Eight Months, One Day

5 01 2011

Sometimes I start a blog post with a specific story to tell.  Other times I start with a point I am trying to make and actually work through a whole lot before I get to the end of the page.  And sometimes I just start because I want to record what should/could be a significant date.

Little Dude lived in care centers for eight months and one day.

Little Dude has been in our custody for eight months and one day.

I am not sure if there is any significance in this at all.

Little Dude had a hard time falling asleep tonight, but I think that has more to do with the three dozen M&Ms he managed to steal and ingest then it does with any sub-conscious, cellular knowledge he might possess about the passage of time.  I actually know how to read a calendar and can do math well enough to figure out how many days it has been.  But I didn’t even realize the significance of today’s date until I was laying in bed with Little Dude waiting (and waiting and waiting) for him to fall asleep.

I would have been much more aware of this date if our bonding process had been rough.  I would have been striving for it, hoping that it would mark a turning point.  But our transition has been smooth.  (In fact it was so smooth that I am afraid to talk about it for fear of cursing it.)   The anniversaries and time markers don’t seem as important as they might be if things were different.  However, I also don’t want to ever downplay the significance of what he has been through.

It would be foolish to believe that those 243 days during which he lived in institutional care have not left their mark on him.  But it would be sad if that relatively short period of time set the course for his entire existence.  Assuming his needs were met to the point of him developing the ability to have normal relationships, the rest is ultimately up to him.

In his first 21 months of life there were major deviations from what most human beings experience.  But we each only get to live the path that we are given.  We can look around at other paths, imagine what they might be like, even spend time wishing we were walking them.  We can wonder, “What if?” and “I wish” and “If only” but it is all just supposition – miserable supposition.

And every minute you spend on supposition is a minute you don’t spend living your actual life.

I know lots of adoptive parents spend time wishing they had been there for their kid’s first smile, first step, whatever significant milestone they feel they missed.  I don’t spend much time doing that.  And here is why.  With my luck I would be in my office blogging about what I missed, while something truly spectacular was happening in my living room.  Something that I could be a part of in the here and now, if I would only quit living in supposition.

Living in the here and now is not always easy for me.  However I have the most amazing motivation in the world, two incredible children.  I am so grateful.  For them I will do more than blog talk the talk.  For them I will walk the walk.

I am not expecting or hoping that Little Dude won’t think about his first family, his beginnings in Ethiopia.  And I am not saying that he needs to be fatalistic or grateful or anything in particular, really.  I just hope that he will want to get the most out of his life.  That he will focus his energy on living, on experiencing the here, the now.  That he will know that the future by-and-large is up to him.

Eight months and one day.

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4 responses

5 01 2011
Erin

Congratulations!

5 01 2011
Jamey

As someone else who has had an easy transition (hee hee) I can tell you that this IS a big milestone for you guys. Here’s an extra prayer on your special day that Little Dude finds significance and happiness in his life.

6 01 2011
claudia

Oh, yay! Difficult transition, easy transition, whichever -it’s still a thoroughly good thing that he’s now been with your family longer than he was in care. Totally worth celebrating. (Although I htink maybe your eight months and 2 days milestone is even MORE worth celebrating) 🙂

7 01 2011
roadtosam

Sigh! I remember that moment, thinking “you have been part of me longer than you haven’t.” and “I hope I’m not screwing you up too much.” and “why do you actually like me so much because I heard this is supposed to be harder than it is.”
Funny, Sam had the exact same facial expression as LD in his referral photo.

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