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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall and New Beginnings

Usually people associate spring or New Years with new beginnings, but I think of fall. It's the time of year when Hubby, Buddy and I were finishing up in-country adoption requirements, travelling home and trying to adjust as a family of three. Last fall was a blur of rushing, waiting, documents, excitement and worry. It was the craziest time of my life, up until that point.

Now that we are one year in, we are still going through a season of change. I read an excellent post by Jen Hatmaker called The Truth About Adoption: One Year Later. She talked about the 4 stages her family went through in their first 12 months home. It's really insightful and honest, and I suggest you check it out.

Our stages have been different in a lot of ways. It might have something to do with the fact that we adopted one child, or that we didn't have bio kids. I would guess it is mostly to do with the fact that my family isn't her family so there is no way we could have the same story.

However, there have been lots of similarities. We have gone through the cycle of honeymoon, spaz out, triage and rehab. We continue to go through them. Sometimes we rapid-cycle like lightning and sometimes we get stuck for weeks or months in one stage. We have also gone out of order, from spaz out to honeymoon to triage back to spaz out... Some days feel like a game of emotional Russian roulette.

Buddy has learned to protect himself by locking his pain deep down inside himself and pretending it's not there. His spaz outs come when he can no longer keep those "bad" feeling repressed and they flood violently to the surface. They are quiet and introverted and we can see him trying with all his strength to retain control of himself and the situation. They sometimes involve self-hurt as a release. They sometimes involve suicidal ideation. They are also not new, he has been going through this long before Hubby and I were in the picture. They terrify me and break my heart.

Now that we are one year in, we can see there is a greater level of trust between all three of us. It is an easier, more honest way of living. There are still spaz outs, from all of us not just Buddy, but they are less tumultuous and end quicker. The self-hurt is fewer and far between. He still does not like to talk about his pain, but he will listen and even nod his head sometimes.

I wish that my family moved easily through our stages, like checking off boxes on a to-do list. Our transition has been confusing and messy. But I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. We may never reach it, but it brings me a great deal of comfort just to know it's there.

I am looking forward to the next season and the changes it brings.


  1. Happy new beginnings. I think with time & love your son will open up more. Right now he's acclimating to a new life & family. If you've seen results after a year, imagine what's to come. Keep overflowing him with love. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼ ☯

    1. Thanks, Carmen, I think you are right. We are very lucky to have such an amazing son.