8:01 AM

Another dream

I had another dream last night, this one had Elora in it, but the main focus of the dream were her two older siblings that we also adopted, a boy and a girl. It seems we were unprepared to be bringing home 3 children, and my dream is filled with creative solutions on how to manage this little clan I was now mom to. The strangest part was my relationship with the older girl, the middle child, who told me her name was Mawma. I tickled her tummy and said "but I am the Mama", and she gave me the look that I believe I had patented - a slight eye roll, combined with suppressed "what ev's" coated with a boat load of patience.
Yes the moment I had been dreading had finally arrived, I was about to have to parent... myself.
Now don't get me wrong, I love me, and I was a pretty good kid, but when I the ultrasound told me I was having a boy, I thought that would give me a good chance to raise some one who was not me. (Turns out I am parenting a mini version of my husband, down to the very last detail, boy is that interesting.)
I realized, many moons ago, back when I was dating, that all me all the time might spell trouble. I tried out that classic advice to ditch your must have list, and date out side the box. So I was on the quest to find the male me, I thought we would just be like two perfect peas in a pod. WRONG! Turns out I am not so fun to date, I am very needy, like to be the centre of attention, and really competitive and stubborn not to mention that I get bored of myself pretty quickly. Lesson learned, I need the opposite of me, to balance me out. Now I am pretty sure that bad dates are not the ultimate predictor for mother and child bliss, but that little experiment has really left it's mark, so I have always been very nervous of my very own Mini Me.
I guess the real cause of the dream though is my home study questionnaire. There is one question I keep coming back to, wondering if I have answered correctly. It is not one of the 4 page long essay questions... it is the would you accept a sibling group... check yes or no. The box is currently checked as no, but I just keep wondering...

9:09 AM

The Paper Chase is ON!

Wow, wow, wow. So we have been moved up the list! Some one ahead of us has pulled back and we get their spot, we will make the 2010 quota after all. (For other Thailand waiting parents, this may not apply to you. My agency works directly with the TRC so that is how they are getting around the DSDW's halt on 2010 dossiers)
We thought we had another year before starting but now it is happening so fast, we have to get our Dossier to Thailand and get logged in before the end of the year.
man they do not call it the paper chase for nothing, it is even more work then i was planning for, i thought i was prepared, but this is about doubly harder then i thought. Bring it! I am top form and I will win this race! Gotta Run!

3:53 PM

a question of worth

I was very vocal during my pregnancy that this was not the thing that dreams were made of, for me, this was 10 months of body snatching hell. I said it in the hopes that I would stop being the only one who felt that way, and to be a voice for these feelings, to let them into the light so that I did not have to hide them in shame.
Now that my son is nearly one, I get told all the time that all my suffering was "worth it" because I now have this bundle of joy who clearly we love to death. But, I can not agree that it was worth it. If I could have had him come into my life in any other way I would have done it. So many times I just wished to wake up when it was all over and there was a baby and no more pregnancy.
These conversations leave me in turmoil. There is this implication that if I don't agree that my personal hell was "worth it" then that means that I don't love my son enough. For the record I would lay my life down in exchange for his, there is nothing I would not do for him. But I think that any logical person who has the option of saving both them selves and their child, would do so. A child will be better off with a mother who is safe and present rather than a martyr who laid down and died for them.
I have options, I don't have to sacrifice, and risk in the same way for Elora, I can choose to be a parent by a different channel. Why wouldn't I choose to be the most healthy happy me for my children. To me, choosing not to be pregnant again, and having some assurances that those ordeals are behind me forever, gives me peace of mind and a sense of gratitude that we all survived that year.
I have heard other adoptees shy away from the "worth it" phrase, and I get that now. By saying all the things the adoptive parent had to get though to bring home their child was "worth it" really trivializes the true trauma that the child and birth family experience. It is like saying I would hurt as many people as are needed to get the end result that pleases me.
So it is not a question of worth, more simply it is just gratitude, pure and simple thanks. I have my son and I will have my daughter, and they will come to be my family though trials and journeys long and hard for many, and I will just be thankful each and every day for them.

10:05 AM

Adopted - the movie

Last night we watched Adopted, a documentary movie about a 32 year old Korean adoptee and an American couple who are waiting for their adopted daughter from China.
My husband is not much of a planner and has been moving along this process by getting, "the coles notes" (as he calls it) of all the things I have been reading. This movie is a good snap shot of lots of adoption issues, especially inter racial parenting strategies.
At 32 Jennifer, a Korean adoptee, finds herself facing an identity crisis as her mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer. She feels the need to connect with her mother and to be honest with her about her feelings growing up adopted in white America. Her mothers approaching death wells up feelings of re-abandonment and a longing for a closer more "authentic" relationship with her parents.
Intermixed in her story are an infertile couple waiting to adopt a daughter from China. We see them prepare for her and see what they do in that adoption to try to address the situations and feelings that Jennifer says caused so much pain for her in her childhood.
At the end of the movie, the viewer is left questioning if the "modern" couple who adopt from China are really that much more prepared then Jennifer's parents were in the 70's. They seem to be blissful parents who can not stop proclaiming how perfect and easy their child is. Though out the whole movie, Jennifer warns how an adopted child learns how to be perfect and easy from a very early age. "we adapt, you adopt." she says.
Although I had done a lot of blog reading from adult adoptees and heard many of these same statements and feelings, it was very different to see it unfold first hand, to hear the pain in her voice. It was also amazing and interesting to see the real "gotcha day" unfold live, even though I must have read and seen pictures of over a hundred of them by now.
For coles-notes-husband, I think the film left him feeling rater deflated, hopeless and a bit depressed.

I really feel though that we who are waiting today have so many great resources available to us today, the Korean adoptees experience is so invaluable to me. Their experience mimics what my child will experience and I am so glad that they are of an age now where they have processed their experiences and are trying to teach adoptive parents how to make it better for our children. I also feel so lucky to have a multi-racial family to bring Elora home to, her cousins are every shade of the rainbow. I also value the fact that Elora will have a lot more information about her birth family, and maybe even the opportunity to meet them if she chooses to when she is older. We will not need to create a fairy tale of how she came to us, we will not need to cover up the hole in her past. I hope these things can help make her a more complete and rounded person.

You see, we were meant to adopt. It may be the one thing I am most qualified to do. I am not saying that I can not improve my skills, but we come to her with the most selfless intentions. We do not adopt in order to save her, nor to follow a commandment from above, nor to fill a void with in ourselves. We adopt her because we want to be her parents, and we have the willingness and the resources available to us to make sure we are the best parents to her that we can possibly be. I vow that she will never be made to feel, rescued, or a last resort by our family.

At the end of the movie I gave coles-notes-husband the above speech and we went to bed peacefully dreaming of our daughter to be.