Monday, August 14, 2006
We are Family
Let me try and not give every detail. I will hit the highlights. We spend 5 days in Moscow. It is cold and snowing. A novelty at first for us Southerners which will turn into a validation of why we choose not to live in the north. We shop, we eat and in between we became parents. We fell in love with Russia, the history and people. We can hardly sleep the night before we go home. Could be anticipation of 11 hours on the plane to New York, then another p lane to Atlanta and still another to Birmingham. In all we will travel for 20 hours before we arrive home at midnight. We pack our carryons with every imaginable item we might and probably would never need for our son. We say a tearful goodbye to our new best friends. Thanks to our travel agent who suggested we forgo the baby bassinet and spend the money on a regular seat ticket for our son. I truly believe that was the secret to our flight home. He ate, slept, played, pooped (Yes, we are toasting each and every one) and we had a wonderful flight. In fact, we breezed thru INS and through all the flights. To this day he is still a great traveler, be it a 10 hour car ride or the many plane trips we have taken. We make a promise to him and ourselves to return to Russia one day and show him his birthplace.
Arrival at midnight to a horde of friends and family, balloons and signs. No child could have been more welcomed into a family. Looking back at those pictures, I can not imagine what they were thinking. We thought he was the most beautiful baby we had ever seen. He wasn’t. He was skinny, had pink eye and looked pitiful. Beauty is the eye… or maybe Love is blind.
It was our dream come true.
I am now reminded of the saying “Ugly in the cradle, pretty at the table” and that has held true.
Our families and friends ,thankfully waited years to tell us how worried they were when they first saw him. We are surrounded by the best ones, friends and family that is and they have supported us emotionally, physically and enthusiastically for the past 6 years. I could not imagine doing it without them.
I was pretty impressed with myself as a new mom of 39. For the firsts 24 hours home. That is until my sister saw my ”Baby schedule” on my fridge. She laughed until she cried. You see, the orphanage had given us the daily schedule our son had been on. Being the well informed adoptive Mom , I had gleaned from others that keeping your child on a familiar schedule and gradually changing it helps in transition and attachment. Obviously my sister, 4 years younger but a veteran Mom had not been told.
Here was the source of her merriment
6am bottle
8-9am nap
9:30 breakfast
10-11 play
11-1:00 nap
1:00pm lunch
2-4pm nap
4pm bottle
5-6pm nap
6:30 pm dinner
8pm nap
10:00 pm bottle
10:30pm Bedtime
Ok, now it does seem a little, Stepford….More disturbing I actually did this…for about 5 days. The worse part was having to admit that my sister was right. Yes, Beth ,I said it in print to the world.
You were right.
Adoptive parents who may read this and have yet to bring their child home,listen up. Transition and change are inevitable. Be it sooner or later. But a happy, relaxed Mom who is tune with the schedule is by far the most important ingredient in a happy and attached baby.
I saved that infamous computer generated schedule and put it in his baby book. It is still good for a chuckle now and then.
I totally LOVE being a Mom and being at home. I had been a dedicated career woman since graduating from college. For 18 years I had worked a 40 hour week and then some, taking call and arriving at the hospital in a flash- day, night and holidays. I had my first job at 16 and worked weekends and summers ever since. Not because I had to but because my Dad instilled in us the drive to always be able to take care of ourselves. I was the Poster Child for Working Women Everywhere. We were the upwardly mobile couple, unencumbered by offspring. We were the Captains of our own Ship.
The thing is, it wasn’t a ship, it was a dinghy or a catamaran, maybe even a canoe. Something built for two and built for speed. Easily driven and didn’t take a lot of planning or fileing of a flight plan.
But now, our house was a home and we were a family. My husband was Captain of the ship and I was happily First Mate.
I did not miss work, stimulating conversation or adult companionship. All a little too highly rated. But until you have something to compare it too, ya just don’t know.
How can you describe chocolate to someone. You can’t really know how delicious chocolate is, how once you taste it you must have it and how nothing else compares…without tasting it.
To me, becoming a parent was the same.
At the end of my life it would be the only thing I would have regretted not doing.
It is the best decision I have ever made and the most important j ob I have ever had. And the one accomplishment I am most proud and also most worried about doing a good job.
There is no manual and too many grading systems. I tend to grade on the curve.
Some days I curve up towards heroic ,some days merely great and others, well ,lets just say my kids are young and maybe they won’t remember those days.
Memory is a funny thing because I can’t for the life of me remember much before my name changed from Kim to Mom.
Some days Mom feels like a four letter word.
Luckily, most days the four letters spell LOVE.


Blogger MMrussianadoption said...

I love the schedule. Nap, nap, nap, nap, nap. Thank you for sharing your memories with us.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a SAHM to 3 kids and I've been home for 15 years ! We adopted our first child 15 years ago and I haven't looked back. I don't miss work, either. After 15 years of being home, I'm not bored with it at all. It's the best decision I ever made.
Congratulations to your family and I wish you much happiness. Motherhood sure is fun.

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