Tag Archives: Adoptive Single Moms

Thoughts on a Bad Night

I’ve started my fall travel-palooza. I’m only on my second leg, and I am very, very anxious about the rest of the trips.

I’m already exhausted and feeling overextended. I’m stressed, dehydrated and high or sluggish on carbs. I thought I would treat myself to a manicure and a massage at the airport a couple of days ago before my red eye, but by the time I got to my connecting airport everything—EVERYTHING—in my terminal was shut up tight. Closed. I couldn’t even get a diet coke. I folded myself up in my seat and tried to sleep.

I caught 90 minutes of shut eye at home that next morning, and then what feels like my never ending day got back on the road. I ran errands, bought food, filled prescriptions, bathed the dog, did the laundry, herded Hope to her band competition and back to fetch her at 11pm at night, tidied Hope’s room and prepped my room for the nanny. I grabbed a few—and I mean a few—winks of sleep before it was time to get up, finish packing, walk Yappy, and catch my Lyft to the airport.

But, I went left around that 11pm pick up. Actually, I didn’t go left, I went crazy.

My beautiful teen daughter is rather…messy. I was not allowed to be too messy; my room as a teen was tiny. There wasn’t much space to be messy. Hope has a decent sized room, and well, I hear that general messiness has come to be accepted as a typical teen quality.

I reject this, but apparently that doesn’t matter because at the level of my house, the data show that it is true.

Hope is a bit of a mess. I try really, really, really hard to be understanding. I swear to the Holy Homeboy that I do try to understand. I honestly believe that our messiness can be indicative of our emotional state—heck I call my front hall closet the magic closet. I swear, the lion, the witch, the wardrobe and all of Disney could possibly be in there, but I digress.

Hope’s room…Lawd.

When I’m home and can stay on top of her, she can stay on top of the room. I don’t expect it to be eat off the floor clean, but some level that hangs around “kind of tidy” is what I’d like to shoot for. That’s achievable when I’m home. Even still, I find that I have to roll through once a week with a trash bag and thin things out. I throwaway obvious trash and put personal care products away. I make her bed, pick up her laundry and put it in the hamper (literally INCHES away). I try not to go through “her” stuff too much, just align the corners of the piles. Then I hit everything with some sprays of Febreze and run the oil diffuser. I rarely comment on what I find, and she doesn’t get in trouble unless I find something really, really, really serious.

Well yesterday I had to do the trashcan routine, and Er Mah GAWD! For a kid who has a bug phobia, she has no problem creating environments where bugs would simply love to take up residence. I did what I normally do, but with the schedule and my lack of sleep, I ruminated on all the crap I had to clean up. I didn’t take into consideration that she might be stressed when I’m away and that it might contribute to the mess. I went straight tunnel vision with righteous fury that had hours to build.

And by the time I fetched her I was trying to keep a lid on my fury. I knew it wasn’t worth it. I didn’t want to spend our few minutes together bickering. I knew both of us were tired.

But I just couldn’t let it go, and not letting it go was like lighting a match to dynamite. I totally blew and I totally blew it.

Before I knew it, I was yelling and saying horrible things, things I knew hurt. I was a crazy mess, and embarrassingly, I admit that Hope was more mature than I was. And even as I saw her face, I could feel my heart cracking because I was conscious enough to know I was being a total and complete asshole.

This was not mothering. This was not who I wanted to be. I was a total mess.

And so I apologized.

Yeah, after I got in one more verbal lick. Seriously, I was so stupid. But I genuinely regret those moments. I worry about how they affected her. I worry that I’ve pushed her away. I worry that I’ve irrevocably damaged us. I worry that she won’t forgive me. I worry that I’ve dredged up old emotions that we’ve worked so hard to reconcile.

I feel like I failed in the most epic way. I know we’ll survive, but I worry that this will be a big setback. I worry that I have broken so much trust.

I wish I had been able to keep it together.

