Top Posts of 2012 (In case you missed any!)
He's With Me: The staff at the museum assumed he was lost since there were no black adults in the room and instead of saying, "Is anyone with this little boy?" they just picked him up and took him. I yelled something at Kamron alerting him as to what happened and took off running toward the entrance to the museum. Ahead I saw a worker who had a walkie talkie and told her to radio someone and tell them bring my son back. A million things flashed through my head. I wondered if they'd make me somehow prove that Miles was my son. I wondered if Miles would be terrified. I kept hearing a voice in my brain saying, "Megan, you really should carry around your adoption decree everywhere you go" battled with another voice saying, "Megan, you really shouldn't HAVE to carry something around like that- he's YOUR son!"
Detox Bath Flunkie- Or How I Almost Made Meth In The Bathtub : I didn't have essential oils, but I did have vanilla extract in the cabinet. But I don't like the smell of vanilla. Suddenly, a light bulb went off. Vick's Vaporub! It's medicinal so I thought it sounded detox-y. Plus, my grandmother-in-law is convinced that a little "Vick's Salve" will cure whatever ails you. The last time we visited them, she launched into a thirty minute conversation about how our grandfather's toenails were falling off and she put Vick's on them and they were good as new. You are welcome for that visual.
Vick's it was! I started the hot water up again and put a huge glob in the running stream. About 30 seconds later I had a change of heart. Vick's is greasy. It would probably clog up my pores and not let the junk come out. So I tried to fish the blob out of the water. I got it out and had two hands full of what looked like a mutilated jellyfish. The garbage was full so I just slogged it into the toilet. I decided to leave it in there to freak the kids out.
No Mean Girls Here: Then I said it. "SADIE! GIRLS ARE JUST MEAN!"
As soon as the words left my mouth, I wanted to take them back. What if with this generation of girls, we start a different dialogue. After all, my Sadie is a girl and if I tell her that girls are mean, that's basically telling her that it's her nature to be mean to others and that is NOT the message that I wanted to teach.
What if we stopped telling our girls this from the first time they start questioning their place in their social group. What if instead of excusing girl's behavior, we taught our girls how to be a GOOD FRIEND. This notion started what was the deepest conversation I've ever had with my daughter. It was a real come to Jesus talk about how hurting people hurt people. I think that if we can understand this from a young age than we could understand how to help one another.
This One Time In The Bathroom: "Mom, what's she doing oba deah?" Miles said loudly. I gave him that look with my eyes that I thought screamed, "SHUT UP! DO NOT SAY A WORD ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT PARTITION! DO YOU HEAR ME? SILENCE!!!!!!"
His interpretation of what my look said was, "MOM IS NOT GOING TO ANSWER ME SO I BETTER ASK THE WOMEN NEXT DOOR HERSELF."
"HEY! I'm poopin'" he said. "You poopin'?"
Shoot me now.
Ten Years: Nope- you don't realize when you say those vows that all those superficial things you feel on your wedding day fade and what you are left with are little moments- moment that show you the real character of a person. You don't realize when you say those vows how 10 years of snotty noses and falling asleep in front of the tv and fighting and holding hands and taking kids to and from school and picking up things from the grocery and going on vacations and taking kids to the doctor and watching swim meets and good times and hard times all pile up to build a life. This is never the life that I would have imagined for us 10 years ago. It's better.
Skittle Water: I asked them about the reddish-orangish liquid and they told me that it was strawberry lemonade. They said they found it in our basement. Red flags started going up all over the place. They finally confessed that they found a package of sour Skittles and they dissolved them in water. They assured me that it tasted just like strawberry lemonade. I hated to break it to them, but it tasted like Skittle water.
The Out Clause: There were so many times when I wondered if we'd make it. I wondered if we'd ever feel like a family. I wondered if I'd ever stop punishing myself or stop feeling guilty about our whole situation. I wondered if Miles would ever act like he loved me and actually mean it.
Looking back on it now, if there had been an "out clause" I wonder if I'd have taken it. I wonder if I'd have had the opportunity, if I'd have given up. There were days that I might have. It's hard to admit that- even in retrospect. Two and a half years later, I have the perspective to look back and see that our son was capable of developing the skills that he needed- BUT AT THE TIME, I DIDN'T SEE IT. I didn't feel like I was what he needed and was convinced that I'd never be what he needed.
Lessons I've Learned About Toddler Adoption: Trauma is real. All kids have fears, but our adopted children have fears that are very, very real for them as a result of their past experiences. They have fears of being abandoned, being hungry, being abused and all sorts of other things that children who have grown up with a loving parent who meets their needs don't have.
All toddlers go through stages of wanting to hit other kids. We have to teach them that hitting other children is not appropriate. With Miles, we had to teach him, by word and by deed, that moms and dads also don't beat up on their children. He had those fears because of past trauma. Miles was scared of animals. Miles was scared of black women. He tried to do things to our other children that had been done to him that were not things that you do to your brothers and sisters. His past directly played into how he functioned in his daily life. Seemingly small things would trigger uncontrollable tantrums in him. We had to learn to be accommodating of these things. We also had to teach him how to give a voice to these fears. ("Mommy and daddy keep me safe. They will not let animals hurt me." or "When I was in Congo, some people scared me, but mommy and daddy's friends are nice and will not hurt me."
You Are Enough: How awesome would it be if we gave an ‘atta girl to our friends when they deserved it instead of letting her successes and joys fuel our own feelings of inadequacy? How awesome would it be if we spent even a fraction of the time we spend gossiping and ripping each other to shreds with our backhanded comments on building each other up and affirming one another instead? Even when we don't agree with someone's beliefs or decisions, we can still affirm them as people. How about we let other people be the experts on their own stories without telling them how to feel and minimizing their feelings? How about I let you be the awesome you that you are- and you let me be me?
Lasting Impact: I was midway through my vocabulary lesson when there was a knock on the door. Two grown African American men were at the door. Mrs. Miller obviously wasn't expecting anyone and the whole class looked at her when the knock came. These men obviously didn't know that you were NOT supposed to interrupt Mrs. Miller's class. In walked the two men and the always put together and proper Mrs. Miller practically skipped from her desk over to those men. She stood on her tippy toes and hugged their necks so tight I wondered if their heads would pop off. There was some chit chat and then I'm not sure how it came about, but Mrs. Miller introduced those boys as her "sons". In all my life of no one talking about race and ignoring that fact that we all look a little different, here was my prim and proper teacher, the picture of a what a perfect, white, Southern woman should be telling me that these two black men were her sons. In that instant, that teacher showed me more about race and tolerance and love than any other moment in my previous 13 years of people acting like it was an issue we could just push under the rug.
Screw The Zoo and Other Parenting Fails: I came home and sprawled across the bed, still in my bad mood. Within a couple of minutes, Kamron came home and I was replaying the horrible day to him. "I just don't know why I even try to do fun stuff with them! It never turns out the way I think it will!" I was on the brink of tears. But dinner waits for no hissy fit, so it was time for me to pull myself up and make some food for the heathens.
That's when it happened. I backed off the bed on my belly. One foot hit the floor and the other foot? It plunged down on the heel of the stilettos I'd worn to church the day before. It was like I was being speared. (My mom would say that this is what I get for leaving my shoes laying around!) I tried really hard to catch my balance and stand up. But the pain took me so off guard and threw my balance off so much that I fell backwards, in slow motion, arms spinning in circles. I fell straight on my butt, legs flying up in the air as I fell the rest of way down and landed on my back on the bedroom floor. For a split second, Kamron was concerned. After all, I was flailing about and slamming to the ground. And then that concern turned into hysterical laughter.