Do you learn to love your adopted Grandchild?

This is a question my mother mentioned to me recently, that she has heard on a regular basis, since A came home.

Wow! Can you believe people are so ignorant?

Now, don’t think that I have forgotten that I had the very real worry, that my parents would not be able to love my child, as much as their biological grandchildren. It was a very real fear of mine. I am happy to report, however, that it was COMPLETELY unfounded. A has found his way into their hearts, as if he was born to me, rather than born to be with me.

However, I guess I should have expected comments like that from the general public, as adopted children seem to be defined by that label, for their entire lives. 

Having a drink at a work function the other week, a guy cane up to me and blurted out “my wife is adopted”. I am not sure what he expected me to say…maybe, “great!’or “lucky her” or “thanks for sharing”, all I managed, however, was “Oh”!! I am pretty sure that his wife, who I have never met, would not be too chuffed to be talked about in that way…she is a wife and a mother and yet, all she is defined as, is an adoptee!

You also often see it against peoples names when they are in the news. Steve Jobs, for example, when he died and his bio was being floated around cyber space, was described as adopted. I mean, he achieved so much in his life and yet, there it was…his label, ADOPTED!

I really hope that, during his lifetime, A will escape that label, but, I feel that I may be hoping for too much. Even so, we will ensure that he rises above his “label” and becomes all he can be, outside of it and in spite of it.

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How a song can mean so much more to you over time…

This morning, we had VH1 on. A loves to dance and so, while we are getting ready for work, we put on a music channel and he makes us laugh and dances around so sweetly.

This morning, they had Poison by Alice Cooper on and, as I am a rock chick, I turned it up and danced around with A. Then, the next song was Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. I love that song and I have always known that it was written for his son who had died. However, the words had never meant as much to me as they did this morning and, before the song was even 30 seconds in, I was crying.

What a beautiful song, what beautiful lyrics and, for the first time, I really got what he was talking about.

Losing a child is the worst thing you can ever go through, no matter when they die. After all, “There is no foot too small, that it cannot leave an imprint on this world”.

Nurture Vs Nature Part 1

I have labelled this part 1, as I am sure this topic will become  a constant on my blog, going forward.

For now I want to start as to why I love the fact that my boy carries no genetics from either myself or D. For a start, no one looks at him, searching for a sign of either of us and neither do we. He is his own person, he looks like himself and that is that. Sure, he carries similarities to his tummy mommy and donor and to his half siblings too but they are not in our lives and so I never find myself searching for them in him…he is himself, his own little person.

Secondly, his personality is his own too. He is nothing like my sisters kids BUT I like to think that that is down to our parenting and not solely his genetics. We are laid back parents and so he is a laid back and happy little boy who loves people, including strangers. His cousin however, who is 6 months older than him, hates anyone he doesnt know and that includes peeps he deems as not knowing well enough, such as myself and his grandparents! All this means that A is by far the favourite as far as his grandparents are concerned! We don’t get an iota of credit in the matter though, as it is assumed that he gets it from his genes! Sigh…I am sure if he was a terror, it would be down to us and nurture but, now he is adorable, it is all nature!! A no win situation for sure but, I know in my heart, we are doing something right and that is good enough for me!

In 2014…I am getting me back!!

Ok ok, I know I may be a month too late on getting my new years resolutions down, but I am firm believer in ‘better late than never’.

2013 was another crap year for me in many ways…apart from having our gorgeous boy of course. It was a year in which I let a few things go that I shouldn’t have. 

1) My weight. I was so full of grandois ideas after we lost E that I would never have a belly one could associate with a pregnant one again, as it was too painful. Then of course the wine and chocolate and wine and food and wine and cupcakes all put paid to that! 

2) Smoking. Since I was 17 I have been a social smoker, on and off. I stopped completely after D and I had been together a bit, but I started again when we returned to SA. In the UK smoking is hellish expensive and so frowned upon, no one really partakes in it…not so here! The wine flowed at the braais we went to and it went from standing chatting to the smokers, to joining them, in one rather seamless step!! When we were approaching our IVF cycle, I stopped but, after we lost E, I took it up again and this time there was nothing social about it!

3) My Marriage. We are one hell of a couple, if I do say so myself but, the past 2 years, have really put strain on us. It is partly our fault, as we really didn’t pursue grief counselling like we should have, when A arrived, so some feelings were swept under the carpet. A lot though, I feel may be my fault. I pushed D away, I went out at night, leaving him to babysit, coming home sometimes at all hours of the morning. I told myself it was to keep my friend company, who was also going through a tough time in her marriage but, if I am fully honest with myself, it was because I was running away. Not necessarily from D but from being a wife and a mother mostly. Because of the situation in which A came into our lives, I don’t think I fully realised how hard it would be to love a little being, that is not the little being that you had been dreaming about for the past 6 months, but rather someone elses little being, but is now suddenly yours to look after and love for the rest of your life. We didn’t have the grace of time healing all our wounds, before A came along, he arrived when we were at our rawest. Yes, he did heal some gaping ones himself, just by his presence but, some others took even longer to close over and so going out and drinking too much and smoking too much, was a nice escape (now I am not talking every night, rather a few times a month). It was a punishment too though because, generally due to the guilt, I would drag myself out of my pit to get up with A at 5:30am, even after only going to bed at 2am! He hadnt even known I was gone, so the guilt was more because I knew the reason I was doing what I was doing. Things got better towards the end of the year and then, when Mav died, I completely withdrew once again and have struggled with grief and feelings of inadequacy ever since.

So! How do I intend on fixing the above?

1) I have joined the Low Carb High Fat Crew and intend on losing 20kgs! I have started going to the gym much more often than I ever did…still not often enough but I am getting there!

