Life as MommyMo

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A moment

I had a moment this morning, home with Max as usual, that keeps replaying itself. Actually, I think I've been emotionally working up to this point for some time without really trying.

I will preface the moment story by saying that I'm a bit tired, to put it mildly. I don't want to complain, because I come by this fatigue for good reason as well as reasons that are beyond my control (weeks of adjustment to a new baby in the house as well as more than one extended family crisis that demands daily attention from all of us...) I tend to be more emotional when I'm tired, but if that's the reason, I'm glad I didn't sleep last night...

Anyway, I was changing Max's diaper for the third time in three hours. As usual, I took the opportunity to help him "exercise" his legs and stomach muscles a bit by laying him down and only slightly helping him get back up (He's finally starting to do it on his own. Yay!) At one point, I pulled him back up, and rather than giggle with pride as he usually does, he just stopped and stared into my eyes. He had a free hand, and reached out for me. I knew he was asking to be picked up, so I pulled him onto my lap when he put his hand on my cheek, stared into my eyes, and then laid his head on my shoulder.

None of those things are necessarily all that significant, I suppose, but to me, I could just *feel* him thinking that he's happy. Of course, I want him to feel that way, so I'd probably not look further for a "reason" for those actions, but watching that thought cross his little brain and through his eyes just sent me into a totally emotional place. As an adoptive parent, we work so hard to help our babies attach to their new families. At times, it feels like a calculated process. For instance, I hold him in a specific way when putting him to sleep to force/encourage good eye contact. I am very specific about stroking his face and cuddling him, all while telling him that we love him and are so happy he's here every single time I am in the rocking chair with him.

Those kinds of actions are heartfelt for sure, but there's always a part of me thinking about what I need to do to reassure him.. to convince him... that we love him completely and that it's ok to trust us.

His display of his own emotion today caught me off guard and gave me such a comforting sense of accomplishment and calm. All at once, I thought: Wow. It's really working. He loves us, too. I sort of feel like I can stop worrying a bit about the "process" and just be his mommy now. That's not to say that I won't keep doing what I'm doing, but I instantly felt more relaxed about it all.

This comes on the heels of another revelation I had while watching Rob hold Max the other day. We often tell him (and have always told Sam) that we "feel so lucky to have found each other." It's our version of regularly expressing gratitude and reverence for their existence in our lives. Because of how our family has been created, we try to never take for granted all of the spiritual, cosmic things that have taken place to bring us together.

With Sam, we've had an amazing story to tell about seeing his picture online and falling in love with him before even knowing if we'd be allowed to pursue his adoption. The timing of his story in relation to pregnancies lost as well as other circumstances as we started the adoption process have always seemed too incredible for words. If anyone ever doubts that a family is meant to be together, I think Sam's "story" proves that no matter how a child comes to you, the ones meant for you (and the parents meant for them) end up together.

I've said since before we were matched with Max that I wasn't sure how I'd feel going through the "regular" process. To some degree, I felt like we were "waiting in line" for our baby. I am a spiritual person and trusted God's role, but it just didn't feel the same in the early stages.

As I watched Rob and Max together the other day, I realized that the "regular" process is a miracle in and of itself. You are forced to sit back and trust people and forces completely outside your control (and literally foreign to you) to determine the fate of your family. I thought about that, looked at Max, and marveled at how he could not be any more perfect for us. We had mistakenly assumed that we'd more than likely be matched with a girl... I looked at my sweet, calm little baby and heard my rambunctious five-year-old down in the basement. I stopped and thought about the kind, gentle soul that their Daddy is and, all at once, felt complete.

I'm Type A and like to be in control... No one that knows me would doubt that. But one of the many miracles adoption and my own children have shown me is that with a little faith, my life will turn out exactly as it should, even if I don't realize it while it's happening. I've always thought and planned to have two children, but wondered if I wouldn't feel that "hole" I've heard people talk about. Last Saturday, I specifically looked for it and felt confirmation that our family is complete. It's a feeling I can't describe, but even as hard as these last few weeks have been for many reasons, I am calm and I am happy.

Seeing Max look at me as if trying to tell me that he's happy, too, was the ribbon on the grand gift we've been given. Today, all of a sudden, on a regular day in my life, I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and it's an amazing feeling.

(I just breathed a nice big sigh. It feels good to get the words out when I'm feeling such strong emotion, even if it's a lot to share with other people. If anyone has ever wondered why I choose to make public this kind of thing, it's because a) I want to capture these emotions for my kids to read some day and this is an easy way to do it, but more importantly b) I was scared that I might never have a family at one point in my life. If someone reads my somewhat private thoughts and can hold on to whatever it is they are waiting for for another day, I will feel like in some teeny way, I've been able to "repay" something for all of our many blessings.)


Nicole said...

Sitting here with tears in my eyes Karen. Both of you boys are such a wonderful blessing. I am not a religious person but I definitely believe in the power of the universe drawing people together. I met my husband in Japan and often wonder where I would be if we had never met (and I hadn't persued him as strongly as I did - poor guy didn't stand a chance). It's funny how every little decision we make and every path that we follow, can lead us exactly to where we are supposed to be. Enjoy this moment in time - and make sure you re-read this post when the kids are driving you crazy one day. :)

Melissa said...

Beautiful post, Karen!