I've long held the believe that it wouldn't be possible for me to love a child I birthed more than a child I adopted. Or even fostered. I've been chewing on that idea for a week now. Considering the feelings that are tied up in the Fab Four and then my kids, and now Solana, my head is in a really weird place.
I rock this 15 lb ball of smiles who holds her own bottle and reaches for me when I enter a room and I wonder at how quickly you can fall in love. And then I feel guilty that my feelings for Simon, Smiley, Sarah and Stella didn't develop as quickly. Even though now, I feel them just as strongly. I had an interesting discussion with a co-worker who just came back from maternity leave and she talked about how her bond with her new baby was slower than it was with her first child. (Why don't women talk about this?)
I'm asked pretty frequently by friends how I feel now that we are adopting. Given Jelly Bean's extreme behavior and mental health issues the real question no one is gutsy enough to ask is, am I relieved we didn't adopt the Fab Four?
And if I'm being honest, yes I am.
You wouldn't choose for your child to be sick so it's an odd thing to "choose" to keep a child who is, if given the choice. Someone told me that I "dodged a bullet" when the Fab Four went home. It was a Mom who had an adult son with autism. It made me angry at the time, but now I understand where she was coming from.
Life with Jelly Bean would always be rough. And while we could have gotten her stable, we would have had to work so very hard at it. And to be honest, I don't want to have to work that hard.
Sure we have worked hard with the Quartet to help them heal. We have done gobs of attachment therapy and changed our parenting style dramatically. But we have not had to work as hard on our hardest day with these kids, that we had to on a "good" day with Jelly Bean. At this point, my kids are behaving pretty close to "typical" or at least way closer than they were 2 years ago. And while we have days that are more challenging, most days the trauma related stuff is a blip vs. a major blow up. And I can imagine days where there is no blip at all. So of course, I would choose this.
So here is the head trip, I don't feel guilty about that. I love those children but I am so glad I don't have that responsibility right now.
Everyone keeps asking how we are doing with 5 kids. We are good. Amazon shows up everyday because I'm not taking 5 kids to the store unless I have to, and Peapod grocery delivery is my friend and I am looking forward to when I can sleep through the night again, but Solana is really the piece I didn't know I was missing so the added challenge of a baby feels worth the hassle.
Seeing Hubby with Solana is an experience I am glad I've had. He's amazing to her and I love him more for it.