Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Strange Ocurrence

A strange and cool thing happened while I was babysitting yesterday. A little back story on this family first.
I watched a 8-9 year old girl named Hannah* yesterday morning while her parents went out and ran in a race. I've know Hannah and her family since they moved in before Hannah was born. Hannah was adopted and from what I understand the family has a semi-open (or did have, I'm not sure what the situation is now) adoption. They had tried to adopt a second child but after 2 or 3 attempts that led to heart break, they gave up. They are a very nice couple and at first I considered them to adopt Jude. The declined though and said that they were too old to adopt a new born. It all worked out in the end though and they focused on other things in their life.
Hannah is a very smart and straight forward kind of girl. She likes sports, riding her bike, and other more typical girl things. It was 7am, so I wasn't in the best mood to be an active and fun loving baby sitter. Luckily for me, Hannah just wanted to sit around and watch a movie. Later we made some food, attempted to make pudding (that never set for some reason), and went out for a walk/bike ride. Some time during all of that, she turned to me and asked:
"So, who was Jude adopted to?"
I was really thrown off. Not many kids ask me questions like that. Mainly because not many kids that I watch know that I was pregnant. Also because they don't care, which is understandable because, duh, there just kids. Not only that, but I didn't really know that  Hannah knew about my whole  situation. I didn't want to drill her with questions on how she knew about Jude and such, so I just answered her question as simply as I could.
I didn't know that Hannah had knew about adoption. I didn't want to ask if she knew that she was adopted, because she might not have and then that would have been extremely bad. It's refreshing though to see a child be open and curious about things around them though, and its more refreshing for me to see a child interested in my adoption. Even if it was one question, its a question I like to answer and inform people about. I want to educate others on adoption and even my adoption experience if they want to know.
It was one question, but it meant a lot to me. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Visit 3/3/12

This last weekend I had a wonderful visit with Jude, Katie and Greg! Before I get into this visit though, I need to share some back story so you understand my mind set during this visit.
A month or two ago I had a sort of a revelation or ephifany. This is really hard for some people to understand, so lets hope it goes well here.

I am very happy with where Jude is. I don't want him back. I don't want to raise him in anyway. He is better off with Katie and Greg and I am better off without Jude. I love getting pictures, updates, and visits. I never ever want to stop seeing him. I love him more than anything else in the world and would be thrilled if, when he's older, he would like to spend a weekend with me or even invite me to special events.  However, I'm fully aware that I am not his mother and I'm not going to pretend that I am. I gave birth to him. I will always love him like he is my son. I will always be there for him if or when he needs me. My mothering "duties" stop there. I'm not the one who wakes up with him when he gets sick in the middle of the night. I am not the one who will make him sandwiches for school. I'm not the one who will ground him for crashing the car. I will also not be the one who will get mothers day cards, watch him graduate from college, and drill the girl he brings home to marry. That is not a role I am meant to play in his life and I am happy that I won't be able to play that role. I have the opportunity to play a different role all together and I am perfectly excited about it.

Now that we have gotten that straight, I'll tell you about the visit.

We decided to go to the beach the day before. Victor was unsure if he had wanted to go to the beach with us, but he knew he wanted to see Jude. I asked Katie and Greg if we could have lunch before hand and they happily agreed. When I told my parents this, they got their big puppy eyes out and asked if they could come too. I couldn't say no to them, but honestly I just didn't want them to come that visit. It messed up a lot of different things. 1). That many people and people that he knows hates him (my stepdad especially) sets off his Aspergers and he becomes very quiet and anti-social. 2). I made it seem like it would only be me and Victor at the lunch and then all of a sudden two more people are there. 3). Because of its short notice I didn't have time to inform Victor's parents that Jude was coming for a visit. The adoption was hard on them too and I know for sure that at least Victor's mom would have liked to see him. It just sucks that my parents have the advantage of being right next to me when they hear Jude is in town. 

As stressed as I was though, lunch went by well. Victor interacted with Jude a bit. My parents talked to Greg and Katie. Victor and I really just talked to each other. I gave them their christmas presents and watched Jude build with blocks. My step dad even talked to Vlad for a bit about transferring to schools. At one point it got to be too much for Victor and he went outside, but other than that it was great. Later, after the visit, I told Victor about our day and he had said it wished it had gone differently because he felt like he didn't get the kind of visit he wanted because of all the stress and his Asperger's caused. 

After lunch, Katie, Greg, Jude, and I drove to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We talked, walked along the pier, went in the water some. Jude and I played in the water, Katie and Greg did as well, but not at much because they weren't dress appropriately. We stayed there for a couple of hours. We changed Jude into a different outfit and got some stuff to eat. I went to the best candy store ever. Jude ate some Mum-mums and watermelon. Katie had cucumbers and pineapple and Greg ate a deep fried twinkie. Then we drove back to my house and parted ways from their. I don't know when our next visit is, but it doesn't matter. The whole time I was there I kind of felt like their nanny or like their family friend, but I was totally cool with it. They are both roles I'm good at playing and I like playing.

