If you have seen me or even talked with me in person the last couple of weeks, you know that I am oozing stress. It is pouring out of me, and I look like I am barely holding myself together. I appear like I might snap like a rubber band, and when the band breaks it flies off so far that you are never able to find it again. Well, confession of an adoptive mother….I am. There I said it. Maybe I will actually be able to sleep tonight. In my quest for slumber and calmness, I thought I would write down a few things that I seem to be forgetting about life, love, and adoption.
1. An adoptive mother has hormones surging inside of her at three times that of a pregnant woman. I don’t have medical proof of that statement, but having carried three sons and adopted once previously I feel like I have the experience to stand by that un-researched statement. I think adoptive mothers are worse than pregnant mothers. At least when you approach a pregnant mother she has little chance of hiding her tell tale bump and therefore her raging hormones. Mine just leaps out of my body onto unknowing bystanders. I feel like I should carry a letter to hand out to my victim that says, “I am sorry. I am adopting. I am not getting much sleep these days.” I really am sorry….I think.
2. My husband is not breathing to annoy me. These days poor MJ can’t do anything right or fast enough. Heaven forbid he doesn’t respond to a text that I send him within 30 seconds. I mean I do send him simple text questions that shouldn’t generate a ton of thought or energy. How hard is it to remind me of the town you born in for the 100th time? I have two options really….Harlan or Atlantic. Every time I second guess which one it is. Today even Gabe (my 11 year old) was saying, “Mom, it’s Harlan….I am sure.” The consequences of being wrong are too great! I can’t trust an 11 year old. Can someone please hand Gabe an “I am sorry’ card? At least I can still make jokes about it. Hopefully after the adoption he’s still around to laugh with me about my crazy.
3. It gets worse before it gets better. Add jet lag, rock hard beds in China hotels, interesting food, and other hormonal adoptive moms and our entire society is on the brink of collapse! Then Gotcha Day comes, and it’s just like the delivery room. Only this time you are birthing with 10 other families and no epidural. It is euphoric and amazing and life changing all in one brief morning. The sights, smells, and sounds of that day are etched into every adoptive mother and father’s memory. All you have to do is show us a perfect stranger’s “Gotcha Day” video, and you will have us all in tears again…guaranteed! One suggestion….don’t forget the dum dums for the kiddos. If my stellar height, big nose, and blonde hair doesn’t win Bo over immediately, I am sure a little strawberry flavored sugar on a stick will!
4. Embrace China with a passion only suited for mixed crowds. If Bo has to go potty, let him potty in the corner threw his split pants (I am sure he won’t be in split pants anymore, but I am trying to make a point people!) If I need to blow my nose, just plug one nostril and farmer blow on the street. If you need to spit, spit for heaven’s sake! Lines…..forget about ’em. Who needs order in a land of 1.3 billion people? You don’t get this far in life by being polite! You got to get places! When you visit the Great Wall of China and the tour guide tells you to turn right for the easy path, consider heavily turning right. You are jet lagged and 9 months “pregnant”. No one needs a hero at this point! Oh…and try turtle soup. When else can you do that?
5. It gets better. It gets much better. Once you get home, you find a new wonderful normal, and it’s a beautiful thing. Just get that boy HOME! And for goodness’ sake get some sleep you raving lunatic!