Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things About Adoption No One Told Me About Part 3

There are so many things that I wish I could have known about. But the three things I have written about were the main ones. After all the sleep deprivation, the grieving, the loss of self, etc. I can honestly say, it's been worth every single bit. I want you to know that before I go into my biggest issue was with our adoption.

As most of you know, Naia and Xavier are our bio kids. I had easy pregnancies, easy deliveries, easy babies. They both slept well, I had tons of help from family, friends, etc. I had that help this time as well, it just couldn't be in the same capacity as before. I tell people all the time, that yes adoption is a neat thing, but it's definitely different than birthing a child and having that child with you from conception. After all the hard things that we went through with Paxton, I thought things were going okay. I knew that I was feeling better, but I was also so overwhelmed. We were getting sleep, we were attached, but my mind and body just weren't in sync. I didn't even notice any early warning signs. Post Adoption Depression, just hit me like a brick wall. One day I realized that I had been weepy, irritable, and just not myself for quite some time. Apparently, people around me had noticed, but just didn't say anything. They just assumed that I was struggling caring for three kids, which wasn't it at all. My mind and heart had prepared for this baby. We HAD a baby, but my body didn't and my emotions and hormones didn't go through that process of birthing a baby and the bonding that you get with a newborn. We went through the bonding with a teething near toddler. I found myself, not wanting to get out, not wanting to leave Paxton, and having near panic attacks when I would have to leave him. I didn't want to leave the house, I cried at everything. I'm sure that on more than one occassion Brent thought that something was very seriously wrong. I really struggled finding myself again. Of seeing light at the end of the tunnel. I got mad at people that I cared about. At the time I was also having some medical issues that scared me to death. I talked to my doctor about it and couldn't even make it through the appointment without a complete meltdown. I had these meltdowns all the time for about 3 months. I literally couldn't have any kind of confrontation without a breakdown. My doctor immediately got me on a viatamin and made sure the change my birth control pills, b/c she knew from just the one conversation that things were not right. During those months, I was no myself and I knew that, I just couldn't change it. I couldn't change the fact that I didn't want anything to do with my friends or kids or husband. I just wanted to stay in bed forever.

I'm so thankful that the Lord brought me through this. It was something that I had never experienced before. I had two kids already, a third wouldnt' be that much different would it?! Three kids are definitely different, but it's also much easier this time around! My big kids are able to help entertain Paxton and they watch over him like a hawk! Talking about my problems with my closest friends helped and letting my family know that I needed help helped me as well. The books that we have to read and the classes we have to attend in order to adopt a child covered this topic. They covered, baby blues and Post Adoption Depression, but I don't think they let you know how real those things can be. That even if you've had kids before and not had any problems, that things will be different this time. Circumstances will be different. Adoption is so different than anything I've ever experienced. Loving a child from a photo, praying for a child and his first mother before you even know about the child or their situation. It's all so different.

I guess you could call this part 4! I want to end this on a positive note. I want to go into all the things that no one told me about that are the best things that God could have given us!

We started praying for Paxton's first mother and him from the beginning. In June of last year I could honestly say, I knew my child had been born. I could feel it in my bones. I just knew. From the second we got that phone call and said yes, we loved JeongSol from a photo! It's hard to believe that you can fall so hard in love with someone just from a picture. We knew immediately that he was our son! I'll never forget the way his foster mother put him into my arms the first time and I just started crying that my son was finally in my arms. I'll never forget the way that he smelled that day. Every once in a while, I'll smell that scent on him and I just remember loving him so completely before I even knew him. He's sitting here in front of me this morning playing on his riding toy eating goldfish crackers and my heart melts, b/c he is mine. He is my son.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Things About Adoption No One Told Me About Part 2

When you finally start some resemblance of real sleep, you think things are getting better. You're finally able to leave the house on time again. Things seem to be looking up! One thing I really wished I had known was how long exactly 6 weeks were then how long 6 months were.

When you first come home, 6 weeks doesn't seem like that long of a time! Heck, you've probably waiting 6 months trying to bring home your baby. During the firsrt 6weeks, agency, experts, etc. reccommend that only primary care givers, aka, mom and dad, are the ones that feed, bathe, hold, comfort, etc. SO for 6 long weeks we did this. It was really hard. Especially after not sleeping and being tired and just wanting a shower so bad! We made it through this though, pretty easily. During this time though, Paxton was mostly sick, so it was okay that only we could hold him! No one else wanted to come near us after he had RotaVirus!

After 6 weeks, others can start to hold your child, and another primary caregiver, aka a babysitter can step in, but it's highly recommended that you not leave him/her in church nurseries or short periods of time with random baby sitters. SO for 6 long months, one of us, mainly me, was with Paxton at all times. No church nursery, no date nights unless grandparents were available, no time really whatsoever with Paxton. Now at first I didn't mind this. I mean, come on, I was a new mom again! I loved showing off our new son. I don't even mind the questions that people ask that they probably have no business asking! I love telling our part of his story to others. It does start to wear on you though. About 4-5 months in, you start to test the waters of leaving them in the church nursery, only to know that they've screamed forever, so you don't do that again for awhile! Finally that 6month mark has hit, and you're the one not really ready to leave them for the entire church service, or with a sitter, even if they know that sitter!

