Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Baby Girl is TWO!

Yes, it is true.  I no longer have babies, just toddlers...very independent, very outspoken, VERY adorable toddlers!  On February 15, Addison turned two and I would be lying if I told you I didn't shed a tear or two.  You all know why, no need to go on and on about it.  

Striking a pose...but refusing to smile:).
After finding this adorable dress on clearance last November, I decided to do a polka dot party.  Simple and cute.  While all my polka dot party decorations were not perfectly coordinated, I'd say it all turned out just fine.  Big parties are still not my thing....but I do it every time!

The polka dot girls on the day of her party.

No post would be complete without this sweet face.  Can you believe how big he looks here?

Make a wish, sweet girl!

Addison has become such a smart, engaging and funny little girl.  She was incredibly serious as a newborn, it took her 3 months to really smile much at all (as opposed to Jackson who was literally laughing at 1 month old!).  I have become so reminiscent since her birthday.  It's like we made it through an obstacle course - 2 infants non stop for 2 years.  I look back and have balanced feelings - aching to hold them in my arms as newborns again and relief that I don't have newborns again!  Here we another obstacle course.  Parenting two toddlers is challenging all of my confidence and beliefs that I am a good parent. I've got a lot of work to do.  That is for another post.  Addison now goes to sleep so well, and sleeps through the night no matter what.  She even has a terrible cough right now and has coughing fits...but when I go in there, she's half asleep and I have to wake her up to give her medicine and she just lays back down sleepily and goes back to sleep.  LOVE her!  She eats so well now too.  She's still a little picky (won't touch any veggies lol) but I never worry that she isn't getting enough to eat.  Her favorite by far is mac n cheese ("ma chee cheese").  Addison talks like she is 16, I swear.  She sometimes has 5 and 6 work sentences!  Last night she told me, "Mommy go nuh-night in the rocking chair."   This was after she said, "Aww, mommy tired?" and rubbed my cheek.  Seriously, people, it doesn't get any better than empathy from your two-year-old.  Addison has a mind of her own and is most often heard saying "My do it!"   She has also learned the art of negotiation.  When it is time to eat or to do something, she will say "play couple minutes, mommy."  When I am nursing her at night (yes we still do that, for better or for worse!), and I ask her if she's ready to go to bed, she will say "Soon nuh-night" or "Nurse one minute."  Addison engages in pretend play quite regularly.  She feeds babies and animals (and talks to them), cooks food, talks on the phone, etc.  When I ask her how much I love her, she says, "so, so, so much" or "All the way to the moon and back."  Yep, she's right.   I am just amazed by her daily.  Seriously amazed.  Blown away really.  I can't believe she is MINE!  I can't believe either of them are.  So, on to the next phase - raising two two-year-olds without losing your mind!  Happy Birthday to my sweet baby girl.  My love for you is unending. There are no words to even describe the depth of my feeling for you.

No party is complete without a family picture that inevitably is missing one of the kids looking at the camera!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Visit

So many people have asked how the visit with Jackson's birthmom, T, went.  It has become a pretty normal part of our lives, these relationships, so I forget that other people find it all very fascinating.  The visit went, in a word, beautifully.  Jackson took to T immediately after not seeing her for a year.  T clearly was working hard to contain her emotions, and I so wish she didn't feel the need to do so in our presence.  I hope we can build our relationship to a point where we have complete openness and honestly.  Like all relationships, ours is a work in progress.

Jackson enjoyed showing T all around the aquarium and mall....and then feeding her french fries at lunch.  It could be in my head, but he seemed to grasp how special she was.  He kissed her on the cheek and "hammed it up" for her.  She pointed out different characteristics of his that she loved...and how he had her skin and her eyes.  Yes, he sure does.  I wish I could post pictures here - I have the most amazing photos of them (and all of us) together.  But I have not gained her permission, and I'd like to keep my blog as my own place for now (and not share it with Jackson's birth family...yet).

My friend today asked me how I felt about it all...she seemed to not know how she felt about it when I showed her the pictures.  While I see the pictures and my heart just swells with love, others see them and seem conflicted.  It's like they are holding back...not sure if they are supposed to love the image of my son kissing T's face.  I try to model pure love and acceptance, but there must be something in this society that says a photo of a little boy sitting in between his mom and birthmom carries some...what?  Sadness?  Pain?  Competition?  Jealousy?  I'm not sure.  Because none of that is true for us.

I suppose I have grown into this place, if I am being honest.  I shared with my friend that the visits in the first few months of Jackson's life were harder.  Our relationship was not yet fully established...I loved him with everything I had, but I didn't yet have the feedback from him that he knew I was his mom, his forever mom.  Infants don't always give that right away.  And he had been in her womb longer than he'd been with me.  I was a shaky mom, unsure of who I was in this role.  So, yes, seeing their bond and hearing others call her Jackson's mom unveiled my vulnerabilities.  But this time, it was different.  Jackson and I have been through so much - the fussy infant stage in which I walked and rocked him for countless hours, and my voice was often all he wanted, the new toddler stage in which he looked to me before he made any move to make sure he was safe and cried whenever I had to leave him, and the two-year-old stage in which we butt heads daily and still snuggle each night before bed, reliving our days together in words and stories and grand gestures (from him usually:)).  Our relationship is solid.  Jackson having another mom does not take away from my role as his mom, it only adds to his sense of being loved and cherished.  And it is his reality, pure and simple.  If I denied it, did not allow him to see her, did not talk about her or talk about his 10 months in her womb....well, his reality would still be the same.  I would just create conflict, fear and uncertainty in his little heart.  No thank you.  She is his birth mom, I am his adoptive mom.  Our roles in his life differ, but both roles are crucial in forming the man he will someday become.

So, there you have it, that is how things went on our beautiful visit with T!  And she loved her necklace:).  Jackson's birthdad, A, has still not re-initiated contact.  He tells his parents (who tell us) that he's just not ready yet.  That's ok.  We'll be here when he is.  Thanks for your questions and interest....your thoughts and wonderings help me to organize mine:).