Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Movin' On U-u-Up

Well, at least last night's sleep was a little better.  It was well past 1 this morning when sleep finally enveloped me, but it's a lot better than the previous few nights.  I'm trying not to fight the direction my thoughts take me when I lie in the dark thinking about last week's events; I figure I have to process this stuff at some point, so I may as well get through it now.

I have to say that the shock of that phonecall to Child Welfare is still uppermost in my mind.  I lie in bed and keep thinking over and over 'What would drive someone do that? I don't understand.'  Of course, I have no answers.  I have re-read many of my blog posts from the past six weeks or so and, although I see the discouragement and struggles and really hard days, I just cannot find anything there that seems to make such a phonecall justifiable.  I've tried to imagine circumstances in which I might take similar action and the scenarios I have envisioned look much different than what I read on my blog.  I've also tried imagine situations where I would feel it necessary to make such a phonecall anonymously and I can't - I am lacking in objectivity.s

I also lie in bed thinking about all of the 'what ifs' and at that point fear usually overtakes me to the point where my heart starts to pound and I have to get up for a while until calmer thoughts prevail.  Too often I'm forgetting to pray in the heat of the moment, and I'm not sure what that's about because when I do pray, peace of mind and heart come much more quickly.

Maybe my deepest fear is really that all of my best parenting efforts just aren't good enough.  I'm a conscientious mother and I think that we're doing all right on this front, and we're doing everything we can possibly think of to help our kids maximize their potential...but I guess it doesn't take much scratching below the surface to face my own insecurities.

It's interesting to observe about myself that, despite the good feedback I've had about how the kids (and Geoff and I) are doing, despite so many lovely emails and comments telling me that we're doing a good job, despite even the social worker thinking that we were just fine, for Pete's Sake, it takes one, just one, thing like that call to Child Welfare to rattle my parenting self confidence.  Just one person can make me doubt myself that much.  Wow.

And hmm...that insight just helped me.  That's not right.  I need to grow back my spine, and fast.  One person - an anonymous person, no less - should not be allowed that kind of power over me.

Ok, with that, I think I just finished processing!  Really, as I was writing this, it just hit me:  I can be done with this.

I have so many better things to spend my energy, time, and writing efforts on.  I'm going to re-name this post (right now it reads 'Can't Quite Stop Obsessing'), press the Publish button, and then I am moving on.

Remember the old Jefferson's TV show?  Well, I, too, am movin' on u-u-up...

Watch me.  This is me...movin' on up!



  1. Precisely the right idea, Ruth! Don't let the meaningful accolades of the many be undone by the misinformed one. Beyond that, find that spot in your mind that knows you are doing your current life's work well. It's there, you see proof of this everyday.

    Loved the blog title change too! :)

    Enjoy your day.

  2. Hi Ruth, I'm a little hesitant in writing this but please know I'm not writing form a place of being mean or vindictive. Just a different perspective.

    I understand you contemplating taking your blog down or making it private and I don't doubt you are a major resource for so many people, but here's why I think you should make it private. I think especially given what has happened you need to protect your families privacy especially your children's. This I write as an adoptee and not an adoptive parent. I just feel like your kids deserve some more privacy as they struggle and grieve. Again I realize this will not be a popular opinion and that many will disagree but I think having so little control over so much of their lives it is important to allow them this privacy. It was one of the things my mom did that I greatly appreciated and that was that my adoption story remained mine to share. And my grieving as well. Even as an adult I am reluctant to share many of my losses simply because I have not come to terms with them and it preserves my dignity in a situation I didn't choose to be in. I am of course speaking from my own personal experience. I just really wanted to put that out there and again I understand that many will think I'm being silly or rude but as an adoptee myself I felt I needed to share that.

    I hope I haven't offended you it is not my intention. I enjoy your blog and have for years but I wanted to share a different perpective.

    Take Care with whatever you decide. I know many people (myself included) are rooting for you and your beautiful family.

  3. Hey Jessa -
    Thanks for sharing your perspective - a great perspective given your life as both an adoptee and as an adoptive parent! Thanks.

    FIrst, yes, I may at some point decide to go the private route, despite my reluctance. That's something I'm continuing to think about.

    Second, I would also agree that there is a fine line about what to publish about one's kids as they go through what they need to go through - I do struggle with that. In my own defence (though I may not need one!), I actually publish extremely little about my children's very private issues. For example, I have shared with the public only two things about our children's birth roots (those which Seth and Lizzie are comfortable with people knowing): first that they have a bio father still living; second, that their bio father is a Christian. I share nothing else. For me, it is clear without going into any detail that they have gone through trauma - just by virtue of having lost birth parents, by having lived in an orphanage and by having been internationally adopted.

    In terms of the losses they continue to struggle with as we adjust to this 'new' family, although I have shared some (perhaps more than I should have) of what Matthew has gone through, I have shared almost no specific details of what Seth and Lizzie have experienced. I'm quite cautious to present more of MY thoughts/feelings about it all. Yes, I talk about some of the behaviours that we're dealing with, but not about the details of the conversations we have or the thoughts that Seth shares with me that I would most definitely consider private to him.

    Though I can appreciate that it might seem like I share a lot, I'm actually quite careful to preserve as private the things that Seth shares with me/us. I actually try to preserve these things for exactly the reason that you stated - they're his story and not mine. Many people ask me questions about Seth's perspective on things, or about his birth family or situation, to which I always answer that these are things that we hold private for Seth (and Lizzie) and that we follow their lead based on what they are willing to share. What I share here is merely the tip of the iceberg and, more often than not, MY experience of things and the struggle that I am having...I figure that's my story to share as I journey along as an adoptive and bio parent.

    No, you have not offended me in any way, and I hope in turn I have not offended you, Jessa. I take your point, and actually try to live that even in the public domain of my blog. For every tiny bit that I talk about here, there are a zillion other things that I'd love to talk about but choose not to for the sole reason of my kids' privacy! I may not always succeed in a way that others like or think appropriate (and perhaps that's what you're tactfully trying to let me know!), and I acknowledge that, too.

    Lots of things to think about...and I thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

    I hope you folks are doing well - and I wish that YOU were still writing YOUR blog so that I could follow along with your journey!



  4. Hi Ruth,

    I guess I've been out of the loop for the last week and am just reading about all that you've been dealing with. Holy cow. That's just so totally upsetting and frustrating. You're moving on up now, so I don't want to stir everything up again. I just want to offer my on-going support and affirmation. It would be difficult to find a more deliberate, energetic, analytical and caring parent in the world - that's my two cents. You're tapping into a ton of resources, both external and internal, to make your family the best it can be. That's what I see, in your blog and your real life. We do want to get together, so I WILL be in touch! Love to you all.