I was so happy to see them all. Jude has grown so much! He's starting to talk and babble. He can say Mama, dada, and hot. He walks and runs pretty well. Can built up blocks and knock them down. Sleeps through the night and eats all of his food. He has just started to throw tantrums, but they last two minutes at most. His favorite show is Yo Gabba Gabba! and he likes shoes. He looks like and acts most like Victor. He has so many physical traits that Victor has. Their eyes, their facial expressions, their swirl on the back of their head. Their both not morning people, eat almost anything, and sleep like the dead. Oh, my boys, my two favorite boys. 

 Until next time :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mother Wonder

So, in my last post I talked about the “What ifs” and said that the only thing I could possibly know about the future was what kind of mother I would be. Well, I have been thinking about that a lot lately for multiple reasons. One, my neighbor just had a baby a few days ago. Two, I’ve already started thinking about Jude’s birthday present. Three, I have a visit with Jude soon and that always makes me think of him more.
I thought I would share my views and thoughts on parenting with you lovely folks (because I know you all care so much). Really though, I’m doing this more for my self, so that when I’m like 30 and really do have my own kids, I can read this and either see that I stuck with my views or laugh at my younger naive self. 
Lets make some assumptions though because I have no REAL idea of how future me is going to be like. Lets assume that when I do have kids; I have no monetary limit and I have a supportive husband.
I know I need to buy things like a crib, changing table, a swing, a stroller, and a car seat. But I hate the idea of buying something that doesn’t grow with the child and after a year I would need to get rid of it because its too small. I personally think its stupid. I would buy as much as possible with the ability to grow with the child. I’m not sure if I would want a crib, but like a small bed with a fence around it or something. I’d use a dresser with one of those padding used in a changing table on top or the floor.
There was this company that I found that I loved called Stokke. They make products that grow with the child, like their bed is made for birth until 10 yrs. old. Their high chair is made to last all stages of life, birth until death. Amazing, cool, and expensive, but if that crib/bed would last me 10 years then its worth it. Anything I couldn’t buy that would grow with the baby, I would buy second hand stuff. There is a wonderful world of Goodwill and Salvation Army out there, why not use them to full advantage?
This covers everything from sleeping, eating, play time, scheduling, etc. I’m going to make this short and to the point because some of these we can go on and on about.
  • Sleep - Baby sleeping in its own space. No Co-sleeping what so ever. I toss and turn and sleep on top pillows and it would just be bad. 
  • Eating - Love meat, love veggies, love sugar, love fast food; In short I love food. I want to my children to love and experience food too. Not too much of the bad stuff and definitely try different cultures food
  • Crying - I’m a big believer in babies cry for no reason some times. Letting them cry it out sometimes is, in my mind, is ok. I mean I wouldn’t do this for twenty minutes, but for five is reasonable. If i’m doing something like taking out the trash or taking a shower and the baby starts crying. I finish taking the trash out and I finish washing what ever I was washing, then go get the baby. 
  • Scheduling - I want this baby/kid on a somewhat flexible schedule. I want it to become more strict as he/she gets older, but not too strict.
  • I am vaccinating my children.
  • C-section and drugs all the way when it comes to child birth.
  • I am sending them to day care, even if its for one day a week.
  • I want to be a stay at home mom while they are in preK-5th grade, then go back to work after that.
  • I will tell them, when their old enough and/or if Jude is in our lives, that Jude is their family and how he’s my birth son and all that.
  • I think I would use both cloth and disposable diapers.
Now this is all assuming I’m at an appropriate age to have a kid and all my ducks are in a row, so to speak. If I would have kept Jude or had another baby now, things would be totally different. I would just need to get by with whatever I can. I would have to work most of my day, buy everything second hand, and not have much help from Victor. There are too many factors to determine how I would be. I only know one thing that I would definitely do as a teen parent.
If I was teen or young adult, like I am now, I would give up EVERYTHING and ALMOST any thing that would be something a typical teenager would do. As far as I’m concerned, being a teenager is a privilege and a relatively new one at that. I lost the privilege to go out and drink, do drugs (if I ever did do any), go out with friends randomly, and other teenage things, the moment the second pink line appeared. You can’t have the lifestyle of a teenager and a mom symotantiously. 
I love kids and definitely want at least one more in the near future, but for now I’m happy with the life I’m living. Lets see if ten years from now, if I still accept these parenting views or not.
Authors Note: In the famous words of India Arie “Don’t be offended, this is all my opinion, ain’t nothin’ that I’m saying law”. In other words, nothing I say is fact just my opinion. If you don’t like what I’m saying, you can stop reading.