Usually when people make the decision to adopt, they rule out all age groups over the age of about 6 hours. Too old. When they find that babies less than a day old are hard to come by, they settle for anything that is still unable to make eye contact. If the baby can smile b/c it's happy to see you and not just b/c it needs to fart, again, too old. Part of the reasoning for wanting to score a neonate is the whole blank slate thing. While nothing can be done to change whatever parties went on in utero, the newborn baby's delicate psyche has not yet been torn asunder. Even a few short months of the infant's needs not being met can have a lasting impact on the ability of this little person to trust and attach with its caretakers. OK, a valid enough point. Though I must mention that damage done early is NOT always permenant or irreversible.
Another oft-cited reason as to why folks want a baby is so they can experience all the "firsts" in their baby's world: first smile, first tooth, first time to sit up, crawl, take a step. As a parent who has been witness to her bio babys' firsts, as well as to her older adopted childrens' firsts of a different nature, I'm here to tell you the baby firsts are a bit overrated. Don't get me wrong, I'll be the first to admit that I was the sterotypical first-time Mom who saved the lock of hair, the tooth, the hospital wrist bracelet, the first poopy diaper. Okay, that last one, not so much. I probably spent as much time chronicling and archiving what my new child was doing at every moment than I did actually interacting and caring for him. It was of utmost importance to me that I record every blessed meaningless thing about him. "This morning, when I changed his diaper at 5:24, he peed so high it almost reached the ceiling! I'll bet when he's in college he'll win contests when he's out with his drinking buddies. I am just sooo proud". Flash forward to my 3rd bio child's baby book: "Came home from the hospital today. He's pretty cute. Hope he's a good sleeper". Next entry: "He started 3rd grade today". So you see, at some point we make the switch from the constant recording of every detail to actually just witnessing and appreciating them. Either because we lack the time or the brain cells, or b/c we just learned how to prioritize.
These baby firsts are pretty much one-sided celebrations anyway, a tool to help US bond with the baby, not the other way around. The 6 month old could care less that he's cutting his first tooth and probably thinks you're a freak for jumping and squealing and scribbling in your book (again) when he's screaming in pain and chewing on his toes. Their memories of their firsts will be pretty much non-existent. In contrast, when an older adopted child experiences a first, it opens their eyes in wonderment, changes their view of the world, and helps to shape who they are as a person. We expose our children to so much from such an early age, that by the time they're old enough to think about what they're seeing or tasting or smelling, it has lost its impact. The unique becomes ordinary. The special, commonplace. With that in mind, here are a few "firsts" of my adopted children. These things never made it into a baby book, but I was blessed enough to be there to witness their reaction to something new and special in their lives: the cool, sweet taste of ice cream a crowded bumpy noisy bus ride to school a soft, cozy bed of their own a Mama's warm lap to snuggle in the steamy warmth of a shower hunger subsiding when grabbing an apple from the bottomless bowl of fruit the excitement of tunnels and slides, arcades and lights at a fun center the crash and scatter of bowling pins the wind in their hair as they coast down the driveway on their bikes fuzzy soft bunny fur a dog in a lap the chaos and fun of having friends over salty popcorn and cold drinks while watching a movie on a big sceen in the dark of the theatre the creamy warmth of a cup of hot chocolate after playing in the snow
Like Mr. Rogers used to say (paraphrased), Won't - you be - my Followers?
A Little History
Quite frankly, I don't know what I was thinking at the time. We went from 3 kids by birth to "oh, let's adopt a 4th" without a whole lot of deliberation.
While adopting said 4th (in Kazakhstan), we met a young man of 8 yrs by the name of Borya. Thought he was a pretty nice kid and years later found out we could adopt him too. Only thing was, he came as a 2-in-1 package with his younger sister Ylia. What the hay, said we, and rushed headlong into the adoption process. Again. To adopt two kids that were 10 and 13 at the time.
Started a blog to keep track of where my head was in this adoption game. When Borya and Ylia arrived home, we were suddenly the proud parents of six kids, ages 9, 10, 11, 11, 13 and 13.
That was back in 2009, but I still blog. I figure what doesn't make us laugh makes us cry, and I'd rather be laughing.
Also? We live on a farm(ish) with a few dozen critters. You're just as likely to read a post about the farming side of things as you are the parenting side. Thought you might want to know in case you have allergies or something.
As for the structure of this blog, I pretty much post on a daily basis, and I tend to be all over the place in what I write about, so if it's nice, neat and compartmentalized you're looking for, be off with you now, you won't find it here.
I do have some structure, though, I'm not a total bohemian. I roll like this:
Mon: Mirth Monday. A little somethin' to make you chuckle.
Tues: Sometimes Adoption Tuesday, sometimes A Tip For Tuesday, sometimes random thoughts.
Weds: Wordless Wednesday. Usually a photo or some artwork from myself or one of my oh-so-talented children.
Thurs: all random, all the time.
Fri: Farm Friday. Speaks for itself.
Sat, Sun: More random musings.
Feel free to explore and don't be shy -- drop me a line to say hello, and be sure to add yourself as a follower. Feeds my ego in a big way. I'm very insecure.
Cast of Characters
Meet the fambly:
Our Family in 2009
I'm on Top Mommy Blogs!
An award? For ME?
The Lazy Mom Award for Most Popular Lazy Mom Tip of 2011 is.....