a new adventure
i have GREAT NEWS to report. this morning BINA. ATE. BREAKFAST. almost half a slice of french toast. a couple pieces of strawberry and five blueberries. had almost all her milk. THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIIIIIIIFE. and THEN. she ate LUNCH. had all of her quesadilla (this has NEVER happened before), a few more bites of strawberry and blueberries, a few bites of avocado, a bite of yogurt, and her milk. THIS DAY CANNOT GET ANY BETTER. low bar, people. low bar. she has been having a poop-a-thon because she's been eating so many strawberries lately. so. that's always fun. poop makes me happy because at least i know she's eating enough for her body to be spitting stuff out. poop for the win!
i had to have a come to jesus meeting with myself yesterday and today regarding this kid's eating habits. i get SO. ANGRY. when she refuses everything and won't eat. because i want her to eat healthy things and grow, you know? also, i am a control freak. my little control idol smashing tiny tyrant is at war with my sinful nature. every. single. day. this morning before breakfast she was a disaster. walking around the kitchen just wailing and screeching. i heard in my head "just ignore her, don't give attention to this behavior." and then i found myself getting more and more frustrated, and she was not calming down. that's my girl. so then i stopped. and i thought. self, remember that one parenting workshop you attended and how that lady talked about giving kids respect and how ridiculously we treat kids sometimes (i.e. go to your room until you calm down, etc.) and how we would never talk to adults in that way (or we would be considered totally patronizing jerks)? i thought about how i would feel if i were being deliberately ignored while i was upset and unable to contain my emotions. i would feel even more angry and upset, not less. so then i decided. ok, self. time to treat bina the way i would want to be treated. so i got her breakfast ready, i picked her up (instant mood stabilizer), and i sat her in my lap at the table so we could eat our breakfasts together. and she ate. and i ate. and we had a jolly good time.
and then she got her hand in the fridge door as i was trying to put the milk away and i smashed her little fingers. then i bopped her in the head with the door as i was quickly trying to open it to release the little fingers. commence more weeping and gnashing of teeth. alright so. ya win some, ya lose some. remember, self. she ate breakfast. and pooped. a lot.
it's been a crazy week for her. we were in florida visiting my dad and step-mom at their condo last thursday through sunday.
she did well until she decided to stage a nap boycott the day before we left. the day we left we had to skip nap. that made for the worst plane ride yet. when we sat down i told the people around us that she hasn't napped in two days and this was going to be bad and i'm sorry. i told them my only consolation was that she is not their problem to deal with. so then came the inconsolable screaming demon babyzilla. managed to dump a cup of water in my seat. good thing i was wearing black leggings. she finally nursed and conked out for maybe the last 45 minutes of the flight home. glorious.
yesterday was a busy day for her. we went to bible study fellowship and then had a social afterwards with my discussion group. my kid was the screaming banshee in the basement with the other not screaming banshee kids. i stressed about whether to go retrieve her and relieve the volunteers watching all the kids. one of them reassured me that they were fine and told me to stay out of view. god bless her. once most of the group left, i stayed on with one other girl from our group and the host. we talked until after 3pm, which meant i screwed up nap time. again. luckily babyzilla fell asleep on the way home and i just sat with her in the car in the garage until she woke up. then last night david and i attended our long awaited domestic infant adoption orientation.
the infant adoption orientation is the first step in the adoption process. i have been looking forward to this since i called to sign us up back in early january. the january orientation was full so we got pushed back to the february one. which was fine. it gave us some more time to mull things over and really settle into the idea of infant adoption.
that orientation was EMOTIONAL. i think i was fighting back tears four times in the two hours we were there. david confessed he was too, at different points than me. for him it was really moving that at birth, the infant's birth certificate includes the birth parents' names and the name they chose for the baby. but once the adoption is finalized, the birth certificate is changed to include the adoptive parents' names, and the infant's name is changed as well. the child can have a completely new name once the adoptive parents are the legal parents. what an incredible picture of how legally binding adoption is, and how as followers of christ we are adopted into the family of god. we have a new name in jesus. we are his.
i was moved by stories of birth mamas. we were given an adoption process timeline in our packet of information. for the expectant parent, part of the services the agency provides include grief and loss counseling. having carried a babe in my body once, i can't imagine the pain of the loss of that little being. they're a part of you, your constant companion for nine months. you feel their every move once that fun part starts. i remember pushing at bina's limbs when she would kick me, and how she would push back. to think of going through all of that and then to be separated from your little being after birth, it just broke my heart. these expectant mamas, however they came to be, are brave and selfless to be willing to carry a babe in their bodies and then give that babe to another family they may have only met in a photo book or video. that is a hard. hard. hard. decision. and i admire them for it.
there's a 10% chance that the birth parent will decide to take back the baby. that statistic kind of rocked my world. i looked around the room. there were more than ten couples. that means statistically at least one of us (assuming we all go through with adoption) would be faced with the reality of having to return the precious babe we took home from the hospital and cared for for anywhere between 2-12 weeks. the period of legal risk for our county is typically 3-5 weeks. i thought about that for a moment. the first five weeks were the hardest for me post partum. so it is possible that i could care for a newborn baby for five weeks - all of the sacrifice it takes to care for a newborn: all of the sleepless nights, all of the endless soothing, all of the emotional bonding... and then have to return that babe. my heart got scared at that prospect. could i recover from that? and then i felt a gentle correction: how big is my god? do i worry so much that i do not trust that he has this all in his hands, whatever the outcome may be?
last night we began looking over the paperwork we need to complete before we can start our home study. one of the forms is an adoption preferences questionnaire. what do we want, what do we not want, what are we willing to consider. things like a child born prematurely, serious ongoing medical conditions (down syndrome, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and more), history of birthparents such as safe delivery placement (limited or no information on birthparents), expectant mother is a victim of rape or incest, mental health diagnosis, schizophrenia. things like a reported drug or alcohol abuse by the expectant mother, or an HIV-positive status. what are david and i willing to consider? as we were browsing this form, my anxiety started to rise. there is so much unknown. there is so much that could go wrong. but then again, isn't that the case with any child in any circumstance? i asked david if we could pray about our preferences. because i want our preferences to be god's for us. i don't want to prefer to take on too little or too much. just what he wants for us. whatever that is, i can't do it in my own strength. only through god and through the support he has given us in friends and family.
so a new adventure begins. we're starting down this path, and we will see where it takes us. i'm excited. i'm terrified. and the one thing i know for sure is that god is sovereign. may our family look the way he wants it to look, and may it grow in the way he wants it to grow.