adoption, expectations

on loving and expecting and trying to hold two babies

Tal is an amazing human being. I guess that goes without saying, isn’t every baby? And of course I’m his mom so my opinion comes wildly biased. But throughout the process of his adoption, as we got update pictures I’d wonder of course about who he would be, what he would be like, his personality and his strengths. It’s a strange thing to fall in love with a person and then get to know then. And now that I’ve gotten just a small, small taste of who he is I can say firmly that I adore him. I adore what I know about him and I look forward to getting to know what I don’t.

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I try very hard to keep expectations far away from my motherhood experiences. Expectations of what he’ll be like, if he’ll like me, how our family will fit together. I was worried I hadn’t done such a good job this time. In many ways it was much, much harder this time. I’d already experienced motherhood, that first rush of change and excitement. With Thane it was easier to keep expectations low because I didn’t have any idea what to expect. This time, unspoken, unrealized expectations kept rearing their head throughout the process.

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At one point I sat down with myself and forced myself to imagine everything exactly the opposite of how it was with Thane. I tried to imagine a personality as far from his as possible. It was hard, but good too for me to do that. It brought a lot of those unspoken expectations to the light and let me get rid of most of them.

But of course there were some I wasn’t prepared for. I hadn’t realized how challenging it would  be to show love to children at the same time. Loving two is no problem, but I wasn’t prepared for the physical feats it would require to show that love. When Nate, Tal, and I arrived in the Denver airport and there was Thane with my family and friends to greet us it suddenly hit me. I had one baby in my arms, how the heck was I supposed to pick up another? So I ended up on my knees. Not in prayer. That’s just literally all I could do to get them both safely in my arms. Sidenote: A friend told me recently that she kickboxes to work through the adoption stress, I ate Oreos, I’m thinking now that hers is the better plan.

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The thing about expectations is they can keep me from seeing what’s in front of me. If I’m so focused on what I thought it would be I can’t see what is. And what is? That’s something I don’t want to miss. And his personality? As the stress of all the changes, and his cold, and his two new teeth subside I see it coming out more and more. And it rocks.

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