I worry that this is only the beginning of my travel season and that the challenges will only escalate as will my fatigue.

I flew to my next destination this morning. Before I left I hand-wrote my daughter a letter of apology. I gave no excuses. I didn’t dig in about cleaning her room. I didn’t ask for forgiveness. I just said I’m so sorry that I said the awful things I said, that I made her feel bad, that I let my anger, frustration and fatigue get the better of me. I asked for grace as we press through my travel season.

I asked the nanny to take care and to check in to make sure she was ok. I let them go do a little retail therapy, and I gave her some space.

I’m hoping that we’ll be able to right our ship when I get home in a few days. Unfortunately, I’ll be off again to another city by week’s end. But I’m hopeful that my resilient daughter will bounce back. I hope that we won’t be too damaged by this event. I hope that I can learn how to keep my mouth shut and how to let the dumb stuff go.

I didn’t ask for forgiveness, but I hope to God that she does indeed forgive me.

My current worst fear is that she won’t.


Recent Reflections

The last week or so I realized that things had changed around Casa d’ABM. Things were…routine. Things were relatively smooth.

Hope and I have always been a loving family, even if it didn’t always seem very loving as we grappled with our challenges.

It’s been hard for both of us.

But I realized that something was really, really different and that upon reflecting, things had been different for like a good month.

I realized that our day to day life was very much what I envisioned when I started this journey.  I have this family that I adored. There was a healthy balance between goofing off and discipline.

Hope’s ability to demonstrate responsibility and initiative in some areas not only existed by really had dramatically improved.

She was affectionate.

We worked together.

We actually got back into the habit of eating together (Thank you Instant Pot).

We felt more attached.

Things just feel different; it’s difficult to explain.

But gosh, it’s so beautiful.

At a recent medical appointment, the doctor said to Hope, “You look…happy.”

She squinted and said, “Yeah, I guess so.”

She’d never said that before. Even if it’s temporary or fleeting…gosh that was a precious moment.

We are happy, and right now, right this moment, I’m living my dream.

Big Girl Undies

I am a huge extrovert and I like holidays. I love them. I want to enjoy them; I do not like sulking on holidays. I want good food, some bevies, a card game, confabs with friends and families and a good ole time.

Holidays trigger Hope. She usually seems to look forward to them, but when they arrive, she is sullen, withdrawn, grouchy, tense, anxious and difficult to be around, especially since I am hype.

I get it. I do, but on a selfish note, gosh, I just want one holiday that isn’t icky, that isn’t an emotional minefield. It’s July 4th, and it’s been miserable around these parts all dang day. Tomorrow I take Hope to band camp, her first time away from me for almost a week that will not be with family. I totally and completely get that this is anxiety provoking and that she is unable to pull herself together. There has been so much anxiety today that is has been paralyzing.

I thought we might hit up a BBQ place for a late lunch, maybe take in a movie to get her mind off of things, but I couldn’t even get her dressed before 2pm and she still needed to wash hair and start packing.

It’s not right and it’s not fair, especially since I’m the adult here, but I am excited for her and it’s a holiday! I am starved for interaction and engagement, and while I shouldn’t expect her to fill that need, we’re the only ones in this house and Yappy has done all he can do for me. And as much as she is not engaging, I know that the last thing she really wants me to do is go out without her.

So, then I get all icky and attitudinal, which just makes everything worse. It has been an ittshay day.

I’m human and sometimes immature and not the greatest at this mom thing on rough days, so….yeah. I own my petty.

So, I’ve gone out for a bit, bought myself a new lippy, some new nail polish and a slurpee and picked up Peanuts from the Redbox.

In the car on the way home, I pulled on my emotional big girl undies and resolved to have a good evening with Hope…if it killed me.

Sigh…here we go.

240 Calories of Bonding

So, without telling *alla* Hope’s business, we are deep, deep I say, into the throws of teenage girl-dom.

