Thursday, February 24, 2011


I know I often talk about the struggles that we face. Let’s face it, being a single parent is hard work. Being a single parent to an active boy is even harder. While he is used to my work schedule if I pick him up even 30 minutes later from daycare it will be a rough evening and even a rough night on some occasions. I admit, I struggle with this sometimes. I really like my “me” time. I crave it actually and I need several hours each night or I struggle to sleep. I like the quietness of the house and I like to be able to sit on the couch and pet my cat (which I never see during Duc hours).

But sometimes there are blessings where you don’t see them. I have a child that wants to be with me all the time. I have a son that thinks I’m awesome and he tells strangers that “my mama is funny!”. I have a son that still wants to cuddle despite the distractions of toys and Thomas the Train on the brain. I have a child that enjoys not only picking out his own clothes each morning, but picking mine out as well (yes, the boy has good taste, but he seems particularly driven to my boobylicious shirts. In his own words, “I like boobies”).

Today I had a shit-tastic day at work…after several already this week. I’m physically and emotionally spent. When we got home tonight, we took our shoes and coats off and I fell into the closest seat. Duc climbed up in my lap and began looking at our videos on my iPod. And for 30 blissful minutes I slept and held my baby while listening to the sounds of his laughter on the video. Even after dinner he didn’t insist on rough housing or throwing a ball through the house or beg me to build his train set once again. He laid down next to me and we watched a little TV together. I marveled at the sweetest of this child next to me and understood why people refer to him as an “old soul”. I love that he has a naughty little grin and he will do something over and over again if it made me laugh just one time. And even if he won’t sleep in the twin bed I built him, he lays in it every night while we hold hands in the dark and talk.

I love that he loves Vietnam and that every time he sees a palm tree he excitedly yells “VIETNAM!”. While I don’t love that he goes though the trash cans, I love that I find surprises. Sometimes in my purse (which explains why it weighs 15 lbs.) or coat pocket or other places. Today I reached into my pants pocket and pulled out this:


Yes, that is a bottle top from Seagrams wine cooler I drank last night. He found it this morning and begged to be able to take it to daycare. When I refused he must have snuck it into my pocket because it was a treasure worth keeping.

I love that he has become such a little man. He holds doors open for people, is so sweet and delicate with little girls and asks me when he will finally have a sister.

Yes, yes, yes I love this boy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hello, my name is…

Despite my apparent inability to blog, I think about it often. I find writing is cathartic for my soul even if no one reads and no one responds (although it is always good to have feedback!).

From my previous posts you know life has been challenging lately. I feel a bit bad for not updating you on Duc’s nee-nee/sleep situation, but I am happy to say it has improved. I think I needed to get far enough distance between living it and writing about it. Despite my assertions that I am not superstitious, I still find myself crossing my fingers and trying not to jinx myself.

The night following my last post I talked to Mom. Every woman wants to believe she will be a better mother than her’s was. You think you will find the patience that your mother lacked. You promise yourself you will never say “because I said so” and especially as adoptive parents you think you will never get tired of hearing your child chant “MOM!” at high volume. You tell yourself that you know everything about your child—more than any other living soul on this planet (a fact that saddens me and empowers me to make better decisions). As an adoptive parent you educate yourself on attachment issues and can spot those times when your child struggles.

I’ll be honest, hearing Duc scream and cry for hours on end simultaneously tears my heart out and makes me want to scream at him in frustration. I finally shared this with my mother. I didn’t want to admit that I was failing. Failing him and failing my sanity. I didn’t want to admit I was over my head, at the end of my rope and feeling up a creek sans paddle. She gently reminded me that I always have Duc’s abandonment issues in mind and that whether or not it was intentional, Duc was playing me. She couldn’t be right, could she? I excused him and explained “you don’t understand. you don’t hear his panicked cries or see she tear soaked face. His anxiety is real”

But my mother has been a mother for 30 some years. She has counseled hundreds of children in the last 15 years of her career and most recently began working with children and families in the foster care system (among other things). I couldn’t deny the fact that she knows children and their psychology.

That night I tucked Duc into my bed with my mom’s instructions rolling through my head. I assured Duc that I wasn’t going anywhere. I told him I would hold his hand for a few minutes and then I would return to the living room to work on laundry. I told him that I would not be returning to the room no matter how much he screamed and that I would only come back when I went to bed. His response made me cry later:

D: Mommy, go to work?

M: I’m not going to work. I’m going to work on laundry just down the hall.

D: You not going bye-bye?

M: No, honey, I’m not going bye-bye. Did you think I was going to work and leaving you alone?

D: Yeah, mommy. I thought you leave me.

Wow, I had no idea. Once I assured him that I was most definitely NOT leaving he quieted down and slept fine.

We still struggle from time to time with sleep now that he doesn’t have his nee-nee to pacify him. He has had to learn to rely more on me for comfort and to learn how to self soothe. And at times I realize he is trying to manipulate me—maybe not intentionally, and maybe not related to adoption. Every person was born with the ability to manipulate. It is what carries on our species and what drives our self preservation—whether it is our corporeal being or our mental being. We are given the tools from birth that allow us to get our needs met.

I’m just glad to have my happy boy back (and to be able to sleep in my bed alone).


About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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