The last few days have been challenging. Not necessarily hard or bad...but definitely challenging. Sick babies on top of teething babies on top of busy schedules is challenging. Although their appointments this week went well, both were long and draining and brought to the surface some emotions I haven't allowed myself the time and space to feel. I see the developmental delays and we work each day to over come them. I see it and my husband and I talk about it and it's real. But explaining what I see to professionals and to hear that they see it too...somehow that part made my emotions bubble to the surface. The delays related to thier extra chromosome don't phase me, why would they. It's the delays caused by emotional trama...by being left unspoken to and unloved, alone in a crib on a thin plastic mat with no sheet for the first 12 months of life...it's those delays in Hamilton that are rocking me to my core.
Cadman's birth father went to visit him every week and he was loved, he IS still loved deeply by his birth family. We email several times a week and, even through google translate, I can feel their deep, selfless love. That love shows in Cadman's development. I could tell after my first visit with Cadman that his social/emotional development was much less stunted than Hamilton's. That continues to show, and in some very glaring ways after being home six weeks. You see it in the pictures. Most of the time they both will look at me when I call their names to snap a quick shot. Cadman always smiles, Hamilton rarely does. If he's busy playing he may not respond at all. And for some reason, addressing all of this with professionals this week has brought intense sadness to the surface. It breaks my heart that my child spent his first year of life not having known any love. I'm so sad to see the way that lack of love and basic human interaction manifests itself each day. He's already come so far and I know it'll come with time and it's not the future that concerns me. It's all the hurting and loneliness that I will never truly know the extent of and never be able to take away from their sweet little souls. And it's a challenge to know what to do with all of my emotions. I'm sad, angry...but at who? I know the anger is pointless but it's a challenge to figure out what to do with it. Mostly I just want to hold Hamilton tighter and smoother him with more and more love. And I do and I will continue to, but again, with two babies who BOTH need smothering with love and Will and a step daughter starting college and a business and a husband traveling to keep that business going...it's challenging. It's HARD!
There's this odd little (huge) dynamic with adoption where adoptive parents are hesitant to talk about the challenging aspects once home because "we chose this". That makes no sense to me...if a child comes to a family through birth, I'm pretty sure that mother (and father) made some choices along the way that landed a baby in her arms. And no matter how one becomes a parent, it's tough stuff. Tough, hard, challenging...these words are not negatives. It's not complaining to talk about our journeys as parents, no matter our paths. So I'm going to make an effort to talk a little bit more about the hard...mostly because every momma needs to know it's okay to talk about. It doesn't mean you're complaining. It means you're human and you're doing some of the hardest work there is. It means that this holy work is hard work and we should be rejoicing in it all. On that note I'm going to rejoyce in a few hours of sleep.
I also need a hair cut...bad hair days are always more challenging!