We are one month into this two children thing.
It's been the most challenging month of my life.
And most rewarding.
I have, fortunately, gotten past the postpartum emotions thing and am now just working on the sleepless night exhaustion thing. I often feel sorry for Michael, who is usually the only one awake past 7 p.m.---especially if he is driving us home from a family event and the heat in the car is at the perfect level.
|Nothing like having a husband snap photos while you sleep on the couch|
I have a few things in my head that might not be articulated correctly, but I wanted to get them down before I forget this stage of life.
1. A birth child is so very different than an adoptive child. This should be fairly obvious---but it isn't...and it deserves its own post. Mostly, it involves how Michael and I have been so wired to attachment parenting and watching for signs of self-soothing (bad! bad! in adoption) that it's difficult to remember that Creedence doesn't come with a ton of baggage. He can soothe himself, and it won't be detrimental. He can even take a pacifier, and we won't be guilty of the greatest sins in the world. (Funny how initially we wanted Million to be able to take a pacifier, and he wouldn't; and we hated the idea of Creedence wanting a pacifier, but it helps him calm down and soothe himself.)
2. Breastfeeding is work and brings along with it all manner of mama concerns and guilt that bottle feeding never did.
3. At the same time, it doesn't feel right to complain about the work involved in breastfeeding, since it is a lifestyle choice (how fortunate I am to have a choice!)
4. It is infinitely harder to play the parenting trump card game with two children. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is of NO practical assistance, because Creedence's needs are almost ALWAYS on the bottom level (feed me! change me! I need sleep! My brother is touching my eyeball!) and Million's are almost always on the emotional affirmation level. I need to make decisions about when it's okay to let boy #2 scream about being wet/hungry/tired because boy #1 is crying and saying that he's "just sad" (a frequent statement around here, which also deserves another post.)
5. Christmas this year wrought all sorts of different emotions. I think because my big boy has a sibling now, it reminded me so much of my childhood Christmases with my siblings. And something internally felt lacking because our Christmas lacked structure (although, my childhood Christmases had almost too much obsessive structure and super-predictability as to where we would be what time each day, etc.) Michael and I do our best to create meaningful traditions for our small family, but this year it just didn't feel like enough. And I missed my siblings incredibly so on Christmas Day... But we'll see them this coming weekend.
6. Sometimes I don't mind the middle of the night wakings, because they're my only uninterrupted time with my second child.
7. Today we got what (should be) our last dinner delivered. We have been completely spoiled by friends and family. It will be interesting and fun to get back into cooking again.
8. We are one document shy of being DTE (dossier to Ethiopia.) And it's not our immigration form. Isn't that nice? We might meet our agency's deadline of December 2012!
9. On that note, I will never do a fundraiser again where the element being sold is out of my control. Mean, mean thoughts about a t-shirt company inserted here. (This is seriously the biggest problem in my life right now---first world privilege.)
10. While on the topic of adoption, I don't FEEL like I'm nearly waiting for another child. Perhaps because my two current children take up 8000% of my daily energy. This adoption is nothing like our first adoption. Which also could be another post.
I highly doubt that I'll get to all of my "another posts" in the near future. But at least I got some of my mind written down.
We've known you a month. We've seen your brownish blue eyes and heard your very insistent cry and listened to your coos and felt your dry little skin. (Winter is tough on a baby in Minnesota.) You have provided us with such laughter. You also are needy. Very needy. You teach Mama so much about dependence and interdependence. You teach Mama how very badly she needs God. How she relies on God for sustenance, for her very life. Your need of Mama humbles her. We love you so very much. When people ask us who you look like, we think you're a pretty good genetic mix of both of our gene pools. But gene pools are not what matter in this life or in our family. You are our son. You have the same rights and privileges as your older brother. You also have responsibility that you will grow into. We are so very humbled and blessed that God gave you to us, and we don't take His gift lightly at all. We are burdened for your soul and tremble while we take each faltering step forward as parents. You are unique. You are special. You are ours. But more importantly, you are God's.
Happy one month in our family!
Love, Mama, Daddy, and Million