As Hope and I endured the last 18 months of middle school, I can’t say I remember much about my own middle school experience—somethings about crushes and such, but middle school was such an emotional drag that I just seemed to have blocked out a lot of it.

I can honestly say that once I think back to high school I am able to call up all kinds of memories about my social struggles. This is a good thing because I can really relate to some of the things that Hope is going through—insecurity about my own beauty, self-consciousness, desire to be liked, desire to have friends, desire to be cool—the kind that doesn’t get in trouble, but the kind that seems to have an easy life and eternal happiness. There is a desire to get the hair just so, experiment with makeup and clothes, and to just get to dating already!

There is a lot going on and it doesn’t take much to upset the apple cart.

In my day the friend consultations happened by phone, you know, like people actually *called* each other, spread gossip, discussed crushes and how to manipulate boy situations to your advantage—you know, on the walkway outside his class at just the right time, or oh, hey? I didn’t know you ate at this cafeteria? Have you always been here? I must’ve missed you. Today, it’s just texting…texting and emoji wars (I have no effing idea what purpose emoji wars serve, but there ya go…).

So, this weekend, a social situation involving a crush came to a head like a big ‘ole white head pimple, and then the dang thing went splat all over the mirror. #youknowwhatImtalkingabout And life as we know it came to a screeching halt.

There were the lyrics to sad dirges written down, gnashing of teeth and instant replaying of the event to the point that I feel like I was texting it in real time too. I’m happy to report that my little scientist can also deconstruct a conversation for “real” meaning just like her mama. There was epic emotion at Casa d’ABM this weekend.

Before Hope and long before one of my besties got married, we had a deal for dealing with social upheaval in our lives. We would get together and then drive to the nearest Krispy Kreme and the one who was not enduring the crisis of the millennium would eat one Krispy Kreme donut. We called it, “Taking one for the team.” We didn’t want the actual sufferer to add emotional eating to her litany of woes (although it probably was already there, along with a lot of wine consumption), so the non-suffering bestie would consume the donut.

So, yesterday as we were headed to get Hope a haircut, I swerved into the Krispy Kreme bakery near the house. Hope was like, “Why are we here?” I shushed her, got out of the car, walked us to the end of the line, ordered myself a donut and texted Hope’s godmother an SOS: Crisis! We are at Krispy Kreme. Because Hope didn’t quite understand what was happening I allowed her to get a donut, since she doesn’t yet have an appreciation for this womanhood ritual.

Light Fluffy Goodness...

Light Fluffy Goodness…

We grabbed a booth and I snarfed the donut in, like, 3 bites. Hope’s godmother texts me back.

“Tell her that won’t be the last donut, shake it off…those donuts have been comforting women for years.”

True dat.

Hope giggled as I explained why we were at the donut shop and how this thing was supposed to work. If I’m the one experiencing the upheaval and she knows about it, then she has to take one for the team. But, today I was taking one for her because I knew she was sad. Sometimes it feels like I should buy donuts by the dozen, but I explained that this specific womanhood ritual is reserved exclusively for crisis situations. No way I’m just eating donuts for any old body.

We had a nice time bonding. Hope thought it was all funny; I hopefully reinforced that I love her and would do just about anything for her; and hopefully, she got the point about sista friends who ride for you during dark times and have your back. I love my bestie and I hope I never have to eat another donut for her—which is more a testament to her happiness than my waistline.

I ended up taking an extra long walk and doing an exercise video to make up for the extra 240 calories consumed on Hope’s behalf yesterday.

Totally worth it.

Tortured Teen Years

On my recent trip (because remember it was *not* a vacation), Sister K and I spent hours fondly reminiscing about our formative years. We laughed about all kinds of things. So much of what we thought was so serious back then serves as slapstick humorous now. It’s amazing what being an adult and gaining a lot of maturity can do for you.

