I’m mildly convinced that I have some sort of sensory processing disorder, since the feel of velvet makes me want to vomit, I would love to plunge my hands into a bucket of rice or small beads, and if Alex gently caresses my arm, I punch him in the kidney. The other day, I threw a small arsenal of balled-up socks over the shower door while Alex was showering (a trick I used on my sister when we were younger). He said that his revenge would be to throw tissues in my bath water. I told him that would constitute as spousal abuse because wet paper is my ultimate nemesis. I would probably go into shock and die.
Another symptom of this disorder is a hatred of certain words. Words that make me shudder when I hear them. It’s like caressing my ears with a velvety, wet paper wad. Which words? Well, it depends on my mood, but major contenders include supple, duty, and the word human pronounced you-man (What language are we speaking? Spanish? SAY THE “H”, PEOPLE). Also, pretty much any word that has a soft “p” sound; Alex pronounces the soft p sound in a particularly violent manner that makes me want to projectile vomit while sitting in his car talking about ‘apples’.
There are several adoption phrases that I find mildly annoying. One is “gotcha day”, which is the day that parents become the legal guardians of the child. Also, “tummy mommy” and “heart mommy”, which refer to the birth mother and adoptive mother respectively.
1) I will never use the word ‘tummy’,
2) I don’t think I can refer to myself as a ‘mommy’. If the kid wants to, then I will allow it, but Alex won’t be allowed to use it either.
3) Those phrases are unfair to the birth mom. In most cases, giving up her child was an excruciating decision. If we’re going to come up with silly names for things, then she should probably be ‘tummy and heart’ mommy.
Another is “paper pregnancy”- so many soft “p” sounds. This refers to the fact that adoption requires at least 6 reams of paperwork and several trips to Office Max to buy replacement ink for the printer. It also refers to the fact that you do not, in fact, have to be pregnant to bring an adopted child into your home.
I’ve been thinking lately about this path that God has asked us to follow. One way that adoption is hard because there are no outward physical cues that you’re expecting a child. There’s nothing to tip off strangers that we are going to be parents. I don’t have a swollen belly or weird cravings (Okay, maybe I have those things, but not because I’m pregnant. The post-half-marathon relaxing period has not been kind to my hips, but I’m working on it. LAY OFF, GUYS!) Having never been pregnant, I can’t make any definitive statements, but I bet you guys thought about your future babies all the time. We think about our future baby all the time. All.the.time.
I certainly will not miss pregnancy and all of it’s symptoms and consequences but when we started this process, I was a little sad that we couldn’t go the traditional baby announcement route with cutesy reveals and what not. Adoption is serious business. I can’t post pictures of my stomach every month (well, I could, but who would want to see that?). I won’t get to buy tiny jackets or socks (well, I could, but only for Gracie). Strangers won’t congratulate me or ask me when I’m due (well, they could, but I will punch them); we have no idea when our girl will be home.
Yes, those are hard things, but let me say this, if I was ever afraid of walking this journey alone, those fears have been put to rest. Family and friends have been so supportive and loving. Your prayers and kind words mean more than you know. Thanks for celebrating our paper pregnancy (blech) with us. Now, just never say those words in presence and we’ll be golden.