Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The First Six Months - An Adoptive Parent Primer

What you really need to know to get through the first chaotic 180 days:

The same baby who sleeps peacefully slumped over a rock in 96-degree sunshine during a Blue Angels Air Show will awaken from a deep slumber in the middle of the night if you drop the cap to your toothpaste.

You can not imagine the things you will extract, touch, sniff, sample, examine and discuss. You will do so without hesitation, and you will even save some of them. (I didn't believe it either.)

Babies produce an astounding amount of earwax. Most of it Cheetoh-colored.

Some days it's a marathon,
some days it's a sprint,
most days it's a marathon sprint.

Trust your instincts even more than you trust your best friend, your sister, your mother, or your mother-in-law.

Surprisingly often, you and your husband will have different instincts. Know that your baby has a good chance of developing normally, bonding appropriately, and eventually outgrowing colic, even if Baby misses a nap/sleeps too much/has an extra feeding/misses a feeding/is picked up too often/cries it out/sleeps in your room/ doesn't sleep in your room, or whatever you disagree about.

Make sure to ask your spouse "How was your day?" every day, even if right now you don't care about anything other than your Little Miracle. When LM discovers tantrums and seems a bit less miraculous, you'll be grateful that you kept your Big Miracle close.

No matter what you do, time will pass too quickly.

You will be your baby’s first true love.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Friday, February 15, 2008

I Will Be A Wonderful Mother

Many thanks to Cheryl Engh for sending this poem that she received in the "Transition to Adoptive Parenthood Project". We were unable to determine the author, but I think she's right on! Sally

There are women who become mothers without effort,
without thought,
without patience or loss,
and though they are good mothers and love their children,
I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics or money or because I have read more books,
but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.

I have longed and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.

I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep,
and discover.
I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold, and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream.
My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend, and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment, as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell that many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen.
And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.

I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth when life is beyond hard.

I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes. I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Friday, February 8, 2008

While You're Waiting

Things to do while you're waiting:

Begin now to live every day as if you will be snowed-in for a month starting tomorrow. Make sure you have at least a 30-day supply of coffee, chocolate, prescription medication, toiletries, and Purell.

Take time now to locate as many drive-through establishments as you can. I mean way beyond just a bank and fast food. Pharmacy, drycleaner, grocery store, gas station, car wash, post office, bakery, photo lab, oil change, coffee shop, church, AAA, video rental, library, cell phone repair... you will need every opportunity to conduct your life without getting out of the car.

Keep a journal. Those first special moments, the ones you’re sure you’ll remember for the rest of your life, will be crowded out by the next special moments, which will eventually give way to others, and so on... write it on a napkin, a diaper box, the mirror, a changing pad, anywhere. Just write it. Please.

Pray for the generosity of friends who cook.

Find a pediatrician. Little did we know that our daughter had to be seen within 48 hours of leaving the hospital!

Make a master spreadsheet of names, addresses and phone numbers to use for baby announcements and thank you cards.

Get your hair cut, your oil changed, and your teeth cleaned. Wash your windows, clean out your closets, shampoo your rugs. Read. Exercise. Talk on the phone. Once you bring your baby home, you won't have the opportunity or the energy to do any of that for a loooooooooooooooong time.

If you grow impatient waiting for a child to adopt, remember that God is finding exactly the right baby for you. When you bring your child home, you will be grateful that He took His time.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Friday, February 1, 2008

Welcome to The Adoptive Parent!

The longer I parent the more sure I am that adoption doesn't make our daughter "different". It makes our whole family "different".

We have to find our way through challenges that biological families don't, and we are enriched by experiences that they don't have.

I hope you will feel at home here. No matter where you are in your adoption journey, we are similar in our "difference".


Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+