I have learned so much in the almost 3 years I have been a mom (adoptive mom, infertile mom). Here is a list of some of the things that I have realized along the way.
I care more about my daughter’s health than my own. But I am getting that under wraps now.
From the second she was born I made sure she had the best of everything. The best rated (safety) carseat, organic baby food, little junk food (didn’t last!), well balanced lifestyle, and the best caregivers to help her avoid germs.
Vaccines are a very very hot topic, and a bone of contention for people on EITHER side of the vaccine argument.
We have chosen NOT to vaccinate our child after doing hundreds of hours of research on vaccinations, their purpose, their ingredients, timing, side effects, etc. It was something I knew we wanted to be cautious of in the beginning, but we didn’t have a plan from the very beginning to not vaccinate at all. We don’t announce to our friends that she isn’t vaccinated, because some people are really uneducated about how everything works because they believe everything their pediatrician tells them. In the end, we made the decision to discontinue all vaccinations after several severe adverse side effects.
Please don’t tell me how to discipline my child, and I won’t tell you how to discipline yours.
Every child responds differently. Your job as a parent is to figure out a system that works for you and your family. My child is my world. I fought hard for her for years. I will pick her up if she is crying, and I will hug her if she is upset, and sometimes I will even give in on something that really isn’t that big of a deal (I constantly ask myself if it is going to hurt her, or harm her in some way). Regardless of how you think I should discipline my child, these moments, the good and the bad, are what I dreamed of for SO long.
I don’t always fit in with other moms.
Lots of times, “normal” moms want to talk about pregnancy, childbirth, and when they “plan” to pop out another one. For an infertile, this isn’t a conversation you can actively participate in. For adoptive parents, planning to adopt again takes a chunk of change, a clear emotional state, and much planning. We have to pass another homestudy, including having our home analyzed once more, having our family under a microscope, and having a social worker observe you and your family for several months all over again. (P.S. Adoption social workers WANT you to pass your homestudy so they aren’t looking for ways for you to fail it, they are just making sure you are fit to parent) Either way, its just another complicated stage of planning/analysis for another child.
People may never realize that birthmoms deserve a medal.
Lucky Charm’s birthmom, despite any bad decision making, is our angel. She gave us a gift that we could never ever thank her enough for. So when people say we are SO strong for keeping contact with her, we believe that this is a very small token of our appreciation for the gift of life. Birthmoms choose LIFE, they put their own needs aside when they want to be selfish and keep their child. They have to choose another man and woman to parent their flesh and blood. They trust complete strangers to carry out the promises made in their adoption plan. They deserve a medal for being so strong, so brave, so loving.
I have learned that a mess can be cleaned, but memories of a fun time can never be erased. Let your child make that mess, and have fun. You are only a child once – let them live and experience sensory play. Then make it a game to have them help you clean it up! You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have together.
If you think you could never love a child that is not biologically yours – you’re wrong… I love my daughter so much, I don’t think I could EVER love a biological child more than I love my little girl. I tell her daily how blessed I am to be her Mama. She will always be my number 1.
Lastly, being a mom is something I treasure. Sure we have our challenges in our family, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. It is the hardest, most rewarding job I have ever been given, and I trust that Tiny will be happy in her decision to choose us to parent her child.