Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shadow Mama

Surreal. Foggy. Shadows. Snapshots of Jana catch my breath. I see a younger, "me".  Both girls are head over heals in love and they don't recognize my smile as a vivid memory of  me and their dad as "young love".  Braden is a mixed up reflection of my dad and his dad, the two men who hold both my little girl and grown up heart.   All of these years and I'm still a  "Mommy" to a six year old,  a "Mama" to a ten year old.  I live with the shadow of other faces, echoes. Most days I struggle to embrace the "now" for living in the "then".

If I ever write a book, I  have the name..."Shadow Mama".  I should probably rename my blog.  It suits me.   I'm doing it all again except this time, in the middle of forty.  Two decades later I'm repeating kindergarten and fourth grade, Jesus Loves me and baseball, dance lessons and chores...laundry and more laundry, "because I said so" and mama love. Why does it seem like I did it all much better the first time?   There's another definition that sits below the surface.   I'm taking someone else's place.  This shouldn't be me.  My little girl should look into a face that resembles hers, reach for a hand that is ebony,strong and solid.  There would be no need for constant reassurance.  In this world as it could have been, my little boy would not yearn to look like us.  He wouldn't hate it so much when strangers sneak a second glance and a third. He wouldn't be anxious and angry about things he can't remember.

Perhaps the reason that I struggle with this so much is because I have the mixed blessing of motherhood  by both birth and adoption.  If I had only birth children, we would be a unit - past, present and future.  If I had "only" adopted children, I would glory in the "present", thankful for a future.  I feel caught somewhere between undeserving and not enough.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Life Block

It's hard to believe that the last time I posted was June, 2011!  I just read that last post and I realized, I'm stuck.  Not writers block...more like a life block.  Our two oldest girls...scratch...young women (daughters) are still away at college.  Anna discovered that her wings grew in quite nicely and she actually lands here for a few hours on the weekend.  She is so busy with nursing classes and clinicals. I love to hear about her patients and her interactions with them.  She has found her calling even though some days she is completely traumatized.  Jana is in her junior year of college and has lost all all interest in collegiate activities in favor of a certain someone who captured her attention last September. The "stuck" that I referred to comes in here...while they busy living life, I'm still trying to figure out how to be a full-time mama of three kids instead of five.  They don't need the super hands on, hyper-interested mama that I've always been.  Major confession - still am.  This might explain the eye roll that I get when I remind them to put on their lip-stick like a good southern mama should.  I'm really not stuck at all.  Just musing that "letting go" is so much harder than I ever thought it would be.  I'm almost certain that from the outside we look like we've mastered this but I miss the girls being close by so much.  God's timing is perfect though.  I have three other blessings who still need a mom and dad to delight in them.

A lot has happened in almost two years.  I tried to go back to work at the Children's Homes last February.  Christian wouldn't have it!  I made it from February to April and have paid a full ten month penance for straying away from the full time duty of being his mom.  I was so confused at the time because it seemed so clear to me that God opened this specific door.  He most certainly did but not for the reasons I thought.  The past ten months have been a crash course in PTSD, attachment, trust based parenting, the effects of trauma on children, the list could go on and on!   The resources we needed for Christian's healing were first made available through the Children's Homes. I did not even realize at the time that he had PTSD or what that would mean.  God provided before we knew we needed it.   This experience led us to a unique training opportunity with Empowered to Connect.  We can't wait to share what we have learned with other foster and adoptive parents in the future.  We will never be able to adequately thank this ministry for investing in us as parents.