Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Where Words Fail, Music Speaks" ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Kim over at
inspired this post! She wrote out the lyrics to 'Somewhere Out There' from An American Tale, and talked about how she listened to this song during The Wait for their first son; and how these drippy oozing songs can bring any adoptive mom in waiting to tears! My song, when we were waiting for Bek, was Only Time, by Enya. Kim I have to say yours might be sappier than mine, but only by a smidge!
This song, with it's happy sad haunting sounds that only Enya can produce, gave me comfort and strength. It brought me to tears, which were sometimes the happy kind, and sometimes not. The ones that flowed happily were because we'd made it this far, to this place, after the nightmare of infertility. The time that led up to this, I'd felt, all served a purpose to bring us to that place, the place that was now called The Wait. It all finally made sense. The sad tears were for the thoughts of a child alone in an orphanage, waiting for his mommy and daddy. When Enya sang Who can say when the roads meet,
That love might be ,in your heart? and who can say when the day sleeps, and the night keeps all your heart? Night keeps all your heart.....

I just about lost it every time! I thought of him alone, in the dark, waiting. And wondering what his reaction to us would be when we finally met. Oh jeez I'm getting all blubbered up just thinking about it all over again. Thanks Kim.
For your listening or reading pleasure!

Who can say where the road goes,
Where the day flows, only time?
And who can say if your love grows,
As your hearth chose, only time?

Who can say why your heart sights,
As your live flies, only time?
And who can say why your heart cries
when your love lies, only time?

Who can say when the roads meet,
That love might be ,in your heart?
and who can say when the day sleeps,
and the night keeps all your heart?
Night keeps all your heart.....

Who can say if your love groves,
As your heart chose, only time?
And who can say where the road goes
Where the day flows, only time?

Who knows? Only time

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

To-Do's, Baby Names, Attachment

I figured since I sent out that call for help by way of clicking action I had better at least post something! I have more random thoughts in my head, (I know, how unlike me) and this is a good place to toss them out. I can't guarantee it will be interesting or witty but hey, maybe it's a slow day at work for you, or you're really bored, or you're a fellow adoptive parent to be!
I need to start cleaning out the spare room, which I should probably start referring to as 'the baby's room'. This should be fun and is the kind of thing that would usually have me frothing and researching and picking paint swatches...but I can't seem to get started! Part of the problem is the MESS I need to clean up, organize, sort through, throw out...before I can even get to the fun part. Now c'mon, you might say, it can't really be that bad. What, do you live like slobs? Well, actually, yes, I do. I am a self proclaimed slob. It should be noted though that being a slob is different from being unclean. Our house is generally clean, and I have areas of the house where I am not slobbenly at all. My kitchen for example, the living room, the bathroom (mostly). The spare room, oops I meant baby's room, the bedrooms, the basement...all seem to just attract the overflow of stuff, and since they are not in sight, well, you know the saying. The baby's room is now holding a collection of random overflow items like scrapbook supplies, and I mean A LOT of them, baby toys/clothes/chochkies, The cabinet which holds our towels and sheets, Brad's 1-ton safe full of his coin collection, an extra dresser holding Brad's seasonal clothes; I think this weekend I will have to really roll the sleeves up, dig deep, turn on some inspirational music (maybe some Peter Tosh, Muse, Modest Mouse, old Hole, or Wilco?) and put myself under lockdown until it's complete.
I have some names I'm twirling around in my head. And I know, I shouldn't really share, because this is such an objective, opinionated topic. But Imma do it anyway. GIRLS: Anika, Ella, Emelia, Julia, Sadie. BOYS: Alex(ander), Henry (this is one of Brad's, and altho I don't hate it it's not my favorite), Jacob. Seriously, that's all I got for boys. Of course we'll have to see what his/her Russian name is; for sure we'll keep it as a middle and maybe as a middle used as a first like Bek. For anyone who's just joined us; Bek was named Benjamin Bekbulat. His Kazakh name was Bekbulat (Russian or Turkish in origin i believe, means "strong sword"). We shortened it to Bek with the plan to transition to Ben, but the transition never really happened and he just looked like a Bek.
Can I share a pet peeve? Of course I can, it's my blog, that's the beauty of it. Why is it when discussing adoption, adjustment, attachment...many non adoptive folks feel the need to say "well that's true for any baby" or "that would happen even with a biological child". It's as if they don't want this child to be treated any differently, or they maybe just don't understand that a newly adopted child should be treated differently. I can't quite put my finger on what it is in their tone when they say this but it almost comes across as this child is no different from any other. I'm not saying they mean it in any malicious, derogatory way, maybe just an uninformed way (although they sure as bleep act like they know what they're talkin about). And I am always happy and grateful that anyone shares an interest enough to have a discussion in the first place. But I'm just sayin'. Yes, there are general rules that apply in the care and feeding of a tiny human and there are certain constants across the board; don't let them put small objects in their mouths, dress them warmly if it's cold, don't dangle them from high buildings. But a child that did not experience bonding with their biological mother or worse yet experienced only pain, neglect and abuse from her, who did not get responses when they cried, who never owned their own rattle or soft blankie, who were never sang or cooed too, who don't know what the outside world looks like, smells like, sounds like...these children ARE different. You don't experience loss, pain, neglect in an institutional life and then just don a cute Baby Gap outfit, leave everything you've ever known, fly to the US with complete strangers and then everything is ok. There is grieving, trauma and adjustment that is different. This is not only a proven fact, confirmed and substantiated by countless specialists, but something I experienced first hand. Despite reading all of the books and taking the classes, I was even one of those doubters, who thought a lot of this attachment stuff was social work babble and the result of overly analytical doctors. You don't really know until you experience it.
So when adoptive parents say that a big crowd of people might be too much for the baby at first, or that mommy needs to be the only one to hold her/change her/feed her to establish a bond, or you think a 12-24 month old should not have a bottle or be fed...remember the lives these kids had before. Know the parents aren't being rude, overly doting or obsessive. And know that these kids are, at least initially "different" in some ways.
I hope that didn't all come across as too defensive! What can I say, my horoscope sign the Lioness comes out when it comes to the well being of my child to be.
Parent's to be, or anyone who might be interested: here's a great link on this topic

