March 25, 2009

Oh Right, This Is An Adoption Blog

During a conversation I had over the weekend with some friends it occurred to me that I've become completely reliant on the cuteness of my son to provide practically all of the content on this blog. Adoption in the news? Nope. Important current events in Ethiopia? Nope. New food, language, traditions, cultural activities, hair and skin care info, or sharing of experiences as a transracial family? Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, and another big fat NOPE. And it's not because none of this stuff is going on, but it's just so much easier to post a picture of my little super hero and highlight all of the fun things going on here in Toddlerville than to actually put together a thought about all "that other stuff" that is truly unique to being an adoptive family.

For example, take yesterday's daycare pickup. The door to his classroom was closed but there's a window where I can peak in and see everyone playing. Ash was happily engrossed in a stacking/tubular marble toy when I decided to get his attention through the window by waving wildly and flashing him my big mommy smile. When I opened the door his face immediately turned from smiling and happy to crying and shaking as though he was really frightened. He ran to me and nuzzled his teary cheeks into my neck and just repeated "mommy mommy mommy". I was completely perplexed (and squeezing him a bit tighter than usual) because he pretty much stopped crying at dropoffs and pickups at daycare MONTHS ago so this was odd. But then when I thought about it, and referenced a few of our adoption attachment resources at home and on the web, it really wasn't that odd. I was too over the top, my actions created too big of a moment and sent his little mind twirling around the thought that if I was this anxious to pick him up then maybe there was a chance I wouldn't have picked him up at all. Being picked up from daycare by mommy and daddy is supposed to be a given, a norm, it will ALWAYS HAPPEN. But yesterday I made it seem as though there was something different going on - and he freaked.

Now, I understand that similar instances can also happen with biological children, but in our case it happened with our adopted son so that's currently the only scenario I can speak to. Also, despite the similarities between attachment in biological and adoptive families there are significant differences as well. Certain things or awareness's are heightened, in ways difficult to understand and due to circumstances nearly impossible to fathom. So, I relearned my lesson and today I will be approaching his classroom with the calm and ease he likes to see, the kind that reassures him that there's nothing fishy going on - I'm just there to pick him up and bring him home. The "home" he's grown to know and be comfortable with for 9 1/2 of his 22 1/2 month life.

This blog is about our journey, inclusive of family building, traveling, learning, failing, scrambling, and of course, cute pictures. And occasionally, the sharing of a moment where mommy loses her head and unintentionally freaks out her boy because she forgot adoption attachment rule #421 on page 63 of that crazy huge Adoption Guide we were supposed to have committed to memory by now but instead have spent our time reading the NY Times. Damn. I'm not sure if any video, book, or website could've prevented yesterday's meltdown, but I can say with almost absolute certainty that it will probably happen again. Double damn.

We now return to our regular scheduled programming of Cute Pictures.


rebekah said...

I'm impressed you figured out the cause of the meltdown!

Psst... I'm a newish reader.

Meg DeZutti said...

I (a) feel that you adequately and frequently address international adoption issues and (b) think Ash's cuteness should be reason alone to blog. He is so stinkin' cute!!

Gregory and Tegan said...

I agree with Meg - Ash's cuteness is reason enough. But I have to say that I really do appreciate your insightful reports on all things adoption. I have followed your blog for almost a year now (through your waiting, court, travel and return) and have really loved reading about your experiences and perspective throughout the process. A huge THANK YOU to you!

Jill said...

I love looking at Ash's pix! I had a similar boo-boo recently too at daycare. Mari is usually engrossed in playing when I get there while a lot of kids are hanging around the door knowing that the day is ending. Mari sometimes comes running over and sometimes takes her sweet time (depending on what she is playing with). I made the mistake of giving a hug to another kid who was clinging to my leg before I gave Mari a hug. She stopped dead in her tracks, put on her angry face, and started throwing toys. That was a bad lesson to learn. Now, I talk to no one (not even her teachers) before I greet her.

Sigh...will we ever get it all right?

Alida and Geno said...

I agree with previous comments and I cannot blame you at all for making this blog about Ash - after all he is the most important thing in your life and he is also darn cute. I love reading your posts, and this one was very informational, as I would've done that very same thing .... even have done it with my own son before ... but now reading your post, I will remember caution .... thanks for sharing. It helps in more ways than you know and I like looking at the pics. Your son's just adorable.