baby trauma (part 2)

Today my mom is telling me that M is has peed on the floor and pooped in a pull-up, both of which are things she never does anymore. She also took a longer than usual nap and “hasn’t been herself”. My mom feels that yesterday was too much for her, but I still stand by my decision to take M to her family gatherings for two reasons: 1) she seems to have fun while we’re there, and 2) I always stay there with her to make sure she feels secure and isn’t having a bad time. She did come tell me, after cake and ice cream, that she wanted to go “bye-bye” so we said our goodbyes and left. I never want her to feel like she has to stay, or when she’s older, like she has to go. I think keeping your commitments is important, but I also won’t force her if for some reason she doesn’t bond with them or feel comfortable there.

I know that it is hard for my baby to process her feelings, such big feelings for such a little girl. I feel worse that I’m at work today and not able to comfort her myself. But I also think that all toddlers have off days with potty training, and it was very tiring for her (no nap all day yesterday). My plan for next time is to make the visit a little shorter, and without the hour long drives to pick up and drop off her sister. When we see her sister next time I will try to have her come to our house, where M feels safe and secure. Also, next time we visit it won’t be a party so there won’t be 20-40 relatives everywhere at once. I think it will be better.

Parenting is hard, and open adoption parenting is really hard. I never know if I’m doing the right thing by my daughter or not, so I let my gut lead me. It’s gotten me this far.

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Categories: adoption, parenting

5 Comments »

  1. I adopted my middle son at birth via the foster care system. He hadn’t experienced any abuse or physical trauma. His parents just made an extremely unique adoption plan of sorts. I think his first mother kept the pregnancy a secret and the entire time she knew she wasn’t going to parent. They had the baby in a hospital, signed their rights away and walked out. I was too young and naive to ask for an open adoption.

    Still – he has gone through many of the exact same things you’re describing. And that’s without contact with his first family.

    I firmly believe it’s better to have contact and feel ALL the feelings than it is to have all the feelings and no contact. My son is 11 and is riddled with questions he’d love answers to. I tell him everything I can. But the information I was given is quite limited.

    I think you’re doing a wonderful thing promoting the openness. Even though it’s not easy for M, it is good for her.

  2. Yes, open adoption parenting is really hard. Keep on. I really appreciated the supportive comment you left me after I had similar issues with Primo after our first visit with his first Mom.

  3. My 9-mo old FS is always a “little off” after overnights with his biodad. At first I thought it was the change in routine, but now I know it’s because he doesn’t get the interaction and stimulation he gets at home. (Biodad mostly plops him front of the TV) It’s scary how only an overnight can turn a playful, bouncing baby into a distant little zombie.

  4. You are doing all the right things. And she will have off days and days of way tired after big parties and days when everything is perfect and wonderful. Keep on being a wonderful role model and thank you for sharing the adventures.

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