Since adopting Hope I spend a lot of time pondering my adolescent years and the dumb things I did. The few times I snuck out. The boyfriends and crushes. Football and basketball games that were followed by an after party at the nearby McDonalds. The *ahem* underage drinking—I had a particular fondness for the blue curacao in Blue Motorcycles at a local dive bar where a friend’s older sister worked, and the occasional “puff, puff, pass.”. Dates and dances. Asymmetrical haircuts with a lot of crimping…man the late 80s and early 90s were something!

I remember rarely talking to my parents about my life during those years. I bumped heads with my mom a lot, and looking back, my dad and I are so much alike that I think it just made us repel like two magnets. In any case, I wouldn’t dream of talking to them the way that Hope talks to me.

I am amazed weekly by our little confabs and what she wants to share with me. It’s so crazy cool and at times terrifying since it can be shocking and I know it’s the edited version. Now, I won’t lie sometimes I have to fight hard to pay attention because the topics can be blindingly boring to me and there is a high, high risk for me glazing over and putting the following on a loop:

“Uh huh. You don’t say? Really? Noooooooo! Yeah? Hmmmm. Shut UP!”

One night this week we were up late talking about her crush life. It was so serious. I mean, really in her mind we are talking about her entire future!!! In my mind we are talking about maybe a week and a half from now…at most.

It’s kind of hard to stifle my internal chuckles, but I manage.

Our chat this week was really fun despite her tortured soul status. I was so moved by our girl talk that after she retired to her room for the night, I went to my sacred shelf and fetched one of my journals from high school.

I have all of my journals since high school. I keep them on a shelf. Before this week they were tied together with some twine with a note to give of one of my dearest friends in case something happened to me (it’s also in my will—just saying you gotta plan for that kinds stuff! Do you want it falling into just anybody’s hands??). I undid the twine and opened this book for the first time in at least 20 years. I started at the beginning; when I was going steady with the boy I spent most of my teen years obsessing over. I had reached my own love pinnacle by going steady with Bob*. About 10ish pages later he had broken up with me—unclear why—and the next 50+ pages I mourned the demise of the short lived relationship. You would have thought I lost a blood relative. (Side note: I ran into Bob a few years ago at a grocery store in Florida; he had dreads that started in the back of his head….#dodgedabullet)

I had other serious crushes throughout those pages, but they were all measured against Bob*. My writing was full of angst, anger, sadness, episodic joy (like when I got my wisdom teeth out before prom and dropped more than 10lbs!!!), and just teen messiness.

I documented a LOT of my teen life. Sometimes I think this is a lost art, what with social media. It is interesting to go back and look at my life when I was close to Hope’s age. It gives me perspective on her struggles and emotional turmoil. I suppose I could be a bit more sympathetic to her plight.

It’s easy to look back almost 30 years and think all of the shenanigans were silly and as a result be callous about Hope’s feelings now.

Reading my own words reminded me how hard it was and how I probably was miserable more than I was not during some of my teen years. I imagine that things are probably really hard for Hope given all the extra stuff she’s had to deal with before these moments.

I wish I could make it easier for her.

I suppose I can by just loving her harder and realizing when I need to listen and when I need to shut up and give her some space.

In the meantime, I’ll keep reading my old journal, hoping for more insights.

*Not his real name.

When Your Kid has a Friend

I am chilling on my couch, trying to ignore a really loud clarinet and tenor saxophone. I am so delighted; this is the first time Hope has ever had a friend over.

Eighteen months and no one has been over to the house…until today.

It’s nice to see Hope with a friend finally close enough to come over. I’ve been really worried about her social interactions the last few months. I wrote about the emotional issues with which we struggle recently. I worry a lot about her ability to cultivate and sustain age appropriate friendships.

We might have finally done it.

