Friday, December 31, 2010

Jack's Journey

Jack arrived December 6th.

I am having such a hard time writing this, but it has been on my mind for a few weeks.  First and foremost I would like to state that I am completely, over the moon in love with my new son. I would never change him or want to give him back. He is a complete miracle and a wonder.  This is my vent and thoughts on a difficult situation, and want no flames.

I am having a few people that seem determined to remind me and everyone else that Jack is A.D.O.P.T.E.D.  It seems to be that people think since he was wanted and adopted, he should be a perfect baby, or maybe I should not get frustrated or ever complain.  Honestly, I am not that strong. Infants are hard. They wake up a lot.  They want to be held constantly. (I don't mind, but it is hard to do homework, cook dinner, work and hold a baby at the same time) They cry and don't tell you why.  And there is always the mommy guilt and worry.  Should I have been more patient last night at 4 AM, going on 4 hours of sleep during the last 2 days.  He shakes his arms a lot.. is that a sign of some obscure illness?

I have a friend that was trying desperately to conceive a few years ago.  She was really angry that she was not able to conceive easily like other women around her.  She wrote once that if she had a baby, she would never complain or get frustrated with her baby because she wanted him so much, so much more than the rest of us who take our fertility for granted.  I was kind of upset at the time.  I had 3 children.  Did that make me less worthy of another child?

I was already infertile at that time and ached for the 4th child.  I was MEANT to have a 4th and there was a big gaping hole in my heart where #4 should be. I felt guilty, like she thought that I did not not need another because I already had 3.  And I did.  3 beautiful, healthy, perfect children. It wasn't enough.  I had another baby out there somewhere.  But I knew that she was thinking that it was selfish of me to want another when I had 3 and she had 0.  Eventually, she did get her baby. He is a fantastic, super cute boy. And she has never complained. to me anyway.

There is someone I have met recently that seems to feel the same way.  She seems to think that I should not have any frustrations or complaints about Jack.  Maybe even that i don't have a right to complain.  He is ADOPTED.  He must be perfect, or i must be super happy and grateful since I had to work hard to get him.  I recently posted on facebook that I had a crappy day and wanted it to end.  Her response was that I should look to my children and be happy.  I love my children, i really do.  But my baby doesn't poop rainbows and spit up butterflies.  He cries.  He poops out his diaper and up his back while we are out.  He pretends to sleep until I lay down my head.  Newborns are hard work.

She mentioned a few days later that she is struggling with jealousy.  She did not specifically say she was jealous of me, but she mentioned heartache, and trying to be happy for others.  I know she is struggling with trying to conceive.  I want to have compassion for her and her situation, but sometimes I am too wrapped up in just struggling through my days. My situation is hard. newborn, no husband.  Sometimes whining makes me feel better. It upsets me that someone should imply that I have no right to a bad day or that Jack should make every problem seem miniscule.

Jack's journey to me was really long.  I waited 7 years for him.  7 years ago, October 2003, I had a baby.  A cute cuddly girl baby named Lucy.  4 days later, i had an ovary-ectomy.  No more eggs = no more babies.  I was already heart broken. It was a really dark time for me. I had a hard time mothering Lucy.  This was the baby that wasn't supposed to be the last baby.  I was going through menopause, and had 3 young children.

Eventually, i stopped feeling so black.  The kids and I moved a couple times, and Adan came home and left and came home again.  We decided to look into adoption and immediately realized that was a pipe dream.  We are a military family who moves on average every 9 months.  There was no way we could afford 15,000+ dollars to grow our family. That idea went to the back of the mind.  Every time it popped up, i would dismiss it and push it to the back.

I felt that jealousy.  It wasn't fair. I KNEW i had another baby, and now i would never get to meet him. All my friends were having kids and I had to sit around them and know that i would never get to do that again.   I had my children so much earlier than all my school friends... I had an 8 yo, and 6 yo and a 3 yo when my bff started having kids. I had to suffer through baby showers and cuddles with a black hole in my heart.  

A couple years later we moved again.  I had mostly gotten past my burning envy and settled in.  I had new friends and they were my age with children that matched the ages of my children.  We decided to try and adopt through the foster care system.  We went through the classes and finished our home study.  Due to a stupid loophole, we could not foster adopt and live on post.  We could adopt or foster, but not both.  We fostered for 9 months, but we quickly realized that this was not going to work.  The only children free for adoption were teens or severely medically challenged.

I had considered donated eggs, but without ovaries it would be nearly impossible to sustain a pregnancy.  We thought about surrogacy, but it was just as expensive as adoption.  We realized finally that a baby wasn't going to happen.  Adan and I finally came to a decision that we would shelve all the baby stuff come December 2010.  There was no use getting ourselves all worked up all the time when it never seemed to pan out.  In December we were moving on.

God works in his own time though.  2 1/2 years ago, I opened a family child care home.  The first family that I interviewed did not meet the criteria that I had set out.  I wanted only before and after school care children. No youngsters.  this family had a kindergartner, a 4th grader and a 2 year old.  I wanted to say no, but something in me said yes.  So I started watching them.  I was caring for them as we went through that foster care class, and as we fostered a child.  A year later I decided to go back to school and closed my daycare.  My family bugged me to keep watching the children, and I decided to continue watching them through the Army's respite care program.

I met the children's grandparents, and aunt in the course of the time and I felt almost like they were my second kiddos.

June 2010, their aunt decided to give her baby up for adoption.  She chose us to take Jack.

We visited the lawyers, and did all the necessary shopping, but it did not feel real at all.  I never felt like I would really be having a baby in my arms. Momma was great. She let me be at all the ultrasound appointments and at the birth.  I was with Jack from the time he was born until he came home.  Jack is mine. Sometimes it still doesn't feel real.  But it is.

And I am still human. Even after hoping and wishing and crying for the last 7 years.  He still cries in the middle of the night or wants to be held when i need to go to the bathroom or cook.  But I would not give him back for anything in the world.