Today I was reading a blog written by another adoptive mom, "BohoGirl". She is really struggling right now and shared a lot about it. It was kind of crazy how parallel our lives are. We have VERY similiar adoption stories, we both became moms to little boys this summer (both of which have crazy hair), she is a crazy good photographer and I am just a crazy one...there is much more. But what really struck me today was how she has been feeling lately. It is almost like she and I are thinking with the same brain and heart these days. And I realized that I am not alone and that I shouldn't feel guilty for the way I have been feeling lately...it is normal for all adoptive moms...really for any outside-the-house working mom, as well.
It was difficult this summer because for a while there, I was afraid to get close to this little boy since I feared that he would be taken away from us. It wasn't until the birthmom signed off her rights that I was able to really start enjoying him. So I feel like I only had a month to really be with Gus before going back to work. But on top of that I was doing my internship so I had to be gone for long days for a handful of days. I did a lot of reading about attachment between parents and babies that became families through adoption. It is very important to form that attachment but almost in the same breath they warn you about becoming too attached until after the birth parents have terminated their rights.
Going back to work means spending less waking time with Gus each day. We are very lucky that Gus gets to go to my sister-in-law, Sarah's house. They love Gus so much and I know that he is safe and well taken care of with Sarah. I do not worry about him while I am at school...I know that he is okay. I know a lot of mom's who work outside the home understand how it feels to not be with their children during the day...that is nothing new. I am sure that many feel the same way that I do.
Since he spends so much time at Aunt Sarah's house and since he is adopted, many questions go through my head. Will my child even know that I am his mom? (And when will other people stop referring to his birthmom as him mom and start referring to me as his mom?) Will he think that his aunt/uncle are his parents and that his cousins are his siblings? Are they really more of a family to him and I am just "babysitting" after school and thru the night until he goes back in the morning? Will he ever be excited to see me when I go to pick him up from Aunt Sarah's? How does this affect our bond as mother and son? Since I did not carry/birth him, I have a lot of catching up to do on the bonding front with him. Is our bond different because of this? Would I feel better if I had carried him and given birth to him? Is it detrimental that I am not staying home with him? But then again, if I didn't work, there is no way that we could afford to give him the life that he deserves. I struggle with these things on a daily, almost a moment-to-moment basis.
And although Joel takes the night duty, I have not been away from my son for one night yet. At least I get to see him every day...may not be for long, but I get to see him every day and watch him sleep and snuggle with him before putting him to bed. I am very lucky for that and I am lucky that he is well taken care of. And I am lucky to have this little boy in my life. It was strange and reassuring that this other adoptive mom is dealing with the same questions, guilt and insecurity. My journey to becoming a mom has had its ups and downs...its hills and valleys. Just stuck in the valley right now, getting the energy to get up the next hill. At least I know that I am not alone..."BohoGirl" is there, too. I am sure if we open our eyes, there are others there with us.
Now off to bed so that I can play with Gus when he gets up at 5a.m....the best part of my whole day!!