2) I have stopped smoking! Well, I do puff on the odd persons ciggy but, I am on the road to stopping completely. One big motivator is our pooch Maverick, who died of cancer in December, when he did nothing at all to deserve it! So, I am doing it to try and save myself, before it is too late!

3) We are going to see a relationship therapist on Monday and I am going to start talking to D more and slowly dragging myself back into the real world. I will stop picking fights and trying to push D away because, one day I may succeed! I am also going to spend more quality time with A. I know I work and I also have a big new venture that I am involved in with others but, neither of those are more important than my boy. He will be my only living child and time goes by so damn fast, I am buggered if I am going to turn around in a few years and wish I had taken more time out to be with him.

New Normal

You have all heard the saying that “time heals all”, you have probably even said it to people yourself.

As a Mother who has lost a child, I have heard it many times and I know it to be true…you all do. BUT I am hugely saddened by the fact that time does heal a broken heart and a grieving soul, none more so than now, after losing Maverick.

He died a month ago and left such a giant hole in our lives that, for the last 5 years, was filled with a wagging tail and his happy face and lots of kisses. I cried for days, we both did and I was so sure that I would never get used to coming home and him not rounding the corner at a sprint, to jump up at the window, even though he knew he shouldn’t…he just couldn’t contain his excitement at seeing his beloved masters come home. But, it has started to become our “new normal” and I just realised that I am beginning to get used to it.

I am hugely saddened by this and I realised today that I never pin pointed a time, when Ashton being around, became the “new normal” , instead of us being the grieving parents, after losing our Eloise. Obviously time healing all does make life easier to get through but, it almost feels as though you are forgetting them, forgetting the impact that they made on your lives and, in turn, disrespecting them and their memory.

I have lost my beloved Child and now my beloved Pet, I should continue grieving and be heartbroken for the rest of my life, it just feels wrong that I don’t. Of course I have my moments when I find myself thinking back to happy times and I tear up, there are also times when I hear a sad song and bawl my eyes out for an hour straight BUT there are also more frequent times that I am completely fine, normal in fact and that, right there, is what I CANNOT get used to.

Familyversary

On the 18th of December 2012, our baby boy came home.

We call this day our Familyversary, a phrase that I love and which I borrowed from another adoptive parent.

However, after Maverick passed away suddenly on Monday, we really didn’t feel in the mood for celebrating much on Wednesday, especially with our family being 1 short.

Some people wont understand how dogs can creep into your heart and stay there, just as much as a human can, but that is how I feel about my dogs. Especially Maverick, as we got him after our first failed ivf and always referred to him as our first born.

We are really struggling to get our heads around the fact that he has gone and will no longer run round to greet us with his tail wagging like mad, when we come home, or beg us to play, or feed them. We find ourselves feeding the dogs later and later because it was his job to remind us.

So, we forgave ourselves for not going overboard with the celebrating on our Familyversary. We actually took a trip to home affairs, with our recently aquired adoption order, to start the change of his name to ours, so a big step forward in nearing the end of the adoption procedure at last. We then spent the rest of the day thanking our lucky stars for bringing him to us last year, I am not sure if we would have made it through 2013 without him.

So, there you have it my boy, our first familyversary kind of flew under the radar…Mommy promises to do better next year.

xx

Goodnight my dear Maverick <3

Yesterday, at 6:03pm our precious Maverick passed away. He was the most special soul, kind, loyal, happy, with an ever wagging tail and not 1 bad bone in his body. He was 5.5years old and died of Canine Lymphoma.

I am so angry that yet again we have to say goodbye to a part of our family and such a special one at that. I dont think I can put in writing how much I love my Mav…a huge hole has been left in our hearts and our home.

Please enough now, I just want a boring life, a normal life, a life with no more hurt…please, I am begging, I am done.

Maverick my beautiful boy, I hope that you are running and playing over the rainbow bridge. ..never stop wagging that tail,  just as you never stopped wagging it once down here. I loved you from the first second I saw you when you were 4 days old and I will not stop till I die. You found us at a time when we really needed cheering up… a couple of months after our first failed ivf and you made us smile every single day since then, even through the darkest days. I know now that you were sent to us for that reason and now someone else needs you, but that does not stop the tears from pouring down my face, or my heart from breaking into tiny pieces everytime I see your empty chair. A ‘thank you’ will never be enough, an ‘I love you forever’ doesnt seem enough, 5.5 years definitely wasnt enough but yet here we are.

Mommy loves you oh so very much my boy, you will forever occupy a special place in my heart. I will make sure that Ashton knows what a special boy you were to Mommy and Daddy, I am so so sad that you and he never got to properly play ball.

Run free and give Eloise lots of kisses from all of us and keep each other company, until we all meet again.

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xxx

Anniversary of The Call

A year ago we found out of your existence my Gorgeous Boy. Our lives were literally turned upside down within a teeny tiny minute.

On Sunday you turned 1 and we celebrated with family and friends and I marvelled once again how time does fly. I promise I will take time this December to sit every day and just drink you in, to set these memories in concrete.

I love you my boy, so much.

Mommy xxx
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To our Darling Birth Mom

Our boy turned 1 today!

Never have I been more grateful for what you gave up, to make our dreams come true.

I watched our boy today through privileged eyes. He is such a confident, happy little soul and is completely gorgeous and that is down to both of us…you and me, together, we have done a great job!!

I am sorry you are hurting today but please know that you were in our thoughts all day as we celebrated this milestone, thanks to your generous heart.

Thank you thank you THANK YOU, we will be forever grateful.

Lots of love xxx