Unplanned staying-at-home mom

I’ve been made redundant a month ago. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed because I was juggling a full time job, a household plus the three kids. As soon a I calmed down after the initial shock of being ‘letting go’ I could actually start thinking of all the wonderful things I could now actually do. The great big spring cleaning, getting my butt to the gym, cooking and baking, blogging and spending some quality time with the family instead of collapsing on my bed at 9 pm in exhaustion.

Ok, I am bit stressed about how we will do financially in the future, but I’m sure that God wanted me to be with my family now. Some things have happened and to be honest, had this all happened while I still had to go to work, I can’t see how we could have coped.

So, like I said, it’s been a month now and there has ALWAYS been someone at home with me, in sick mode. So instead of doing the stuff I was planning on doing, I had to be tending to the sick. Seriously, everyone has been sick , my husband, the kids even the cat will be having an operation tomorrow. I know it must come across as if I’m not enjoying it…but to be honest, I kind of am. All those years that I’ve had to take time off or felt guilty about not being able to nurse my family back to health, or just not being able to be there whenever they needed me. I’m so grateful for being at home right now, even though I haven’t had a moment to myself yet. But, God, I would really appreciate just one day… soon…please? Ha!

God has showed me that sometimes the best things in life are completely unplanned.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

 

knock knock

The adoptee family tree?

Do you have a family tree? Who made it? Do you appreciate it or you don’t really care? Did you have to make one during primary school? How did that make you feel?

So many questions, I know, but this is kind of tricky, isn’t it? Weather you are a traditional family, foster family, adoption family, reconstituted family or any other kind of family, making a genealogies tree isn’t simple and can be a very delicate topic at times. While some people insist that genealogies are only meant to be genetic, most agree that the purpose of a family tree is to represent the family – whatever that family might be.

A family Tree

A family Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember as a child, my adopted maternal grand-father (what a mouthful, let’s call him Opa). So, my Opa , had one. I’ve been a history buff as long as I can remember and when I found out that he had a super-duper old family tree, that he kept up to date, I just couldn’t wait to see it and ask all kind of questions. Oh, how I wanted in on the the family scandals. But when he proudly showed me the old document with a great big tree on it, I remember frantically looking for my name, to only be disappointed by not seeing it. My mom was on it, so was my dad and my cousins, but I was not.

But that was many years ago and now having been found and welcomed into the arms of my birth family, one of the first questions I had,  “What’s my heritage? Where are my ancestors from?” I am only now getting into the whole family tree thing again and pretty excited I must say. But where to start? How to do it? Should I make a double one? My family situation is so incredibly confusing that I wont only need a family tree to explain it, but a Power Point documentation and some pie charts, hey I’ll make the Power Point with a pie chart included. “Euh this one right here is my cousin from my adoptive father we are 0% related, however this cousin from my birth mother’s side is related to me for about , hmm, 25 % …I think”…Help!

My husband and I form a reconstituted family, his side of the family are pretty traditional people, I’m the weird one. I have my adoptive family side and my birth family side. I almost broke out in a sweat at my wedding trying to explain who was who. That’s my dad, oh, he’s my dad too.

Anyway, tell me about your family tree, give me some advice, I beg you ….help, please?

The angry adoptee?

Someone recently asked me how was it that I wasn’t bitter about my whole adoption past.

I asked that person what they meant and they wondered if or why I didn’t feel any resentment about the whole situation.

Just to clarify, my natural parents are still together and they have had two children after me. I have a full blood sister and brother.

I guess, when you think of it, one could feel upset by this. Some adoptees often express such perceptions. Many books, such at The Primal Wound and Journey of the Adopted Self, propose that adoptees not only have these feelings, but that they are correct perceptions, and that the adoptee may never heal from these feelings.

Isn’t this one of the reasons why people were encouraged in the past to keep it from their children, the fact that they were adopted? That it would protect them from a “trauma”?

I’ll be honest, while I had a terrible relationship and experiences with my ado-mom, I kind of felt abandoned. When I had my kids during my teens, I didn’t have a loving mom by my side to help me and guide me on my new journey into motherhood. I didn’t have a role model. I didn’t feel loved, I felt lonely…abandoned maybe.

