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And, Again.

I would post, but how many times can I say that this is hard? How many times can I detail the ways I’ve failed today, or the ways I’ve taken my frustration out on my family? How many times can you hear, again, that I have simply got too many small children…too many to take to the bathroom. To many to cut up fruit for, too many to mix chocolate milk for, too many to watch in the swimming pool, too many to pick up when they skin their knees.

I am sorry, you skin your knee four times in the same walk and i have stopped feeling sorry for you. And frankly, if somebody elseskinned their knee three times and you are the fourth? Well you are, my friend, SOL. Cause I am fresh out of loving kindness.

I have done a lot of unfun things. I have been, for example, an associate at one of the toughest, most grueling law firms in New York, known for its ability to bring young lawyers to tears. It did bring me to tears. Wouldn’t now. That’s a walk in the park by comparison.

And the thing is, when you do have a baby, you can complain, because everyone knows you wouldn’t really give the baby back, and very few people point out, or even think to themselves with a slight but recognizable smirk, that this is, after all, your own fault. Plus, you tend to have friends in the same boat, or at least recently out of the same boat. That isn’t true in this case, and it feels stifling. No one wants to hear any of this. I’m reduced, in general, to mere pleasantries. La la la, everything’s fine, why yes, it was quite an adventure!

Getting pretty repetitive around here, no?


15 Responses to “And, Again.”

  1. Carol Anne says:

    I know exactly where you are coming from, but I brought home 10 and 14 mos olds. It takes time to put everything together in a new normal — at least six months by my experience. It helps that I have a bunch of cranky adoptive parents I correspond with. Even now, with my eldest at pre-adolescence, I b!tch and complain to that group, and they understand — because they were there themselves just last week, or last year, or …
    It will get better. Then a new batch of $h!t will hit the fan… ;^)

  2. Christy says:

    Your writing is so truthful. EVERY potential adoptive parent needs to read your blog before adoption and after adoption so that they know they are not alone. We have adopted two boys, domestically through DFS. It is the absolute most difficult thing in the world. One time my husband told me that I resented the boys. I was furious with him for saying that. How could my husband say that about me. I am their mother now. That just was not true. Then I thought long and hard about what he said. I could not take a bath quietly anymore, I could not sit and read a book, I could not make it through a day at work without the school calling me and telling me one of the boys was sick or in trouble. I could not take a dring or a bite of food without having to share it. I was resentful. I had to give up so much. Even though I knew this is the way it would be I thought that it would be an easy transition. Not hardly. So, I know what you mean and I am right there with you during every step.

  3. Kristi Diaz says:

    Have you considered getting Rory checked for a urinary tract infection?? I realize that this could be a “behavior” of sorts for attention but it is within the realm of possibility that she could have a physical reason for this going on… Also, just a suggestion that you may like or may find repulsive? … I find port-a-potties disgusting so I take a toddler type of training potty around in the back of my SUV. I let my 4 year old daughter use it and I stand in front of her to make sure she doesn’t fall ..and we throw a towel over her so she can be as discreet as a 4 year old needs to be. I then dump the contents in as good a place as I can find and pull out the Wet Ones. This potty has saved me from many a disgusting public restroom and lines.

  4. Kris says:

    I felt much like you did with our first adoption. A good portion of your exhaustion and frustration is still coming from jet lag and the emotional exhaustion that you had to endure on the trip itself. It took about a month for me to actually feel normal again. My DH has a delayed reaction to jet lag….he broke down after I had two weeks to recover. Thankfully, I had enough energy at that point to step up.

    I promise you that you will feel better…both physically, and about your ability to parent ALL of your children. Is there anyway that you can get some help during the day so that you can get some rest, or treat yourself to a couple of afternoons off? We live far away from both sets of parents, so we didn’t have that luxury, but if you have a couple of friends who could help you? If not, could you contact a local church who would be willing to help? I know that may sound crazy, but I promise you that if you explain your situation, many churches would help.

    Hang in there, as someone else already said. I know that its a cliche, but as time goes by things will improve….not what you want to hear now (and you’re probably ready to throw something at my post), but you need some kind of hope! Just be kind to yourself, and get the additional rest that you need somehow!

    Kris
    (An RQ Friend Who Cares)

  5. Kristi Diaz says:

    Also, not to be ugly… but when you “sign up” for parenthood you are without a doubt taking a huge risk with each addition and are truly signing up for the great unknown. You have to be prepared to, if needed, a lifetime of loving self-sacrifice….Otherwise don’t become a parent.
    Think of all of the parents in the world struggling with children with life-threatening illnesses as well as those struggling with children who have complex developmental disorders such as autism.
    I don’t mean to be offensive, but as a parent of child with autism, it drives me nuts to hear parents of typical children complain.

  6. Kristi Diaz says:

    I want to apologize for my former so-called words of wisdom. I don’t know you from Adam and most likely should have kept my mouth shut because you are walking a road that I haven’t (yet). Chalk it up to PMS as I usually am not nearly so bold. However, once not so long ago a friend of mine told me something similar and it truly helped me snap out of a depressed state I had fallen into. She told me, it’s hard – yes – but there’s always someone out there who is in a much tougher situation. Always keep in mind all of the blessings that you do have, and the challenges you face begin to look a lot more manageable. Again – I’m sorry for my prior rudeness.

