Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Second Wait

I hate to admit it, but this wait for Critter #2 is currently ridiculously easy for me. I feel guilty saying that. Guilty about how Critter #2 would feel about that, and guilty about how hard it is for other waiting families. I know how hard it gets. The ache of waiting for T has softened in my mind, but I absolutely remember. I could make believe that our adoption of T has made me wise in knowing that Critter #2 will join our family when the time comes, and that worry and want in the meantime will do nothing but add unhelpful stress to our lives. But honestly, I think I'm not letting myself even acknowledge that we're actually waiting for a referral right now because the wait is so long that it would be excruciating to carry the level of angst we had last time for so many more months. Our time line to bring T home was fast and yet felt glacial. We expect to wait at least twice as long this time around. People ask me how the process is going for #2 and I'm honestly a bit surprised, like I've forgotten all about that little old dossier we threw together one weekend* for kicks. So here I am, (pretending not to be) waiting.

-Robin

*heavy sarcasm alert for friends outside the adoption world. "one weekend" = months of paperwork, notaries, appointments, photographs, phonecalls, letters, emails, applications, checklists, and evil courier services.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Growing quickly

I don't need to tell you what everyone already knows...kids grow quickly. I've heard this from enough people in my life that my goal every day is to not take T's age for granted.

T's many advancements are tough to catalog, but I'll try. He's getting more articulate, he's an expert on his like-a-bike, he's pretty good around other kids, he still likes to steal and eat people's noses, he doesn't forget anything, he eats most food we serve him, he's graduated from a sippy cup (at the table, anyway), he can identify pics and music from Thailand, he knows he's from Thailand and now lives in Wisconsin, he picks up his toys when asked (most of the time), he loves books, he loves watching birds, he does role call everyday of all the people he knows, and I'm sure I could come up with a lot more if I spent the time thinking about it.
 

T's is a happy kid...and for that we are grateful.  He's also a 2-year-old, which means he's a 2-year-old.  If you ask him to not touch something, he will hold a finger 1 cm away from the forbidden object and stare at you waiting for a reaction.  Typical attempts to test who's in control, I suspect.

 

We talk to T everyday about Thailand, what it was like there...his story...and what it will be like to go back to meet a new little brother or sister.  I'm sure he's gotten a grasp on that last one yet.

People ask us about the second adoption, and there's not much to say.  We're waiting....and expect to wait a lot longer.  But we're ready if the call comes.  We love reading about and meeting other families preparing to travel.  It's so exciting.

We have a date to visit the Thai Consulate in Chicago.  We're excited about spending the day in the city.

So, how's your summer?

-Kyle

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fathers

I've got a year of fathering under my belt, and I have a few observations to share.  I meant to post this around Father's Day, but you know how life gets sometimes.

Here we go:

--Fathering can be easy, but it shouldn't be.  Like most things in life, experiences with the most value come with a lot of hard work.  It means stepping away from what you want to be doing, to do what's best for your child.  Often, the challenge isn't contending with the extra responsibilities...after all, it can be a lot of fun.  The real burden is giving up a part of your own life for your child's sake.  What you will learn is that spending time with your child is good for more than just your child.

--Most fathers I know are engaged with their children's lives.  Some not as much.  While this is distressing, I can see why it happens.  As I said above, fathers can often get off easy, if they want to.  I suppose many men see the benefits of  spending time with their kids as less tangible than other ways to spend time.  Many men, myself included, tend to work in easy equations...2+2=4.  With kids, the benefits of spending time with them are emotional, dynamic and long term....extremely difficult math.

--Being a father gives me a new appreciation for my own father.  I suppose I knew that was coming....life always works that way.

--I'm sad birth fathers, in many cases, don't hold the same place in the life of adopted children as their mothers do.  Certainly there is little to be done about this, but I mourn the reality none-the-less.

I'm not trying to get down on dads.  There are a lot of great ones out there...LOTS.  I don't pretend to be one of them.  Most days it's easier to find my faults than my successes.

I just want to make sure all dads are at least trying.  If you're not, you don't know what you're missing.

-Kyle