When your normal changes.

I was trying to think of many ways to write this blog post, wondering the great wonderings and deciding if it was even something that I should share.

The adoption world is full of many, many puppy dogs and rainbows. Where the beautiful pot of gold at the end is this gorgeous, perfect blended family. I think portraying adoption in this light negates the fact that adoption is hard and messy and intertwined in between the hard and messy is trauma and broken souls and hearts that have experienced more pain than should ever be allowed. I have a few friends that have the rainbow and the pot of gold and then there is everyone else, where their rainbow is shattered and their pot of gold is so far off that they can’t even dream it to be true.

When we go into adoption, we think and dream and picture and we spend, truthfully, little time really thinking hard about the realities of how an innocent child got to where they are. When my son was in my arms for the first time, my whole world changed. I viewed life differently. This innate feeling of guilt. Guilt that his biological family wasn’t there, guilt for taking him from his birth country. Guilt for leaving his native language. Lots and lots of guilt.

And, then the layers kept peeling back and I was exposed to all the things that I could have never understood before. Broken hearts, fear, trauma, angst, anger, etc… all of these things that come from the loss of a first family. The immediate loss that an infant experiences will forever impact who they are. Sure, many children who are adopted never experience even a third of these things or if they do, they often are silent sufferers. I have a few friends who have the rainbow. And, their story is beautiful. And, then, there is the rest of us. Suffering. In the midst of trials and tribulations that are really indescribable. But, that doesn’t mean our journey isn’t beautiful. Suffering amidst the beauty, that is our life.

We’ve lost many friends on this journey. I’ve cried myself to sleep many nights. At first, I thought it was my struggles with post adoption depression but then I realized that life now, this new normal of ours, is hard. And, people are scared of hard. People want the pretty and gorgeous. People don’t want to see you when you are so tired that you physically can’t move. People don’t want to see a family that is barely hanging on not for a lack of love or understanding but because the trials they are facing are taxing on their souls. So, people chose not to stick around. And, I don’t blame them. Because, when you call and I can’t pick up or you text and I don’t respond, it’s not because I don’t care it’s because I have not another ounce to give. This is more than a physical tired, this is emotional exhaustion.

People see a well adjusted little boy who loves his family like no other. They see siblings who dote on their brother because he is the most amazing little boy. But, people can’t see behind the happiness because it’s too hard or they don’t want to. It’s too hard to know that that same little boy has so much fear that he screams for hours. That that same little boy has zero impulse control. That the same child is still grieving, a year and a half later. That the same child doesn’t ever sleep, like ever. That the same child who is running happily on the playground is the same one who just gripped his mommas neck so hard because of a deep seeded fear of a loud noise. Whose endless screaming is a plea for mercy and grace and love.

What I can tell you is I could have never been prepared for the needs of my son. His physical needs related to his cleft lip and palate, sure but his emotional needs that come from abandonment and trauma and everything else? Never. Never could I have seen where we are now. Because the suffering is real.

Our new normal has brought us on a journey that I could have never imagined.

July 15, 2016 - 3:40 am Tomi - Amen and amen. Well said friend. The struggle to accept and live on this new normal is real. Hey, at least you got the puppy dog part eh? Xoxo

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