Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sometimes I wonder if I can do anything right. I want to do it all, and I just can't. Andy thinks I am an old fuddy duddy. Yes, that is what I said. He does. Apparently everyone in my life thinks I am too judgmental, too religious, and I'm not any fun. Even perfect O's screeching is giving me headaches. A.J. is super jealous lately and feels like she is not the baby anymore. Miri is just Miri. She is always trying to grow up and not stopping to enjoy being a child. MY spouse, is well my spouse for all intents and purposes. I used to write grand things and letters about him, but one day I woke up and realized my personal relationship was not for public consumption, so you'll probably never see me go there. I will say it would be nice to have a little help every now and then. When I mention that, he offers to hire someone to help with the kids or clean the house. Enough said about that huh?? Sigh. Most of the time I really try and stay optimistic. I really do. Sometimes though, I hit a wall, have a migraine, and then it just feels like it's all too much. Tomorrow everything will be better though. I'll wake up to O's big smile, A.J. will come down and tell me she has brushed her teeth, and Miri will ask for money for something. I'll get a load of laundry done, maybe cook, a meal, the house will be in order, and I will have worked a full work week. That's what makes me happy, running like hell, doing too much, and every once in a while, saving the world before bedtime, my world.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So it's been rumored that some believe that O is my new found favorite. Of course anyone who REALLY knows me sees that that is not possible. I am good at one thing, and that is love. I'm not the kind of person that would ever favor one child over another. My heart is big enough for all of my children, and each is special in their individual way.

Here's the deal though. I'm not entirely sure I knew what love could be until Oskar came home. When you have a biological child you bond and fight for them. It begins int he womb. You nourish your body and do the best to make sure everything is as perfect as it can be.

When you adopt, you start out behind the 8 ball. Often, you know your child was neglected before they even made it into the world. Yet, you jump in heart first and decide you will make up for everything. You set out to earn your child's respect and love. You are determined to prove you will always be there for them and even though they tell you it's not possible, you try and make up for lost time. You cuddle, baby, and dream of all those moments you were not there for.

All in all though, there are so many adoption stories floating around. There are two schools of thought I have found. 1 is to be realistic and share the good and bad. Others like me forget about the bad and just roll on. Neither are right and wrong and both sides certainly need to be shared. Adoption is not all roses. Children don't act perfectly all the time. Still, I did not really care about much of that. I wanted my child home. I promised God I would deal with anything if he just got my baby home. So when he did, it was good enough for me. I got through the first month of exhaustion and adjustment, and life just moved right on for me.

Still I had my little suspicions and nagging theories about all this love stuff. I wanted to think I loved my bio kids for their own worth and merit. However, they were mine, half of me, so did I see them through rose colored glasses? Was it possible for me to overlook their imperfections and see them as little people? Did I choose to love them, or was I born to love them? I was pretty sure love was a choice up to that point, but I was not certain.

Then, a little Eesti prince came in and rocked my whole world. Don't you see? HE did not have to love ME. Of course I was going to love my son, that's all I do right, love. Still, there were no guarantees about his feelings toward me. Make no mistake though, I went in prepared for him not to bond, and for me to earn his love. I was willing to take as much time as needed. After all, I took him away from everything and one he ever knew. I did not speak his language, cook his food, or truly know what was going though his precious little mind and heart.

With all that being said, he gave me one month of hell, and then he jumped right into my arms and never looked back. He told me he was mine. He waits at the window and waves goodbye each and every day I drop him off at school. He picks me flowers. He kills bugs for me. He rubs my head when it hurts. He jumps up and down if I buy him a pair of shoes. He's trying to let me teach him how to dance. He tells me to drive faster and laughs the whole time. He lets me rock him and cuddle him. He often runs and jumps into my arms. You know what? I totally forgot that I have a bad back and God willing until I can't lift him, he will be able to be carried as much as he wants.

This perfect little boy had every reason in the world not to give me a chance. He did not know me. He did not know what mothers are or what families can be. He could have chosen fear, and in the beginning he chose anger. I have many holes in the walls to prove that. A lot of the rules did not make sense. Maybe I am naive or as my other half says, trying to save the world. Still, I did not mind the holes. I did not mind the anger. He had the right to feel the way he did. I had faith. I knew it would pass, and it quickly did.

