home with her) and cries when i hold her - but she sat on my lap voluntarily one time. it's great to be able to chat race, adoption, hair care, fun comments from the hood, etc. with each other.
on the fun comment front, we went about a year and a half with minimal (like one or two) funny/interesting/troubling comments on our little family. lately since we moved (we now live in a predominantly black neighborhood) we've gotten some goodies. i've been wanting to tell them, but don't really have a context except for 'interesting comments'. so here they are:
while riding on the crowded bus home from the water park one day, z sitting in my lap, hubby next to us, an african american woman struck up a conversation with us by asking how old z was. we told her. she asked if she was spoiled, we said yes. she asked if she was mine and i explained that she is our daughter, whom we adopted at 1 month of age. she responded that 'someone needs to comb her hair'. i didn't have a nice snappy response so instead mumbled something about how my child has more attention to her hair than any other i know and we were just coming home from an afternoon in the water.
when we met our friends, above, a comment directed to z's new friend's mom from a little girl in the pool, 'is she black?' the answer given was 'yes'. and in response the little girl questions, 'are you mixed?' (she's pale-skinned with reddish-brown hair).
from our african american neighbors to hubby, 'does z get to see her mom much?'. hubby responded that, no, she doesn't (understanding that she was referring to z's biological mother). neighbor responds, 'oh, i thought i saw her the other day', referring we're certain to one of our friends (who has a very multicultural family) who had visited the day before. hubby corrected her assumptions and explained how we came to be z's parents. because whenever brian has z out front playing, i'm always looking out the window or the front door and telling him to watch 'his' child. i know i shouldn't use that term at all - but it's just a bad habit i've gotten into. so they thought z was hubby's biological child from another relationship. they must think i'm the worst mother - EVER. it's mostly funny because we had some incorrect ideas about their family, too. we are now getting to know each other better since we finally broke the ice.
at a neighborhood bbq with our latino neighbors and some of their friends from out of town, z began dancing to the pounding mexican music right next to the speaker on the porch. our neighbors know that i speak rudimentary spanish and understand more than i can put out. their friends did not. everyone was laughing and 'aaawwww-ing' over z's cuteness. the girl can get down like you wouldn't believe - it's super adorable. one of the men of the group made a casual comment in spanish. i didn't catch it all, but it was something about 'the girl having color'. like she was a good dancer because she's got pigment in her skin. i actually thought it was kind of cute - it didn't bother me that he said that - i could tell it was in appreciation. but you should have seen my neighbor's eyes. he and i looked at each other the moment after it was said - his eyes were petrified that i'd been offended (he's always very concerned about making sure we're happy, comfortable, well fed when at their home). i just smiled and nodded and hoped he wasn't too concerned about it.
so - anyhow - that's what i've got for now. lots of bits and pieces, odds and ends. no real cohesive post. i'm feeling a little blocked and i don't want to push it. so i decided to just post randomness instead.
we love to go to the water park. we've been known to go a few times a week, walk through the thursday evening farmer's market and then get pizza for dinner. it's an easy way to wear out the toddler. but the last two times we've gone we've had little incidents that i've been trying to brush off, but keep nagging at me.
first incident - zade sees a group of three kids, around a year older than her, playing together, chasing each other in the water and generally being silly. she goes up to them and stands near them, without encroaching on their space and tries to join in the play. she loves playing with older kids. they stop their play, turn towards her and start making taunting noises and gestures at her - like they're making fun of her. their parents are either not nearby or not monitoring their children - no one responds.
second incident - zade is playing by herself in the water and two little boys come up and are playing next to her. she continues on with her play ignoring the boys until they come up and spit water in her face. no parental figure responds - but shortly thereafter, the boys are gathered to leave.
so - i don't know if what i did was what should have been done, but i wonder what you all think. what would you have done, if anything?