Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Wishes and Prayers
It was too brief. Peanut was brought into my life and it was wonderful... but it was too brief.

I'll never forget the first moment he walked off the plane. I whispered to my sister "There he is. There's my son." I knew right away we were meant to be together. During the five weeks he stayed with me we both experienced so much about life, bonding, and love. After a day or so of getting used to each other, he and I were a team.

Those of you who have adopted before will understand when I say that bonding is a process -- and it's a beautiful thing to experience. After his first full day here I told him I loved him even though I knew I should wait until he was more comfortable. After a moment of surprise he just smiled shyly. He wasn't used to hearing that and he liked it. Within a week or so he was saying "loublue tebya" back and by week 3 he really meant it.

Near the end of his stay he was attached and happy, but I recall a momentous occasion when I realized that -- above and beyond happy -- he was content. He always prefered my full attention and, unless otherwise necessary, I was happy to give it. But one day he grabbed his toy cars and some action figures and went on the back patio to play. Within a few minutes I looked outside with the intention of joining him. But I realized he was comfortable and secure enough to play without me.

So that is how I'm choosing to picture him now. In his new home I have heard that he is happy. I still wish I could write to him and I will continue to try. But for now, I have to have faith that I helped him develop security and trust so that he can be content and happy in his new life without me.

With the knowledge that he is OK and with someone who cares for him, I have to let my sweet boy go. I'll trust in God and his new mother to raise him with confidence, foster his intelligence and passion, encourage his generosity and humor, and never let his fighting spirit wither.

Peanut Pants is his story. (I don't know anyone else who arrived in America with purple warm-up pants chock full of airplane peanuts.) As much as it pains me, his story is no longer mine to tell. As for me, I'm moving on. I'm a firm believer that when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window. So please join me on my search for The Open Window.

To my dear boy, I'm so sorry that I was never able to say goodbye. While I'm sad that we won't be family I am happy for your new chance in life. My wish for you is that you'll always remember to look for the good in life and in others. Love with your whole heart -- the way you loved me. Trust in yourself, your strength, and your instincts. Hang on to the people who love you because they will help you reach your full potential. You have the whole world in front you. With faith, prayer, ambition, and love you can go anywhere and do anything. I'm so proud of you and I love you with everything that I am.

To all of you who have followed Peanut Pants, thank you for your prayers and support. In closing, please comment and leave a wish and a prayer for Peanut.

Monday, May 08, 2006
With a Soft Click...
...the door closes.

I spoke to my agency coordinator today. She says she already told me this, but somehow I didn't hear it. Peanut's new mom has pre-signed patr*nat contracts up to his 18th birthday.

The door is firmly closed.

Of course it hurts, but it's also reassuring to know that she is in this for the long haul.

As for now, I have a lot to sort through emotionally, financially, and logically. I just need to take some quiet time to figure it all out. It's like stepping into the shallows of a clear lake -- the sand is all stirred up and everything is murky right now so I can't really see where I'm standing. But I know if I just stay still for a while everything will clear up.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
I've been trying to handle this with grace. I've been fighting to maintain faith and optimism. Today I just don't have what it takes to be that person. Today I'm pissed off.

I met my Kidsave friends for lunch today and it was great to see them. (I actually found out that one friend started her own blog. Check her out!) Now I'm home and I'm emotionally exhausted. I love my Kidsave family. We're all so different, yet we've formed a cohesive group of friends. It's an unexpected perk of hosting. But hearing about the families that are going to bring their kids home was hard. I'm happy for them, but I want to go too! (OK Margaret, let's face the ugly truth.) I'm jealous.

I am so angry at everything that went wrong. I'm angry that my agency continued with this hosting program when they weren't accredited. I'm angry that we were advised not to do paperwork when the kids were here. I'm furious that we were told to stop calling the kids in November. And I'm just enraged that my boy -- a child that could have had a happy home here with me -- was placed into a patr*nat family when there are literally tens of thousands of other children that could have been selected. And the worst part? I don't really have anyone to be angry at.

Last summer Peanut attended a day camp and he made friends with some boys his age. But, since he's just a little thing, they were way bigger than him. After a while I think the novelty of a Russian friend wore off and they started being mean to him (or at least that is what he thought). So what did he do? He punched a little kid. He was angry at the big kids but couldn't take them so he knocked out a little kid. Good behavior? Heck no! It's what got him expelled from day camp. But I would love to take a page out of my kid's book. I would love to just take my anger out on someone.

I want my son home with me. It's as simple as that.

Letting go of someone you love isn't a decision. It doesn't happen in one fell swoop. It's a process and it comes in fits and starts. I'm so tired of the emotional work required in letting go of my child. Especially considering I don't want to let him go at all.

So how's that for grace?
Friday, May 05, 2006
New Hope
A while back I posted about hope. The first quote came from an Emily Dickinson poem -- one of my all time favorites. It inspired me then, but it resonates even more strongly with me now.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tunes without the words,
And never stops at all.
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Last week when I first learned that I wouldn't be able to adopt Peanut, any element of hope was knocked flat to the ground. The storm was sore enough to abash the little bird. But flickers of hope are coming back. I'm beginning to envision a life without my boy, a life with another unknown child. And I have to say that Emily nailed it. During a gale, hope's song is sweeter than ever.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Fear and Loathing in Adoption
I've started the process of moving on. Each time I make some ground in letting go of my sweet boy, each time I take a leap of faith in learning to trust that he's OK I start to panic a little.

I'm not one to wait. If there's something to be done, I take action. And I'm figuring out what my next step is going to be, and I'm comfortable with my decisions so far. But there's a part of me that feels disloyal to my boy. I logically know that moving on to another adoption and another child isn't replacing Peanut. There's room in my heart to love him and another child. But still...