There has to be a first time

February 9, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, M'ijo | 10 Comments
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Today, for the first time, P’ito said to us “You’re not my real mommies. You didn’t grow me.” And told us he was going to run away to Guatemala. Threw some food into a pillowcase, put his boots and his jackets on over his too-small footie pajamas, and walked outside into the snowy dark for about a minute.

Intellectually, I was prepared for it. Knew it was inevitable at some point. Had all sorts of supportive, affirming replies ready. No, we didn’t grow you, but we love you, and love makes a family, blah blah blah.

Emotionally? Sucker punch. Am still reeling, wondering if I said the right thing even as the cataract haze of high emotion makes my memory of exactly what I said grow too foggy to reproduce here.

I know it’s all normal: I just wasn’t expecting it to sting so much.

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  1. Damn. I haven’t been there, but I know that it is a matter of time. I’m sorry it happened to you. Wine o’clock?

  2. Been there…twice.

    If I can suggest…I don’t think it’s as much what you say as how much you love. The words matter, but I think my girls were trying to test us. See if we were “real” about all this. I think it’s a right of passage for most kids. I mentioned it to my Mom (I’m a bio kid) and she reminded me of the time I said “I didn’t ask to be born into this family” The test is bigger with adoptive kids, but I think it’s the same test…maybe.

    Hang in there.

  3. (((artsweet)))

  4. He’s testing you. It will happen again. {{{hugs}}}

  5. I wonder if anyone is ever really ready for that one. I’m sure I won’t be. It sounds like you practiced enough that you probably said what you meant to say even through the haze of emotional sucker-punch.

  6. Sending hugs, affection, and continued admiration in place of the helpful words i am unable to find.

    I do know, have said, and will repeat: That child (and his sister) won the parent lottery.

    Love DOES make a family. If only every child was as loved as yours, we’d have a far better world in which to live.

  7. Sorry. We’ve been having a lot of that lately and it hurts my partner’s feelings a lot, though I’ve been better at rolling with it. I worked on giving our daughter a script, which means now she says “It’s hard having two moms!” rather than “No two moms!” but she’s right that it is hard to have lost her legal and meaningful connection to her family and their specific culture. But you’re the ones who do the Mom Jobs, as we say, and I’m sure he recognizes that and will figure out how the rest of the pieces go together over time. And if he’s planning to walk to Guatemala, he’ll have plenty of time!

  8. Oh no. That must be so hard :( And of course, it’s totally normal and you’d worry if your child never said those words. STILL. Sorry. I know that day will come here too.

  9. Valentina is six and she will sometimes cry and ask about her birthmom and ask if she’s still alive. That is one of her fears/anxieties. Because she saw my sister die she knows the reality of other people dying who are close. She also knows that it’s possible she may never meet her birthmom. I’ve explained that when she’s older, if she wants to, we will do everything possible for her to meet her birthmom (all of the info we have leads us to believe she doesn’t want to be found/meet Valentina). That said, for the first time Valentina DID pack her little rolling suitcase and “run away”. I just let her do it. She kept waiting for me to stop her and knowing how independent she is I wasn’t about to stop her. She packed it up and walked outside, looking back at me every few steps. “Don’t go past the driveway” I reminded her of our rule as she walked out the door. She slowly walked all the way to the end of the driveway, stood there for a bit and then begrudgingly turned around and walked back into the house. I pretended the whole thing didn’t happen and when she came up to apologize to me later I told her I wouldn’t let her run away, it would make me too sad, blah blah blah……. She hasn’t done it since. She HAS told me she wished I would go away….but again she took that back quickly as she saw her aunt go away forever from cancer. Asa takes all of his anger out on me. My therapist says that’s a good thing. It’s so damn hard to be a parent. The ironic thing is, growing up Trina and I used to tell each other “mom and papa love me more than you because you were adopted.” Who would have EVER thought that I’d be dealing with this real situation when as we all know the reality couldn’t be further than what we used to tease each other with.

    Congrats on Posy! And it’s nice to see you blogging again :)

    • Yeah! Nice to see you back here Cameo! And yes, parenting is really eff’n hard. I had no clue before I became one…

      Are you on the Guatemala birthfamilies yahoogroup? A *lot* of people there were told that the birthmother didn’t want any contact and that turned out to be totally false. The story in our SW account was also completely untrue. I will always be an outspoken advocate for searching sooner (so that the trail doesn’t go cold, or worse, something happen to the birthmother) even if you don’t initiate face-to-face contact at this point. I think it does P’ito a lot of good to have his birthmom be someone real to him, rather than a mythical figure… just my two cents!


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