Monday, October 22, 2012


*Warning* It's about to get gross.

For those of you who have had cats, you will know what I'm talking about. You know that smell when the litterbox has gone too long without being cleaned? You know that tangy smell after the cat has urinated in the wrong area and you think you can still smell it? You know how most people gag at the smell of fresh & large excrement?

This is our life now.

No, we don't have a cat. We have a child who continues to meet our acknowledgement of "special needs." We have a child who unofficially has encopresis.  Let's get real about this. He poops in his pants every day. Every. DAY. Sometimes even more than once a day. We have that smell in our nose constantly, thinking we smell it everywhere - in the bed, in the car. It makes cozying up next to him a chore. I have had a nauseous feeling & headache for two days - because I can't escape it.  We divvy up the job - who is going to wipe his dried crusty butt when he gets home each afternoon, peeling away the excess; and who is going to peel the excess out of his underwear and scrub the chunks out so they can be washed. If we threw them away, we'd have to buy 2 new underwear packages a week.

He had an x-ray to see if there was severe constipation or an impaction - it was clear. So we've been referred to a pediatric specialist in Ann Arbor to determine if it's something physical or psychological. So another doctor. Even he is starting to complain about it. Meanwhile, you can find us armed with an old potato scrubber & flushable moist wipes.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

An adoption right NOW

A coworker is finally adopting an infant. They have waited for SO long, years in fact. I am so happy for her & her husband. News came in today that the birthmother has gone into labor & delivery will have to be by C-section... and then I had a rush of thoughts & feelings that I wish I could have said to my coworker. So here's what I would have liked to say:

Remember that the happiest day of your life is the worst day of your baby's. Think of the triad - what are the birthparents going through, what is the baby going through? Be sensitive. The birthmother is going through trauma and will have nothing to show for it but a good decision. The baby, while going to a loving home, is losing its familiar world. Babies are made to be with their mothers. Be sensitive.

Write everything down. You will not remember all the details of this amazing day, and your baby will want to know every. single. detail.  Sounds, smells, colors, people. It is so important to document your baby's first moments. Who held the baby, how long, in what order, what did each person say or do or whisper... it all creates "page one" of your baby's story. Many adoptees start at Chapter 2. Don't let that happen to your baby.

Attach with that baby. Meet its every need. Its psyche is experiencing loss - soothe it. Baby knows you are not the original mother... soothe it with your actions. Mother is more important than Dad right now. Put in lots of hard work.

Continue to keep the birthparents in mind & prayer. While they made this wonderful choice, they are going through loss too. Remember that in their hearts, love helped make this decision. You will not be its only parents, but you will be its best parents.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The "normal" boy

Charlie had his first true playdate today. He met a friend from daycare at McDonald's, where the mom and I chatted and the boys ran around crazy in the play area, taking occasional breaks for their vanilla shakes. They played for an hour and a half. I say this in amazement and with a little bit of awe. Yet another example of what we didn't know with Roman, & how easy "normal" kids are.

I was waiting for the moment - when Charlie would bust in rudely, say he was tired, bored, or didn't want to play with his friend anymore. It didn't happen. I was waiting for the faux injury to occur, so Charlie could cry and beg to go home. It didn't happen.  We went, we played, we went home with a minimal amount of whining for a McDonald's toy.  I don't think I can describe to you gentle readers what it's like with Roman, except to say, constantly exasperating.  Roman has never played for 1.5 hours without needing me to intervene. He is always bored within 15-20 minutes of playing something with a friend and wants to change what they are doing. Worse yet, he's gotten to the point where he doesn't want to go to other kids' houses because he gets bored with their toys.

It was just so nice, to sit at McD's, chat with the mom, and not get interrupted. For the boys to enjoy themselves and actually play. To have a child that is not so needy all the time.