I am a mom to a 6 month old.
I have only been a mom to him for 2 and a half weeks.
That’s when he joined us – 2 and a half weeks ago.
Our plan A – his plan B.
His plan A would have been to stay with his birth mom.
The bitter-sweetness of adoption is that fact.
I am grateful for the sweetness of this boy, of the joy that he is, that he is the first child that my guy and I get to parent together.
My heart has ached for his birth mom and him. His first Christmas was with us – not her. This was her first Christmas without him. This has been a tangible grief in the last 2 weeks.
Joining our family was the 2nd biggest thing that has happened in his short life. He has had to settle into a new way of being with us and us with him.
The reasons for his joining our family and not staying with his birth family is not my story to tell – that belongs to him.
Joining us. Not because he is lucky, or because we are extra special. Simply because we have been joined. Matched in a process that was full of incredible grace.
We have been joined and belong to each other, with the knowledge that he is linked to another too.
The last 2 weeks have been amazing. Overwhelming. Exhausting. Terrifying. Exhilarating.
Pretty much what any new mom feels – regardless of whether the baby joined their family through a biological birth process or not.
I have been so grateful for the way in which our community has rallied around us – from my mom only being a phone call away – I can’t wait for her to be a short few minutes away – to friends and family who have stepped up, with meals, WhatsApp support and in support of our transition.
I have been grateful to my guy who has been open to truly co-parenting –even though the sleep thing is hard and he is/ was averse to body fluids of all sorts. I am grateful that he gets that we are both in a 24/7 commitment with our boy and that in some ways, when he leaves the house, the intensity is different than my being home –and yet that doesn’t minimise the fact that him going out to work allows my being at home – something that we are both grateful for!
I have been grumpy, like all new moms, at times, as we settle into this new season.
I have been grateful for people respecting the fact that we need to attach and learn each other’s dance before our gorgeous boy gets to engage with others.
I have been grumpy from tiredness at times as our small family is only 2 and half weeks old in this sacred, fragile, beautiful adventure and it’s incredible; it’s also still new and unknown as we navigate new ways of being as indviduals, partners and parents.
I have been grumpy and oversensitive sometimes when people ask well- meaning questions or offer advice (like happens with ALL parents, new or not) around what our boy does or needs. It’s easier some days than others to field all of this.
What he needs, what we need is for our attachment dance to be danced and the rest follows that.
His grief at this change (yes, babies grieve), the adjustment for him, as well as figuring out who we are and are we going to keep showing up for him, loving him, feeding him, trying to figure out what he needs is our priority now. Yes, he is 6 months old – so we celebrate all the joys and milestones that come with that but together we are only 2 and a half weeks old.
Our boy’s starting point wasn’t with us. It was with people who genuinely cared about him to look after him – but that isn’t the same as being in a family that you belong to – and that brings extra developmental tasks for him and for us to navigate. As individuals and as a family.
Not because of anything else, but for the fact that this is beautifully normal in the adoption process.
I have reminded friends (and clients) of this in the past.
It is my turn to be reminded.