Feeling Blue? What did you do?

Having been through six adoptions, of seven kids, I’m no stranger to the big let down that comes with finally getting the child into our home.  It seems counterintuitive that you would have depression after working for months (sometimes YEARS) to get your child home.  Well, it happens.  It is definitely a pattern for me.  With all the kids we brought home as babies, it didn’t hit me nearly as hard as it did with our older kids.  The therapist tells me that it’s because I’m still coming to grips with all the lies we were told about our Ghanaian kid’s past.  I suppose it is depressing to have to be slapped in the face over and over with the loss of what you thought you knew.  We pictured life one way for us, and for them, and it isn’t going to be that way.  It’s a loss, I’m grieving, or so I’m told.

I’m not the only one to go through this.  I have a lovely support network of parents whose kids came from the same place mine did.  It’s nice to hear how they’re working through it, what they’re kids are doing for therapy and what their therapists say.  We’re therapists for each other sometimes as well.  It’s important that I make sure that FPD and I get what we need as well.  It’s easy to get lost in the Occupational Therapy, Behavioral Therapy and Psychotherapy that Bubbly is going through to heal her little heart.

So, for all you adoptive moms and dads out there, make sure you’re taking time for you.  FPD and I went to therapy together when we found out what really happened to Bubbly.  We went again when we found out what Giggles had been through.  We sent all three of the kids from Ghana together for awhile.  Now the school therapist is handling most of those needs.  They’re doing well.  I think they’re going to make it.  Some days are better than others, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  When I saw that light, it was time to deal with what was going on with FPD and I.  For maybe the second time in nearly a year of having the Duo at home, we actually went out!  Not like we got a babysitter so that we could take one of the kids somewhere, we actually went out!  On the town!  At night!  I know!  Can you believe it?  It felt nice.  We joked, and laughed and ate some really good food.  It felt like us again.  I love that man.

FPD has always been a runner, biker, triathlete (and apparently, an igloo camping fool, remind me to tell you how that went, what an adventure!).  I run, but I’m kind of half-a**ed about it.  I’ll do it for awhile, but then the kids will get in the way and I don’t do it anymore.  Sad.  About two months ago, I got serious about it.  I have been running a 5K every other day since the new year.  It feels good.  I feel stronger.  I feel healthier.  I feel more like me.  I’ve also really been watching what I eat.  I’ve begun counting my calories, not to lose weight, but just to make better choices.  The kids are getting in on it too.  GigantoBaby was pouring himself a cup of water the other day.  I told him he could have one more cup, because it was before bed (and we all know what happens to little boys who have too many glasses of water before bed).  He looked at me as he drank his second glass and said “why can’t I have more water?  Are two glasses of water a serving?”  GigantoBaby has obesity in his family history.  We don’t deny him food, but just like me, he’s learning to make better choices and eat only 1-2 servings at a time.

I’ve lost seven pounds since October.  It didn’t need to come off.  I weigh a normal amount (well, except when I came home from Ghana as a size zero, that wasn’t healthy).  Now I just feel better.  This worked for me.  It doesn’t work for everyone.  Some moms, and dads, need medication for awhile to balance out the frenzy of emotions that comes with adopting.  I felt like I should feel happy when the Duo came home.  I should have felt grateful.  They made it here!  Others didn’t.  Others are still waiting.  I was grateful, but I was also sad, lonely, disgusted and angry by the things that had happened to not only my kids, but to their friends.  Adoption is loss on so many levels.  I needed to grieve that loss a little too.

If anyone else has any insight on what they did to make themselves feel better about loss in their life, or in their child’s life, feel free to comment.  I would LOVE it!  As always, I moderate the comments just because I don’t like negativity.  Constructive criticism and joking is fine.  After all, I let the kids in Ghana call me “shrunken white chicken”.  I do have some sense of humor left.  

–FullPlateMom,
 who is off and running.  

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