The little dude came home to live with us 3 years ago this past Friday, March 8. You can see his Gotcha Day video HERE.
Each child of ours has a very unique story; where they came from (biologically), who they were with and where they resided from birth until coming to live with us forever.
I feel a very deep connection to each of their stories. The irony with Isaiah, the dude, is that I might feel the most connection to his story because of the health (gut) issues. Yet, he has been the most challenging.
People are so drawn to Isaiah. He has this charming, bigger-than-life personality. And up until very recently, I could not understand why this has been challenging for me.
Was it because he’s a boy, and I’ve felt far more competent as a “girl mom?” Is it because our personalities are vastly different? Or maybe there isn’t a reason; maybe it’s just me.
But then I started digging deep to understand.
What I didn’t want to realize or admit is the real reason the dude is my most challenging child; we are so much alike. Had I married someone like me, we would have been divorced by now; rarely do I make best friends just like me.
Isaiah is a total mama’s boy, though he spends more time with Ryan on the whole. He constantly wants attention and hugs (I do, too, but expressed very differently). He has stomach issues to no end (“hi” that was me for most of my life). Isaiah wears his entire heart on his sleeve. He, like his biological sister, can go from 0–100 in less than 5 seconds. He likes to wake early in the morning, and when he doesn’t get his way the whole world knows. I mean, nothing like me (ha!)
Simultaneously, I’ve tried to ultra-force a connection. I shamed myself, and instead of just letting the dude and I figure our own way, I tried to control a way. Relationships don’t work like that. The forced ones in my life have become the failed ones.
I’ve wondered since almost the day we got him, “Does this have anything to do with adoption?” Little-by-little, I began asking my best and very good friends (those with at least two children). Each time I ask the question, my hands sweat a little.
What will they think of me that I’m even asking this question?
Each and every single one has said, “No, it has absolutely nothing to do with adoption. What you are experiencing and feeling is not only normal, but also human.” To follow it up, they all had their own stories. In fact, sharing those stories with me, for many (as they told me), felt very therapeutic — thoughts and feelings they had stuffed away for years. And if you’ve ever read The Lucky Few, Heather has a similar story (btw, the book is awesome and all three of their children are adopted).
Someday, when my book, A Thyme for Milk and Honey comes out, I’ll share the full story.
I share the dude today for these three reasons:
1. If you found yourself in my story, you’re not alone.
2. Showing and giving love to our children, unconditionally, doesn’t always coincide with our strongest personal life connection.
3. When we let each relationship with our children evolve as they should (vs. forcing them), the long-term outcome is far stronger.
I walked in the door last night, late, after being gone since Tuesday. All three children clung to me. No one wanted to let go. Samarah and Amiya cried — ha, go figure.
And the dude? Well he, too, hugged me. He then told me about Chunky Chunk (I’m still dying laughing inside). Before bed, I tucked him in (with his baby and Samarah’s unicorn headband), read Peppa and George Go to the Dentist and gave him a big hug.