Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Plan

My friend, E, came over yesterday and we spent about 5 hours with all the kids and talking about her baby. She doesn't call the baby hers and I corrected her, I told her if she chooses adoption she does not lose her right to call her child her child. She is still the mother and the baby will be her son or daughter, too. She is trying not to hurt my feelings and walk on eggshells, it made me sad. At one point, she even claimed I was doing her a favor and helping her by adopting her baby. She has this so backward, I just do not know how to convince her of this. She made me promise not to pressure her to keep the baby, so at this point we have agreed to make this plan and if she has any lingering doubts I want her to share them with me or her therapist. She knows I will not be upset with her if she changes her mind, I want her to parent. We agreed she can not make this decision fully until after the baby is born and she has had the chance to hold the baby and really feel if this is what she wants. (Mostly it was me telling her she will actually make the decision then and this is just a plan. I sound so bossy, I really do need to back off a bit and be mindful of this tendency.)

It is a tightrope I am walking, the guilt of parenting another woman's baby at her and the child's expense is eating me alive and I have no idea how to get control of it. I am excited but holding back. I want to encourage her but be prepared. I don't want her to be pressured and I don't want her to think I don't want the baby or won't love the baby. If this is this hard for me, what can she possibly be going through? She said she felt relieved last night, she feels she has a plan and some control. I guess this is normal. We agreed I would wait to ready a room for the baby until she is much farther along and we are in the new house of course. I can just put money aside to make a huge shopping trip (a very well organised one) when the baby is born. I am sure my sisters, Mother, and MIL will help me get things together quickly if need be.

Emma's Mother called me yesterday and asked if I was obsessing about E's feelings yet. She has me pegged, I did it with her. She thinks I should respect E and move forward with the plan. She felt like I tried to shove her baby down her throat at times, that was never my intention. She also claims it helped her be sure she made the best decision for her and her child. She feels she might have blamed me or regretted it otherwise. (She did go around telling people I stole her baby but she never felt that way.) She is worried that E will use like R did. R was her friend, she suggested we adopt R's baby and R used us horribly with the intentions of parenting the whole time. R actually encouraged me to set up the nursery so she could have everything when she "changed" her mind. Her boyfriend felt bad for us and told us. E wants nothing from us, she won't even let me buy maternity clothes for (legally it is ok in our state). Emma's Mother felt really bad for us and is really happy that we are considering another baby.

My Dh has already claimed no diaper duty! He says there are enough girls in the house for each one to take a day and the boys are free to just hold and feed the baby. I think his plan is flawed! He has always wanted another baby in the house, it was me that was adamant, "No Babies!". Funny how that can change so easily, I can't even put up a good argument why I didn't want one anymore. Time can erase those all the tough nights with a newborn.

This baby brings on a whole new set of concerns for me. HAIR! I am a CC woman possibly adopting an AA/CC baby, I have a lot to learn about taking care of my potential child's hair and skin. We live in a multicultural area and have AA friends and friends parenting AA children so I feel we can encourage the child to feel good about themselves and their heritage by including others with similar families into our lives. I will have to get busy reading and learning more about the culture to educate my children. I would never want my child to feel alone or different in our family so if this adoption takes place, we will only consider AA or AA/CC children in the future.

My kids are holding their own. I am using a few new techniques that are really working. The big one is taking better care of myself. I am picking my battles a little better, putting the responsibility back on them, giving them alot of praise about good behaviors, and since the evaluations I have been responding in a flat tone "I know how smart you are, you can't fool me anymore." That is huge, they laugh and know they are caught. They are starting to work harder and seem to want to be a part of the family. We have so many social issues from lack of exposure that seem to be helped tremendously by just role playing a few minutes before a situation. As we pull up a place we all go over the expectations, how to handle personal space, and what is appropriate. They do it! Amazing at what has happened when I tell them what I want and expect they will do it.

I can help my son control his anger by growling at him. He dies laughing. How cool is that? My crier, D, is making some improvements. B is the most difficult now that we are so close to adoption, she is pushing for control constantly. She is refusing hugs and affection now that I am on to her. P rocks. She thinks that she is going to heal all her siblings b/c she is getting better herself. She also asked me if I thought she was the prettiest girl ever b/c she did. LOL This from a child that hurt herself and called herself names a year ago. The twins are irritating but we are moving forward.


Fostermama said...

Ooohh I hope it's a girl! I love doing hair! LOL

Tudu said...

I have heard that twice today. You people are jinxing me! LOL

Mongoose said...

I "think" I understand your feelings but really, you would not be parenting "at her expense." It sounds like she sincerely does not want this child. It's really very possible to absolutely not want to parent one's child and to not regret placing or even terminating. The child I have a ticker for on my blog (the top one) was never born - by my choice. Now that I can rule out having biological children in this lifetime, I find that I think about my terminated child a lot, but I have never regretted my decision. I would not trade the life I've had, for the chance to be a parent.

All that to say... I would drop the issue with her, because she obviously wants you to and you're not going to make her want that child anyway. And for yourself, I would stop second-guessing the situation. You don't even need to worry about it until she decides to place her child, and if she does decide to place, then that is how life needs to be, and feeling guilty won't help.

You know how you commented on my blog that there is medication for my... excessive planning? LOL There's medication for excessive worrying, too. :) But I'm sure you won't need it. Just leave the whole thing alone until the baby is placed with you, and then focus on you being the mother, not on who else you think it should be.

I hope this is somewhat helpful and doesn't come across as ignorant. :)

Torina said...

I have no comments on the baby thing cause...well, they are gross. Ick. I'll take preteens and teenagers who can change their own diapers thank you :p

I love that you growl at your son. I will have to try that. I stomp my feet while walking like an ogre and put on my "angry eyes" when my daughter acts up. Then I use a high fake voice and fake yell. She laughs so hard I bet she pees. I get "Oh mom, you are HILARIOUS" from her. Kids are so fun aren't they?