So today is the day I have hit my emotional bottom. It’s been 54 days since Hope arrived. We’ve had ups. We’ve had downs. I’ve learned a lot; I’ve endured a lot. I’ve laughed a lot and I’ve cried a lot. There were a few days when I felt like I couldn’t get out of bed. I finished writing the last two chapters of my dissertation during these 54 days and sit on the precipice of attaining my highest academic achievement. I met someone who brought a little color and calm in an otherwise difficult time. I love my daughter; I am committed to her, and I’m hopeful that one day we will be the kind of mom and daughter that I dreamt of a long time ago.
And on this 54th day, I sit in a local Panera crying uncontrollably while shoveling obscene quantities of carbs in my mouth, knowing I’ll regret it later, but unable to stem the tide of snarfing. Several very nice ladies have stopped over with stacks of napkins and kind smiles.
I don’t lose it in public often, very rarely. I cry a lot, but I try to do it privately. Today, I really am unable to pull my scattered self back together. Today I am completely unhinged, and the only reason I’m not in my bedroom crying in a ball with The Furry One looking on fretfully is because a loving cousin rushed over to kick me out to find some respite alone.
I debriefed with Grammy this morning and the full on rejection, accusations and inability to believe in me or the long term success of me and my daughter is just too much to bear. All other real or perceived battles with Grammy are unable to even come close to the emotional upheaval I am grappling with today.
I didn’t say much on the call. I attempted to call her to debrief yesterday, but told my dad I didn’t have the courage to do it. He didn’t understand. I won’t bore you with all the gory details but here’s a little Sports Center highlight reel:
- Hope is going to bring me down; all her problems will negatively affect me.
- Grammy is physically afraid of Hope and will not provide respite for me.
- Grammy thinks that smelling wine on my breath after coming home from a work reception means I have a drinking problem.
- Grammy insinuated that my daughter might be possessed.
Oh and one from earlier in her visit:
- She didn’t think it wise to make hotel reservations to go to my graduation until after my defense because you know, I might eff up.
I’m not sure what to do with this and all the rest that I can’t write here. I’m so disappointed, but most of all I’m angry…angry with myself. Grammy had already shown me repeatedly that she was not the person I would be able to rely on during this journey. But she told me she wanted so much for me to give her a chance, for me to open up, for me to lower the cloak I had around me and my daughter and let her in to help us, to love on us and to be Grammy. So I did. And the first exposure to our reality sent her doing a drive by drop-off. And me sitting here with a heart full of regret that I ever let my defenses down at all and a feeling like I never will again.
I know at some point I’ll let Grammy back in because I want to model for my daughter how to get over such incredible pain and how to forgive. But I have no earthly idea how or when I will be able to muster what’s needed to do that. Hopefully next time I’ll be better prepared to wrestle with the possible rejection and abandonment that may follow. Also, maybe next time I won’t carb load while sobbing at the local eatery. Maybe next time I won’t need respite because my reserves will be deep enough to plug the gaping hole that might appear in the aftermath. Maybe next time I won’t be hurt and disappointed at all because Grammy’s reserves will be deeper, and she will be able to embrace us as we are, thorns and all. Maybe she will believe in us then. Maybe she will actually believe in me too at that point.
When I first started this journey I was rather put off by how conservative the adoptive community seemed to be. I had a healthy sense of my faith and belief system, but I rarely saw folks who were like me—pretty liberal, comfortably Christian, but not showy about it, progressive, Black…the list goes on and on. I still don’t always see myself in this community, but I know and appreciate how much I have found my place and how my faith in God has evolved, especially during these 54 days. I’m in a constant state of prayer. I’m still not as conservative as I perceive many in the community to be, but I get it now…this calling requires something more, something deeper than ourselves.
I’ve often said I don’t know how something would get done, only that it would get done. It always has gotten done. I have a set of footprints and a small cross on my right ankle reminding me that when it’s only one set of prints, it was then that God carried me. My faith has always been there, but it is a bit more on the sleeve now. And so I’m puzzled that the model of faith I’ve had, Grammy, just doesn’t believe in Hope’s healing from trauma and in the ultimate success of our family as I believe. I believe we will be delivered. I believe that Hope will grow up to be happy and healthy. I believe in her restoration. I believe that we will be ok, better than ok. I don’t understand how Grammy doesn’t believe that. I don’t understand how she can utter words that don’t speak wholeness over us. I just don’t understand, and now I don’t think I want to hear what she is saying at all.
What’s the adage? If you can’t say something nice….
I know she loves me, but today was just too much. It was just heartbreaking.
Today is the 54th day in this post-placement journey, and it was so, so very hard.
Now that I’ve made numerous people uncomfortable at the Panera, I think I’ll take my weepy self to the beauty supply to buy crap I don’t need. I will blow out my afro tonight and paint my nails and give myself a facial. I will reach out to the new sitter service I found and see about setting up once to twice a week respite so I can practice some self-care. I will thank my friends and family who have come to my rescue. I will pray for me and my daughter.
I will pray for Grammy too, even though I am not sure what to say.