Archive | August, 2012

Head Injuries and Good Texts

29 Aug

Do you remember that letter I wrote you about how fearless you are? I still admire your moxy, definitely. I love how tough you are. I like to think you get it from me, but I scream bloody murder every time I see a spider within five feet of me, so that might be giving myself a little too much credit.

But it seems as though your bravery gets you into situations like these:

One fall, three staples and two scared mommies later, and you’re acting like nothing happened. My brave little man, playing and napping and acting just like he didn’t fall onto the corner of the coffee table and cut his head open. Aww. J and I couldn’t be prouder of how tough you are. We also couldn’t be more terrified how many things you dive head first into (pun mostly intended). Okay, well maybe not terrified. But let’s just say when E’s mom  said, “He’s just like his dad,” I opted not to hear the stories of all the crazy things he did when he was little. I’d like to keep my blood pressure at a healthy level while I’m young.

I’m glad you’re okay. So, so, so, so, so, so, soooo glad. Beyond glad. Nothing bad is allowed to happen to you, ever. I just think you should be aware of that little caveat of your existence now.

On the plus side, I have also learned that J is highly adept at sending very comforting, reassuring “something bad happened but it’s all going to be alright so don’t freak out” texts. I mean, seriously. That’s an acquired skill right there.

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Riding in Cars with Boys

21 Aug

You soooo don’t want to know this (I have future visions of you plugging your ears and singing, “la la la la la” every time I bring it up), but I’m going to tell you anyways. I’m telling you this info partly in the spirit of full disclosure and partly because it was a highly educational experience.

Mama’s got a boyfriend. He’s caring and respectful and stable and handsome and he makes me ridiculously happy and I’ll stop being gushy now. Let’s put our creative powers to work and call him…The Boyfriend.

You’ve met him twice. He was nervous at first — I kept having to remind him that you were two and probably wouldn’t remember if his first impression totally sucked. But you two took took each other, and the fact that he cared about a toddler’s first impression of him was adorable. He helped you play baseball and tossed the football with you and dunked you in a giant tub of water at Grandma M and Pop Pop’s house. Also, he bought you a “bubble gun” for your birthday. Automatic win, I know.

A few days after I returned from my summer internship in New York with NBC, he took me to the beach. Yaaaay five hour road trip. But I’ve always been a fan of road trips and The Boyfriend has a good CD collection, so I was ready to spend a good ol’ five hours jamming to music (yes, I jam) and talking to my guy. We get along unbelievably well and I figured we’d just talk, talk, talk until the beach showed up on the horizon.

Except for here’s something I learned about riding places with boys for extended periods of time: they don’t talk in cars. Boys are perfectly content with silence. Well, music and silence. After road trips full of girls and chatting and rolling the windows down and more chatting followed by obnoxiously singing along to Prince or “Baby Got Back” (I know every word and I’m really proud), “quiet” was a new concept. One that didn’t last too long either because I decided that this whole “quietly observing the rolling countryside in peace” thing was highly overrated. But there was relative quiet for at least two-ish hours. I mean, I actually twiddled my thumbs in the car at one point. Literal thumb twiddling. Sad face.

Once I brought it up to The Boyfriend when we finally reached the beach, he laughed (because my neuroses are so adorable) and said guys would be guys. And then I tried to dunk him in the ocean. That’s unrelated to the story, but it was fun.

But sometimes I look at The Boyfriend and I think of you. Not because you look alike, but because one day you will be a taller-than-me, probably-still-blonde, hunky 23-year old. You will probably jam out to music and not talk unless spoken to. Maybe you’ll even fall in love when you’re 30…or older…and you’ll take her to the beach. But it’s instances like that with The Boyfriend that remind me just how much I have to learn about boys. It’s a lot. A whoooole lot to learn. I truly know nothing about boys — having you has been a learn-as-you-go experience. I’ve still got a ways to go knowledge-wise, but I have a feeling you’ll be a wonderful teacher.

On the bright side, at least I’ll know that when you and I go on road trips together and it gets quiet, you’re not giving me the silent treatment.

The Boyfriend helping you into the swing!

You are SO my kid.

This photo does a heart-melty thing to me.

The ultimate reason why you like him ;)

The E-mail That Changed the World

10 Aug

Thank You Gmail

Well…it changed my world anyways. Nothing like a little hyperbole to get the day started off right.

After I signed adoption papers and you were handed over to the interim care mom (whom I LOVE to this day), I didn’t talk to The B’s for almost a week. We’d text here and there, but I didn’t really talk talk to them until exactly one week after you were born.

This would be totally normal and okay. Except for I had told The B’s that I wanted to be in constant communication with them after you were born. I figured it would be easier for me to stick to my choice knowing that they would always be there. And then you born. And then I wanted to keep you. And then I felt bad about it because I knew they were expecting you. So I didn’t return their phone calls, only occasionally returned texts, and was all but basically silent.

