On FRIDAY I posted this.
I decided to fast all day Friday in hopes of clarity and help in making a very serious decision so fast. Jon and I prayed in the morning and went on our separate ways. I had huge lists on both sides of the equation.
I couldn’t share what I was writing of for many reasons.
1. Nobody knew I even had the opportunity to adopt because it happened so fast, and I didn’t want family to find out on my blog.
2. We found out there was another family that had first option to adopt Handsome, so we didn’t want to get our hopes up.
3. Possibly the biggest reason, I wasn’t positive yet that I was ready to jump in head first into this new adventure without a confirmation that it was right. Funny how when I look back, it seems so simple but I was in shock and trying to visualize how it would all work.
My list went like this:
I am back to baby stages after I just put away the high chair, diapers, and car seats.
Would my kids be jealous and feel like I wanted them less?
Would this add extra stress that Jon and I couldn’t add to our plate right now witheverythingin businessgoingon?
Would I have to deal with lawyers? After going through a step daughter and the legal aspect, a niece and being her legal guardian and that legal aspect..and on and on…was it in me?
I wanted to make sure this was a joint venture for us, not that I just want a boy so we will get one.
I get to raise a son, and
The chain of events that brought us to this place.
As you can see there were less on the Pro side, but the draw there was still more.
Friday night Jon came home feeling more comfortable with the idea, and I was more stressed out. It’s hard to make this big of decision this fast. My head wasreeling..and it only got worse when Jon said,
“Let’s call the birth Grandma and let her know we are interested. Let’s just find out what she says and if it is even a viable option.”
I got the chills and groaned at the same time.
What were we doing? We have our hands full…quite full. Between business and 6 kids we are already running fast. We both love it this way andactuallythrive on a lot to do, but were we being smart?
I picked up the phone and dialed….
“Hi, I got your number from and friend that said you wereinterestedin placing a son for adoption.”
“Could you tell me more?”
She went into details ofHandsome’sbirth mother, her daughter. With love and emotion she explained her situation that led her to this day. She was very supportive of her daughter and patient with letting her choose what she felt was best for her son. I won’t share all of the detailspublicly, but know that they both felt like it was the best thing for littleMr. Handsome. The mother was young and tried with all of her might to make it work on her own. That is a lot for any 15 year old.
It is very apparent that Handsome has been loved and taken care of.
I felt myself smile bigger and bigger as I thought of this little sweet boy. Could this REALLY happen? Was I dreaming? Was I being selfish taking this opportunity away from another family that couldn’t have children?
And then she said it…
“We have already asked someone else if they want the baby. He has been playing with their kids and getting to know them.”
My heart fell.
“OK” I said and held my breath.
She went on to ask who we were and where we heard about them. I explained the connection and told her that we had a public blog if she wanted to read more about our family and see pictures, then she asked,
“Can we come over to meet you on Sunday night if the first family changes their mind?”
I agreed, but knew this was opening up to be heart broken.
Follow up thoughts…
As I read these words, it feels like it is yesterday. I have learned So much, really how to raise a child totally different than I ever have. With my children, we knew who each other was from the beginning. The trust was already there. Adopting a toddler is a project, just like my kids were, but in a different way. Patience to get to know their individual personality it key. All kids come different and I became a student of him.
It took longer than maybe controlling him with anger *as I sometimes wanted to* but it was much more effective. The sleep situation was probably one of the hardest things, spending 9 months by his side as he fell asleep. But the trust that came from it is invaluable.
Another big challenge was his lack of understanding. He couldn’t speak only be 18 months old and he didn’t have anyway to express his feelings. Hitting his head on the floor and screaming were his ways of communication and that brought a lot of stress into the home. None of us knew how to deal with it. Jon and I talked about it an decided that we wouldn’t stop him. I know this sounds possibly inhumane, but I would do it this way again. He was using these things to control and when he realized it wasn’t working, he started noticing that his head hurt when he hit it on the floor, door, or fish tank! He actually did it a few days ago after months of not and I had to laugh when he rubbed his head after one hit and said,
Yep. Good boy, we learned that one!
Another issue was shutting doors. Handsome had major issues with people when they shut the door in his face. It doesn’t matter what side of the door he is on, he just doesn’t like being shut in. Doors have been left open all over the place that wouldn’t have been before. Bathrooms when I use the pot, showers when he needs to just be by me, or car doors before we leave somewhere.
Between the months of about 22 months to 27 (or so) Handsome had real issues with screaming, like the non stop kind of screaming. He looked like he was in another world and not even noticing anyone trying to help him. It was horrible and I felt so helpless. it was like he couldn’t stop himself. If it was manageable, I was sit by him as he freaked out which I would have never done with my other kids. They sat in time out alone, but this just felt right for his circumstances. But when he REALLY lost it, it was bad news.
After Jon and I talked about it for a while, we decided to spray him or flick water in his face. I know this sounds horrible, no good and like I may have hundreds of people mad at me but I felt good about it. It shocked him out of his wig out sessions and he learned over time to realize he was out of control and then he would just hug me and say, “OK, I done.” Even writing about it makes me think about all the hard times, but it worked for us. After we were using this method for a few weeks I would just ask if he needed the spay bottle and he would say, “No I done, but I wanna drink it.”
So, he would.
I probably wouldn’t even share this other than it was the only thing we found to be effective. Mind you, it was NOT done in anger. I think this method could be taken too far if someone didn’t have control of their emotions. But for us it worked. He has a normal manageable amount of freak outs for a two year old and he is present in them, not in a kind of scary zone.
You can send hate mail to
but I stand by my choice and I love him more than ever. He is healthy and happy and sometimes a little wet.