I've been thinking lately, what is it that I think about adoption these days? It's been four years since Genea first came into our home, that's half her life. Same home, same family. Same country, same food, same car. The reason I was thinking about it is because I realized, I don't think about it much anymore. I received this nomination as an adoption blogger (Circle of Moms Top 25 Adoption Blogs Click to vote!) and I thought to myself at first..... really? (I mean, it's way cool obviously, I think though that it jump started my thoughts). I'm happy to be an adoption blogger or a family blogger or a house of the wango tango blogger.
That is to say, I don't think of Genea as the child we adopted. She is my child. With brown bouncy curls and huge brown eyes. She is from Ukraine. She was adopted. She loves to listen to Disney music. I stopped thinking about myself as an adoption blogger, and more of a "Mommy blogger". I talk about adoption here and there, but I rarely think of us as an "adoptive family" anymore. The adoption is something we did and now it is done. Now, we are just a regular boring family.
In the beginning, it's hard to think about anything else. You spend month's (years sometimes!) gathering and filling out papers. Every day there is something, even if it is just sending in the $3.00 for the local background check. Talking talking talking- oh the talking! Once you get through the process of telling your friends and family what you are doing, they are curious for updates and check in regularly. There is always some stupid little bit messing things up and so you are talking to adoption workers and whoever else you need to talk to to straighten things out. Everyone you know who ever knew someone who was adopted wants to tell you about it. There is a delay. Then another. And you panic and obsess and dream of the day of arrival. No matter how sweet or wonderful your adoption worker is, you also dream of the day they are out of your hair. For good. Mine were neither sweet nor wonderful so I had that dream a lot.
Then your child arrives! And woo hoo! That was the day our passive little withdrawn shell of a child turned into a raging ball of terror. Whoa! Now what! And people, friends and family are still calling and checking in all the time and so you are still absorbed in this whole thing as The Adoption. And I think, that's how it should be. It was a huge life altering event for us. For our immediate family, aunts and uncles, grandparents. Obviously for Genea, as well as the child who was already here.
Genea has issues around her adoption, to be sure, and those are subjects I think about a lot. But I see those more as things that have happened to her, that were caused by others. I wish desperately life had been different for her. Maybe that we had been to Ukraine and adopted her first. Or that she was never in an orphanage at all. I look at her when she is anxious or having a fit, and no matter what reason she gives, I can usually link her actions back to a fear related to her early life.
There are a lot of issues ahead of us as well. I have tried to think through how we will handle questions about birth moms and first moms and that question without answer.... "why?". I will worry about those as they come up. Today, I have today to deal with.
I realize that our adoption of Genea was in fact another trauma in her life. So in a way, we caused that one. Fact is though, I may feel guilt about that later in my life but I cannot raise her and be a good mother to her and focus on that guilt. I have to keep that aside for another day.
I have a lot of opinions about adoption as an industry and most of those opinions are ugly. That's not really the point of this post anyway. I think that it surprised me when I thought about it, to realize that I really don't think about adoption anymore. I talk about it when I need to and that's that. Often, it doesn't occur to me to bring it up, even when it might help us navigate a situation. This is my little family, and we are quirky (to put a cute word on it, *ahem*) and we really are just us.
Now please, please please, go VOTE for The Accidental Mommy. It will take you just 3 clicks, and less than 10 seconds and I will be SO happy for WAY more than 10 seconds! Every day until next Tuesday!