Adoption= Insanity? (Chapter 1: Only Try This if You’re Crazy)

Ever notice the words “adoption” and “insanity” have the same number of letters?

Coincidence? I think not.

It’s been almost three years since the Wednesday they arrived, dropped off by another foster parent. At the time, we didn’t know that a Social Worker was supposed to be present to “facilitate” the situation. The kids had no idea what was happening. Neither did we. Married ten years, with approximately 20 years of “kid experience” between us, we thought we could handle it. The kiddos, then 5 and newly-turned-7, had met us and seemed to like us. Surely, this would be a breeze. They were so teeny and adorable..like baby jackals.

Surely you’ve heard the phrase, “Wednesday’s child is full of woe.”  That Wednesday evening foreshadowed the next two years of our lives with fair accuracy. We took them to a church spaghetti dinner. During the course of the meal, they ate pasta and sauce with their hands  (unwilling to use apparently foreign utensils), spilled six (count ’em, six) cups of pink lemonade – including a huge trip-fall-splatter that involved about a third of the floor space, and the five year old ate a napkin. Ate a napkin.

Well, ate might be exaggeration. He stuffed the napkin in his mouth, and despite (or because of) our exhortations of “Oh, honey, don’t…don’t do that.” “No, that’s not food. Take it out.” “Spit that out right now.” “SPIT. IT. OUT.” he continued to chew the paper with a “make me” glint in his sweet blue eyes. Finally, Hubby said, “Fine. Swallow it. It’ll probably stop you up and you won’t poop for a week.” The game was no longer fun. He swiftly deposited the mass of wet fibers onto the floor.

We arrived home past bedtime, exhausted, but bathing could not be skipped, as the kids were literally covered in sauce. Imagine all the cute photos of your friends’ infants eating pasta for the first time. Super cute, that tomato-basted babe. Fast forward five or seven years. No longer super cute.

We wanted to get them into bed quickly, so I started the shower, made sure it was warm, then helped the 7 year old remove her saucy outfit and step into the tub. She gave me a little smile. Then…she collapsed, screaming, on the floor of the tub. In my panic to find the problem, I left the shower running. “Are you hurt? Did you slip? Are you okay? What’s wrong?” She continued to scream. Hubby, who had been entertaining the five year old, opened the door slightly. “What in the world is happening in there? What did you do?” More screaming. What did I do? Clearly, I lost my mind and brought an insanely scary spirit-possessed child into the house.

Finally, as the decibels reached somewhere between ear-piercing and drum-bleeding, I regained my conscious mind and turned off the shower. Screaming stopped, immediately. No explanation. “Are you okay?” Nod. “Are you hurt?” Shake. “Did the shower scare you?” Another negative shake. “You have to get clean; will you take a bath?” Nod. The child then washed the remnants of dinner from her hair, calmly and apparently in her right mind.

We didn’t attempt another shower for the next year. Then, the younger one spontaneously decided he’d rather shower. Not to be outdone by her little brother, our girl braved the shower the next night, with no complications. Oh, how I love sibling rivalry.

Approximately six hundred showers later, she said casually. “Hey, remember that time I was screaming like a crazy person in the shower, on our first night here?”  “Oh…um, I think I remember.” Yes, I remember. My eardrums spontaneously tremor at the thought. “Yeah, Mama…I was just freaked out about being in a new house. Sorry about that.” Freaked out, indeed. “Oh, sweetie, don’t even worry about it. That was a long time ago. I barely even remember it.”  Liar, liar, pants on fire…

My mom says she doesn’t remember the hours of childbirth because the joy of seeing the baby’s face “erased the memory.” If you’re lucky, birth happens in hours (or if you’re unlucky, days).  Adoption, especially with behaviorally challenged kiddos, is a little different. Labor pains happen every day for years.

And believe me, I remember every single minute.

Good thing we like a little insanity around here.

About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'll give it to you straight. Success, failure, truth.

Posted on August 8, 2014, in Adoption, Parent and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I have a friend who adopted three children and when we were talking about our experiences, she shared that she thinks all people who choose to adopt are a little nuts already, and then it gets worse after adopting. 😉

    I like what you say about this blog: “Adoption = my life. I’ll give it to you straight. Success, failure, truth.”

    I, too, am sharing my success, failure and truth on my blog. I am blogging my story from start to finish and hoping to get it published. Hope you’ll pop by and check it out. http://www.lynnsollitto.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although I have a certain opinion about people that blog and happen to be mothers at the same time I must admit that focusing on adoption and approaching the topic in such an interesting way is always good. Every person who can’t or won’t have his/her own children should consider adopting. Every parent that would like to add another child to his/her family should consider adopting as an option too. There are many children that are born and then raised without a family and we should take care of them. I have very little knowledge on the subject so I probably can’t contribute.
    I think you should focus on the good times though that come with adopting a kid. Pointing out the problems one faces when adopting is the easy part. You should encourage people.
    P.S. : 1.)The titles of your posts are way too long. You should avoid using more than 15 words.
    2.)You can do an extended description of your post in the first paragraph using around 70 words.
    3.)You could end you post with a question to induce readers to leave a comment.
    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I just started (as you can see), so any advice is great, and I appreciate yours. I am thrilled with your passion for adoption. I actually started the blog to help others in similar situations…you wouldn’t believe how lonely adoptive parenting can be (unless, of course, you’ve done it too). Whether you have or not, THANK YOU for your support of adoption!

      I’m still trying to figure out the best format and how to handle title phrasing. I was just listing the title (two words) but another blogger noted that the format didn’t entice people to read further. If you have any additional “things you can do better,” I’m happy to hear them!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Five Years Ago Today | Hypervigilant.org

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