November is National Adoption Month and not that I need anything in particular to remind me how great adoption is, it's good to see there is something out there that can help others see that too. I know there are people who think that when you adopt a child, it isn't the same. They want a child who has their genes and traits and someone that can carry on their family name. I personally think adoption is wonderful and great and amazing and all sorts of other good things.
All growing up I knew that I wanted to have an African American little boy when I started a family. I don't know how or why that idea ever came to me, but I knew from an early age that I was going to have a beautiful little boy. Fast forward years later, that dream came true. I have the best little man in the world. Adoption gave me the greatest gift; my first experience of having a little face look at me and call my mommy, trusting me and relying on me for everything.
I see or hear of children who need homes and it breaks my heart. I would love to be able to bring them all home and love them and make them feel special. But since I am just one person, I can't even make a dent in the millions of children that need homes. I can't imagine what it would feel like for a small child to not have a home or anyone to call mommy or daddy.
Marcus and I are planning on adopting again in the future. (I think mainly because he can't deal with me when I am pregnant!) I have learned that I have no control on how I add to our family. (Two step-daughters, one adopted son, one biological daughter. Trying explaining to doctors that I have four kids, have been pregnant three times and given birth once...they think I am nuts.)
I have to teach my first Young Women's lesson on Sunday and part of it is on sacrifice. When I think of sacrifice, Christian's birth mom, Tammie, always pops into my mind. She gave up her baby. She sacrificed her happiness and a part of her for the sake of her beautiful little boy. I don't know if that is something I could do. I admire, respect and love her for her sacrifice.
I have to admit it's a challenge handling all my different "mommy roles." I would say being a step mom is the hardest. There are times I have to just bite my tongue and not say what I really want to. There are times when what I do say doesn't matter. There are times that I am looked down on because I am the step mom. I struggle with the fact that sometimes the way I want to raise my kids isn't the way Jessi and Taylor are being raised. I have views, opinions and ideas on friends, appearance, hygiene, chores and attitudes that I am going to try to teach Christian and Emma. I don't have a lot of control over Jessi and Taylor. They are at the age where the choices and decisions they make now can impact their lives forever. They need someone to help them along the way. I feel like I am often overlooked because I am "just the step mom." Marcus and I agree on most things, but since we don't have the final say on things, things that are important to me sometimes get swept under the rug. I have a lot of opinions on certain things, but airing them on my blog would not be the smartest choice. I just hope that as our family continues to grow and develop, I can be the role model and example ALL the children in our house need.
There are days where I just want to throw my hands in the air and admit defeat. There are days where I think I am not cut out to be a parent. There are days where I feel like I am talking to a brick wall. There are days where all I want is to go to the bathroom alone or eat a meal by myself. There are days where I cry in frustration. There are days where I want to put myself in a permanent timeout. There are days where I feel unimportant, unappreciated, unloved...where I feel like a doormat. But then there are the days where we play all day, and watch movies and eat popcorn, laugh and giggle till we are almost crying, read stories and make up our own stories, learn fun new things, teach each other things, make cookies, eat cookies, and days I just want to scoop up my babies, hold them tight and let them know how much I love them and that they make me who I am. I am a mommy...not always a good one, but a mommy none the less. It's not easy, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. The dirty diapers, the never ending laundry and dishes, the constant "MOMMY!", the whining, the complaining, the tears, the jumping on the couch, the not wanting to go to bed, the coming into my bed EVERY SINGLE night, the hitting, the time outs, the potty accidents...none of the matters. Some day that will end and I know I will miss it. All I can do is enjoy them now and be the best mommy I can be. I only get one chance to raise my children and teach them to be wonderful people. I hope I don't screw up too badly...