The last day to pre-order Addition by Adoption is tomorrow. If you don’t order it by tomorrow, you’ll have to wait for the official launch on May 11. The book has received a lot of press in the past week—OK, “press” meaning friends and contacts blogging and tweeting about the book. But they’ve had a lot of nice things to say. It’s enough to make your head swell. So it’s time to pop that bubble: I’m not a super dad.
I’ve found that the biggest challenge of adoption and raising kids in general is just the day to day. There are day-to-day challenges and difficulties that you have to rise up and face every day. Those challenges can wear you down pretty quickly if you’re not careful.
For whatever reason I woke up on the wrong side of the bed Saturday and I had no patience. That wouldn’t be so awful, but Milo woke up on the wrong side of his crib and he’d been screaming all morning. Not a good combination.
Finding ways to deal with those kinds of frustrations is crucial. On Saturday Milo and I had to take a break from each other. My wife and I frequently have times where one of us needs to ‘run away,’ and I that’s what I needed Saturday.
It’s stuff like trying to get work done and your daughter won’t stop asking if Sesame Street is on. At first it’s cute, then it’s annoying and then it’s like poking a tiger with a stick at the zoo. The other day Lexi did that so often I told her if she asked me one more time she couldn’t watch it. So she asked if it was time for Milo to take a nap, which happens to be the same time Sesame Street is on. Sneaky. Very sneaky.
Adoption certainly has its own unique challenges and issues you need to recognize (and in some cases very serious issues), but it’s really just parenting. More complicated parenting, yeah, but it’s still parenting. And parenting is pretty complicated and hard and stressful and challenging. Did I mention I had no patience on Saturday?
That’s one thing I like about the book—it’s honest. The book includes these moments of frustration. Sometimes you need an afternoon of TV and snacks and no kids to regain some sanity (at least one review expressed relief at sharing that sentiment). Any parent who doesn’t get frustrated by their kids and need a break once and while is either lying or a saint. It’s not the kids’ fault, it’s not your fault, it’s just how life is.
[Note: I always have visions of social workers reading my blog and freaking out over poorly phrased statements, so allow me to clarify. Is adoptive parenting really just like biological parenting? Yes and no. No because there are special issues brought on by adoption that biological parents won’t have to deal with. That’s just a reality we have to acknowledge. But yes because in any type of parenting—whether biological or adoptive or whatever else there is—you have to deal with whatever known and unknown issues come up. Your kid may be diagnosed with some special needs acronymn and that can happen whether they’re adopted or biological. Biological parents aren’t exempt. Biological kids have problems and issues and they may threaten to burn down the house too (to reference that stupid story again). But either way you’re going to need help and support and you’ll find a way to get the help you need because they’re your kid.]