Yikes.

I still feel bad about this, I really do. I would have been seriously annoyed with me if I was them. But as a birth mom, you really don’t know how you’re going to react until you get there. And once I “got there,” I felt…sad. Really, really, really sad. I missed you. I wanted you. I needed you. But the fact that YOU did not necessarily need me (and actually needed people with much more resources at their disposal) kept me from calling my social worker and demanding you back. You deserved better than what I could give you, and no matter how badly I wanted you, I wanted you to have better more than I wanted to be contented with your presence. And “better” was The B’s.

So after a week (and a couple of therapy sessions) I came to a realization: J had told me that she wanted to hear from me. Up until the adoption, we had talked multiple times a week via e-mail (and a couple of times in person during visits) about everything under the sun — our favorite movies, the best ice cream flavor, summer camps Sports Man was involved with, etc. It suddenly dawned on me that The B’s wanted our relationship to be open. So that meant that I could tell them anything I was thinking…even if I was thinking about keeping my son.

So that’s what I told them.

Exactly one week after you were born — one week of the worst kind of internal tug-of-war you could imagine — I sent J the longest, most emotional, most raw e-mail I’ve ever sent to anyone. Maybe I’ll post it one day. But it was all about how much I missed you and how I’d always feel like your mom even when she was, and how I felt like I wasn’t good enough for you and that I wanted to keep you so, so bad but I couldn’t find a way. I told her how I felt when I first saw your face and how broken I felt without you. I told her how I felt about adoption. I told her everything.

But the e-mail that changed everything wasn’t the one I sent to her. It was the one she sent to me in response.

The first thing she did was thank me for being open with her. She told me she thought of me as “her Renee.” She told me she ached for me in all that I was feeling. She told me she never, ever wanted to take away the fact that I was your mom too. She told me I was not alone. She told me a lot of things that I have since saved, re-read and cherished for the past two years, and will continue to cherish for all the years to come.

Everything changed that day. The pain, the hurt, the horrible tug-of-war…it all kind of dulled after The E-mail. It all became more of an echo than a reality, because I knew everything would be okay. I felt reassured. I felt like this family, The B’s, really, truly did understand my desire to be a part of your life and their family. A desire that was, thankfully, mutual.

My erratic heart, my frantic mind, my up-and-down mood…they all calmed that day, the day I read her response. That e-mail was one of the many small things The B’s did that made all the difference, but it was the last thing. From there on out, I was okay with my choice, because I knew I would never have to leave you. I would get to be a part of you forever, not just because wanted to be, but because they wanted me to be as well.

Which is awesome. Because now I get to see all of your cuteness on a regular basis. And you are really, really cute. Not that I’m biased. But in all honesty, I’ve never looked back. I never miss a beat when anyone asks me if I regret it. Because I don’t. Not for a single second have I ever regretted it. I love them with my whole heart. And you. And your cuteness.

So I’m just saying…anyone who knocks technological advances should rethink the wonder of e-mail. You’d be amazed what it can do for a girl.

Gotcha Day

3 Aug

Two years ago today, you were adopted. The B’s call it Gotcha Day. I think that’s adorable.

The day itself wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. There was an official ceremony at the adoption agency and everyone was there — me, Pop Pop, Grandma M, Aunt S, The B’s (I finally got to meet Sports Man that day — Happy Second Anniversary of Knowing You, Sports Man!) and your foster family whom we all still love dearly and talk to frequently. There was also cake (not a terribly important detail, but it was delicious). The B’s had to sign their half of the paperwork and that day, you became theirs.

The wonderful thing? That was the day I became theirs too :)

We all became each others family. It’s been two years of tears and adjusting and overwhelming love and getting to know each other and learning new things and becoming sisters and brothers and daughters and mothers and friends. If it were possible for me to be any more thankful, I might try. But I feel so fulfilled, I truly don’t believe it could be any better than it is.

All because of you, Little Man. All of this — this family, this love, these lives that you have completed — is all because you exist. You are beautiful. You are incredible. You are a miracle. You are everything everyone needed. You brought us together. You are my angel for that, and so many other reasons.

So Happy Gotcha Day!

Happy Family Day

Happy Anniversary

Happy Day-You-Met-The-B’s

Happy Day-Renee-Got-the-Sister-She’d-Always-Wanted

Happy You-Are-Not-Alone Day

Happy Day-We-Started-The-Best-Adventure

Happy Beginning-of-a-Wonderful-Journey-Day

Happy First-Day-of-the-Rest-of-My-Life

Happy, happy, happy day. What a beautiful thing it’s turned out to be.

My Family. I Gotcha <3

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