Friday, February 18, 2011

Excited for tomorrow!!

So we meet with our social worker tomorrow!!! Yea!
Me being my typical OCD self has been obsessing over this.
I just finished reading a great book, 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Parents Knew. It was very insightful. I could see a lot of validity in it. Some things I could see in myself with feelings I had through the years about my biological mother's passing. There were many years of hurt and confusion and even years where I was just self destructive and could not pin point a reason. I was always surrounded by people who loved me and cared for me. But I could never get rid of the feeling that at any point they would reject me. The way that I felt my mother rejected me by not wanting to live. It talked a lot about the need to discover ones birth family. I too went through that. And even though I have chosen to not per sue a relationship with my mothers family it was paramount that I met them for me to finally after 20 some odd years to have true closure.
I know I wasn't adopted in a legal sense, but I was adopted by the woman who became my mom. I know that she loves me as much as her biological children. For years I did not see that and I see now how hurtful my rejection of her in my early twenties must have been. Until reading this I had never thought about how she felt, I was so consumed with my own anger and my own search for who I really was. I know she forgave me for being so awful to her, but it really makes me sad because she is and always has been a loving & wonderful mother. Her sticking by me no matter how awful I was became the foundation of our relationship now. A realtionship that I do not believe I could have ever had with my biological mother if she had not died.
She just wasn't the same type of person that my mom is.

There is so much that I can take from my own childhood losses that I can use to parent a child who is experiencing similar losses now.

I had a discussion with Cris this evening about what exactly he is looking for. Originally he said he wanted a 3 year old boy months ago. but now that the process is in motion he wants a little girl and will go up to the age of 9. I am so glad for this because that is what I would prefer.

The issue of race was brought up to me a few days ago and I had not put much thought into that. I am grateful for my friend Cara who grew up in a biracial family and she has been so open with sharing her story with me and the struggles attached to it. It has given me a lot to think about. But I appreciate her support in what ever we choose!

I have about 10 different books lined up to read, I have joined a local adoption support group and I have located a local counselor who specializes in adoption loss for the child. Even though they are gaining us as a family they are still suffering a huge loss. Wether their family has died, given them up or they have been removed due to abuse, our child will be broken in ways that we alone can not heal her. I know it will take lots of work, family, friends and God's help to help this child go from being a victim to being a survivor.
I am confident that I can help a child find who they are. I know I can love them even when they feel they don't deserve to feel love.

I am really looking forward to the journey, the high lights and the low points. The low points are where we will begin to become a family. It will be conquering those issues that will be the foundation for our family. Each issue we overcome will bring us closer together.

So, I need to start what is called a life book for our child. This will be a scrapbook of how they become part of our family. This will include their past, our past and then continue with all of us together. I love this idea!
I love to scrap book and what a beautiful way to remind that child of where she came from. I know I will always be open with this child about where she came from. I will not be afraid to share the truth with her. I think one of the biggest setbacks in my own relationships with my mom was the secrets of my biological mother. I know my father kept it a secret to protect me and maybe even himself emotionally a bit. I am in no way blaming my father for any of my own issues. I own them.  My father always did what he thought was best for me. It took a long time to see that. Growing up I took his leaving me with family as rejection, but I now know he really did do that with good intent. And I was always in a loving environment.

I also related to this book in the need to be perfect for people to love me. This is something I still do to this day. I feel like if I do everything just right I won't be abandoned again. I read in the book how it is often found that the adoptee will be an over achiever, but inside you are dying. I spent most of my high school years doing that. Being class president, Yearbook Editor, playing sports...just longing for that affection that I thought I would gain if I was great at all those things. I have done the same behavior with 2 ex husbands. Always trying to be perfect to the point that it became the issue. I will never forget the one day my ex said to me it must be so darn difficult to be so perfect all the time. Gosh, how that resonates with me now.

So, tomorrow is the official beginning of our journey. I am nervous and excited. We start our M.A.P.P training the beginning of April. That is a series of classes that will help equipped us with the skills we will need to successfully integrate a child into our home. I am very excited that the agency that we have chosen to go with (Children's Home Society) has a fabulous support for during and after the adoption process. They have lots of different classes we can take at no charge. I am going to try to get into one called Parenting with Love and Logic. The cut off date for registration was a couple weeks ago. But the speaker is my social worker who I meet tomorrow. I am going to beg her to let me take it :)
Well, I will have lots more to talk about tomorrow. This I am sure of.

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