Topic: Pre trip ramblings
I'm starting this blog to record my thoughts and adventures during my journey to Kazakhstan to begin my family... OK, I know, I know, I know... it's about time, already.
It's been a long, windy, and fortunately not too bumpy road since I first began my efforts to adopt my baby girl in December 2003. I've known for the past 20 years that I would eventually adopt a child from another country... I think it was the 20/20 program on the Romanian orphans that first inspired me. I always felt that it was really tragic that there were so many family less children in the world...have long held a deep desire to bring a sweet child into my home and heart and envisioned that the family I would eventually create could be an inspiration to others. But, more importantly, I really just want to be a mom, and I always wanted a daughter.
Even though I really knew that being a mom was my destiny, I feel strongly that people shouldn't enter parenthood unconsciously... So after much consideration (we're talking thousands of hours of pondering) ... Do I really want to do this? Why do I want to do this? How can I possibly do this? Is it at all realistic to take this on without a husband or family nearby? How will I maintain some semblance of balance in my life? What will be of my love life? Concerned friends had told me that I wouldn't be able to take a shower, go to a restaurant or out to a movie for at least 4 years, and my dear friend Annette even suggested that I had to make sure there were groceries in the house on a consistent basis. How was I ever going to manage this?
On the practical side, I spent many other hours researching and considering the various adoption options, agencies, paperwork requirements, Health and social issues and risks of adopting from different countries. I mean I really wanted to do this, but wanted to be as careful as possible not to mess up my really great life in the process. After going back and forth alot, I finally settled on adopting a baby girl (as young as possible) from Kazakhstan, a country I knew nothing about other than that it was a former soviet state.
Now that I got the who if and how questions answered, I moved on in my pondering to consider what it would really be like to be a mother... Where did I fall on the spectrum of child rearing philosophies? What did I want to teach my daughter? How would I nurture her and how would I approach discipline? education? childcare? How would I handle her... not drinking enough milk, drinking too much milk, temper tantrums, pulling the cats tails, sleeping, not sleeping, and many more unmentionable possibilities.
I started out knowing very little (read: virtually nothing) about babies (I don't think I've actually ever changed a diaper... just observed 3 or 4 times). So I spent many, many, many hours getting up to speed.... voraciously reading all sorts of baby books, taking classes, talking to veteran moms, consulting specialists, surfing baby sites on the Internet, participating in online discussion groups (Kaz adoption, Single Kaz Mom's, healthy parenting, attachment parenting, etc). I struck out to learn everything I could about about babies, milestones, cognitive, neurological, physical, emotional, social development, special needs of adopted children, Intl. adoption medicine, health concerns, strollers, car seats, child proofing, early intervention, infant CPR, child rearing, environmental toxicity, super baby food, organic crib mattresses, preschools, and the list goes on.
After so much soul searching, I decided that I really want to do this, have to do this and can surrender to the fact that parenting is inherently uncertain and unpredictable (well my inner control freak is still working on the surrendering part). But, I am confident that I can be resourceful and am blessed with an abundance of loving friends and family to lean on, and have the inherent Chutzpah to ask for support when needed... so we'll be just fine.
Well, I hope by now I've convinced you that I've learned a few things about babies along my path and have some inkling of what I may be getting myself into. To be continued.
Love Genice (super Mom-to-be)