a little and a lot

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Unexpected Expectant Mother

Ok, so I told you I wasn't going to talk about the adoption anymore.
And then I got walking pneumonia.
Goodbye, May.
June has me feeling better, and I just got my hair freshly cut & colored, which always helps exponentially.

There's your recent update.

I told Nick over the weekend that I feel stuck in terms of the blog world. I said I wasn't going to talk about the adoption, but it's this huge thing I can't get around in order to write about mundane thoughts like how the honky do you get mosquitoes out of your yard? and there are no words to express how happy fresh, local produce makes me feel in the summertime . Nick laughed and said "Your blog really will turn into a mom blog. You have a mom blog already!"

I have nothing against mom blogs. Mine just wasn't created for that purpose. I started my blog in May 2005 to start writing about my new adult life after graduate school. I've happened to become married over the course of that time, and now I happen to be becoming a mother. (Whatever grammatically correct way I should be saying that.)

This is Your Mom's Blog. Not The Mom Blog. As in, one day, in however many years, when my children are grown and I'm either humanly living or just eternally living, this blog will exist in cyberspace as their mom's blog. I was a wife and a mom, but I was a person. And they'll read my words as a wife, and as a mom, and mostly just as a person. And I hope they see parts of themselves in my words that make them laugh (or more realistically, probably cry)...because biology is not the only piece of you passed on to your children.

Or maybe this blog will be erased by the next year by cyber-fluke or when something trumps the world wide web. Who knows?

Regardless, here is my new decision. I can't NOT talk about this adoption. Talking about it is part of me being a person these days! I have no news to tell anyone other than our expected wait time for a referral at this point is projected at about 0-3 months. And when I do get news, I probably won't be posting details (name, age, etc) until after we've passed court (which will be after our first trip to Ethiopia). But I need to keep talking about this process. Because it's part of me.

So, here is my latest thought:
It is difficult to be an unexpected expectant mother.

Nick and I were in the market for a glider this past weekend. We took a little trip over to our local Babytime store to try a few out. There was one other customer there, noticeably very pregnant. Nick and I approached the gliders and began testing them out. A salesperson came to help us, and asked "Sooo...are you guys just checking things out or are you having a baby...?" His voice trailed off awkwardly as he stared at my midsection. It was at that point that I realized that the salespeople in the store thought I was probably 2 weeks pregnant or something. I had peed on the stick last week and already wanted to buy a glider. I explained that we were adopting, and then got to hear about the person our salesperson knew who had recently adopted. Wow. Neat. I just wanted a glider.

Before you start thinking I'm a mean and cynical person, I need to explain that I am about 10 months pregnant. Ok, not really. But I am in this adoption process. My body doesn't show it, but I'm about to bust at the seams. I know that being pregnant has it's share of public comments from strangers. But adoption can be just downright awkward sometimes.

Someone recently heard me talking about "our baby" and her face lit up, she sidled over to me and said "Did I hear you say the B Word?" I answered, with a friendly smile, "Yes, you knew we're adopting, right?" And her smile dulled a bit as she said, "Well, I knew THAT..."

How do you talk about this exciting event besides "we're adopting?" You can't say you're "having" a baby. I mean, I guess we'll "have" him/her into our family. But you know what I mean. "Getting" sounds just weird and disconnected. "Becoming parents" doesn't sound right either. "Starting a family?" Maybe. Anything without the word adoption causes people to look straight at my belly. And if that's going to keep happening, I really need to start an ab workout.

I don't look like an expectant mom, but I feel like one. BOY do I feel expectant. :) Do you ever wonder if adoption feels the same way as becoming a parent through birth? I always wonder the opposite, actually. But I think the general answer might be: Yes, it does feel the same emotionally. I feel excited, impatient, scared, overwhelmed, joyful, hopeful, visionary, idealistic... But I have nothing to show for it. It can be lonely.

After Babytime, Nick and I hit up Babies R Us. We drove past the first 6 rows of parking spaces dedicated to expectant mothers and parked in the middle of the (nearly empty) lot. We walked through the store while I felt ever-so-self-conscious that others were thinking I was a wannabe.

