This post brought to you by Jockey. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Busy Creating Memories.
The way that the Jockey #ShowEm campaign celebrates the love and strength of family really resonates with me. When Jockey asked me to #ShowEm what’s underneath by sharing my own story, I knew I’d write a post about my own unique journey into parenthood. It’s a little bit raw—I’ve definitely removed the rose-colored glasses filter.
My husband and I were newlyweds, we decided we wanted a family. We didn’t realize that our family would begin in non-traditional circumstances.
Five years later, an angel in a hospital bed pointed to me and told the nurse, “She’s the mom.” So the nurse handed me a perfectly swaddled, squirming, grunting newborn, only seconds old. I patted his bare little bum through the hospital blanket, with tears rolling down my cheeks, and thought, “Oh my gosh…I’m a mom!” I held the birthmom’s hand, I held my son. The three of us were connected. Forever.
It wasn’t all peaches and roses. Still isn’t, in fact. As a parent, we struggle with everything a family struggles with. Defiance, boredom, laziness, manners, cleanliness, power struggles, bickering, feelings of inadequacies, the whole nine yards.
As adoptive parents, we deal with other issues. There is a lot of “baggage” that you don’t think about unless you know someone who has adopted or you’ve adopted yourself. When our son was a newborn, I felt like I had to introduce myself to him, remind him that I was his mom. And sometimes when he’d cry, I would cry, wondering if he was missing his “mom.” Wondering where she was and why I wouldn’t go away.
That got easier, by the way.
Now, we wonder about health issues that may or may not have come through genetics. Visiting biological family members: when is the right time? How often? How can you say no? How to keep in contact? How much to tell your adopted child about his or her background, and what do you wait to tell them when they’re older?
We worry about feelings of inadequacies. Are we really the best parents for him? When you give birth, there’s not much you can do about that. But after adopting, I sometimes worried I had done my child a huge disservice by robbing him of better parents.
Most of all, we worry. Will he feel loved, even though we loved him so much we prayed for him for years and endured the trial of adoption, just for him? Will he feel loved enough to recognize that his birth parents didn’t give him up, they gave him more?
Seven years ago we faced the unknown. I quit my job to be a stay at home mom, even though we weren’t completely sure I’d be coming home with a baby. I flew 700 miles to wait and wait and wait for a phone call. And when it came, my husband drove 10 hours to be by my side (in the other room) while our son was born. Seven years ago, I became a mom.
One of my favorite quotes says, “Adoption is when a baby grows in his mommy’s heart instead of her tummy.”
Is it scary? Yes. Are there a lot of unknowns? Yes. Is it one of the hardest things you’ll ever do? Yes.
But is it worth it?
The kisses and the laughter and the hugs and every “I’m going to miss you, mom” is worth it. The sleepy smiles and the high fives and the cheesy jokes are worth it. Building with blocks and chasing each other with the tickle monster and ice cream dates and crossing the finish line together are worth it.
The talks about God and the universe and the life cycle of an apple tree are all worth it. Even the tears because he refuses to ever wear a striped shirt again are worth it. Thank goodness for $5 tees at the local box store. You ensured my son didn’t go to school naked this year. But that’s what we do. Because we’re parents.
Jockey wants you to #ShowEm what you got. Are you all about Family? Do you have Courage? Have you shown Perseverance? I want to hear your story! Share in the comments and create your own captioned photo here with the Showem Meme Generator. Share it with the world to #ShowEm what matters most to you!
If you want to read a little more about adoption, you can check out this article here. To see some cute pics of my kids, read this adoption article. If you want to learn a little more about our journey into parenthood with our twins, you can check out this article on loss.