  7. Mary says:

    Hi KJ,

    We met briefly at the clinic in Guangzhou (I introduced myself to you in the front room of the clinic). This is my third time through the post-China stage of adoption, the first time with an older toddler (a 4 year old who acts like a 2 year old). Each time, it’s just really hard. It does get better, but it takes several months.

    My first time, I tried to act like supermom. I asked for no help, kept a strict schedule, made perfect meals, always 100% nutritious. I ended up a total mess – totally depressed, angry and frustrated.

    By this adoption, I am taking help, eating frozen dinners and pbj sandwiches (tonight it’s frozen waffles), bathing my kids at not always reasonable intervals and generally giving myself the break of just being and doing the best I can do (which is far from perfect). Give yourself permission to not be terrific at it right now. I, like you, was once an associate in a high-powered firm – but that skill set involving being super smart and super competent is not a good one for this time in your life. Learn to let go and let it be what it is. Let yourself be during this time. You don’t have to be perfect and the process of adjusting definitely will not be perfect. Eventually everything jells – never the way you dreamed it would, but in the way it is supposed to.

    You are taking a fully-formed person and dropping her into what is already a formed family filled with other fully-formed people. It takes a while for all the kids to figure out the new reality. It’s amazing, but it’s the time when there are more skinned knees and other “owies”. Somehow everyone needs to be reassured that they still matter during this period of upset. It does drive you crazy, but it seems to go away fairly quickly.

    I’m right now dealing with constant hurt feelings, misunderstandings and angry outbursts. Today is a good day, so I’m grateful for small things.

    I’ve basically shut down all outside events for a few weeks to let everyone get their bearings (especially me). My older kids don’t like it, but they have found things to do here at our house. They won’t die if they miss a few things, but I may end up over the edge! I figure my sanity is better for them in the long run than a few missed games/playdates, etc.

    Hang in there. If there is anything I can help you with, feel free to e-mail.

    Mary in Denver

  8. catherinethegreat says:

    I agree with Mary in Denver 100%. You have been through a lot. Quarantine (okay I know you survive that), a new daughter and now adjusting to home with a new daughter (and a fully walking/talking one at that). I think what most people don’t get is that just because you get what you want so to speak doesn’t mean you won’t or shouldn’t ask for help sometimes. Ask for it…everyone needs a little space to themselves. I should know…the only space I have for myself is when I drop on my bed at night half dead and shut my eyes.

  9. Misty says:

    I am not going to attempt because it will not do the situation justice. You will get through this. In a few months it will all be a distant memory though I know that is not what you want to hear. Do not listen to THOSE PEOPLE ABOVE who say you you have no right to be honest. This is your blog and you can say whatever you wish. Yes, someone else’s situation is always going to be more dire than your own–that is true for EVERY parent–special needs or typical–but that does not negate your own experience at the time. I’ll leave it at that. Hugs, M

  10. Mary says:

    catherinethegreat:

    I have been known to lock myself in the bathroom with my hands over my ears while the tribe is pounding on the door! It’s pretty close to “alone time”!

    Also, any sleep issues with the adopted child (as I have had with all three) puts the entire thing into another realm of mom feeling desperate.

    All you adoptive moms – just don’t be too hard on yourselves. We all did this for good reasons. We are (most days) good people. Sometimes we don’t meet our own expectations (or those of folks who have never walked a mile in our shoes), but it does work out. It’s just kind of messy between here and there. Please, all of you – be kind to yourselves and give yourselves a break.

    Mary in Denver
    (grateful for a day with only minor blowups amongst the girls

  11. Mary says:

    catherinethegreat:

    I have been known to lock myself in the bathroom with my hands over my ears while the tribe is pounding on the door! It’s pretty close to “alone time”!

    Also, any sleep issues with the adopted child (as I have had with all three) puts the entire thing into another realm of mom feeling desperate.

    All you adoptive moms – just don’t be too hard on yourselves. We all did this for good reasons. We are (most days) good people. Sometimes we don’t meet our own expectations (or those of folks who have never walked a mile in our shoes), but it does work out. It’s just kind of messy between here and there. Please, all of you – be kind to yourselves and give yourselves a break.

    Mary in Denver
    (grateful for a day with only minor blowups amongst the girls

  12. Snick :) says:

    You will get through this, and your honesty is a shining example to other a-parents.

    Are you sleeping well enough? Sleep is critical.

    Best,
    Snick 🙂

  13. Carla says:

    a fellow adoptive mom of 2 and 1 bio recently ranted on about how it’s okay for a Mom of bio kids to complain about them, to whine about them, to say “this sucks!” but it’s not okay to say the same of the adoptive kids. That it’s NOT fair that she is not allowed to say that ALL 3 of her kids get on her nerves, and she needs a break from ALL 3 of the kids…or rather at this point the 2 toddler/preschoolers she adopted in the past few years. Kids are draining regardless of how they entered your life, and you are still adjusting to how that 4th child fits into your family. Things will turn around soon.

  14. Lisen says:

    Hey-

    You are not in that boat alone, friend! And you’ll be motoring on ahead when Ali finally gets home in our rocking boat. Let’s get together,

    Lisen

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