Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oldies but Goodies

I visited a friend's blog tonight and it made me laugh and feel glad that I have the privilege of being part of a very special club...The Old Mommies Club. I am 47 and I have nine children ages 1, 6, 6, 10, 14, 15, 17, 21, and 22! She wrote on the trials and joys of being a mother again at the age of 42. I understand her completely. Let me tell you about a week in the life of mom like me...
This week happens to be Spring break. Most of the time, since we home school, we take our breaks at times when everyone else is in school(it makes for shorter lines). But this year it just worked out that this was the week that most of my older kids had events with friends. So, this left me to be the break coordinator for the three little girls with baby on my back. Day one was The Children's Museum. I rubbed elbows with millions of mommies twenty years my junior. I love the look I get whenever people realize all these little girls are sisters. Inevitable someone will ask the questions of how many children I have and the usual jaw-drop happens. Actually, when it happened today for the third time I really was a little fed up. Sometimes I feel like an oddity, somewhere between an angelic host and a circus freak. Day two was rollerskating. I must admit I was not able to actually skate since Meseret was on my back again, but I was the walking guide as not one of the three little girls had ever skated before. Luckily, my fourteen year old son went with me and helped take the girls around the rink a few times. The next day the little girls stayed home with one of the older kids so I could go to the Social Security office(once on my back) and get Etsegenet and Meseret's numbers. This took almost two hours. Day four, that was today, I took them to the Science Museum. They spent a couple of hours looking around and I spent a couple of hours watching them look around and taking people to the bathroom and getting everyone a lunch. Again, I was fortunate that my 15 year old, Angelina, pushed Meseret all day in the stroller. After the museum it was dentist appointments and then tonight our family went to a play. I have not planned tomorrow yet, but Ray is taking the day off so we can do it together!
I hope this gives you an idea of one week in my life. Although it is not usually Spring break, the activity level daily is like this or greater: Homeschooling, ballet classes, soccer games, gymnastics, piano lessons, an occasional lunch with my mother, doctor appointments, dentist appointments, birthdays, play group....the list goes on and on. Sometimes I am exhausted by all the energy I expend on a daily basis and I must admit that this week my back definitely feels my age. But, God provides the times of refreshment I need to keep up with my family( yes, I do take naps, and Ray and I have date night once a week). I think too many woman miss the opportunity of embracing their own motherhood to its fullest extent because they feel they will miss out on their own time. Yet, I am happy and thankful when God opened my eyes to the knowledge that children truly are a blessing from Him I was able to cast out my fear of losing myself and open my heart to the joy of motherhood all the way through to its maturity!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Heart of a True Mother

I have thought long and hard about how to explain to my adopted children why a mother gives her child up. Since I have never been in a position to have to do this I asked God to help me find the truth when it comes to this question that all my adopted children will eventually ask. As usual God gave me the answer from his infinite wisdom. The truth came to me as I read from the book of Kings. Solomon was presented with a curious dilemma...two women, one child. Both women had given birth within three days of each other. After one mother had accidentally smothered her baby as it slept she exchanged her dead child for the live one. When the mother of the live baby awoke to find a dead baby next to her she was horrified. As she examined the little one more closely she realized that the dead baby she found was not her own. Both women appealed to King Solomon for a solution. Of course you know that the wise king called for a sword to cut the infant in two halves so each woman would get a fair share of the baby. One woman shouted, "Let the child live, give it to the other woman." The woman who had switched the babies said, " Let the child die. If I cannot have it, then no one shall have it." As these words are spoken it becomes clear what the heart of a true mother looks like...Life, not death. I have often wondered how a woman could choose to abort a baby, or why another woman in very difficult circumstances would choose to give her child to another woman to nurture and raise. This story makes it clear that a woman who truly is the mother of the child, regardless of her situation, will care more for that child than her own circumstances. Where one woman would choose death, another would release her child into the arms of a stranger in order that her baby might live. Each of the birth mother's of my adopted children have chosen to give life to their babies. There will never be a question about if their birth mothers acted with the heart of a "True Mother" or not because they need only to look at their own life to see that her noble act is complete and they life because of it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Daddy's a Little Teapot!

"I'm a little teapot short and stout!"

" Here is my handle, Here is my spout!"

When I get all steamed up, hear me SHHHOOOUUUTTT!!!

Tip me over and...

pour me out!!"



I love you Daddy! Goodnight!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Grieving our Way Back to Continuity

I am a poor substitute for a birth mother. At least it seems that way from my perspective. If I were asked as a child, "Would you like to be adopted, or would you like to keep the mom that gave you life?", I would have to answer, " I want my mommy(meaning my birth mom)!" Now being an adoptive mom that may seem hard to swallow, but really as I help my adopted children work through their different stages of grief I believe it is the only reasonable and loving attitude to have. Of course for various reasons each of my children's mothers were not able to raise them and if my kids were to have stayed with their birth moms I know that in some cases that it would not have been safe either emotionally, physically, and/or spiritually. Still from a child's perspective a heart yearns for that continuity. Each of my adopted kids have grieved the loss of their parents and as they grieve my heart grieves as well. I wish I could change it for them or at least carry their undeserved burden and give back to them what never should have been taken from them. But alas I am incapable, so my only option is to pray for their healing and simply hear their pain and remain steadfast in my love. And interestingly enough I have found that this is the road to find that continuity which they lost. Their pain has surfaced in each a little differently: Sometimes it looks like anger or rage, sometimes it looks like coldness or rejection, sometimes bed wetting, bad dreams, night terrors, under eating, over eating, depression, tears, running away. But make no mistake all these behaviors comes from the same is trauma due to a break in parental continuity. As I have worked through loss with each of my adopted children, healing takes place more and more. I believe that in some cases the best I can hope for is not total healing, but scarring. But with scarring comes strength in the broken places. We will see what God will do in the lives of my children that he chose to be the ones who survived the great difficulty of the separation of parent and child. Although I am no replacement for a birth parent, I have been chosen as well. And because God chose me for this job it is not hard to say to my children, " I am your mom and you are mine! God said so and he does not make mistakes! "Together we will forge the bond that is real, as real as any birth child and parent can know. These are my babies! Each one as precious to me as if they were from my own womb. And with time and consistency the message God has for them will be made clear..." You are loved, and you are home!" Once the bridge is built from birth parent to adoptive parent continuity is restored and trust and love can be reestablished in the heart of the child.