Finalization

It’s getting close to Christmas, New Years, and Max’s adoption finalization.

A new family is celebrating their first Christmas with their first child. There will be photos filled with his big brown eyes and chubby cheeked smiles. He’ll have toys coming out of his ears.

I’m wondering what it would have been like to have him propped in my lap as his sister and brother bounced around the living room opening gifts and “helping” him open his.  I’m smiling and nodding through my daughter’s upbeat speculation on what baby boy will be getting from Santa.

Constant bittersweetness is….nauseating. It’s a constant balancing act of wonderful pluses and sorrowful minuses. I happen to have a personality that resents repetition, so this repeated adjusting on perspective of this entire situation is wearing on my being.

The regret and grieving comes and goes. The joy and relief does, too.

Again, I find myself letting my inner circle of friends know that one thing that isn’t advertised about adoption that very much should be is the constant hurt and healing. As much as I harp on those negative feelings, they are getting more manageable. It’s just tough having them repeatedly. It’s a fight I wasn’t fully aware I was going to be warring this way.

And as the season of togetherness and family settles in, it’s a different kind of poison on my heart. To see how tall and beautiful my daughter has gotten this year. Seeing my oldest son has  grown unimaginably handsome. The progress I’ve seen my eldest children take has made it hard to realize that I will only see such change in Max through distant snapshots of his life as it’s already passed.

I try really hard not to overanalyze and not to be exceedingly critical. My eyes zoom in on cute shots and see ill fitting car seat restraints and car keys lying too close to his eager little hands. Things that are probably circumstantial, but as any mom knows can become problematic in an instant…and who am I, now, to say anything? It’s so hard not knowing what is while IT IS. It’s always going to be in past tense for me.

I love him more each month that passes. I wish the best for him more and more each day. And each day he’s closer to [legally] being the child of another mother and father. This six month period after relinquishment is one where you feel the tugs of “your baby” being lessened as “their baby” begins tolling like church bells in your head.

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He’s SO Cute!

This weeble-wobble of emotions varying from contentment, agony, jealousy, anger, and happiness is nauseating.

My current state is a mix of agony and jealousy. I am wondering if an open adoption (as it stands with just photos and e-mail) is a good idea. It provides me with just enough contact to feel like I’m missing parts of Max’s life and keeps me just enough at bay to feel like an outsider being granted access that I inherently feel entitled to. I’m so thankful that he is a happy, healthy, BEAUTIFUL baby. When I share photos with my friends and family, there’s no doubt that he’s the chubby cheeked epitome of adorable.

“He is SO cute!” they say.

I know such comments are made about him in my absense. Since people tell me all the time that I look “just” like my [step] father when I’m introduced as his daughter that I know people look at Max’s A-parents and crow the same opinion….and being that people now say such things on social media where my biological father can see, I understand his perspective of his thunder being stolen. I look just like my biological father. People compliment me. Yet my step-father is the man everyone knows as my father and is granted that moment.

Yes, wanting credit for an attractive, healthy, or smart child is desired. It’s one of the many superficial and sentimental reasons people are drawn to the idea of parenting. I am filled with pride when my eight and seven year old are lauded for different attributes and accomplishments. However, I’m just as proud when they are both just being goofy, silly children. And I’m not allowed either with Max. I can already tell from the bright awareness in Max’s eyes that he will be intelligent. Genetics wont be the factor people attribute this to…it will be his rearing.

It feels petty to feel slighted for certain things yet having made the decision to place him. It’s a double edged sword for doing what I knew to be best and feeling like I’ve copped out for doing so. The contradiction is as annoying as knowing that the reasons I find to be aggravated are small-minded. Chastising myself gets old, but I’m going to always see this gorgeous little boy in photos and see a reflection that he wont cognitively connect to himself….