Piatra Neamt in July

“Mommy, while you cook I’ll go with Daddy to catch some frogs!”

Music to my ears. I encourage her to go with Daddy to walk Rufus while I prepare dinner. I do it for the uninterrupted minutes of silence. My bubble has been irreversibly invaded, and any time alone I get, I savor.

She calls for me when she is distressed. She calls for me when she wants to show me something. She calls me when she needs to pee. When she hurts, when she plays.

On the other hand, I asked her the other day “who scolds (corrects) her the most”, and named a few people, and among them I said Mommy. She looks at me in disbelief that I even have to ask: “you do!” and then continued to play. I took a step back to gain perspective and watched my tendencies, words and actions. To avoid misunderstanding, my tone is indeed sharp and clear. I also take time to explain to her why she can’t do one thing or another, or what Daddy said. And on top of my corrections, I am always part of Daddy’s corrections (as a backup clarifier). So I am starting to wonder if she is piling Daddy’s “no’s” on top of mine.

Going forward, if I don’t feel strongly about something, I let it slide. As an experiment. Fairness, directness, dealing with things as we go is so much part of my being…

As we were driving back from Piatra Neamt, with our puppy and our daughter, my mom came with us home, and Tata stayed a little longer. Time flew by as I caught up chatting with my mom. She filters a lot of the curiosities that would maybe otherwise reach me. I am glad to have her as my quarterback.

When I leave my familiar surroundings, I am caught off guard by people’s unquenchable curiosity about Jaclyn’s story. If the conversation leads naturally to her adoption, I am happy to tell people we adopted her, and how encouraged I am by the system and the progress of the adoption process. I am happy to share our journey with any and all genuinely interested in maybe adopting as well. But not all conversations are the same.

I often sense a change in the air. Sometimes people get very silent, distant almost, and I can’t help but wonder what they judge. Other times people ask too many personal questions, and I get overwhelmed. Especially when Jackie is present. She listens and understands more than the adults think. “Do you know who her mother is? What were the circumstances of J’s abandonment? How were the foster parents? Did they treat her well? Does she have any illnesses? etc.” Though I have nothing to hide, I don’t feel comfortable answering any of these.

She is like a poster child. I think she is wonderful, and perfectly challenging, like any almost four year old child should be. Our process was smooth and apparently too fast to be believed, though there were times when people would insensitively ask “are you still/ever going to adopt?” (or did you change your mind?).

Soon we’ll celebrate a year of parenting. And I feel we’ve earned our new gray hairs fair and square.