*And* the instruments are starting to sound like they are making music!!! #Bonus

And now that there’s a friend is over I am learning how this frees up your time. #Bonusx2

  • The girls are so excited to hang out that I got first dibs on the pizza!
  • I ate alone and thus added a glass of wine to my dinner.
  • I got to eat early for a change. Hope hates eating before 7pm and I know that figures into my weight gain (ok, well, so does the pizza).
  • Other than the instruments, it’s quiet. It’s almost like I’m…dare I say…alone! #doeshappydance
  • I have time to scheme to see if I can get this kid to invite Hope over to her house next week.

Oh, this friend thing is glorious! Why didn’t anyone tell me?

I have visions of dropping the girls off at the movie theater at some point or hosting a sleepover!

Or better yet…dropping Hope off at a sleepover.

This is so exciting.

This is another developmental milestone for us, and I am so friggin’ excited!!


Weekend of Respite

As planned I booked the sitter and a hotel room less than 5 miles from the house and fled for some much needed respite this weekend. In fact by 8:30pm each night, I was sitting in my jammies, swigging wine from a bottle in my room, contemplating my bedtime.

I slept about 10 hours the first night. I walked 3 miles the next morning while shopping. I slept 3 hours this afternoon—like back in the bed, under the covers, knocked out napping. I hit the elliptical for 45 minutes that evening. I ate carry out from Whole Paycheck [Foods], and, yes, drank wine straight from the bottle.

Gosh I needed that. I called Grammy the first evening and when she heard I napped she exclaimed, “That’s not even in your nature? You don’t nap.”

Yeah, I know. I’m exhausted.

I’ve noticed a few things while on this mini getaway.

I eat horribly when I’m stressed and exhausted. No wonder I’m at my highest weight ever. Ugh! I actually listened to my twisted mind tell myself I deserved a bunch of fatty foods (tasted good though). Today I started the Couch to 5K program. Let’s go.

My carpal tunnel has progressed to the point where I need to seriously consider surgery. How did I ignore the weakening of my hand? I mean, it’s really, really bad! Calling my doc this week.

I am really tired, like really tired. Must go to bed earlier.

The moment I get away from Hope, I actually miss her. Not enough to run home, mind you, but I do miss her, and I miss Yappy too.

I miss her but I know she was fine. I know because she texted me like 18 times and called me once. She was irritated because I could not resolve her minor problem, and she sat in silence on the phone furious when she realized that I was not going to hurry home to find the key for the bike lock. Nope, Hope, not gonna do it.

I was proud of myself that I did not buy her anything while out shopping. Admittedly, I saw a bunch of stuff I wanted to scoop up for her. I mean, the 8th grade prom is coming up! But nope didn’t buy her one thing.

I took care of me this weekend. I need to do this more often. I really do.

I see how parents get so run down; parenting, working, and running a household is exhausting. I like to think I keep up with a lot of stuff, but I forget all kinds of things—like Hope’s sports physical this past week. It didn’t make the master calendar and thus in my mind did not exist.

Cooking, cleaning, running errands, paying bills, packing lunches, emailing teachers, figuring out birth family stuff, figuring out adoption stuff, therapy appointments, medication management appointments, puppy school, band concerts, and oh yeah, my job!

I swear I don’t know how it all gets done because this isn’t even close to being an exhaustive (ironic) list. I often think it probably isn’t that much easier with a partner, but it seems like it certainly would help.

It’s hard to believe I did a better job of having respite last year than I have done this year. I can only say it’s the curse of being post-finalization and having some belief that things are “fine” now.

They aren’t.

Weekly, when I’m mindful, I see the evidence of Hope’s challenges, and although we have come a long way; there is so much further we must go.

I’m going to have to take a better care of myself if I’m going to help her face her challenges.

Two broken wheels on a bike never makes sense.

So, I’m hoping to really care for myself this summer. I’m going to try.

Thoughts on the Single Life

I am a single mom.

I’ve been giving this single adjective a lot of thought lately.

