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Adoption Blog: Inconceivable Family

Two Years Ago We Learned We Could Adopt, Tonight I Am Tired, Tomorrow Everything Is Possible

Two years ago from yesterday we got the call that there was a potential situation that we needed to consider.  Two years ago from tomorrow we spoke to the birth mother of that situation and gained her confidence and trust.  We were chosen to parent her baby.  Two years ago from next weekend our daughter was born and our lives changed from being hopeful adoptive parents to simply parents.

But tonight I’m not going down memory lane.  Tonight we are two years after the fact and I’m home at 6 p.m. with my two girls. We are waiting for 7 p.m. when they will both go to sleep.  I’m ready for that time to come.  It’s been a long night.  We just had to leave a party where my oldest daughter, Anna, belted a 16-month-old boy and nearly sent him down a flight of hardwood stairs.  I’d like to say this kind of behavior problem is a rarity.  I wish I could say she was just tired.  I’d like to believe that she is not the aggressive type or that she must have been prompted to strike him because of something he had done to her.  But the fact is, this isn’t about the typical behavior of a child entering the “terrible twos.”  The screaming and scratching of faces by this child isn’t due to a growth spurt or a desire for independence. 

Two years ago our lives changed, and while I love this child with every ounce of my being, I cannot say that it has been two years of unwavering pride and absolute bliss.  There were nights spent listening to her cry as an infant and knowing that I couldn’t do a thing to console her.  In fact, my attempts to hold her and rock her fueled a fire in her that often frightened me.  There were days when she would fly into fits of rage and bang her head on the ground so hard it would cause welts the size of ping pong balls.  I have left more social settings than I can count only to come home and cry silently at the isolation that I feel when I can sense the eyes rolling of moms who parent more typical toddlers.  Tonight is one of those nights.

But in between those days and nights were periods of rest, when the tears I cried were because of her delicate smile or her deep-hearted giggle, her father swinging her in the air to Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Starting Something,” and Anna singing “yeah yeah” along with the chorus.  It thrilled my spirit to hear her say “uv ou”; a 20-month-old’s attempt at “love you”. 

Most people don’t get to see that Anna.  It hurts my heart that we can’t just leave her alone to let her play in a room with her older cousins or group of friends. Not even for a minute.  The stimulation is just too much and every child becomes a moving target for her to take aim.  Tolerant moms will say, “Don’t worry, my child has an older sibling who does the same thing” and the lesser tolerant ones will say to their child just loud enough for me to hear, “Not everyone is nice sweetheart.  You just need to walk away.”  Both moms are wrong.  Anna isn’t like a typical older sibling, but yes, she is nice.  In fact she is nothing short of amazing…  I swear.

It’s 7:11 p.m. and my loving and supportive husband, Mike, has also come home from the party. He explains that he made a decent excuse to our friends for my abrupt departure.  (We’ve done this enough times that the script is nearly seamless.  I leave first and he follows casually so as not to arise a flurry of concern or to draw attention.) When he he sees my eyes filled with tears, he scoops both girls up in his arms to put them down bed. Up the stairs they go with Anna saying, “Night Night” in that voice that tells me she has no idea what happened just an hour ago.  That breaks my heart all over again.

I rarely get to this point in telling a story as painful as this one before I turn tail and run to hide from the blogosphere, even on my personal blog.  I don’t like to write about the lesser-than-miraculous stuff when it comes to Anna. People tend to remember the really extreme moments in life and for our daughter those extremes are often unpleasant.  So here we are readers.  It’s the beginning of our very long journey through parenting.  It’s easy to get caught up in the hundreds of tonights rather than the possibilities of tomorrow. 

So tonight I will try to remember the yesterdays.  In particular, two years ago yesterday when life as I knew it was a desolate and painful series of days hoping for news that a new life would join ours.  And then the e-mail came and it did.  Anna came and, as all babies do, she changed everything. 

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Meet the Author

Jenna Nadeau

Jenna Nadeau

New Hampshire

I have recently adopted or am adopting from...
U.S. Newborn

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