Front Row Seat: Childhood
We hope that this blog post finds you doing well. We just had the most incredible time in Mammoth Lakes. That's our annual getaway spot for Labor Day. It was really quiet this year. We love going there so much. Erik's parents and sister always join us.
We actually had something really exciting happen. WE ARE SO NEW TO THIS JOURNEY OF ADOPTION. I think we announced our journey a little under a month ago. Again, I know this journey can be grueling for many reasons, but I must share.
Open adoption is where the birth parents may select the adopting family, exchange information, and communication during pregnancy and after birth.
Erik and I are choosing private (independent) adoption over an agency. This type of adoption allows more choices for both birth families and adoptive couples. I'm sharing because we have no idea what we are doing. We are figuring this out as we go. I saw someone post in a FB group I'm in about her friend. Short story short, I reached out and connected. It's possible we might be getting interviewed by this birth mom.
I'm praying for her. She's 6.5 months pregnant and trying to find the best option/family for her baby.
I'm praying for her child.
I'm praying for our faith to grow in this process.
I texted my village the same thing. Pray. Pray for this mama. Pray for this child. Pray for us. I'm grateful to have been able to connect. Regardless if we get an interview or not, get chosen or not, I'm grateful. It just reminds me why we are doing this. We are doing this to provide a loving home for a child and to help a family find peace with this difficult decision. By choosing to move forward in faith, not frustration. I'm choosing to move forward with hope and grace.
I sent our blog over to this friend who is advocating for this birth mom to get connected to a family. Maybe that family will be us. And if it's not, I'm moved by the family that will be the right fit. They've been praying for this. Their prayers will get answered. If you find yourself waiting, not being selected, I pray that your heart finds the still and confidence that your time is coming. I hope remain steadfast in the blessings coming your way.
I'm using this blog to reflect on some questions we might get asked in our home study or by a birth family.
QUESTION: HOW HAS YOUR CHILDHOOD AFFECTED THE WAY YOU SEE PARENTING?
One, I'm fully aware (especially now) being a mom to Faye, that parents have no idea what they are doing. They are evolving, changing, and growing.
What I do know is that my family loves me really well. Despite coming from a divorced family and being raised by a single mom, I'm loved. Fully. Completely. I'm supported. My family has championed me with all these crazy ideas of quitting teaching, becoming an entrepreneur, moving across the country, etc.
I love how happy my parents are in the morning. They are chipper, sing, and truly joyful. I for sure am like that with Faye. I love it. I feel like there were no surprises to my parents. They always met us with love. No matter what news we had or something we did, they just allowed us to figure things out. They met us with love, not judgment.
There are few things that stick out to me: my mom never put pressure on me with my grades. I wasn't strong with my academics and really struggled with school. She built me up and just met me where I was at. She always advocated for me. She put me in a school where I would thrive. She made sure to not fall under the pressures of what other parents were doing (like giving $ for grades) and truly just allowed me to grow in my own way. I admire that so much.
I'm really thankful for that. Growing up, there's things I would choose to keep and choose to be different. For example, eating at the table. We didn't do that (sometimes), and that's something I really look forward to in my family.
My parents didn't take us to church every Sunday, so that's something we are doing differently. With COVID, church looks a bit different right now but having Faye grow in faith matters to us. We sing songs, read her Bible and pray a lot.
I remember when Faye came around, I just realized how much love you have for your child. It's wild. It's so real. You worry. You care so much. You think about so much. The biggest thing I want to remind myself of is not to have projections through my own experiences. Meaning, parenting being fear-based. I don't want to do that. So, I don't.
I love the space our parents have given us to figure this out. I was just chatting with Erik's mom about this. That we've given them space to just be grandparents. We don't helicopter over them correcting everything they are doing. In return, they (my parents and Erik's) have so graciously done the same for us. They build us up and encourage us. They also compliment us. They admire us. I love that.
A big difference is the amount of time we are spending with Faye. We both had parents who worked really hard, away from the home. Being a full-time family, it's amazing how much time we've been able to spend with Faye and as a family. We have her in school 3, 1/2 days a week because we know she's bored of us (HA!) and it's been WONDERFUL for her. She just started a few months ago. I think because of the amount of time we have with her, a lot of everything is so consistent.
These questions can be hard for me to answer. My childhood is so complex. I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for growing up the way that I did. I'm grateful for the lessons. I'm thankful for the love. I'm grateful for the hard. I get to parent someone who has a completely different world than the one I grew up in.
My biggest responsibility is to love her and allow her to be her own person. And for that, I'm grateful.
***I'll come to add Erik's answers when he wakes from his nap :)