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

i still just keep

it's still soaking in that in 4-6 months we will be making our first trip. the first trip where we will fly to meet our sight unseen child. this information is still on the outer layers of my psyche, but it's slowly seeping in.
there were several families that went with the moscow region and left, empty handed so to speak. they turned the referrals down, some for medical reasons and some for whatever else. i am terrified that this will happen to us but at the same time i have a sense of this being the right choice for us.
at any given moment there are a thousand different worries, stresses and random weird thoughts running through my brain. the health of the child who is probably already born (is he or she crying and if so will someone go to him/her?), the birthmother of that child (her prenatal health, mental health, alcohol consupmtion, peace with her choice), the 1st trip where we'll have to leave bek (which we've never done for more than a night, oh the heartache!), the second trip where we'll be taking bek (if god willing we've even made it that far and the referral is the child of our dreams!), this one includes a whole other string of thoughts like dear god please don't let him have an asthma attack on the trip, or what if he does and we take his nebulizer and the power blows, oh note to self take extra power converter, maybe even 3 power converters; of us all staying in a tiny expensive moscow apartment for weeks, i hope it has internet, if the first or second trip will fall on bek's birthday, if we'll be able to make a trip to the bathhouse cuz that sure was fun in KZ, that i am in need of a good pair of summer shoes that are both fashionable and comfortable, don't forget homestudy will need updating in april and don't forget to do FBI checks at this time and oh don't forget about chest x-rays/TB tests....hey, did i leave laundry in the washing machine...
There's really no end to it and sometimes I'm amazed the brain has the capacity that it does!

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's All Happening

So I get an email from CSS yesterday saying Svetlana would like to register us in the Moscow region. For what we are requesting it is our best bet. This would mean SUMMER TRAVEL. Blind referral. No information in advance. This is all really big in so many ways. We really thought we'd be waiting a year to a year and a half. And that we'd get a referral like we did with Bek. I am actually still freaking out. Of course we can say no, that we don't want to travel blind, but who are we to argue with Svetlana? She may be acting as some mystical force who is ensuring this is all going to work out exactly as it should.
The biggest blow to us is going to be financially. We thought we had longer to save. And I have to admit it does suck the joy out of it a bit when you are freaked out about the money. But we will make it happen somehow. And we're always best under pressure. And you know the saying about if you wait for the exact right time it will never happen!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dear Ohio Winter....