We made it through those 6 months. Attatchment was great. People finally knew to page me in church if he cried more than 10 minutes! Those 6 months were hard. You don't realize until they're up what you've missed by being out of church so long. Or not being able to go out with friends at night or just spending time alone with your spouse. It was hard to finally leave Paxton and even now after being home 9 months, I still worry about leaving him with people he doesn't know. With the bigger kids, this was never an issue. They just got left! We had sitters and they were left at church from 2 weeks of age to never look back! It's just such a different experience in this situation. Not being able to leave him plus the exhaustion led me some other issues that I'll talk about next. It's something that I never thought I'd have to deal with. I already had two kids, wouldn't adding a third, be a piece of cake?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Things about adoption no one told me about

I think the first thing that comes to mind when I thought about this was exhaustion. The pure and total exhaustion of bringing home an infant or toddle from a time zone 15 hours different from yours.

In all of our books and classes they warn you that you will be tired. To rest when the baby rests, to stay home, etc. A. When you have other children in the house, you don't always get to sleep when the new baby sleeps! He may sleep the morning away, but your other children will want breakfast and snacks and want to spend time with you b/c they haven't seen you in a week and you're now devoting the majority of your time with the baby. I think this was a very hard thing for me to do during that first week or so home. Now I do think that it being Christmas week, things could have and probably would have been different if it weren't for celebrating Christmas. B. It's almost impossible if you have older kids that aren't homeschooled to stay home for more than a week! We did have the luxury of it being Christmas break when we came home, so we had two weeks of the big kids being home with us, but also being the holidays, we were so busy. On Christmas day, I was so tired, that when my mom had to leave to go back home, I was sobbing from exhaustion. I didn't want my mom to leave. I wanted her to stay even though there was nothing she could do for me. Technically, no one was supposed to hold Paxton or feed him or really care for him besides Brent and I and after being home for just 3 days, I was so exhausted. Jet lag, lack of sleep, lack of energy, etc. had finally taken a toll on me.

So, I think that the first thing that no one told me how things would "really" be about adoption is that I was beyond exhasted. I had no idea that it would be like that. I had no idea, that Paxton would only let Brent put him to sleep at first, and then only me! This led to other issues that I'll talk about later, but first of all was this.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. We've been so busy here. Outage is almost over and hopefully things will return to normal around! I have been throwing around some thoughts on a post I saw somewhere else. Things About Adoption No One Told Me About. Theirs was a heartfelt post about their love for their children, but I really got to thinking that there are about 3 or 4 things that I wish I had been told to expect when I adopted a child. We love our son and would not change anything in the world, but things weren't near as peachy as we'd been led to believe. So in a few days hopefully I'll have something more concrete to write about. Have a great FALL day!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Follow up to Wordless Wednesday: Recipe Thursday

Oreo Truffles

1 package of oreo cookies (I use the off brand and they work great)
1 8 oz.package cream cheese
almond bark

Put the cookies in a food processor until they look like coffee grounds. In a microwaveable bowl, soften cream cheese. Add crushed cookies until well mixed. Roll into 1 in. balls. After this, I freeze them on wax paper to make them easier for dipping. Melt almond bark according to directions on package. Dip frozen oreo balls completely. Let cool on wax paper. Yummy!! I think this makes about 3 dozen balls.

I've seen different ways to make these. This is just how I do mine. I saw lots of pictures of balls dipped in dark chocolate which also look delicious! I saw in a magazine where they had rolled them in orange colored coconut after dipping them in the almond bark to make them look like little pumpkins and they even put little eyes on the white ones to make them look like ghosts! Too cute!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Watching Elmo

So not much is going on here! We've loved getting back into our routine of things the past week though! Ballet started and karate is still going strong. Brent's dad is home from the hospital so we've been to visit him. AND We've been watching lots of Sesame Street. Neither of the big kids ever liked it BUT Paxton loves it! So in honor of what we've watching here's clip for you!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Still Feels Like the First Time...

So we left Paxton over night for the first time this weekend.

Brent's step dad had a heart attack on Friday with triple bypass on Saturday. In order for us to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. an hour away from us, he had to stay with my mom. SO all the kids are at the lake with my parents and grandma! What a fun weekend. I can't wait to see him today and the other kids as well. Xavier has started calling to talk to us all on his own whenever he's away from us and it's too cute, b/c he never really has anything planned to talk to us about, so we have to think of things to say, ask, etc. He never wants to get off the phone, so we think of things to say for at least a few minutes before we tell him we have to go! I haven't talked to Naia or Paxton all weekend, but have heard stories that they are having a blast!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Good News

Lots of good news from our adoption agency this week. New referrals, travel calls, EP, so much going on. It's so exciting.

We go to court to finalize Paxton's adoption on Oct.1. 365 long days since we first saw his precious face. Isn't that cool? We got our referral Oct. 2nd last year. What a year it has been!