Something clicked in my son's mind and heart. Something told him that he was mine and I belonged to him. He managed to overlook my flaws as a mother and a person in general, and he gave his entire heart over to me. He could have held a grudge. He could have longed for his friends, the orphanage, or what he always knew. Instead he chose to look forward and accept me as he mother and that he was finally home. This was about the time he started asking why he wasn't in family pictures and where were his baby pictures.

Nothing much mattered about the past after that. 18 months of pain, trials, and every cent I could scrounge up was forgotten. I was in love. I had totally fallen in love with my son, and he with me. Each day we learned more about each other, and many times laughed at our differences. I still try and get him to eat pizza and he laughs and tries to make me eat cucumbers. We take it one day at a time, but we take the road together.

My son teaches me to love each day that he draws a breath. He teaches me that blood, distance, and contrast makes no difference. He chooses to love me and accept me as his own. So I learn to love from a child. I learn to accept that Santa is real, mothers never leave, and unconditional love is possible. I learn to hold tighter, stress less, and maybe just hang a picture on the wall over some holes. What are a few holes anyway? After all, I had a rather large one in my heart for the 18 months it took to bring him home.

Make no mistake. I know worth when I see it. My son has more love in him than anyone I have ever met. I choose to accept the gift I have been given and will allow myself to be taught, even if it is by a child.

Oskar is not my favorite. To tell the truth, I think I am his.......................

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


We committed to Oskar 4/08. Unlike many others, we were fortunate and several other adoptive families had already met our son. I received pictures and of course the inevitable, he is adorable. Yea, I know my son is the next Calvin Klein model. Still, I did not really know much about him at all. I really knew nothing about Estonia either. In February 2009, all that was about to change.

Another wonderful family was adopting their sons from the same orphanage as Oskar, actually the same groupa. They said that one of the caregivers named Raili wanted my email so she could tell me about Oskar. WOW! I thought for sure I was going to stop breathing. Our agency had gotten me no updates on him at all. I had not even received a medical up to this point! I looked up Estonian people. I looked up Estonian etiquette. I was petrified. What if I said the wrong thing? What if Raili did not like me? What if she did not think I was good enough for Oskar? After all, sometimes I still wonder if I am good enough for him.

Those first few emails I was treading on ice. I did not want to appear to greedy for info, but I was dying to ask a million questions. Raili hung in there like a champ. She answered each and every one. No question was too silly. Nothing I wanted to know was too small. From February to November I was able to get to know my son through Raili. Oskar was also able to get to know us as well. Raili told him about our family and home and told him he would be going on a plane ride to America. She also let me send him a birthday present. Oh how I grieved missing his 5th birthday. Only money stopped me from flying over there to be with him.

Nothing prepared me for meeting Raili though. Everyone says that Estonian people are reserved. Raili wasn't. It was as if I had already met her, and she was so kind. Oskar ran and got the present we had sent him and came right up to me. He was not shy at all. He hugged me too. That meant the world to me. I just wanted to touch him. I knew everything in the world would be okay if I could just touch him.

Saying goodbye to Raili was one of the hardest things I ever did. As we walked out of the orphanage she asked for a moment alone with Oskar. I could hardly swallow at that point in time. It was as if I could feel her pain. As she walked us to the car, the last thing she said was, "take care of him". I told her I would. I saw the tears in her eyes and as we drove off, the tears fell down my husband's and my face.

There is nothing I will ever be able to do for or give Raili to repay her for what she gave me. She loved my son, and that is more than I could have ever hoped for. He was taken care of, prepared for a family, and thrived because of her. I know it could not have been easy for her to see him drive away and fly to the other part of the world. I have Raili on facebook and she has my blog address too. I post pictures for her. I want her to know that I am taking care of him. I want her to know that he is okay. I want her to know that he is my everything and she will always mean the wold to me too. Thank you Raili for taking care of my son until I could bring him home. Thank you for loving him when I could not. Thank you for being a good person and making an 18 month wait more bearable.

Raili, I am taking care of him. He will always have the best. He will always be loved, wanted, and treasured. God willing, he will live a LONG healthy, and happy life, and one day you will see him again. Hopefully he will visit Estonia one day proud of where he came from and know that someone from his home land loved him and wanted him to have the best.