20 February 2009

Reality Check

Today marks 3 weeks home. Wow. It feels like it was yesterday we were stepping off the plane in Allentown to meet my family.

I said to myself as we were preparing to become a family and more importantly, an adoptive family, "He may cry for no reason. I just have to hold him and love him." That has proved to be harder than I thought. Not because I don't love him or want him, but because IT'S REALLY HARD. It's difficult to hold a screaming baby, knowing he's been fed, diapered, and cleaned, and knowing there is nothing else you can do for him except hold him and try to comfort him.

It's even harder when he doesn't quite feel like yours yet. If I'm going to be honest with myself and the few people who read this blog then I need to say that I'm still learning to feel like Petros is my son. Not because I don't want him or feel like we made a mistake, just because it's reality. This little boy we prayed for for almost 2 years is finally here. Family bonds don't happen overnight and I hear they don't even happen overnight sometimes for biological children.

However challenging our adjustment has been (and it really hasn't been that bad), each day I feel closer to him and today I held him in my Moby with some worship music on and worshipped in my living room. I was singing and praising and thanking God for this little person and once in a while he would look at me and smile. It was magical. He's becoming my son. We make each other laugh, cry together sometimes, and sometimes I'm the one who's crying because it's his fourth time up in an hour and I've had no sleep (that's for you Whitney) =) I feel ya sister.

I believe that it is virtually impossible to understand joy without having experienced what pain and sadness is like. When I think about the circumstances my son had in his beginning days I cry in pain. Pain for his birth mother, pain for him. I imagine him in that moment and the ones after. But then I look at him. I look into his amazing eyes and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has placed him with us both as a gift and responsibility.

Then I'm struck with fear.

I'm not worthy. I'm impatient. I'm selfish. How could God give this gift to me knowing all those things? Without Him I'm doomed to failure, with Him I'm destined for glory.

As our adjustment continues, I'm getting to see a small glimpse of the adoption plan God has for us, His children. Adoption is painful and joyful at the same time. The loss of birth parents is nothing a child should have to endure. But God makes a way for these children to have families, just like he made a way for us. That's where the joy comes in.

Only, the hard work that Jesus did on the cross grossly overshadows any lack of sleep and temporary discomfort I may feel in this new way of life.

Thank you Father for sacrificing your son so that I may be adopted by you. Thank you for this amazing journey and making adoption not only possible, but ordained by you.

Thank you so much for Petros. He is just amazing.


  1. Sunny, hang in there. My bio boy screamed non-stop for 6 months. He screamed so hard his belly button hemorhaged (popped out). He screamed so hard my grandma said she understood how children get beat (hahaha, that's a joke sort of). It is so hard to hold a screaming baby and have no way to comfort them. As someone who's been there and made it out the other side, I promise it will get so much better. But I know that doesn't make it any less painful when you are exhausted.

  2. I second what Erin said-my second daughter cried, all the time, a lot, and all night long. Hello colic, I still hate you!! And I had a hard time FEELING the attachment I had to my older daughter b/c oh my, I just wanted to SLEEP so badly and all she did was prevent me from that. I mean, yes, I loved her b/c she was mine, but like her sometimes? not so much. And I panicked-would I ever feel close to her? Would she ever stop crying? would she EVER EVER sleep through the freaking night already?????!! We got through the first year but I still lacked the closeness with her, the really KNOWING her, that I had with my first daughter. SO, I did the only thing I could do--I prayed about it, a lot. I asked God to give me the feelings to match the knowledge-and HE DID! Abundantly!! and she still doesn't always sleep thru the night-she is almost 7 :)--years, not months-she is a sleep weirdo that one-but I love the crap out of her. I am praying for your family-motherhood is not for the weak, but it is SOOOOOOOOO worth it. And really it has only been 3 weeks, you are doing great, and this phase of sleeping weirdness and getting naps figured out WILL end, I promise. Only then you will get all teary and wonder where the heck the time has gone-it is a wacky, challenging, awesome journey and I am so glad you are on it!!! God loves the crap out of you, too :)

  3. Sunny--
    Man, I hear you about the fear and guilt and unworthiness of having a child. I wrestle with that already, and our son isn't even home yet. But thank you, thank you for sharing real life to those of us who are waiting to experience it. I'm glad that you are putting yourself and your business out here for us to look at, lean on, and learn from. You are an inspiration in honesty, self-inspection, and cross-bearing.

    You are being an excellent mommy!
    love and hugs,
    nell ann

  4. Oh, it is good to hear those comments on here. My bio daughter and I know Sarah's son also had/have the same issues. Things do get better and as you learn the tiny things that do work to comfort him and you have break throughs those will strengthen you bond 10 fold because they are earned! It is great that you are experiencing the emotions with him too, that will show him he is not alone. I have no doubt that you two will be best buds, I saw love in you and he is very lucky to have you as his mommy (selfish sleeper and all hehe).

  5. I am sitting here bawling my eyes out! Well not really but I have tears and goosebumps. Thank you for your transparency(I know i didn't spell that one right!) Thanks again. I needed to here this.

  6. hey... i just found your blog :) we are waiting for a referral from ethiopia, and have a biological 2 year old... and you heard correctly - bonding isn't immediate even when you BIRTH the kid! it's fun to read along with your adventures as we are (very impatiently) waiting for The Call.