Uncontrolled Cries

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.


About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at adoptiveblackmom@gmail.com, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©www.AdoptiveBlackMom.com, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

17 responses to “Uncontrolled Cries

  • scoodle32

    I will pray for your strength and patience. I’m inspired by your journey and know that both you and Hope will thrive. Have a good night.

  • Instant Mama

    Oh Girl, I’m so sorry. My mom threw one at me the other day, something about watching the kids…if I trusted her. It was in an email and I haven’t touched it. It isn’t going to be easy because she won’t believe me when I tell her that it isn’t her, it is just not where we are as a family right now. Seriously, I barely let my kids go to class for an hour at church and I’m in and out of their school all day long. Anyway, navigating these new roles and emotions and responses is almost as much of a transition as getting to know your kid!
    I just want to affirm you. You are a great mom. Your instincts are right on. Your daughter loves you. Keep your focus on the good stuff. Grammy will come around.
    Also, my email is listed at the bottom of all my posts. If you ever feel like spilling more than is safe in this public space, you’re welcome to send me a message. Sometimes just getting it out helps. Hugs to you!

  • AdoptiveNYMomma

    I can relate to your struggle and offer some hope. My own mother told me that my child was “feral” when she first came and that I would never be able to do anything with her or us because of all her children I was the least equipped (as a single parent) to make it work. Keep strong in your faith, take time for you. Things got better for me and my own Mom ref my oldest so I will pray the same for you.

  • faithcbrown

    God is the great healer of all hurts. You are in my prayers. You can do this!

  • puddin85

    Ugh…like everyone else, I can’t help but reflect on my own mother and ALL her opinions…backhanded remarks and etc. I wanted Stinky and I to establish some sort of foundation before she met my huge immediate family. You would have thought I called their home a brothel for how she reacted. *sigh*
    I believe you that she does love you. It sounds like both their nerves were shook up by the end of her stay. Maybe Grammy is feeling defensive because she “couldn’t handle her” and so in her motherly mind…that means you can’t either. Just my thoughts… you know i can continue, girl! I have a whole post on my own mama and could write 3 more lmbo. * chin up ladybug*

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Maybe Grammy is feeling defensive because she “couldn’t handle her” and so in her motherly mind…that means you can’t either.
      There is probably some good arm chair therapizing here. We moms are a different breed I guess. Very rough day, but I will go on; I have to, right? Thanks.

  • Anon

    I know it does not feel this way right now but you are blessed and highly favored. I got goose bumps reading your post at points. Blessings above blessings are upon you. It’s not about what you are going through right now it’s all about where you’re going. The thing is, we cannot derive any of “the good stuff,” “the true stuff,” the abIding stuff” from our circumstances or feelings… or from those around us. There is only one true source for our hope, faith, love, light and all: it’s Him. You are having a monumental up close and personal experience with Him where He is showing you that you cannot, and should not, rely on anything or anyone else. Not even the closest ties that should bind, not history or what you expected for the future (re: Grammy, etc.). What He is giving you right now, what He is showing you will safely and surely usher you through each and every situation you might ever face in life. If the bottom falls competely out (speaking about the full spectrum of life, not pointing this at Hope), you’ll still be good. This knowing and ability to place your everything in Him is precisely what will allow you to transcend all and truly do His work — because it will no longer be about what is happening to you but through you. ABM, when you went into the whole faith piece your spirit punched through the page. And it has so often. You are blessed and highly favored. You don’t have to make decisions based on fear, you can make them on faith. (You know this and I’m just reflecting it all back to you btw.) Okay. Praying for you and please pray for me too.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Anon, thank you for this. There is a testimony here, but it is hard to see it through such complicated feelings. As a blog follower, you know that I’m constantly searching for meaning and lesson; and there is a hard lesson in this episode that I will unpack later this week. Thanks for shining this flashlight into this dark period for me. I appreciate it greatly. Prayers going up.

  • SerialAdopter

    I’m a huge fan of respite in any form. You have to take care of yourself in order to be able to care for others. Having unsupportive family is really difficult and something too many of us, unfortunately, can relate to. Maybe frustration over Grammy is something you and Hope can bond over – too snarky?

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      It is a deep sadness to learn this kind of episode is common for adoptive parents. It’s also more validation that I am not alone. Ha–as for snarky, frustration bonding is not snarky enough! lol 🙂 Ironically, Hope has wonderful things to say about Grammy–not everything, but she is thoughtful about their time together. Yes, to respite–desperately needed!

  • Mimi

    WE, the community of foster parents and those following your journey believe. WE believe in Hope’s healing from trauma and in the ultimate success of your family. WE believe that you and Hope will be delivered. WE believe that Hope will grow up to be happy and healthy. WE believe in her restoration. WE believe that you and Hope will be ok, better than ok. WE believe that you and Hope will be the mother and daughter that you dreamed about. WE also believe that Grammy will come around and gain the insight to see you as the strong, resilient and wonderful mother that you are and the strength to stand in the gap when you need her. Amen.

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