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November 16th, "I Learned to..."

A stream of consciousness on my subway ride home. Halfway through the month. Thank you for reading ;) especially the sorta half baked ones…..

I learned to have faith. To breathe. To let go. To trust. To balance. To slow down. I learned to stay cool. I learned that help comes in so many ways. I learned that people think I did something great. I learned that my story is important. I learned that a birth mother relinquishing her parental rights is just the beginning of the adoption process. I learned to smile and nod. I learned how to speak up and speak out. I learned to rest when the disappointment felt too heavy. I learned that the maternal instinct is fierce. I learned that I think I could be a SAHM. I learned that motherhood is no joke. I learned that it’s okay to formula feed. I learned it’s okay to bring a 2 week old on an airplane. I learned that while motherhood is precious- adoption writes its own rules for what is precious. The “nursery” in our hotel room was the most precious thing I had ever imagined. I learned that books only know so much. I learned that you need very few items to care for a newborn. I learned how to swaddle and how to bathe a baby I called my own, but wasn’t my own, as his first mother was healing from delivery a few doors down. I learned that 2 days can feel like a lifetime. I learned that I needed my own mom with me. I learned to advocate for R’s birth mother and what she needed. I learned to set boundaries. I learned to let go of prenatal care. I learned to share. I learned that there are incredible professionals who help and guide and don’t flinch when 2 women walk in for a sonogram. One pregnant, one not. I learned that I am strong. I learned that adoption works. I learned that the mind can play tricks. I learned that I am far happier now, and therefore I can wait as long as I need to for my second child. I learned that not everyone has the capacity or the energy to stick by us as we ride this roller coaster. I learned that some people only show up for the good bits. I learned that people adopt for so many reasons. Some I agree with and some I strongly oppose. I learned that adoption does not necessarily mean you are a good person. I learned to accept the things I can not change. I learned that adoption aged me and that the stress took a toll. I learned to put on a brave face. I learned new kinds of love; love for R’s birth mom and love for his siblings. I learned to love in new ways. I learned to advocate for myself as a mother. I learned to share my story. I learned to love and to hate adoption. I learned to let go of preconceived notions about what motherhood looks like. I learned to steel myself against those who don’t understand that. I learned to be a mother, and that my friends, while exhausting and strange and frustrating, and haaaaaaard, is also pretty spectacular. Xx


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