Thursday, September 30, 2010

from Arghhhh!!! to Ahhhhhhhhhhh...

I didn't miss a beat during our wait for Niko; blogging each and any anniversary imaginable. The reminders on my Outlook calendar were ridiculous in number. Oh, how things have changed, gone pear-shaped, headed south...however you put it, I've become a hot mess of exhaustion since returning home seven weeks and one day ago. Wow, has it really been that long?

How sad is it that my first red flag was that of a new reminder on my calendar that I go back to work soon. WHAT? But I just got home!!! Nope. Voice in head says: Lady, you've been home seven weeks and one day and not one mention of one detail on that blog (that at one time) tied you to all the others. Nooooo! I've become the person who comes home and stops blogging. Say it ain't so.

A few anniversaries and milestones I've neglected to mention include: The Flight Home, Home One Week, Has it Really Been a Month?, The First Dr. Appt, The First (non-adoption related) Dr. Appt, Did He Just Say Ma-Ma??? and so on. You get it. So, before this post turns into a list of everything I haven't blogged about, I will simply say...This seemingly non-eventful time frame has actually been pretty jam-packed, both emotionally and physically for all three of us.

Week One - Four: the "Arrrggghhhh!!!"
Oh boy. All that prepping, reading, researching and Googling during The Wait did not fully arm me to face a nine month old in full transition mode. They tell you "sleep now, because you won't get any later". Well, what I didn't take into account is that it may not be unreasonable to be home six weeks and the first minute to myself I catch a glimpse in the mirror and ask aloud, 'how did I go downhill so fast?'. And then I wonder, (also aloud because when your audience is a nine month old day in and day out, you really begin to just let all the crazies hang out) 'did I ever conquer that jet lag?' When said nine month old wakes up every hour every night, it's quite likely the answer is a resounding no.

I should also point out that when you're in the waiting period reviewing the training videos and reading the books, you're likely doing so during a time slot you planned. Maybe it's a rainy afternoon, nothing much to do so you pick up a book. Or maybe you and your husband mark your calendars for say, next Tuesday when things calm down at work. You'll make a nice dinner, grab your journal with pen and soak up every detail of the videos during this very focused time you allotted for yourself.

Well, when the real-life 'baby with a serious moment of separation anxiety' actually occurs it's unlikely to happen when you're rested, focused, have a full stomach and your partner will most likely be at work, not sitting beside you to offer their $.02. Oh, and that journal? It will not be in arm's reach.

I don't say this to sound unappreciative, cynical or to minimize the amazing family I am so fortunate to have. I say this because I was somehow blindsided by the reality of the scenarios I read and video clips I viewed once they entered my own household.

Day two home alone once Kai returned to work, I looked at my clock and my stomach sunk when I saw it was 10:30am. WHAT? It felt like it should be at least 3:45pm. During nap time I tiptoed past Niko's bedroom to use the bathroom in our bedroom. As I turned to flush the toilet, I realized this was no longer a luxury I had. There would be no flushing toilets during naps. That's when it all poured out. I found myself, a grown woman, sobbing in the bathroom because I could no longer flush my toilet when I chose to do so. What is happening?

My body was physically sore due to Niko scratching at my legs to be held, scratching my chest once I held him and afraid to be put down. My hair, even though always in the now obligatory ponytail, was still being pulled. My face and arms were scratched because he couldn't get close enough. He would scream bloody murder if I left the couch to put away a dish. On top of this, he weighed over 23 pounds at the time and I had lost seven while traveling. I was run down and being taken over by a nine month old, both physically and mentally. Emotionally I was drained and beyond in love with this little guy.

It was after the bathroom no-flushing-sob that I pulled myself together and searched for our social worker's phone number. She did our homestudy and worked in the NY office. I told her briefly what was up and asked for help, focusing on his separation issues with me and the fact I will be returning to work at some point. At the time I felt we were moving backwards, rather than moving forward.

This was the wisest thing I did in my cloudy state. Within 24 hours, Kai and I were having a conference call with a therapist who listened and offered such wonderful advice specific to our situation. A big YAY that we actually were doing things correctly and our scenario was not an unusual one. We both exhaled after that call and took things a little more in stride moving forward. We began to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Week Four - Seven: the "ahhhhhh...."
Wow. Wow. Wow.
We are friends, family, buddies and everything in between. It's pure joy in the morning when I hear him beginning to wake up and I wonder what's in store for the day (in the good way). There are days when I walk by his room, hoping slightly that he'll hear me and wake up early because I can't wait to play with him. His edge is gone and so is mine. He trusts us and the first time we saw that in action, I completely melted. The fact he knows he's safe has changed everything.

So now that I've gotten back on the blog, I can't stop yapping. I better wrap it up.
In closing, I would like to say there have been many tend-to-Niko breaks since I started writing this morning. During the last break, HE TOOK THREE STEPS!!!

p.s. Good luck to all the families waiting for court dates and decisions. Now that rainy season is over and the courts have reopened, I've been thinking of you all. Sending lots of love your way!