Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year's Resolution

My New Year's Resolution is to spend a little more time on myself. That includes: getting up earlier and exercising, reading books for pleasure (not for school), eating healthier, and finishing our adoption story on this blog.

This morning I was forced to choose between exercising and this blog. What a difficult decision to make! Not! For those of you that know me well, I am not one of those people that finds peace through a good workout. Actually, quite the opposite happens...I start a laundry list of all the things I should be doing instead. Eventually the list gets too long and I have to stop exercising and start tackling things on my list. A little obsessive? Absolutely.

Well, our story left off with our birthmother changing her mind and wanting to create an adoption plan. (I say it like that because it is positive adoption language that everyone should know. Don't worry, there will be a ranting post about that someday soon.)

This was an extremely difficult adjustment for birthfather's family. Like many birthfamilies, they have a fear of letting "one of their own" out in the world to be raised by strangers never to see them again. Well, this is not the way my husband and I view adoption. I was able to connect with birthfather's family and explain to them that adoption, for us, doesn't mean that they have to say goodbye. It means that there will be a huge family to love these girls with all of our hearts.We want our girls to know and have a relationship with each and every one of their family members on all sides (adoptive and birthfamilies).

In adoption, every side must mourn their losses. My husband and I had to mourn the loss of the experiences we wouldn't have because we chose adoption -- like pregnancy and delivery. Birthfamilies have losses too. I needed to understand that while I was excited for our family to expand, they were sad that they wouldn't be able to see their family as often as they like. 

A lot of trust has to go into the relationship between birthfamilies and adoptive families. This was something that we all had to work very hard at and we didn't have a lot of time to do it. We spent a lot of time emailing and texting one another to build that relationship.

I was able to announce to my coworkers and students that we would be expanding our family again. This was a great lesson for my classroom because most families don't have an opportunity to talk about adoption with their children. So, like all things, I treated it as a learning experience. We had a long Q&A about adoption and they had some very good questions. I read the book, The Mulberry Bird, which explains a birthmother's love for her child which leads her to choose a different family to raise him.

And the big answer to the question in my last post...Yes, you can take maternity leave two times in one school year! As long as it doesn't exceed 12 weeks! I was ready to roll for May 19th!

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