Saturday, April 30, 2011

I know some Betas who moved on up!

The other day, I was in the store with the babies and we stopped to look at the fish.  I was looking at the Betas and I noticed that in one container, there were 2 of them.  The first rule of Betas is that you can't put them together or they will kill each other.  One of the fish looked fine, but the other was pretty beat up.  His fins had been bitten up to the point of barely having any. 

I called Brian. "I'm going to buy a Beta!  And, here's why!"  - I said, emphatically.  He, of course, agreed.  When I was able to finally get someone to help (irritation intended), she said she couldn't separate them and they had come to the store like that.  Although, I was sure she could separate them, if she wanted to; I resigned myself to buying both of them, in order to save "Fishy" (the name that Lizzie later gave him.).  To add to my lack of confidence in their fish care abilities, I discovered that they didn't actually sell the Beta food.  The employee was surprised too and commented that wasn't even a space for it.  (What are they feeding them?)  Hmm, Brian's lucky I didn't come home with all the fish. 

Worried that William would feel left out when we came home with 2 fish, I picked 1out for him.  Then we picked out bowls, gravel, the obligatory decorative tree, etc, and we were on our way. 

William was super excited when he came home to a new pet.  I had put the bullied Beta in his new home, right away, but waited for William to come home, so he could help with his fish. 

The boys had a great time setting up their fish bowls and Lizzie had a great time talking to her fish, "Fishy." ( :

In the end, what had started as me just trying to rescue a fish, turned into a super fun, family activity with super happy kids. 

I was very, very glad that I had noticed poor, little Fishy.  And, I was also very, very glad that the kids were happy.  I sometimes feel so much pressure to give them the childhood they deserve.  To deserve them.  With just a few twists of fate, they could've not been mine.  But, they are and I want them to look back on their childhood and smile. 

On this day, I did ok.  We'll see how tomorrow goes. ( :

P.S.  Ginger, the cat, was also pleased about the new addition to the family (Racecar, Ming Ming, and Fishy)...a little too pleased.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's complicated.

A few weeks ago, at the doctor's office, we were discussing the fact that William hadn't gained any weight.  She commented that maybe the "real" mom was thin.  I was so focused on answering the question and taking the super-mature opportunity to say that she was actually over-weight, that it didn't register right away.

Real mom?  What should I get upset about first?  The fact that you said that in front of my impressionable, and already confused by his past, 8 year old.  Or the fact that, wait a minute, I thought I was his real mom.  The woman who neglected and endangered them gets the title of real mom.  But, the one who adopted them, turned my life upside down, takes care of them every day, (insert other dramatic mom statements here), etc...I'm, well, I guess I'm the mom, too.  Just not the real one?

It’s important to point out that the doctor is a very nice person, didn't mean anything by it and was only using it for clarification.  But, there are better ways to clarify, for sure.  I also know what probably bothered me most of all was that I said nothing.  I just stewed about it later (obviously, much later.)  The good news was I didn't make that mistake the next time.  While on vacation, the "real mom" was referenced, I don't even remember why.  I almost said nothing and then quickly realized that it would become the biggest memory of my vacation.  So, I said, "Oh, you mean the biological mother?" and then answered the question.  The person then realized and said "Oh, yeah, I probably shouldn't say it that way."   Well, look at that, I've educated and headed off an obsession on my part! (sort of) ( :

Foster care adoption can be complicated.  But, I have no regrets.  Given a choice between having biological children and these 3, I'd pick them every time.  But, I do sometimes wish that they were, in fact, bilogical.  Not for any big, bad reason.  Just so they would be all mine, in every way possible.  And, I'd never have to hear the term "real mom."

Sometimes it is fun to pretend.  In a waiting room, a woman was talking and relating to me about how her husband is very dark-skinned (can't remember where he was from) and how you never know what your kids will look like with such different skin-types of the parents.  Brian wasn't there, so she didn't know that my hubby wasn't black; rather very white (maybe a little pink).  I realized she thought mine were biological.  I didn't correct her.  I enjoyed just being a typical mom who had typical kids in a typical way, for a moment.  And, quite frankly, I sometimes forget that they aren’t biological.  I couldn’t love them anymore, if I had given birth to them.  They are in my heart, they are my heart; which is a way more important organ than the belly…

But, of course, they are not biological.  They are adopted.  And, that’s ok, too!

There was a time that an aquaintance looked at a family picture on facebook and commented that she couldn't decide if the kids looked more like me or Brian.  What??  Now I enjoy pretending they are biological, but we all know that they are not and they are, in fact, black.  And, that's in fact, very ok.  And, it’s ok to acknowledge that.  I don't wish they were biological because I'm ashamed of any part of who they are or who we are all together.  I'm just possessive.  It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that my son had a whole 5 years of existence before I met him.  Someone else got to be his mom and the fact that she did such a crappy job is the only reason that I get to do the job now.  It's hard to understand even when you understand it.
So, yes, it stings when you mention their real mom.  I guess it’s my own personal “r” word. 

I know one day they will ask about her.  We've already talked to William about it a little.  Although, the topic hasn't come up in a couple of years.  It's going to be hard to answer those questions. Especially since there's not a lot of positive to report.     

I try not to think about what will happen if they want to find her.  It's hurts too much.  I do know that it would be wrong to stop them.  Well, I think it would.  Is it wrong to try to spare them the disappointment?  No.  But, it would still be wrong.