But after being found and getting to know the story, I think we often forget the “trauma” and the bitterness our birth mothers must have felt. My mother couldn’t forget me, even if she wanted to, because I was born the day after her birthday. I can only imagine how she must have felt, counting year after year. I have at times, delicately tried to pry some info about my birth and I would get pieces here and there, but I can feel her pain and then decide that it’s just better to stop. At least for now.

So, do I feel bitter? NO! If anything, my heart leapt with joy when I found out that they were still together and that I besides having the sister who found me, I too have a brother!

Plus God has proven Himself faithful in every place of brokenness and loss during my life and has blessed me with this reunion. God has convinced me that my life was “meant to be”.

Even if you are not a Christian or you don’t have another religion holding you up and I’m saying this because God has and does keep me up, that life is too short to live it in bitterness, sometimes you just need to see the good things in life and decide to be happy. This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever be sad, but give it a place. We as individuals can choose our own attitudes at any time.

Oh and on a last note, I really hope that I haven’t offended others by what I said and if it seems like I’m belittling your feelings, this is not my intention and I’m sorry. I don’t know all your stories or pain, but I’m sure there is a lot of it. I do not claim to be an expert on anything but my own experiences and I would like to hear yours as well.

  • The Primal Wound – More Questions Than Answers! (sharonannevanwyk.wordpress.com)

Are we adoptees just mental?

I think one thing we adoptees must have in common is wondering from who we have inherited some of our habits.

If you have kids like me, you must have at one point or another compared your child’s habits and looks to yourself or to that of their other parent. All the good things have come from you of course and all the bad ones from the other person. Hey, at least, that’s what I do. However, now that mine are teens, I do realize that my daughter has many unpleasant habits in common with me, like her stubbornness or being convinced that she is always right and oh “the rolling of the eyes”…arg!

When I was little, my adoptive parents told me that they saw the doctor who delivered me and who was active in the adoption procedure during a trip to Wal-Mart’s. He looked at me and told them that he knew from whom I had inherited my long fingers. And that was it, that was the one and only thing I knew about them at that time and I have always carried that sentence in my heart and would wonder and dream about my natural parents. Huh, I imagined my mother being Céline Dion for some crazy reason.

Then I became a teen and my adoptive parents had divorced and my mother then took me back to her country of origin, Belgium. She had always had severe manic depression, but coming back to Belgium and not finding it the same as she had left it , 30 some years before, well that just put fuel on to her depression and she started to drink and take pills on top of it. I will spare you the details, but my teenage years were horrible, and I’m being mild here.

So as being a young adult, I had put it to the back of my mind, the though of me looking like someone else out there, and replaced those dreams I used to have with fear of becoming like my adoptive mother. Anytime I would have a tad bit too much to drink, I instantly would think of her and be petrified that I would be changing into her, an alcoholic. Or if I would have a couple of days of feeling down, (usually once a month) I would be scared that I was getting into a depression.

Last week I was doing my daily newspaper morning surfing and was reading an article in the Daily mail titled :

“When Cherry adopted these ‘angelic’ sisters she thought a loving home would heal the wounds of their troubled past. How terrifyingly wrong she was.”

In short it’s about a couple who have adopted two sisters. The eldest was 3 years old and the youngest 6 months. Their natural mother was a troubled person and couldn’t care for them anymore and so they moved from foster home to foster home, until this couple adopted them.

Picture isn’t me, but I was however delivered in a laundry basket.

According to the article , this couple was a stable family and having all the means necessary to raise these children happily and comfortably. Unfortunately after having adopted these children , they noticed some behavioral problems that caused much stress. In the end, the couple divorced, the wife ended up having to care for these children on a minimal income and the girls, now in their twenties are behind bars in jail. “‘Ironically they have followed exactly the same pattern as their mother,’ says Cherry.”

Again, this is a short sum up and to get the whole picture you should read the article yourself.

Then one paragraph really caught my attention :

Quite understandably, adopted children often suffer emotional difficulties. A U.S. study found that being adopted approximately doubles the odds of an adolescent being diagnosed with an emotional or behavioural problem. While these issues can usually be overcome, they often have a massive impact on the child’s adoptive family. 