I know you've been a part of my life for a long time. As long as I can remember really. And I've grown fond of you, you are always there for me, once a year for oh, 4 to 6 months in a row? You encourage family bonding and closeness through snowball fights and sledding; warm cozy movie nights, slow cooked hearty food, and dreamy white wintery scenes outside our windows. You give us pause to slow down, meditate, appreciate. And what would Christmas be without you?
But, I have to say, you are wearing out your welcome. I can't think of any other way to say it, I'm tired of you. I'm tired of scraping and brushing, of sloshing and slipping. I'm tired of the dry heat blowing constantly, tired of slathering moisturizer on enough times a day to make me feel like a basted thanksgiving turkey. Tired of a drafty house and icy chilled mornings and being kooped up and boots and soggy mittens. I'm guessing you probably get it, I've HAD ENOUGH OF YOU!
It really is you, not me. What do you say we just make it a clean break, and you can go away quickly, quietly and kindly.

Friday, February 5, 2010

thoughts of babies...

i can't help but can we get so lucky again?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's Official

I just found out our dossier is being hand delivered to the Powers that Be this Saturday, Feb 6th. Set the countdown timer, we have officially begun the wait!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I've Got Nothin

I haven't had much to report lately, nor can I come up with any lame non adoption related topic to blab about. Partly because ALL our paperwork (well atleast all we can do for the moment) is now done and submitted, and partly because I've had a thyroid issue that's had me running around in spastic circles one minute, then passed out in a narcoleptic catatonic state the next. I had days of my heart racing, headaches, foggy brain, blood pressure jacked's been awful. Blood tests showed that indeed my thyroid levels had gone up, and I'd gone from being hypothyroid (not producing enough thyroid hormone) to being hyperthyroid (as you might guess, producing too much). More tests are being done at the moment, as there is a possibility this is all due to to the dreaded pre know what word I'm trying to say. The phase of life that takes place before you move on to becoming a mature, wise woman. Like a nice Cabernet you've had time to mellow, you are not too tanic or bitter. Ok that metaphor didn't quite work and has gotten me way off track.
Other than that; I've been thinking about the early days with Bek and wondering what we'll experience with the second. We brought him home at 11 months old. While I was elated beyond words to have finally become a mother and got through the adoption process, trip, etc...I was overwhelmed when we got home. Sure it was in between lots of smiles and new discoveries and the joys of first time motherhood..but it was also very difficult. We had to work hard at attachment. He would physically push me away when I tried to hold him and have inconsolable crying fits. His back arched and his eyes would look anywhere but into mine. There was very little cuddling and he seemed to repel physical contact. Even though I'd read all the books, I was still caught off guard at how difficult this part was. At the same time though, I was fascinated that such a tiny being was capable of feeling those feelings, though they may not have even been conscious feelings; somehow on some level he knew he'd been hurt, and was trying to protect himself from being hurt again. I was driven to help him, to learn everything I could about attachment, and to show him my love no matter how much he protested. If any new adoptive parents are reading this, I think this is of the utmost importance, to really be prepared for this. I know it sounds scary and alarmist, but hey the worst that happens is that you are prepared and maybe you don't need to use all that wisdom you gained. Some kids experience it more than others, but they all, on some level, have some residual effects of neglect, abandonment and institutional living.
We kept him on his bottle longer than what is normally recommended, since food and feeding is a nurturing, comforting act. I made sure I was the one to do all of the nurturing duties, to go to him when he cried immediately. We acted out little scenarios with stuffed animals about mommies and babies, we put stickers on each other's noses to encourage face to face contact, i fed him, even when he "should have" been feeding himself. Fast forward 5.5 years, he is a happy healthy loving boy. He loves his mamma and his daddy like you wouldn't believe. We still have a few quirks, but I guess all kids do and who knows what is a result of a previous life and just personality.
It wasn't easy, but it was so so amazing to watch this transformation, and on the days we had breakthroughs when he first reached out to me with a real desire to be held, when he looked me in the eye and said "mamma", when he cried for me in a normal 'i want my mommy' cry...those moments were worth every tear we both cried!