A year ago I was in Korea right now, trying to sleep, but failing miserably. Tomorrow (July 8, 2008) we were to finally get to take our beautiful son home to America. Our years of waiting for an adoption to be complete would be over. I was finally—finally—going to be a mom.
And I was scared out of my wits.
Would I know what to do? Would my ten-month-old son reject us? How would we ever survive a 24-hour travel period home with a baby who didn’t know us? Was I ready? How would my life change? Could I handle that change?
Looking back, I can say with all certainty that adopting Jaime was the best decision we ever made. He is the most fabulous son and absolutely the love of my life. But this past year has not been easy and hasn’t been without its struggles. Yet, can’t every new parent say this?
We’ve had a lot of adjustments—both Jaime and us. It’s been physically demanding (long periods of very, very little sleep as Jaime has had severe sleep issues) and mentally challenging (we’ve spent the past year giving our all to Jaime and only recently started to find time for ourselves again). Some of the issues we were prepared for, but many caught us off guard. Rolling with the punches had become a daily motto of mine.
And, yes, my writing career has taken a hit.
I’ve had to compromise and learn what is most important to me in my career and personal life. I used to work 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And I was burned out. The baby forced me to realize that a little revitalization can actually make you much more productive. I’ve discovered that living is just as important as succeeding.
And finally, after a year, I am beginning to feel like “Renee” again, and not just “Mommy”. I’ve decided I still have some spunk left in me after all.
What have I learned from all of this? That being a parent is the hardest, scariest, “funest” (Yes, I say that IS a word!), most challenging, rewarding, and lovable job you can have. I am a better person because of my son. I only hope that he will learn as much from me as I learn from him daily. Where will I be a year from now? I pray I will be still enjoying this roller coaster ride they call motherhood.