I have really been feeling the weight of being a single parent, certainly, all of Hope’s time with me, but it’s been especially so the last few weeks. I think because parenting Hope has been more challenging recently.
I have to do everything. Between Hope’s modest, but still present, emotional delays, and the typical teendom antics, it is an exhausting job keeping her out of trouble and keeping her on the path to healing. I know I’ve done a good job, I can see it, but good Lord, I’m so tired and alone.

When it’s tough, I’m drawn into thinking about not having someone to tag out or that I need to call the sitter for some respite time and fret about the costs since there’s only one income. It feels hard and lonely. At the end of the day, at the end of a long challenging day, it is just me. When I think about the depth of that toughness…that loneliness, I am drawn back to grieving about the life I thought I would have. Not that this one is bad, but it’s just…harder than I thought it would be.

And I know that it is ok. It has to be, right?

Oh, I appreciate the few upsides: I don’t have to consult with anyone on how best to raise Hope. I get to make all the decisions. I get to be the ultimate ride or die mom because it’s just me!

But it’s not easy. It isn’t at all easy.

Lately, I have been wondering what the devil I was thinking getting into this journey alone. I knew it would be challenging, but I never would have conceived that it would be this hard. I wonder what it would be like if I had husband when I started. What would it be like to have had a husband or just long time love to help me raise Hope? I wonder if Hope would have still been my kid if I was partnered; my being single was an important part of our match.

Of course I’ll never know.

But I do wonder.

I suppose ultimately I would prefer not to be a single mom. I don’t know if my status will ever change. Again, this journey is just not what I thought it would be. We’re surviving; we may even be on the path to thriving, but this single parenting thing is not what my plan was supposed to be. And sometimes that reality makes me sad.

Struggle Sundays

I struggle with Sundays. To some degree I have always struggled with them because I get anxious about starting the new week. A good chunk of the day is usually spent in church; another chunk on grocery shopping. In recent years I would be stressing about finishing a paper for school. Earlier this year it was one of the two days a week I felt like I was winning the battle through Hope’s transition.

What Sundays Feel Like for ABM.

What Sundays Feel Like for ABM.

I’m not exactly sure why I struggle with Sunday’s now. I am short tempered; easily triggered. I almost feel twitchy; like I’ve had too much caffeine, though I tend to lay off the stuff a bit on the weekends. I can be short with Hope. I really just want to be left alone. Over the months, Hope has kind of learned to migrate to her room to veg on TV, puzzles and other games on Sundays, leaving me in quiet solitude.

Yeah, it doesn’t help. Then I feel guilty because I should be spending time with her.

I wonder if I have too much time to think. During the week I just move from task to task, event to event. Saturdays are our bonding/adventure days. Sundays are slow. I do much more reflecting on Sundays. I dissect the good, the bad and the ugly.


On Sundays I think I have time to miss my pre-Hope life. I have time to fret about how my parenting is perceived. I have time to reflect on criticisms and perceived slights. I have time to ponder what it means to parent a child who has experienced deep trauma. I have time pick at emotional wounds. I have time to extrapolate them into things much bigger than they probably should be. I have time to allow anger to bloom. I have time to miss spending time with Elihu.

Sundays are the days when I get to feel the full weight of being a parent, a single parent, a single adoptive parent, a single adoptive parent of a child who has experienced what Hope has experienced. Sundays are the days when I allow myself to feel the full weight of just being overwhelmed.



I also feel pretty alone on Sundays.

I don’t know why I don’t spend more time considering the wins of week or the growth I see in my daughter on Sundays. I’m really good at that Monday through Saturday. I can’t seem to do it on Sunday. I don’t know if my mind and my body just needs to feel it all on Sundays or what.

I don’t really know why I’m so crabby on Sundays, but trust that my struggle is super real on Sundays.

I hope a time will come when Sundays just don’t suck so much.

Silencing the Noise

Recently blogger, Love Hurts, posted an essay called, “am I a good mom?” I can’t say that I ask this question specifically; it’s more that I review collections of incidents and do assessments and think about where I could do better, how I could’ve done worse and be glad I didn’t.

