Juggling as fast as I can

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A day in a life, my life as a stay at home mom is not sitting home watching TV or reading a book or even sitting and eating.  A day in my life can have me everywhere doing everything all at once.

Currently, I am the Girl Scout leader for each of my daughter’s troops, yep that’s 2 troops.  I have taken on the role for our Elementary school as the Girl Scout coordinator because no one else had.  I am a board member now of our Girl Scout Service Unit.  I am a board member for our school’s foundation.  I am the chair for our school’s largest fundraiser, the Auction Gala that is fast approaching in early March.

Girl Scouts is currently at the start of everyone’s favorite time of the year, cookie sales!  Luckily I have mom’s willing to take on pieces of the cookie manager role in each of the troops so the burden isn’t fully mine alone!

There are 24 of us volunteers helping to make our school’s Auction Gala be the best it can be.  I am in the trenches alongside each of them helping to get donations, looking at ways to tweak this event in its 11th year, organizing, delegating, sharing ideas, coordinating meetings and keeping all of us in good spirits as we work our buts off!

And in the midst of this, our youngest has shared with me that she is struggling some about what family she belongs in.  This is something we expected at some point to come up in her thinking and for us to talk about.  I just never thought she’d only be 6!

Both our girls have only known the way our family is, formed by adoption with ongoing family relationships with their birth families.  Most especially our relationships have been strongest with each of their birth mothers and their extended families.  So not a surprise to hear my little talk to me about adoption and our family as it’s our everyday life, just didn’t expect this kind of struggle that she is experiencing internally.

She knows and has always known that she did not come from my tummy where babies are before they are born.  She has known always that it was in the tummy of S that she grew and was loved from the start.  She knows that S chose us to be her parents and for her sister to be her sister.  We see S and it was right after a recent time together that my little shared what she was thinking.  I felt my heart tear into little pieces.  We let her share what she was feeling and tried our best to answer her.

Even with what we could answer, my husband and I think that a non-family member (therapist) versed in adoption and one who works with young children would be a better place for her to find herself and her answers.  With that said I got a referral from an adoption therapist with whom my husband and I have seen and drop in to see from time to time even still.

All my juggling fell aside I thought about what she must feel like but not knowing what she must feel like.  I wonder too if our older daughter has had similar thoughts but not shared them?  I needed to take the time to seek out a professional that I think will be a good fit.  Today I spoke with the one referred to us and I believe she will be a good fit but even still it must be a good fit for my daughter.  I liked her but it is my little who must find the comfort with her to talk and share her feelings.

So as I pick back up the balls and things I juggle in place, I will add this part to help my daughter and maybe both in time.

I am forever thankful to the community we built during our journey to parenthood through adoption.  It is this community I can turn to in times of need and they are there!

Do you have a community to lean on?

a look back at pictures

Our girls LOVE to hear about things they did as babies and toddlers!  They laugh and giggle when they hear about something they said and did back then. All of their 8 and 6 years have been captured with digital cameras.

Their first year and our story of how we became a family is in a book for each them to read and look at time and time again.

girls story books

Last night both girls got their books out.  We sat around and looked through them together.  Each book starts off the same with a bit about me and my husband and our life together and why we wanted to be a Mommy & Daddy.

The books go on to illustrate each of our meetings in the beginning of our family’s story with their birth mothers while they were not yet born.  We have pictures of each woman pregnant with them.

The books go on in pictures with captions to follow their first year including the day we went to family court and legally became a family.  At the time I made these books I also made copies for their birth mothers to have as well.

Our girls keep these in their room and from time to time I will find it in their bed as they’ve looked through it on their own time.  And like last night we will all sit together and talk about our family and laugh at their babyisms!

Pictures really tell us a story, and put together in these books it tells their stories.

in her little girl voice she asked

“Where do I belong?”

It was not too long after my birthday and the fun surprise visit from our little’s birth mom.  She seemed suddenly unable to know who or where she belonged in our family.

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My heart knows where she belongs with ALL of us as we are all family.  I spoke with her trying to get her to explain how she was feeling.  Trying to answer her questions and emotions.  Letting her ask and speak before reassuring her that we are all family.  That we all love each other and explaining how our family came to be.  How S chose us to be her parents. How we love S and we love her. How she can love S like we do and does not need to choose who to love.

But I’ve come to realize that it’s not just me she needs to talk about this. My husband and I have reached out to our community in search of a child therapist to give our daughter a safe place to speak all her feelings and emotions.  We never want her to feel divided or unsure where she belongs and so it is with that belief that we will find her someone to talk to.

I hurt for my little girl.  I cannot imagine what she feels in this situation we can only find ways to be there for her and allow her the space and place to work this out.

the last few days

a lot has happened in our family over the last few days/week.  Our beloved Cody Bear passed.  He was nearly 14 years old.  Our girls are sad as we are too. They did find a shiny penny over the weekend and are sure it’s from our Cody up there running around over the rainbow bridge with our Molly.

My oldest daughter’s 3rd grade teacher shared that she too is an adoptee. This turned into a wonderful discussion learning about her life, her reunion with birth family and how an adult adoptee feels.  I love that she shared this knowing our two girls were adopted as well.  My daughter was there in the room during this conversation at the end of the school day.  It was one that I followed up with her in our car as she, her sister and I headed home.  How did they feel knowing a beloved teacher was like them, adopted at birth?  Hearing her life and love for the family that raised her and the relationships she now has later in her life with her birth family.  Without over prodding my girls, I wanted to see what they understood, heard and thought about learning this information about an adult they know. I think we will need a few more days or weeks to process.

Adoption seems to be the “it” subject of our week.  Yesterday we learned a classmate of my older daughter’s was adopted as well.  She from China.  I again followed up the conversation with my daughters in the car on the way home from school.  Wasn’t it interesting to learn a classmate came to her family in a similar way?  This girl’s mom recently became a friend of mine on facebook and had read my posted links of this blog learning about our family’s story.  I don’t want to overdue the conversation with my girls, but how great is it to learn more about the people in our lives through school that have similar family stories!

Adoption is a part of our lives and it is our family story.  It’s something that comes up in conversation within our family often, sometimes just our two girls talking with each other about their families and our family.  Sometimes it’s their planning out their future lives.  They’ve shared with me they too want to adopt a baby into their lives when they are older.  I think is wonderful and shows me how normal our family lives are that they want to have a family in a similar way.

Time and again I realize you never know when or who you will meet that will have a similar story and share it with you.  I appreciate the honesty of people sharing their stories with us. It give us more to talk about and appreciate the life we have and for our girls to have others in their lives with families just like ours.