It's been a long time since I've updated this blog. We've been busy these last two years making all the changes we promised ourselves we would when we adopted our son. I no longer live in Smalltown, Massachusetts and though I miss the friends and connections we had there, my son will never be the only Asian/Korean/adopted child in his class. Back in 2009 when we decided to move, it was obvious that the equity in our house had evaporated and it would be difficult to get out of (not to mention start over), but my husband was offered a job in the Big City and we decided to take the leap.
It was hard to leave behind everything we knew and start over somewhere else, but hey, we expected our son to do it, right?
We now rent a tiny house that costs twice what our mortgage used to be but we have never been happier. I was really struck last night by the amalgam of cultures and colors as we walked to our local elementary school to vote. We have finally found a place with safe schools, a cohesive community and the diversity we needed. I think we are finally home.
So, why haven't I written in so long? It's been a long couple of years. My beloved father died very suddenly at the age of 63. We moved twice. Life hurtled along at lightning speed. My oldest daughter graduated from high school, tried college, joined the military and got married. My middle daughter got very ill, had brain surgery and subsequently spent a year locked in a battle with the school district to get her the services she needed. My youngest daughter is now a freshman in high school and doing all sorts of interesting teenage things that involve many hours of parental driving and volunteering.
And my beautiful boy, now almost five years old, is growing up so fast.
The decisions that will shape his life are coming fast and furious now. Do we take tae kwon to nurture that cultural link or do we let him play hockey like he asked us to? Can we fit in (and afford) both? Given his diagnosis of PTSD and sensory issues, should we send him to public school or private? Do we keep driving him two hours every week to see the awesome therapist that saved our family when we were struggling so or do I use that time to walk to the park, kick around a ball and play?
What's the right answer when he tells me that he wishes he grew in my belly like his sisters? Or when he tells me it's time for a new baby in our family, but that I should grow one this time? (Note: there will be no more babies in our family, regardless of Tae's opinion, and much baby talk has been inspired by my new niece and nephew.) When he wants to send his Legos to Korea for his other Mom's birthday and wants to know if she liked them how do I explain how complicated that is and why we can't call her? When he tells my white daughter that she is Korean now just like him, and that his white cousin can be Korean too, but only if it's okay with her Mom I wonder...are we doing this right? Are we "good enough" adoptive parents?
I read many adult adoptee blogs, and while there is a mountain of solid, sound and useful advice and wisdom there; it also can leave me feeling that raising my son is like walking through a minefield. I read the things that some of their adoptive parents did and said that hurt these people when they were growing up and some of them are things I would not have recognized the impact of. That scares me. I don't want to hurt my son, or make him feel less than. Less than an integral part of our family or his original family's. Or less than any other person who hasn't had to deal with adoption.
But then, my son calls and needs the simple things that all five year old boys need like help building his Lego car or tying his shoes and I am just being Mum with my favorite guy. I keep learning and listening and doing the best I can.