We chose adoption to begin our family. You read that right. We chose it. Our first choice. And in making that choice, we inadvertently chose some other things as well. Like an unpredictable timeline. Like the endless explanations of how our process of becoming parents works. Like being asked the reasons for why we made the choices we did. Like sometimes accepting lesser enthusiastic responses from others when they hear our news. Like anonymously becoming parents. It was part of our choice.

I write this not to elicit sympathy. I am glad we made this choice. It has been difficult at times, but God's Spirit has and continues to provide more than enough peace, patience, and faithfulness. I really mean that. This is such an amazing adventure God is leading us through, and we are holding our breath with excitement. (Getting a little blue in the face at times, but that's all part of the adventure!)

I am walking in the shoes of an adoptive parent, the unexpectedly expectant mother. And hopefully by reading along with me, you are too? I sure appreciate you sharing the journey with me.


L said...

good post Jesse. I'm thankful that you blogged about how you're feeling. it's good to get it out. :)

and...it's okay to talk about mom stuff. because that's who you are becoming. it doesn't define you, but it's a part of you.

and that was for free. {yay Jim!!}

Anonymous said...

Love reading these thoughts because my feelings have very much mirrored yours at time. I've written several posts that never got posted but now I think maybe I should go back and post them. I'm glad you are writing about adoption! I love hearing about others in the process.

Jane said...

This is a great post, Jesse! It gives a rarely seen view of what adopting parents experience, and I think that is great! It shows those who aren't planning to adopt how it can be similar and different and I think others need to know that.

Thanks for being open.

Jennifer said...

The peeing on the stick bit cracked me up. ;-)

Add on being older, being single and adopting older children, .. yes (children not child).. and people are really thinking you are nuts. :-) Isn't life grand? I love the blog. Cracks me up.

teaguemeyer said...

I totally parked in the expectant mother spot! Great post. You will probably have the same feelings after your little one comes home...I do.

Larissa Smith said...

I am so sorry that people can't help but be a doofuses (wow, never spelled that out in the plural) with this whole concept. Hang in there! I wish I could show you by my face and big hug that I am super excited about your ADOPTION!!!! I think the anticipation is even better, because you really don't know when it could happen. Not like a due date or early contractions can give you a rough estimate. You really don't know and that is on-the-edge-of-your-chair exciting. A child with no one is going to get YOU. A child whose family gave them no attention and love will have all of yours, just like firstborn babies should. And you'll get to love on that baby just like new parents should. And you won't have the labor recovery (ugh) or body condition adjustments. Lucky! (think Napoleon Dynamite)

As for the terminology: Maybe you should say that instead of you having a baby, a baby is having you in the near future.

Amy said...

Jesse - you don't know me, but I read this post and had to say something. Our stories and thoughts are so similar! We too are a "plan A" family and yes, it is so strange sometimes to feel as if you are always having to "explain yourself". I wish you many blessings on your journey and just know that there are others out there (Me!) that are going through this too.

McKinney Madness said...

I'm glad you wrote this post, because I think you just expressed the same emotions that every adoptive parent has gone through. I know I can't understand firsthand, but I've walked with Jessa through this journey and it's been tough for her as well. (By the way, did you hear they got the call a few weeks ago? Cooper has been with them for about 3 weeks now!)Please know I'm praying for you and you have every right to park in the expectant mothers section at Babies-R-Us! : )

Unknown said...

We chose too. And yes, it's tough. People look at you like you're crazy or are painfully polite about the whole thing.

When you bring your baby home, they will understand :)

Ashley @ pure and lovely said...

ps if you still haven't painted that piece, bc im super slow, just call me. ;) itll be easier that way!

Ashley @ pure and lovely said...

love this. love you. praying for yall.

Jay said...

you don't me, I found your blog from hopping from one friend to another to another's blog --

Anyway, I just wanted to say (from the youngest of 5 adopted children) that I thank God daily for people like you - and so will your child your one day.

God Bless you and the excitement that comes with becoming a new Mommy, no matter what route you go through to get there.

My mom always told me that Some babies grow in their mommy's tummies, but I grew in her heart.

Adopting Rhet: Click on the timeline above to read more