My question to you dear readers is do you think that adopted children do have more problems? And I’m not talking about the many kids given up for adoption that have come from high-risk pregnancies, exposing them to potential for developmental delays, impulsive choices, poor choices, attention deficit, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, and emotional disorders.

I do think that we might be more emotional than others and therefore I think that it is highly important for adopted children and their families to have enough support and that they have an adequate mental health support system at reach.

I also believe that God in His sovereignty, places orphaned or abandoned children with families on purpose, even if it doesn’t seem so at that moment. And what I have discovered is that conflicts that arise from adoption issues, whether on the side of parents or of the adopted child, can be overcome.  God has a way of taking conflict and using it for our own good.  God doesn’t give up on us.

So what do you think? Are we mental? Do we inherit traits ? I would really like to hear your thoughts or story, so please do share!

25 points of useless information about myself.

Image via Wikipedia

1. I’m Canadian and proud of it. I am however living in Belgium for the moment.

2. I never finish anything. I always leave  the last cookie –  I have endless amounts of chip bags with crumbs in them – I’ve never emptied a glass and I even leave one piece of toilet paper on the roll….

3. I get hyper if you touch my toes.

4. I’m too lazy to pre-read my posts and so I end up making loads of typo’s and constantly going back and forth trying to correct them.

5.  I’ve been pooped on by an eagle.

6. I cried when Spock died in Star Treck 2. R.I.P. Spock!

7. I used to be crazy (read obsessed) of the New Kids on The Block. Aaah, Joey McIntyre…I even had a crush on a guy who worked at Wendy’s. That  was until my dad told him that I though he looked like Joey. (the shame)

8. My sister is an upcoming celebrity. I would like to tell you more, but I’m afraid of making myself look pathetic as in “Look at me, my sister is …” Oeps, almost did it.

10. I’ve been adopted but have been reunited with pretty much my entire birth family. So I now have 2 families!

11. I believe in miracles because I believe in God and have seen what He has done with my life. Really a miracle.

12. I was a teen mom and now my two kids are teens themselves. Thank goodness that they’re smarter than me and that I’m not a granny yet!

13. Just to make things clear : I DO love my teens (adore them) and haven’t once regretted having them. They have made me who I am today (with allot of help from God)

14. I don’t really understand what all the fuss is about Miss Pippa’s butt.

15. When I’m genuinely laughing, I snort. Yes, snort as in a little pig.

16. I used to date Bear Grylls.

17. I lied.

18. No matter how much I deny it, I have a flair for the dramatic. Ask my fiancé.

19. I hate confrontation.

20. I rather text, BBM, chat, skype,Whatsapp then have to talk on the phone and will almost always pass the phone to my fiancé. Unless your my mom, sister or good friend. (I felt like I had to add that)

21. I often speak without thinking and then spend the rest of the time wondering what the fudge was I thinking and cussing at myself. In my thoughts that is. I’m not actually speaking to myself, now that would be weird.

22. Kids used to pick on me in primary school, because 1. I was an Anglophone in a French Canadian School, 2. I was tall + skinny and 3. Because I was an Anglophone in a Canadian French School. It has distorted my way of thinking.

23. When I’m depressed I like to hide in my room with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and a Barbara Cartland book. Hey, she’s a good writer.

24. My family situation has become so complicated that I could only explain it by using charts.

25. I wrote this post from work because I was bored.

Top 10 List of what this Mommy REALLY wants..

10. To be able to eat a whole tub of Ben ‘n Jerry’s alone. Crème fraiche? But of course!

9. To have my 16 year-old daughter answer a question without rolling her eyes in that “Why is this person my mother?”.

8. Five pounds of chocolate that won’t add twenty.

7. Not having any kid yell at the toilet door that “it’s an emergency” or “just” wants to ask a question the second I sit down with my favorite magazine.

6. A full time cleaning,cooking,grocery shopping and ironing person – period!

5. For one of my teenagers to announce “Hey, Mom! I got a full scholarship and a job all in the same day!

4. Having a pleasant unexpected visit from a friend- WHEN THE HOUSE IS CLEAN.

3. To have a family meal without a discussion about bodily secretions or having to hear the phrase “mom, make her/him stop looking at me”.

2. To be able to have enough warm water for a shower myself .

1. For my “babies” to never have to grow up.

Have a great day,

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