Friday, November 23, 2012

They Are Children Of My Own.

I was talking to someone once about adoption.  He was telling me how great it was that we had adopted.  Then he added that he didn't think he could do it because he would want a child of his own.  And, I was thinking, don't you get it?  They are your own!  I don't love my kids differently.  I don't love my kids as if they were my own.  I love them because they are my own.  (And because they are extremely lovable!)

They may not have my blood coursing through their veins.  I may not know what it felt like to feel them kick inside me.  But, I know a whole lot of other things.  And, I know that they are part of me.  William loves traditions and silly jokes because of me.  He feels compelled to sing about what he's doing like I do.  And, somehow he has inherited my ability to drop things, knock things over, and bump in walls.  His appreciation for bad/corny jokes, though, is totally Brian's fault.  Antwan makes the same sound with the exact same inflection that I do when he sees something cute. ("Awwww!")   He gets grumpy when hungry and feels better when he's fed, just like me.  His love for sports, though, is all Brian.  Lizzie calls every living creature (except humans) "Baby" like I do.  She gets intimidated in crowd settings or if everyone is focusing on her, like me.  Her love for vegetables, though, is Brian's fault. ;)

When William gets picked on at school, I don't think "I want to protect my adopted child."  I think "Where is that kid who is messing with my baby?!?!"  The fact that I haven't gone up to the school and beat up a bully yet is also Brian's fault.  (But, I don't want to be the grown-up!!)

When Antwan took his time and said his line in the Thanksgiving play so well; I wasn't beaming because the child who I adopted did a good job.  I was holding back tears because my baby did a great job!

When Daddy and Lizzie met me for lunch yesterday and Lizzie woke up from her car nap and hugged me so hard when she realized that I was there; I wasn't thinking how glad I was that I adopted her.  I was thinking about how much I loved my little girl.

And, I know they feel it, too.  When William says whatever random thing that he says, he almost always adds "Right, Mom?"  I don't usually know what he's talking about because he has a habit of assuming that I'm listening, no matter where I am in the house.  But, I do hear how he says my name.  He says it with love and a confidence that I am mom.

When Lizzie bellows for me at a park. She is secure in her knowledge that it is me who will come.  

And when Antwan asks me about breast feeding him, it's because I'm mom to him, in every way.

Cue the back story....

Antwan has recently discovered "boobies."  I blame his chatty big brother who has since had it explained that there are some things that you don't talk to your little brother about.  First, we explained that it's an inappropriate word which it resulted in him constantly referring to the "b-word" followed by a giggle.  So, then I tried explaining to him that the proper term is "breast."  I explained that "boobie" is rude and not a nice thing to call them.  That it is a normal part of a girl's body and no, you shouldn't touch them because it's not your body.  I didn't discuss breast feeding with him.  So, when he said this to me during dinner, I was floored. 

"Mommy, do you remember when I was a baby and I sucked on your breasts and I got milk?"

Several things went through my head and out of my mouth.  Good job using the right word. (head)  Who told you about that? (mouth)  After Antwan ratted out his brother and William got another lecture, I explained to Antwan that when we adopted him, he was already drinking regular milk.

He seemed a little disappointed.  And I felt sad because I wanted to say yes.  Not because it bothered me that he wasn't biological, but because I want every part of him.  He deserved to be lovingly fed as an infant.  Just like there were so many things that William deserved to experience.

They deserved to belong to someone who wanted them.  Well, they do now.  That's the only thing that distinguishes them.  If you have a child, they are your own and they always know it.  When you adopt a child, they become your own.  I have plenty of reminders everyday.  My children look nothing like me.  Their hair is different.  Their skin is different.  Their blood is different.  Everywhere we go, there are curious looks and questions.  But, when I look at them, all I see are my children.  The children that were meant for me.

Yesterday, all five of us were walking into the boys' school for a meeting.  One of the other black kids at William's school (there aren't many) was looking at us with a confused look on his face.  We're used to that. 

But, then he asked, "Is that your dad???"

And, Brian said, cheerfully, "Yep!  I'm his dad!"  Then he added, I assume for his own amusement, "I'm a little taller than he is."

And, I felt proud and I know that Brian did, too.  We are so proud that we belong to them and they belong to us.   

So, this Thanksgiving weekend and National Adoption Month, I can tell you that there is nothing in the world that I'm more thankful for than this.  When we didn't get pregnant, we were smart enough to go looking elsewhere.  We discovered foster care adoption and through that, we got the opportunity to make these (wacky, clumsy, silly, grumpy when hungry, freaked out by crowds, slightly obsessed with boobies) children---our own!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Being Thankful, Week 2

Week 2!