I’m constantly looking to improve, but overall I have gotten to this space in which I try to be kind to myself. I try to give myself a break. It is an odd thing to have no kids one day and a kid, a teenager no less, the next day. It’s hard work. I get it half wrong or just all wrong every day. But I figure Hope seems happy, she’s safe, she’s fed, she’s loved, she’s learning. I must be doing something right.

I’ve come to believe that my worries about parenting are triggered by factors and individuals outside of me and Hope. There are the comments about what I let Hope “get away with” as we continue to work on big issues from her past. There are the side eyes I get because I’m apparently doing the most. Then there’s the passive aggressive commentary when I’m apparently doing the least.

I try to stay inward focused on Hope’s needs just so that I can tune out the noise. The noise doesn’t add any meaningful input into my life or parenting. It does serve to further breakdown whatever confidence I might exude on any given day. It makes me question the things I absolutely know I got right and cry more over the things I wonder if I screwed up royally.

What’s interesting about the criticism is that it rarely offers a suggestion for a better way to do anything or if the commenter might pitch in to help. Sometimes they offer suggestions, but they aren’t helpful because the offering is made without tons of nuanced information about my and Hope’s journey through trauma and adoption. So it really is just noise.

Today I am sitting in a conference room in the mid-west in a meeting away from Hope. Today she is out of school. Nanny 1 has left for the day and the other nanny won’t be in until this evening. Hope is “Home Alone.”


Hope has food.

She has a list of chores and activities.

Appropriate PPV movies were purchased this morning.

The crockpot is going for dinner.

I will call to check on her throughout the day.

Hope’s got an emergency contact list and access to two building concierges who can help out if necessary.

She’s 13 and will be home alone for maybe 10 hours. She will likely sleep 4 of them easily.

I did play a bit of resource Cirque du Soleil trying to have someone there to entertain/watch her today. My machinations didn’t work, and so she’s home today alone.

And you know what?

She’s going to be fine.

Are we both a little nervous? Yep, because I’m not downtown; I’m 1200 miles away.

Am I confident that the likelihood is small that she will burn the condo building down or some other cataclysmic event will occur? Yeah, I’m pretty confident.

Do I think by the 3rd check in call/Google hangout that she’s going to go all snarkily, “ Mom, geesh, don’t you have something to do?” Yep. And I will smile and tell her I’ll call her back later.

And do I think that she will be happy to see Nanny 2 this evening? Yep.

Will I celebrate her major achievement in demonstrating teen responsibility when I get home tomorrow? Yep, like a boss (provided the condo building is still standing)!


Do I wish things had worked out differently? Yeah, but they didn’t.

Does any of this make me a bad mother? No, I’m pretty confident it does not.

Parents make tough decisions with available resources all the time. It’s what parents do. I know through this journey as a new single mom that I have much more empathy for birth families and the challenges they may face along the way. Sometimes things go really, really wrong. I’m fortunate to have resources, to understand systems, to be able to pull things together to fill most of my gaps. My heart breaks for those without those resources and ability to navigate the rocky landscape; it’s easy to see how a cascade of bad, tragic things can happen.

So instead of internalizing the critiques, staying pissy about them, and finding ways of “punishing” those who poke my mom’s eye, I’m going to send out some energy to other moms, new moms, adoptive moms and any kind of moms who need it. You’re doing fine. You’re making tough decisions, some will be great, and some will suck. You will triumph, and you will stumble. I hope that you don’t experience or internalize the negative criticism floating around about your parenting and that your would-be critics think to ask how might they help you be more successful rather than point out your perceived flaws. The former would be so much more productive than the latter.

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My Wonderfully Unexpected Journey

When Life Grabbed Me By The Ears


things are glam in mommyhood


an adoption support community

Fighting for Answers

Tales From an Adoption Journey


Because of course race and culture matter.

SJW - Stuck in the Middle

The Life of Biracial Transracial Adoptee

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