PICK US- one year later.

One year ago today we started a journey of a lifetime. reflecting back, I remember starting this adventure with such open naivety… “prepared” for what was to come, open to vulnerability, open to hardships. Naive was right… I had no idea the world we were walking into. It all went nothing like I could have prepared for.

To have experienced this will be unforgetable; to be done with this is surreal.

one year ago, I dreamt about the mother that would pick us. I had no idea if we would have a relationship with her, be apart of the pregnancy, where she would live, her wishes for post placement. I imagine myself going to ultrasounds but yet imagined being told that wasn’t an option. I dreamt about our soon-to-be baby, beckett’s soon-to-be sibling… its skin tone, eye shape, hair color, lip pout, eyelashes, a crier, or quiet sleeper. I read stories about failed matches and failed adoptions and couldn’t bare to think of the heaviness that would bring. I saw families being brought together through of adoption… so beautifully yet so also so torn. I sat back and imagined us in all these scenarios, the good + the bad. I spent sleepless nights waiting for the next step in the daunting paperwork, the next step in researching/applying agencies, then for the next situation to come, the next response if we were chosen, onto the next expectant mom.

we saw 14+ situations and heard 7 “no’s” all within 4 months.

one year ago, I was blind + scared. one year later, I am educated + confident.

one year ago, I was pessimistic + skeptical. one year later, I am trusting + a believer.

one year ago, I was yearning + incomplete. one year later, I am full.

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brooklyn,

one year ago you were a prayer + a hope + a dream. one year later, you are our reality, our joy, our pride, a product of a selfless act.

be brave.

added pressure.

 

With a biological child, you make certain promises to yourself as a parent to be how you plan to raise your little one. When you get matched with an expectant mom you give promises to her that you will raise the child to the best of your ability. In both scenarios you use the frequent vow “I will never…” until you realize that you are now saying, “oh I absolutely will.” As a recent adoptive mother, I can’t help but put extra pressure on myself that I have to go above and beyond those expectations or promises that I gave Brooklyn’s birth mom. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to give them to her verbally as our time together was extremely limited but I gave them to her through our profile book. Through our words, our pictures of our family and our home, we presented and promised Mama L that we would love and provide for Brooklyn; I wanted to promise the world and more. The weight and significance of these obligations are heavy, for me, because of adoption. The pressure that comes with adoption because you want to be more than a good parent, more than a friend, more than a confidant. Unnecessary, maybe. But they are real expectations that I have placed upon myself and I strive to live by. The pressure can be so intense that at times I don’t raise my children the same because I can’t let someone else down, that someone else being another mother, Brooklyn’s birth mother. I have this personal expectation to raise Brooklyn in this perfect world, that doesn’t exist, that isn’t realistic. I know I can’t guard her or protect from all negtivity in the world but I have the extra expectation that I can, I should, I will. It’s almost like I put an extra set of eyes on me, just as if Mama L is watching.

Over the holidays is when I felt this intense stress from expectations that I am speaking of. Christmas vacation was chaos, it was tough. It wasn’t the Christmas I dreamt of as our first as a family of four or for Brooklyn’s first Christmas (those milestones alone come with their own set of expectations.) I just kept thinking to myself, “this isn’t what I promised Mama L.” The weight was heavy. It was suffocating. It was powerful. It was exhausting. I cried. I hugged her close. I prayed. I expressed my worries to my husband and to a friend.  

Why do I do this to myself?

Why do I add such unnecessary pressure?

Am I the only one who does this?

Both of my kids are my kids, adopted or biological, doesn’t matter. I know that and I live that. Why doesn’t this pressure exist as if my husbands eyes were the eyes over my shoulder while I parent either of our kids?

Putting this pressure on myself isn’t fair and I realize that now. I had to go through that motherhood meltdown to discover it on my own and that is what is going to make me a better mom; the mom I promised Brooklyn’s birth mom, the mom I promised Beckett. I promised both my kids I’ll be the best person I can be to them, to their father, to their peers. I will forever provide love but I will also provide mistakes that will turn to lessons.

Moms… dads… take off this pressure if you can relate to this. Adoption or biological. Take off the pressure to be the perfect parent with the perfect home, the perfect holiday, the perfect adventure. Let life flow, embrace the chaos, endure the trials, and make the best out of all experiences life brings us. It’s not always going to be easy, it’s not always going to be glorified perfect, but these are the experiences that built our families and make us stronger together.

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