I’ve begun the arduous task of compiling images and words for ‘I Mother Broken’. It’s arduous for multiple reasons, the current dilemma being ‘where exactly are my old journals’ and ‘what was the password we used for our ‘blogspot’ I blogged on eons ago’ and ‘I know I kept online image galleries to go with those, but I can’t find that link anywhere’. Oy vey.
Aside from the logistical challenges, this is an emotional journey for sure. One I don’t take lightly. Even just a quick gloss over a few old blogs and I am a heap of mush inside. It’s peppered with humor here and there, but, there is also ALOT of pain. My older two kids were both adopted from Uganda, but with radically different upbringings and radically different ‘coming to America’ experiences.
I’m currently looking for things in the early days of bringing Maggie home. I don’t have any. And the raw and real truth of why I don’t have any is because it was the damn hardest time of my life thus far. Everything in our family collapsed. I was angry. I blamed her. I blamed me. We didn’t go even a few hours without some form of massive physical tantrum or borderline psychotic episode. I showered multiple times a day so that no one would hear me weeping or saying out loud, ‘what have I done to this family’. It. Was. Hard.
The process of re-engaging that pain is also hard. And even harder, is that we are still in the midst of so much of this. Not sure how to heal or mature or redeem things that have been said or left unsaid over the years. So, this whole thing isn’t just about compiling a photobook to sit glamorously on someone’s coffee table.
It’s about gluing broken things back together.
Excerpt #1 from an early blog dated Feb. 10th 2013, (7 months after Maggie’s move to America) from my old website that currently isn’t hosted or active so I can’t link the entire thing. An excerpt will have to do. We went to a fancy dinner with my parents and I ended up flipping out about my newly acclimating daughter’s table manners.
You’d think with all that background I would be a little more sensitive, right? No. You’re wrong. Maybe some nights I feel a tinge of compassion, but not tonight. I was out with a vengeance. I just couldn’t swallow looking at my daughter in a nice restaurant with her knee up to the table, disregarding the people at the table and looking sideways in the direction of the TV on the wall while she inadvertently shoved bits of bun-less hamburger patty in her mouth with her hands, while also trying to grab some fries from the center of the table.
You’re all laughing right now because you think it’s funny. It wasn’t funny. It was the perfect kind of behavior to push a somewhat already-had-it-up-to-here mom over the edge. I used every possible tactic nagging moms do, but to no avail.
The victory? Somehow amidst all my horridness, we didn’t have a complete knock down drag em‘ out meltdown in the middle of Ruth’s Chris.
The 2nd victory? My Cucumber Collins was awesome.
The 3rd victory? What you’re reading here. An apology to my children for being a pain in the butt tonight. They were themselves... and I was the overbearing, teeth-clenching mom I said I would never be.
Good thing my kids believe in 2nd chances.
And, good thing they believe in 16,943rd chances, too. Because Lawd knows what has happened since 2013.