A lot of the things that I'm thankful for this week are centered around work because I feel like that's all I did last week.  It's been an adjustment, but the job's definitely a good fit.  Just have to figure out how to juggle a little better! :)


Nov 11- I'm thankful for the day that I spent with my family, celebrating my Dad's 80th birthday.  My sister put together an awesome Cub themed party and he loved it.  :)

Happy birthday, Dad!

Go Cubs!

Nov 12 -I'm thankful that Brian has socks in his sock drawer because ever since I started work and can no longer throw on flip flops, I've been wearing his socks non-stop.  I'm also thankful that my pants are mostly long enough to hide my man socks. :)

Nov 13 - I'm thankful that there are Reese's Peanut Butter cups in the office vending machine.  Because, man, those are good!

Nov 14 - I'm thankful that the boys really love extended day and I don't have to feel guilty for leaving them there while I finish work.   On side note, William asked me if I was planning on sticking with my new job.  When I told him that I was; he pointed out that if I decided not to, I could always be an extended day teacher.  He seemed bewildered when I pointed out that he wouldn't be in extended day if I wasn't working. :)

Nov 15 - I'm thankful that when I snuck off with Brian's hairbrush and realized it wasn't in my bag when I went to return it that I found it on the floor of my van.  Because he's attached to his brush and he' s had it longer than he's had me. 
I'm also thankful that Antwan did a fabulous job in his Thanksgiving play.  The boy knows how to work a pumpkin costume!

Nov 16- I'm thankful that I was able to take an early lunch so I could make it to Lizzie's Thanksgiving program.  If you're wondering, yes, she did make an extremely cute pilgrim! 
I'm also thankful for Jennice who watched Lizzie when I had to go back to work and washed all my dishes that had accumulated in the sink. (This is the part where I pretend that the dishes had only accumulated because I've been working so much and that never would've happened otherwise.  Jennice knows better....)

Nov 17- I'm thankful that Brian was off today and we were able to spend the day as a family.  We had a relaxing day which ended with xbox family time.  That consisted of William racing Daddy, me getting my butt kicked while trying to race Daddy, Antwan racing William because he wasn't about to take on Daddy, and Lizzie and I finally just giving up and dancing to the xbox music. :)

What have I learned?  I've learned that my exciting first paycheck purchases should probably be socks and a hairbrush of my own.  (Not too exciting, but maybe they could at least be Batman socks?)  That my kitchen would be better off if Jennice was in it more often.  And, Lizzie can really cut a rug!

Ok, on to next week!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Being Thankful, Week 1

After reading the daily "what I'm thankful for" posts on facebook and reading a blog that does the same thing;; I have come to a conclusion.  I want in!  But, I don't think for a minute that I will remember to post daily so I'm going to cheat and do it weekly!  Starting today! 

I'm now going to think back to what I'm thankful for.  :)

Nov 1-I'm thankful for my family.  That's obvious, but important.

Nov 2 - I'm guessing that I was thankful that it was Friday.

Nov 3 - I'm thankful that my parents took me and the kids to IHOP for dinner.  Because I love spending time with my parents and the food was good.

Nov 4 - I'm thankful that when searching for ziploc bags, I found two unopened boxes of pop-tarts.   I guess I should plan on being thankful soon for finally cleaning out the pantry, but it doesn't seem likely.

Nov 5 - I thankful that I actually completed he ridiculous amount of errands that I had to run.  I would've been more thankful for a relaxing day, but you can't have everything.

Nov 6 - I'm thankful that there wasn't a line when I voted.  Because I hate lines.  I'm also thankful that Brian was there to reassure me that I had sufficiently bubbled in the circle when I got irrationally worried that I hadn't. ;) 

Nov 7- I'm thankful for my first day of work at a job that I think I'm really going to like. 

Every working woman should have a super hero lunch box.

Nov 8- I'm thankful that Antwan got right out of bed this morning and started to get dressed so I didn't have to be late on my second day to my new job that I think I'm going to like.

Nov 9 - I'm thankful that I got to hang out with friends which I haven't done in a long time and got to see my favorite singer perform.

Nov 10 - I'm thankful that there were no bruises or broken bones to deal with this morning.  Because when I heard that the kids were awake and I dragged myself out of bed, William proudly told me "We played roughly in my room, with the door closed."  So, the morning started with a little talk about the dangers of playing roughly when I'm not there to make sure everyone's safe.

I'm also thankful for the relaxing day that I spent with the kids at the farmer's market. 

 And, really, really hoping to be thankful for the smooth bedtime. ;)

But, judging by the noise, it's not going smoothly.  So, I guess I have to get back to work.  I'm not feeling so thankful for that ;)