broken and okay, cave paintings of the soul, mountains that don't move, Uncategorized

I don’t know how you do it (and other stupid things we say)

when you want to be real
Maybe we could stop trying to fix things so quickly. Some things are unfixable. Some things stay broken. And advice has rarely changed any broken thing. I don’t want advice. I don’t want pity. I want someone to look me in the eye and say “this is hard, and I see you..”

A diagnosis, a death, a physical or mental illness. A crushing betrayal, an act of indifference. Something that didn’t go as planned. An iceberg that came out of nowhere and wrecked us. That moment our unsinkable ship sank. Whatever it is that happened to me, to you, you know what it is – that thing.

That thing that is always there. Like a phantom pain with an invisible scar. Or a gaping wound we keep under bandages because of some internal sense that tells us that no one wants to see that. Continue reading “I don’t know how you do it (and other stupid things we say)”

adoption, cave paintings of the soul

we’re fine, really

A few days ago Nate was holding one screaming child, I was holding the other. And as I watched the blood drip down my leg I realized something: we were going to be fine. I don’t mean in any profound, the world was ours for the taking kind of fine. I mean that the babies were going to get fed and changed and loved on and the four of us were on one continent so really, what else was there?

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Sure, within twenty-four hours of parenting two children under two I had somehow managed to put a diaper on one child but forgotten to fasten it so it ended up around their ankles and completely useless, and sure I had absent-mindedly given the eight month old a piece of pizza instead of the 22 month old, and yes it was true that Nate asked to gatecheck both of the children, but we were going to be fine. After all we cleaned up the first mess, didn’t actually let the eight month old eat the piece, and Nate assured the ticket agent he actually wanted to get boarding passes for the kids, not gatecheck them. So yeah, we would be fine. I would end up limping for the next however many days and the sidewalk would need a hosing off and my favorite pair of jeans got ruined in the fall but we would be fine. Better than fine. But there’s nothing wrong with fine either.

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My parents stayed with us the first week home, that was amazing. They did everything, and we just loved on the two little ones and tried to get Tal on the right time-zone. It’s special to share those first days with the people who raised me. I miss them. Thane really misses them. They sing to him and read to him and love him like crazy.

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Nate is lucky enough to get a month of paternity leave, and we’re cocooning hard around here.  There’s something completely breathtaking about waking up and realizing you don’t have to wonder how your baby is doing, you know. You can tiptoe to his crib and listen to him breathe. You know when he’s crying and when he’s happy. He lays against my chest while I rock him to sleep and I feel lost in this fog of wondering if this is really real. Because it seems too good to be true that the wait is over, that he’s with us. That the process of making this his home has begun. It’s a surreal feeling to know that the “happily ever after” of my side of the adoption story is the “in the beginning” for his. Because he had a home. A country. A culture. A foster family who loves him and cared for him. This isn’t home. Not yet. I call it home, yes. Because it will be so. Because it’s waiting for him whenever he wants it. Whenever his little heart is ready for it.

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Next month will be three years since we dropped our application to agency #1 in the mail. At that point they said we would certainly have a child home within a year. That seems so ludicrous now.  Two years ago this month, a few days ago actually, was the anniversary of our first referral – the baby who didn’t make it. And a year ago this month Thane had been with us just two months. And now here we are, the four of us together. It didn’t go like I had planned, it wasn’t what I imagined, it isn’t even what I would have picked. But I look at these two children and I catch my breath at the thought that I get to mother them. The honor of that is more than I can say.

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{{All pictures from his first week “home”.}}

adoption related mushiness, cave paintings of the soul, waiting

a true story and a note about onesies

True story: On Friday night our adoption agency contact emailed us with pics of K. I wrote back. “I love you. If you send me an email Monday morning telling me we have our <name of paperwork we’ve been waiting forever on> I will love you forever.” Monday she emailed me to say we had it and would have a scanned copy the next day.

I’m debating between flowers or chocolates to celebrate our undying love.  I already owe her a statue of herself for something from Thane’s adoption process.

Update pictures are like finding an ice cold Fanta while you’re crawling your way across a desert floor. They keep you sane. Well, saneish. And this set was exceptionally great. Because my baby has chub. CHUB. His little legs actually have chub on them. I squealed when I saw them. His new formula is agreeing with him apparently. Not being in the hospital for a few months helps too I think.

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This is the onesie he’s wearing. This one right here. The one I bought for him. The one I sent in a care package after carefully making note of the size. Which means I touched something that has touched my child. There are no words for how good that feels. This is the second time we’ve gotten a picture of him wearing a onesie I sent. The first time I cried. Adoption hormones are insane I tell you.

He’s such a serious little guy in his photos. We have one from very early on with a little half smile and an amazing 26 seconds of perfection on video where he’s with his foster mummy where he gives her a little half smile as well. But the rest are very serious. I love his eyes. His little face is filling in now so they don’t seem quite so big. But they are just as beautiful.

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And in one of those “I’m going to paint this on my soul in happiness” moments he just happened to be wearing this one in the picture that went with the paperwork we got this week. You can’t see the words in the picture of course, but I recognized it and smiled when I saw it. We’re so ready for him to indeed be our family’s little brother. And by ready I mean excited. The actually preparedness could be debated. Among other things I have closet shelves to finish, clothes to hang up, and a coming home outfit to buy.

It’s a good feeling to see him in clothes I sent him. It will be an even better feeling to dress him in them myself.

cave paintings of the soul, gushing

random memory dump

When I’m rocking Thane to sleep for naps (Daddy does nighttime duty) my mind replays images and memories and I think – I should write that down! And then I don’t, and the next time I sit and rock they come back again.  They make me happy.  So even though I’m risking the well known “fact” that once I write something down it gets erased from my mind, here’s some recent ones along with some pictures from June/July I never posted.

  • I think Thane’s starting to figure out jokes.  Awhile ago he deliberately hid down the stairs and then popped up to say hi to me, laughing his head off all the while.  Makes it hard to keep a straight face while he’s “hiding”.  Then, a few weeks later he went outside to his water table, stuck his hands in the water and came back and put them on my face. I gave him a kiss and went back to my reading.  He looked at his hands, looked at me and put them back on my face. Couldn’t figure out what he wanted his Daddy asked if I usually jumped when he put something cold on me.  So I “screamed” and jumped and Thane looked mighty pleased with himself and went back out to get his hands wet again.  Little stinker.

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  • In the car sometimes I’ll say “I love you teddy bear” (one of his approx four hundred nicknames) and one day he put up his little hand and I reached back to hold it.  Not long, he just wanted a little squeeze. But it’s moments like that I think my heart is going to stop because I love this kid so much.

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  • When he starts to get quiet while I’m in the kitchen working and he’s wandered off somewhere all I have to say is “patty cake, patty cake…” and he’ll start clapping his hands. Makes him easier to find.  It’s like a tracking device I tell you.

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  • Pushing the grocery cart is a new favorite thing.  He stands between my feet and pushes through the whole store while I guide it.  I like the grins on people’s faces when they catch sight of his little self, acting all big and important.  I’m not so fond of the look on people’s faces when I have to stop the cart to look for something and he does what we refer to as his pterodactyl screech.  But on the bright side it gives me a chance to quote Princess Bride “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”  There’s also some empathy and understanding thrown in, but those don’t make as good a story now do they?