Read an interesting post today at an adoptive-parents blog.Yeah, I know. There'd a blog for everything, isn't there? There's probably a blog for people afraid of scary clowns, probably another for folks with a plumbing fetish, tons (I suspect) for plushies, shoe fanciers, barbershop singers and Trekkies (sorry...TrekkERs.)
Well, this ain't no adoption blog. Yes, my little girl was born in China. But where this blog is about her it's about HER. Her past, her birthparents, our adoption, that's all part of her. But, honestly? When I think of her, the first thing that jumps into my mind is "giggly". Or "cute". Or "happy". Or "energetic". Somewhere in there is "Chinese-American" and "cleft" and "adopted". But they're definitely behind "Barbie girl", "loves to sing" and "tell me a story about me and Dora the Explorer" in the Missy queue.
What we don't think much about are the things that many adoptive parents talk about (and worry about, stress over and, I suspect, look for).Things like "attachment issues" and maladaptive behaviors that you're supposed to be concerned with as an adoptive parent. The stresses we have and had (and we did have a tough time; go back a skip through my entries for the autumn and winter of 2007 and spring 2008 if you doubt me) were, as much as not, the stresses of having two kids instead of one. The fact that the little one had sleeping problems sucked, but it didn't suck any worse than the sleeping problems that the big kid had when he was her age. The fact that little wanted to be carried everywhere was an additional stress, not a unique one - although in retrospect, I'm sure it was an attachment thing...
Anyway, we have bumbled along for two years and change now with the two little peeps hardly distinguishable in their fears and loves, in their tantrumy gusts and their sudden flurries of hugs and kisses. I won't say we don't see the differences between them. But we see the similarities much more.And over that time, we've lost a lot of our contact with other adoptive parents.
We returned from China with another family that, over time, cut us dead. The young woman we knew through our "adoption group" drifted away after never really bonding with us. I'm still in touch with some friends from an on-line adoptive parents group through Facebook, but often as not we talk about food or movies and anything but adoption.
We just don't seem to have the adoptive parent magic. One evening back in '08 Mojo was hanging out with the other two women I mentioned above (the younger was still awaiting her referral) and was laughingly describing how Little Girl was chewing on us; in her view (and mine) it was a kid thing, the same sort of thing that the Peeper went through when he was two. She finished the story, chuckling, and looked up into two very, very concerned faces."Have you considered the possibility that this may be the sign of an attachment problem?" asked the young adoptive-mom-to-be.
Mojo thinks about that for a moment.
"No," she says, "honestly, I haven't. I just think she's two and she likes to bite people. After all, we're tasty."
I think she lost some points for that.
Is that why the other adoptive parents backed away? Is it us? Are we being terrible parents? The blogging adoptive mom wrote that her bond with other adoptive parents "was magically strong, like superglue." Are we - am I - just not right for superglue, covered in emotional teflon or PVC or whatever it is that superglue won't stick to?I don't feel that way. But perhaps teflon never does...