Confession of a Mummy by adoption…

7233048434_f9c0099a23_o.jpgWhen somebody has a baby, my first reaction is an overwhelming flood of grief. My heart aches, my stomach feels heavy and empty at the same time. My ears burn and my head spins.

Not because I am not happy for them – I am absolutely delighted, and so excited to meet the new arrival, and so relieved that everything went smoothly.

And it’s not because I regret how my own journey to parenthood has gone. I am grateful to God for those years of infertility – for how I learnt more to lean on him, for how the journey brought me the long way round to just the right moment when my path would cross with these wonderful little boys and they would become mine. I would not swap my boys for 10 babies from my own body.

It’s just that every time I hear that news, the memory of the feelings I had when it was painful, when I was bitter, wash over me. I don’t know if that will ever not happen. So I brace myself, I grit my teeth and I pray.

And the feeling passes, it always does. Then I give myself a little shake, dust off the self-pity and go shopping for baby clothes.

But please bear with me, while I wait for it to pass; because I am truly happy, but it is not easy.

Photo: Flickr user Harald Groven 2012

Ssssshhh…

I’m just going to whisper this, to whoever is out there and might see it.

This week, I’ve actually felt, normal!

Normal

Yesterday, I stopped for a moment and looked around: I was cooking tea in the kitchen and my children were playing. Together. In a different room.

And then I realised that, for about a week, we haven’t had any “adoption” problems! Yes, our boys have fought with each other. Yes, they’ve called me names and answered me back. Yes, I’ve lost my temper and been too short with them. But that’s normal!

Now I know that they are not magically “cured” of attachment issues and anxiety. I know their early experiences haven’t vanished. It’s just that, little step by little step they are learning to trust us and relax. I think they feel safe. I think they feel loved. I didn’t see the little steps we took, but now I can look back and see how far we’ve come.

And yes, I also know that trauma is going to rear it’s ugly head sometime soon. We will take steps backwards. But, just for now, it feels like it’s not there. It feels like we’re “normal”.

Let’s not have the “what is normal anyway?” debate. I know all families are different and nobody feels like they’re normal…

The point is: we are making progress, and it’s wonderful.