5:13 PM

It can feel lonley

There have been a few unexpected things that have come up since we became adoptive parents and not simply parents.  I was so sure that it would not be that different.  In a lot of ways it's not, or it's different because they are day and night.  It still kinda took me by surprise to find out that parenting Elora can have lonely moments.  Despite the fact that I really enjoy being a stay at home mom, I really enjoy her and I have an awesome network and support system.  I only really notice it when I am hanging out with only other adoptive moms.  Then the absence of being different makes me realize that the feeling of being different is there, a lot.
In many ways Elora "matches" our family, so we don't get as much attention from strangers as the typical multi-racial family.  Caucasians especially just assume she is just another blondie I birthed, we even get asked often if they are twins (!!!!).  When I tell them they are 14 months apart I guess they just assume we were gettin' busy a lot when we Em was 3 months old.  Actually we were attending our first adoption meetings, but I digress.  Asian people are the only ones who have guessed and asked me "why does she look so Chinese?"  So on the day to day we don't feel different because we look like a different family.  It is the other little things about how the world sees my baby in comparison to how I see her.

The world sees a neerly two year old who is still wobbly on her feet who only has words her mama can understand.  They think she is slow, they give her looks of pity.

I see an amazing,  smart, determined achiever. If only they knew how fast she has come from "autistic behaviours" to "with in age appropriate".  She is going to whoop life in the butt, I never worry about her in this department.

The world sees a baby who climbs into a stranger's lap with a big hug and they think she is so sweet and out going.

I see my child "mommy shopping", and worry about what I should have done, can do, to foster a better attachment to me.  I am not proud, I am ashamed and worried I have failed her.

The world sees my daughter holding your child's face to hers, pressing her forehead against his.  You worry about your child's safety.

I see a visually impaired child taking a good look at her new friend.

You see a child throughing a temper tantrum in public.

I see my daughter has "lost" me even though I am only 3 feet away because it is loud and she can't see me or hear me.  Or the light that you have not even noticed is blinding her.

You see a mother yelling at the top of her lungs at her child.  You think, how rude/mean.

I am a mother who can't use the mommy-means-business-look or any other non verbal cue because she can't see me.  I have no choice but to use my voice and I hate it just as much as you do.  It works, but it is not how I would choose to discipline my child.

So you can feel lonely.  Others are worried about things that you are proud about and your worries are pooh poohed.  I am so blessed to have a great adoption community both on line and in my life. I want to kiss the person who first heard me complaining about this feeling, they gave me the very wise advice to get out there and get my self a community.  She knew what I didn't, so now I am telling you, if this is the path you are taking get your self a community!  You may not even realize how alone you feel until you are walking the path with some one else who just gets it.


Thompson's Journey said...

Thank you for sharing so openly. Hang in there. I really appreciate seeing things I would never have thought of parenting a child with albinism! I am learning so much from you!
We will be bring home a little girl with albinism this winter.

Sylvia said...

Amazing! That's great. She is so precious!!! I am following your journey now :)

Jessica said...

Beautiful writing Sylvia. I understand all that you are saying. Micah could not see,and too many lights were really hard for him. Also, he hated too much noise.
Elora sounds like she is doing really well :)