flesh and blood

First things first: we’re in the final days of J’s first trimester with Dragon, and that little one is doing great. Her heart rate this morning? 170s, thank you very much. This is such good good news. Grow, you fierce little creature. I lack the words to say how badly I want to know you.

But in an unexpected and somewhat agonizing (at least for me) turn of events, we’ve been contacted twice this week about potential placements: once when a birth mother wanted to meet us the day after her son was born, and today, by our foster care agent, regarding four-year-old twins who may need permanent placement soon.

In the hour after we were contacted the first time – about the new new newborn – we decided to let his birth mother know that we were expecting, and that we were probably going to leave Michigan next year, but that if she still felt like we were the right couple, we would absolutely meet her. She didn’t. I wouldn’t have either in her shoes. She moved on to her second choice. And I feel just sure that that little one is right where he should be right now, and so so loved. I wish it could have been us, but I understand why that wasn’t right.

The twins, I’m not sure what will happen with them. I just wrote back moments ago saying the opposite of what my heart wanted to say: that we don’t want more information on them. Largely this is because we live in a shoebox and couldn’t fit four kids without tripping over one another. We aren’t entirely against the idea of placement during this pregnancy, but it would have to be a single child. So I let our social worker know that we’re expecting and asked if that takes us out of the running from here on out. We’ll see what she says. We will just have to wait and see.

In a perfect world, I would bring all of these babies home and love them up and they would simply be ours. I know that that’s hard for some people to understand. My wife makes it clear that we are judged – I am judged – for feeling this way. This confuses me, perhaps in the way that my openness confuses others. But I can’t think on it too long because it isn’t about me. I’m not wrong to want a loud, crazy house full of kids any more than someone is wrong for wanting the opposite of that. I’m not wrong to feel called to adoption. I feel it in my blood. I feel like I’m meant for that. So we’re all just walking our paths.

The painful thing right now is that we do have a baby on the way, but that baby feels… further from me than I would like. This isn’t my pregnancy. Not my body. Though my jealousy is so much better this time around, the fact remains that during this time, I am secondary. I just am. I’d forgotten how that stings because: I am not secondary to Bram. To Bram, I am everything that mama means. But that’s coming up on two years in. Right now, I’m secondary to this little Dragon, and I wouldn’t be to those other children, or not secondary inside my family structure. Not less than my co-parent.

J and I would step foot into parenting those children on equal grounds, and that would be so so lovely.

This is, perhaps, made worse by the struggles J has been having lately. There must be something about late-summer (something hormonal? an allergen?) that’s hard for her because the last two Augusts have found her fighting more depression than usual, and a good bit angrier. I know that we will work through this. She will come back to herself, as she always does. She learned some terribly painful coping mechanisms early on, and she fights like nobody’s business to unlearn them year after year. And she makes progress. She grows. I grow. We grow. I am amazed by her. But in the immediacy, when anger is big and intimacy is small, it’s hard to feel like I can access that little one growing inside of my wife. Hard to feel like s/he is mine, is equally of me. I have (in Bram) evidence that this feeling will disappear, but right now? Right now, it’s hurting me. It’s making walking away from these other children – these flesh and blood beings who need parents and for whom I would always already be just as important – really hard.

Does that make any sense?

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8 thoughts on “flesh and blood

  1. Yes. And for what it’s worth, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to have kids upon kids upon kids from anywhere and everywhere. I think that just speaks to the space in your heart and, one day, maybe your home. You and J are very brave and strong for turning down those placements–those almost-sure bets for more babies. But I think that more children will find their way to you, it’s just going to be an interesting journey for everyone involved. August turns me awful, too. Something about needing a fresh start and a new school year. And sneezing all the time.

  2. Yes, I am so sorry for your struggles, but ya know you are the best mom I have ever known, I learn so much from you. Love you sweet girl

  3. Yes, it makes sense. And even if it didn’t make sense to other people, it’s your truth.

    And try not to feel like you are secondary to Dragon right now because everything you do for J and B is also for her. You are all connected.

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